Another vote here for not
talking to the neighbor. And I've rarely had any luck with apartment managers, who are usually very young people who identify more with the noise-makers
than with quiet middle-agers like me.
(Don't get me wrong -- I can rock out with the best of 'em!
I just care enough to do it with the headphones
It might be better to call the police -- not on 911, but on an administrative line, so you won't interfere with life-and-death calls. They may not be able to come out right away, but they can have a patrolman visit the offenders the following day and just discuss
the issue with them, for their future reference.
On one occasion, I was awakened by a blast of heavy metal around 5:00 on a Sunday morning, and it was still blasting at noon. I finally went out and walked around until I found where the noise was coming from. It was a second-floor apartment, and the door was standing open.
I went up the stairs and knocked, trying to be courteous by not looking into the apartment as I did so. I knocker louder and louder... and then I looked around the corner into the living room.
There was a shirtless man lying face down on the carpet, apparently unconscious, with a big knife near his right hand.
At that point, I called the police. They came out and investigated (and turned off the stereo, thank goodness), and an ambulance followed. After awhile, the police officers stopped by my apartment to tell me that the man had been in a knife fight with a friend (a FRIEND?) during the night, and although he hadn't been wounded badly, he was so full of liquor and drugs that he had apparently just slipped into a coma. They asked me please never
to approach a neighbor over a noise problem -- they'd rather have to come out and handle it than have a citizen walk into a potentially dangerous situation.