In many modern buildings concrete is used between floors but only sheet rock is used between apartments. Apartments can be soundproofed. One of my first buyers was a musician that was turned down by coop board. We negotiated that he sound proof apartment.
Not all prewar buildings have thick concrete between apartments, Some are noisier than post-modern buildings. Many prewar apartments have been broken up into several smaller apartments from the 8-11 room apartments that they were originally built for. There are tenement prewar buildings and luxury prewar buildings and they were built with different materials. I've been in many noisy prewar apartments. I lived in a brownstone and I practically heard my neighbors turning the pages of their newspaper when they were reading in bed. Brownstones were built for single families not apartments.
The Ansonia on the upper west side is one of the most sound proof prewar buildings in Manhattan. The building had incredibly thick walls installed when it was built in 1904 to protect against fire, which meant Ansonia suites were among the most soundproof in the city. This is the reason many famous musicians took up residence in the building.
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
This is a very simple issue to rectify - you need to move into a PREWAR building!!
:-) You know how they always say, "they don't make things like they used to!" Well it couldn't be more true!! The older prewars, especially the loft buildings, many of which were converted industrial & commercial buildings, were built with thick concrete between the floors and the walls.
For all my clients who feel the same about noise, I will always recommend the older prewars!!
If you need any help, by all means feel free to reach out to me & I will help you get settled into a wonderful prewar, with fabulous pin-drop-quiet, new home in Manhattan!