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Cribeiro's SPL meter thread

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by cribeiro, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi! I can get this:

    http://www.mercateo.com/p/102-100609(2d)BP/SOUND_LEVEL_METER.html

    pretty cheap here in Germany, as compared to the prices I have seen you quote here, in a couple of threads asking about digital or analog (which I read and decided to go for the analog... good for my pocket!).
    Should I order it inmediately, or it is not worth the investment?
    I hope you can help, thanks...
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    From the picture it lookes identical to the Radio Shack meter generally recommended round here as well as on the Avia calibration DVD. AIUI the RS ones are scarce these days so that one could be a good alternative .. not being able to read German all I can go on is the picture. :)
     
  3. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Ok, since that is a piece of advice for free, I won't complain :) but you could use google...
    7 measuring ranges from 50 to 126 dB
    A or C curves possible
    "short or long term sound source" (I don't know how to put this into proper english)
    Battery test function
    Resolution 1 dB
    precision +-2 dB at 114 dB
    Distorsion 2% at 1 kHz
    0.5 V
    Dimensions 160x62x44 mm
    Weight 185 g

    Thanks for the answer! I think I'll go for it...
    Off topic: what is AIUI? I am trying to learn all those criptic things you write...
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    You'll want to select 'C' for Weighting and 'Slow' for response, either 60 or 70 db scale depending on how loud you want to calibrate it.

    AIUI = As I Understand It.

    :)
     
  5. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Sorry, just one more question... I am supposing that all I need is that gear, no further devices are needed... (yes, apart from a sound source, of course :) ). Because I don't know if it has a built-in microphone, or it is just the place to plug it... I am new in these things...
     
  6. Fishbones

    Fishbones
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    According to the manual that IS the same as Radio Shack SPL.
     
  7. Nimby

    Nimby
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    It has a built-in microphone with a bass roll-off error. If you browse for <spl meter error corrections> or search the forum archives you will find a list of corrections you must make for absolute accuracy in the deep bass.

    If you are comparing your main speakers with a subwoofer (or any other speaker) at the same frequency. Any meter error doesn't matter as it cancels out. Because you are comparing like with like. Only when you are comparing two different frequencies will an error occur. Or if you are trying to see how deep your speakers or subwoofer goes and keeping a record of the frequncy response. The meter will show a greater error the lower you go in frequency.

    Your linked picture shows the analogue version of the Realistic/Tandy/RadioShack SPL meter. All different names for the same meter. The analogue meter is considered preferable to the digital version by some people.

    If the price shown is in Euros then it is good value.

    NIMBY
     
  8. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Ok, then I will go for it right now. The price is in euros, although it doesn't include taxes and sending, so in the end it is 30 euro in total. Nevertheless, it is still cheaper than the numbers I saw quoted here in the forum.
    It is nice to have your advice, now I can buy it with confidence!
    Nimby, thanks for the instructions :) Although I studied and practiced quite a lot measurement theory it is always good to refresh my memory (now I work in theoretical physics).
    Thank you indeed! Greetings,

    Alberto
     
  9. Nimby

    Nimby
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    :blush:

    NIMBY :D
     
  10. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi! I have just ordered the spl meter. Thank you all for your advice, now I feel confident and I know I didn't waste my money :)
    And you see that my indecision levels converge and SOMEtimes I finally go and buy...
    Greetings to all,

    Alberto

    PS: 2-3 days to get it at home... I cannot wait!! I will finally domesticate my fierce sub and make it blend in with the front speakers!
     
  11. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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  12. wither2000

    wither2000
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    cribeiro,

    Has it arrived yet and if so, has it made much difference to how your set-up sounds?

    Cheers,

    ian
     
  13. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Not yet :-( I am still waiting... I think that, since it doesn't fit in my mailbox, and I am not at home at the hours that the post usually arrives, they may take it back to the post office, and send me a letter requesting that I pick it up... And that takes longer! I am not yet worried...
    But I will keep you informed!
     
  14. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    It arrived! Yesterday I got a letter from the post office, saying I should go there and pick it up. I did it before I came to work, and the spl meter is waiting in my car... I was tempted to say I am ill, to go home and start playing with my new toy :) But my research is in a hot moment, and I need to make use of that to make advances.
    I hope I will be able to tell you the results by tomorrow. I'll check again my set up "by ear", and then use the spl meter to see if that was right. If you take a look in the Speakers forum, you'll see I have been going on audition, and I found a very nice dealer that I am quite sure I can trust... Well, that guy says he makes all setups by ear, and once he used one of these toys (a expensive one, I guess) to check whether he was right or wrong... And found that he could do it with 0.5 dB precision!! I am not so experienced, and maybe my ear is also not as good as his, so I don't know what the comparison will be... I'll tell you tomorrow!
    BTW, thanks for the roll off values, they will be very useful!
     
  15. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Normally trying to set a sub's level by ear is the most difficult. Anybody who can balance speakers to 0.5dB by ear is.....er....remarkable? ;)

    Nimby
     
  16. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi! I can't say yet about the spl meter... I got it home, but I didn't have the right batteries! Pity it doesn't have a DC current input! In addition, the display has a scratch, and I am thinking about a change... It is nothing serious, it is very light but long, and although you need to look careful to see it, the shadow of it appears on the bottom of the screen... Don't know what to do... I will ask for your advice in a separate thread.
     
