Using a sound meter

rimibar

Active Member
Hi everyone,

Sorry for sounding like a total AV virgin, but I have just purchased a Radioshack sound meter to finetune my kit (details below).

How do I go about using it? I have a general idea, but further advice would be most helpful.

Thanks in advance!

Richard
 
P

Programmergeek

Guest
set the frequency to the low end 60 or so, play the test tone for ea speaker, ignore the sub, set the channel level so that the volume is the same on each channel in the place you will normally be sitting.
 

rimibar

Active Member
What volume should the amp be at before I alter each speaker level?

Thanks!
 

StevieDvd

Novice Member
I'm no expert at this by a long shot but from the info I was given you set your amp to '0' which should be either 75db or 85db. What you then look for is a level on each speaker of 75db.

If you don't listen at that level then you would have your amp at say -20 but the speaker levels would all be the same.

Logically I would guess if you had your amp at -10db then youwould look for a level of 65db, cause the test tones are quite loud at 0.

Some members advocate setting the levels with one of 2 DVD setup discs which cost around £12-20 with more realistic test tones. I did the amp test tones first, noted the levels and then did the DVD and the difference on mine was minor but slightly more balanced as far as I could ascertain.

Hope that helps, some more knowledgable than me will probably update us all.

Steve
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Make sure you set the meter to C weighted and SLOW.

I use an external disc (avia). I found on my own amp that using the internal generated tones results in a 4dB too high centre channel. I was using a $2000 real time analyser with calibrated microhone for the measurement though. I don;t know what sort of tolerance the RS meter has.

Gordon
 

rimibar

Active Member
Thanks for all the info guys - have played last night and it does sound noticeably better - very pleased with results..... .....As are my friends who have booked me to balance their systems. I'm sure there should be profit in this somewhere??? :p

Regarding where I got it from http://www.radioshack.co.uk/prodDetail.php?p=3302055

Thanks!
 

Nimby

Member

Good link. Thanks nikbedwell.

The question that occurs to me is: If a dealer sells AV equipment then why don't they sell SPL meters over the counter?

An SPL meter is your speedometer on your AV car. It is your driving license to own and run multi-channel AV. It is your tuning station to keep things running smoothly.

It is really that important. Isn't it? So why don't AV dealers have them available from stock? Like all the other, much less important, accessories they want you to buy.

If I walk out of the dealer with £15K AV setup isn't as worthless without an SPL meter as a system without the cables? :rolleyes:

Nimby
 

Ian J

Banned
It would be more sensible for the dealer to hire one out as most people only want it for a day or two.
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
and most SPL meter like the radio shak are pretty poor to be honest, as well as giving the wrong figure, they are not consistent so these corrections' that everyone uses in the bass region a meaningless. You need to spend more money on a meter or get a decent microphone
 

rimibar

Active Member
Originally posted by The Beekeeper
and most SPL meter like the radio shak are pretty poor to be honest, as well as giving the wrong figure, they are not consistent so these corrections' that everyone uses in the bass region a meaningless. You need to spend more money on a meter or get a decent microphone

Interested in reading your comments beekeeper. What would you suggest as a cost effective solution?
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Use your dealer :)

Depends what you want to do, if for say 3KHz, rat shak not too bad, but for bass :(

Affordable solutions might be a calibration mike into a soundcard. I am about to receive (after a huge wait) a Behribger ECM8000 to try, they are £35 - £38 each. You probably have a sound card already

http://www.behringer.com/ECM8000/index.cfm?lang=ENG

the bottom line is you get what you pay for here and therefore have your dealer do the work is a great way forward and the reason I have endorsed dealers
 

Fishbones

Member
Originally posted by The Beekeeper
Affordable solutions might be a calibration mike into a soundcard. I am about to receive (after a huge wait) a Behribger ECM8000 to try, they are £35 - £38 each. You probably have a sound card already.

Great....what real-time analyzer software would you recomend?
 

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