Help/advice with purchase of SPL meter

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 4thChoice, May 28, 2017.

  1. 4thChoice

    4thChoice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What should I be looking for (or avoid)? I have ideas, but looking for more knowledgeable guidance before an actual purchase. Specifics appreciated, including (but not limited to) brand/model and where to buy (other than "Amazon"). Goal is to improve the SQ @ my primary LP. Questions - please ask so that I can help you to assist me.
  2. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Gilbert AZ
    I still have a Radio Shack digital SPL meter but I really no longer use it. Several years ago I bought an app called dB Meter Pro for my iPad and after doing several comparisons and finding that the app read almost identical to the Radio Shack meter it is all I have used. Plus it was easier to get peak and average ratings.
    rodentdog, PhilBiker and bru87tr like this.
  3. 4thChoice

    4thChoice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Prefer to pick up a SPL meter itself, not use an app for phone. 2 of the more popular ones seem to be the Galaxy Audio Check Mate CM-130 and the CM-140. Is the 140 worth the extra $$$$. Like it's resolution better (+/- .1 dB vs. +/- .5 dB), but do I need that? One drawback appears to be a (relatively) "long" averaging time, again do I need a better/shorter averaging time? Who else makes a decent meter for a reasonable price ($200 max, prefer closer to $100)? Triplett? Extech?

    I know some you may recommend REW w/ a calibrated mic, but that is not what I am looking for. Also not looking for super accuracy, just want to get a better general idea of what I have. What can I compromise on (more importantly - what should I not compromise on) and end up w/ a good SPL meter?
  4. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
    My Radio Shack still works fine all these years. Maybe just find a good used one on fleabay etc. Without digital EQ in your audio system there is a limit what you can do. All that is reasonable is to identify narrow peaks and suckouts and smooth them out by tweaking the speakers or dealing with corners, first reflection points etc. I assume you have a test CD with frequency warble tones.
    bru87tr likes this.
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    I use an Extech 407740 that I purchased used on eBay.

    Seems to be the perfect dB meter for my needs, appears to be well built, large, easy to read digital display.

    Runs off batteries and AC, long battery life, three dB level ranges, A/C weightings, Fast/Slow/Max Hold response.
  6. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I get it that you're not looking for "super accuracy." But are you looking to measure frequency response or just average listening levels? Because these SPL meter are unlikely to give you much in the way of useful frequency response number in the bass without calibration and the use of real time software. If you just want average SPLs and a ballpark figure, you can just use a phone app.

    FWIW, you can buy a calibrated, verified Galaxy from Cross-Spectrum from $125 to $145, and if you get the $145 one you'll also get a calibration file that you can use in your real time analysis software if you ever get it.

    But, I know you do want this, but think about it -- getting a free RTA software, and a calibrated Dayton mic from Cross-Spectrum will be cheaper (the software=free; mic around $100), and you'll have a much more details and useful range of measurements you can take, and the freakin software will mostly do it for you, it'll be easier.
    Synthfreek and SandAndGlass like this.
  7. bru87tr

    bru87tr Forum Resident

    Lowell, MA
    Radio Shack Digital SPL meter is all I ever used and needed.
  8. Bhob

    Bhob Forum Resident

    Atlanta Ga
    Me too.

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