  17. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi! I got my spl meter yesterday, but I was very sad when I realized it has a soft scratch on the display window, it is not visible if you don't look in the "right" angle, but the shadow on the bottom of the screen is always visible. I wonder if I should send it back and ask for a replacement, or forget about it and be less picky. It doesn't affect the measurements, after all... But I bought it brand new (hey, 30 euro including sending). It is only that I don't know if a 2 week wait is worth that little scratch. What do you think?
     
  18. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Personally I'd probably let it be, especially if you've a two-week wait .. OTOH, if your system is already set up or can be done quickly you could calibrate BEFORE returning it for a replacement. :D
     
  19. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Well, two weeks is my guess, because it took the spl meter 1 week to arrive home since I ordered it... Maybe the fact that it was my first order in that online shop have something to do with that... They claim it should take 2-3 working days...
    I do have my home cinema already working, and setup by ear... I thought about using it now and then change it, but I am concerned about complains from them if they see any trace of use from my side... So you wouldn't mind... Maybe I am too picky.
    In any case, I want to resolve what to do before the day is over... I wrote them an email, I hope they'll answer fast. It depends on how easy they do it for me... The fact that my german is only at survival level is also an issue...
     
  20. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I wouldn't say you're too picky, maybe I'm just less motivated. :)

    As for them knowing you've used it .. unless you're extremelty ham-fisted it'd be impossible for them to know its' been used ... except perhaps for the batteries if you've removed them from the wrapping, in which case use a spare pair from some other device temporarily.
     
  21. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    Quickly? Cribeiro? :rotfl: ;)
     
  22. avanzato

    avanzato
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    You can't have seen the scratch until you opened the box so they can't complain about that, why not use it first. I also thought German consumer laws were very strong and you have replacement rights no matter what, could be wrong on that not being German myself. OTOH those meters are getting rare at the moment as the replacement style ones aren't getting into the shops yet. So if that was the last one they had you could be waiting for the replacement for quite a while. :suicide:
     
  23. bob1

    bob1
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    I wouldn't bother myself ,it will spend most of its time in the case anyway.
     
  24. dennis

    dennis
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    put your thumb over it:D
     
  25. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    nOk, thanks for all the answers...
    Hey, Nobber22, this goes for you: I did it already :p :) You know, I can hardly find time for myself, my girlfriend is very demanding... But now that she started in the university, she keeps busy the whole day, so I can arrive home and do what I like :)
    I didn't get an answer from the shop, so I will try my best reading about the replacement procedures and see if it is worth my precious free time. Anyway, I see most of you wouldn't give a damn about it, so why should I? (hey, I hope this expression is not a strong one...)

    Before I comment on the results... I used the c curve with slow response, I hope it is the appropiate one... At least so is stated in the manual. Something curious: they show both c and a curves, and c doesn't have roll-off at low freq... Are they cheating?

    Now the results: I can hardly believe it... My speakers are really bad. Well, not really bad, but they are hardly falling into that what is called hifi... One of the front speakers has a different sensibility than the other, causing about 1 dB of difference. I always thought it was my ears, or the room (one side is an open way to the kitchen), but this time I took my time, I measured, and I believed it. I checked the balance, it was right. I checked the distances, were the same. I swapped the speakers and it was on the other side... So it is in the speakers. I used the balance and now it is right.

    The front speaker surprised me, because I expected I'd have to lower 1 or 2 dB to get the right matching (same line with the front ones)... But it turned to be the other way around, so it must be less sensitive. But still, I can't understand it. I don't like much these test tones, so I set the front speaker listening to something in plain stereo and switching then to PLII... And I tried to get the voices exactly at the same depth. That meant -2 dB when I did it... But the spl meter with test tones says something different... Very different: +1-2 dB! Actually, 1.5 dB, but my amp goes in steps of 1 dB. It is incredible how precise this tool can be! Anyway, I will listen to some music and check if I am satisfied (didn't have time yet!), if not, my ears have the last word.

    And then, the rears. These were easier, and actually same for both. Since I sit almost in the center of the room, and they aren't higher than my ear (they are floorstanders), I had to give them +2 dB. Same as I had.

    Finally, I went to the sub. I was always very careful with its output level, because I have heard many times that most of people set it wrong. Well, if the C curve they show without rolloff applies, then it was definately way too high! Like 7-9 dB!

    About replacement, they state in the web site that this item is "sofort verfuegbar"... That is, inmediately available... I know I'm showing off, but come on, I can't compete with your english... I don't know if they send abroad, but if you'd like to get one, I can check it.

    I intend to measure the freq response of the speakers and sub, using some sine wave generator, I'll let you know as soon as I finish it. I always wondered how deep my sub could go, and what would be the best crossover.
     
  26. Fishbones

    Fishbones
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    I did e-mail them and was told that they don't send abroad and only sell to businesses. :thumbsdow
     
  27. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Only to businesses? I hope I didn't do anything wrong... I remember they have an option where I was pretty lost, because all posibilities were kind of "big enterprise" and so on. But I think I chose simply private person... I hope I don't get involved in troubles! :) Anyway, I did my setup already :)

    Edit: in their web site, you have to choose what kind of business you have... But there is an option saying "einzelunternehmen"... I interpreted that as private use, and registered... Now I checked the meaning in english, and it means:

    Individual enterprise
    one-man business
    personal undertaking
    sole proprietorship

    Now, like with german, my english is not so good, but I think this can be thought as private use, right? If not, let them complain :)
     

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