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SPL meter worth the purchase?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   NickSo

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Posted January 16 2004 - 11:05 AM

I know that the SPL meter is crucial to setting up my HT properly, but Im just wondering, once you calibrate it, is tehre really a use for it after? I mean, when will you realy need to use it again if you dont plan on adjusting the speaker placement?

I ask this because my dad's friend has a SPL meter he was thinking of selling, but is willing to just let us borrow it. It dotn really want to keep asking him to borrow it again if for some reason I DO need to calibrate again, but then im thinking how often do i need to calibrate.

Thoughts? Should i buy it off him for cheap (prolly bout $20, $25 CAD), or just borrow it once, and record the speaker volume settings?


#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Keith Hyde

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Posted January 16 2004 - 11:21 AM

Buy one. Unless this is it for your stereo - no upgrades, moving around, reconfiguration, etc. New ones are under $50 - maybe you can pick up his used one for half-price?
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#3 of 23 OFFLINE   TimGRA

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Posted January 16 2004 - 12:16 PM

Buy one.

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   NickSo

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Posted January 16 2004 - 12:46 PM

Well im currently borrowing it.. and i've calibrated my system... honestly, i really doubt theres gonna be much alteration to my system in the near future... If he's willing to part with it for $15-$20, im gonna take it.. otherwise, im just gonna write down my settings so if anything does happen i can ust set it back to the way it was.

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Stelios

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Posted January 16 2004 - 03:16 PM

You are right NickSo. You don't have to buy it. Once you calibrate your set up, thats it no use of it again. If by any chance you move you can borrow it again. I wish I could do this but unfortunately no one that I know has one so I had to buy one from ebay. I am still waiting for it to come.

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#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted January 16 2004 - 04:28 PM

I'd buy it and have it. If you get the upgrade bug often, you'll be recalibrating more than you think.

And besides, it's cool to be the guy with the SPL meter. You get to go to friends houses and fool around with their systems...erm I mean calibrate them. Posted Image
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#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 16 2004 - 04:38 PM

Buy it. Its one of those tools that you might not use often but you're glad you have it when you need it. For $20 IMO its a no brainer.

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Chip E

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Posted January 17 2004 - 12:36 AM

I agree with Andrew. Buy it for $20.00. I paid $45.00 for one brand new two years ago. I've used it a few times. I've calibrated several friend's HT's. It is a necessary thing to own for any HT'r IMO. 20 bucks is a gimmie.
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#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 17 2004 - 01:40 AM

Esp considering you'd spend that on a DVD that you might get less replay out of Posted Image

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Chuck Schilling

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Posted January 17 2004 - 03:26 AM

Given that you'll probably need to recalibrate each time you add a source component, I think it is absolutely, positively essential to have one. For what little it costs, the payback is astronomical.

When I think of how much some folks here spend on esoteric interconnects and speaker wire, it astounds me to think of NOT getting an SPL meter just to save $20 CDN - which amounts to about one evening's beer money.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Clint

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Posted January 17 2004 - 04:42 AM

Get one, repeat, it is very essential. I bought the analog one from the Shack and it has made a tremendous difference.

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Weller

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Posted January 17 2004 - 12:12 PM

It's a tool well worth having. Be warned though, it may also help you find acoustical flaws that you didn't know you had! :P)

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Arthur Vino

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Posted January 17 2004 - 02:15 PM

get it, Radio Shack just released a new analog model..

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   John Pine

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Posted January 19 2004 - 01:32 AM

Anyone have the new R.S. model Arthur mentioned yet? Any performance impressions?
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#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Dean Wette

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Posted January 19 2004 - 02:02 AM

Other than the display, what's the differnece between RadioShack's $50 digital model and their $40 analog model. Is the extra $10 worth it?

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#16 of 23 OFFLINE   John Pine

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Posted January 19 2004 - 02:28 AM

I thought I read that the analog one was a little more accurate. Anyone?
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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   ChrisMatson

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Posted January 19 2004 - 02:42 AM

I know that the AVIA disc recommends the analog RS meter.

...and what Stephen siad!

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   David James

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Posted January 19 2004 - 02:50 AM

I bought one to make sure all my speakers were set at the same level. Now for the stupid question Posted Image

I've never payed any attention to what DB levels actually were so last night I put in a one of the Lethel Weapon movies and got out the meter and watched it for a bit. I had it set to "C" and "Slow". I had the dial set to "90" and even during the various explosions and other action parts the dial bounced a bit between the -10 and -5 but never hit "0". I assume this means the "volume" never hit 90 DB's. Is that correct?

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Weller

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Posted January 19 2004 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
Anyone have the new R.S. model Arthur mentioned yet? Any performance impressions?


The only thing that looks "new" to me is the case. It's functionally equivalent to my vintage model.

Quote:
Other than the display, what's the differnece between RadioShack's $50 digital model and their $40 analog model. Is the extra $10 worth it?


I'd save the $10. The digital reads in round dB's. The analog makes it easier to guesstimate when the speakers are within 1 dB of each other. Be aware though, the meter movement can be easily damaged by high SPL's. That's why it starts out on the highest range. Turn the tones on *before* you turn on the meter.

Quote:
I thought I read that the analog one was a little more accurate. Anyone?


I can't think of anything from Rat Shack that's particularly accurate, except the old Minimus 7's. Posted Image That's right. I said they were accurate. Anyway, we're only using this tool to match the ouput of our speakers. As long as it stays stable from one speaker to the next, it'll be close enough.

Quote:
I assume this means the "volume" never hit 90 DB's. Is that correct?


That is correct for the average or 'C' weighting. 'A' weighting will show you the peak levels and give you a fairly decent visual indication of dynamic range.

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Roy Van Nostrand

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Posted January 19 2004 - 01:44 PM

We've got underground utilities here ...but every once in a while, usually on a sunny day when the wind is hardly blowing, the power hiccups and burps ...and it's sometimes "time to recalibrate". You need a meter.

Five years ago I bought the RS digital on sale even though, everyone here recommended the analog. Personally, I'm just fine with the digital and I understand that digital is the way of the future Posted Image ...you can adjust how it "rounds".
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