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Old 29th September 2013, 06:20 AM   #11
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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I used to use an RS meter. Once computers became capable of doing the analysis I found the best feature was the line out socket on the side so I could use it like a standard measuring microphone. I have a Behringer ECM8000 which performs well and was reasonably priced.
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Old 29th September 2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Hard to beat the Radio Shack for the money, too bad they quite making them. I did see in another discussion someone who had a meter that looked identical to the Radio Shack, though a different color. If I can track that down I will post it.

But beauty of the Radio Shack is that it went from 30hz up to 10,000hz which is a wider range than other meters. Also, because there were so many Radio Shack Meters out there, there were calibration files available that would allow you to accurately interpret frequencies outside that range.

But, in looking at other meters, for me, frequency response is the key. The best I've seen are 30hz to 10,000hz. If you can find one that matches that, you are set.

How far do you want to take it, and how many speakers do you plan to build. There are software programs that do very accurate frequency response and level measurement, but they are not cheap.

Though WINDOWS can get a bit tempermental, the Dayton Audio OmniMic -

Dayton Audio OmniMic V2 Precision Audio Measurement System 390-792

But at $300 you have to build a lot of speakers to justify the cost.

The True Audio RTA (Real Time Analyser) comes in a range of configuration. One, the lowest resolution, is free -

True Audio: Audio Spectrum Analyzer and Loudspeaker Design Software

TrueRTA Audio Spectrum Analyzer Software - Features

TrueRTA Audio Spectrum Analyzer Software - Comparison Guide

1/3rd Octave resolution is good for basic work, especially if the emphasis is on Bass ($40).

1/6th Octave is much better resolution and that would cover a lot of ground in a Real Time Analyzer ($70).

1/24th Octave is pretty fine resolution, and should be good for very detailed and high frequency work. $99).

But, you also need a small mixer and a microphone. Their front page has some suggested mixers, and for mics. An alternative mic is the well regarded and popular Behringer ECM8000, or the Dayton Audio EMM-6

Behringer ECM8000 Measurement Microphone 248-625

Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone Allows For Accurate Acoustic Measurements At A Fraction Of The Price 390-801

That adds up. And like I said, you have to build quite a few speakers to justify the cost. I'm just making you aware that this alternative does exist.

You can do very similar things with REW (Room Equalizer Wizard), a very sophisticated program for FREE. It also needs a mic and a small mixer, but since the software is free, the mixer plus mic won't take you much over the price of an SPL meter.

REW - Room EQ Wizard Room Acoustics Software

Others here have experience with the various software suggested, so they can probably advise you further.

It is possible to add a quality microphone to an iPhone or other Smart Phone and use a SPL app, which typically cost around $1 or so.

Apparently this mic is pretty high quality.

Dayton Audio iMM-6 iDevice Calibrated Microphone* 390-810

Again, other may have experience with the APP and the Mic.

Back to SPL meters, many are not meant for Audio Testing. They are meant for broad and general sound measurement and general loudness. So, they have a limited range. Again, you need one that goes deep and high; 30hz to 10,000hz would be a find. Don't expect more than that unless you are willing to pay a small fortune.

I'll see if I can find that other thread.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by BlueWizard; 29th September 2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 29th September 2013, 10:13 AM   #13
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Holmimpulse is accurate, makes quick and easy measurements and is free.

Steve, I remember needing to modify the RS meter to extend the response (3 caps?). I also did the wand extension mod. It was convenient having line level output.

On the other hand the Behringer wants phantom power . This can be done with a few simple components and some 9V batteries, or even a full scale pre-amp.
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Old 29th September 2013, 07:07 PM   #14
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Also, there are videos on YouTube about how to setup, calibrate, and use the REW software.

Again, this is sophisticated and powerful software for FREE. This will give you much more complex analysis of your room and your speakers than a simple SPL Meter will. Though it is not hard to use, there is a bit of a learning curve. And you have the additon of a Microphone and mixer.

One could use a USB mixer and USB mirophone with the right equipment. Dayton also makes a very nice calibration grade USB mic.

A quick view of the YouTube videos, will demonstrate the software.

Steve/bluewizard
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Old 29th September 2013, 11:22 PM   #15
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There are a lot of free SPL meter apps for smartphones, though I doubt their accuracy for anything other than rough measurements.

Still in a pinch they'd be better than nothing.
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Old 29th September 2013, 11:30 PM   #16
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There are a lot of free SPL meter apps for smartphones, though I doubt their accuracy for anything other than rough measurements.

Still in a pinch they'd be better than nothing.
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Old 1st October 2013, 07:15 AM   #17
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Location: Sydney Australia
Default SPL's

[QUOTE=BlueWizard;3645544]What tools do you have available to you?

"By any chance do you have a Radio Shack (or other) SPL Meter (SPL = Sound Pressure Lever or Loudness)?"

Thanks BlueWizard and others for a comprehensive response. There are Radio Shack SPL's on ebay global, is there a particular model you know of?
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Old 1st October 2013, 07:34 AM   #18
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What arrives to a mic's membrane and what arrives to two ears it is not the same. Variations of atmospheric pressure, that's not what I would define sound. Sound exhists in our head....
Spl metersss
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Old 1st October 2013, 12:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
What arrives to a mic's membrane and what arrives to two ears it is not the same. Variations of atmospheric pressure, that's not what I would define sound. Sound exhists in our head....
Spl metersss
Look, if you want to peddle your "science is useless" nonsense this isn't the thread. The gentleman is looking for advice on sound meters, not what ever "magic" you think is the solution to problems that exist only in your head.
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Old 1st October 2013, 05:39 PM   #20
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GG, I know that you are a clever man from what I read in your posts.
So don't attack me or make assumptions of what 'my science' might be
or whatever. Don't you agree that what we call sound (of music) exists only in our head? And what a mic represents has nothing to do with the sound?
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