What's a good SPL meter to treat a room for low frequencies? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-14-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I've gathered a short list of SPL meters of which to consider purchasing. I have Denon 1712 which has the Audyssey feature and would be interested in leveling the speakers and sub after doing Audyssey to verify it.

Scosche SPL1000F 135DB Max Spl Meter
Amazon.com: Scosche SPL1000F 135DB Max Spl Meter: Electronics

Mini Digital Sound Level Meter
Amazon.com: Mini Digital Sound Level Meter: Home Improvement

USB Digital Sound Level Meter
Amazon.com: USB Digital Sound Level Meter: Home & Kitchen

Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter
Amazon.com: Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter: Home Improvement

Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=390-801

My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-15-2012, 04:52 PM
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Your post isn’t too specific, but judging from your thread title you’re interested in using a SLM for measuring low frequency response?

If so, there isn’t much difference between any of the meters you linked. All meters in the price range you listed are lower-grade Class 3 devices that typically are accurate ± 2 dB (higher-quality Class 3 devices are ± 1.5 dB). In this case “accuracy” merely refers to the meter’s ability to precisely register absolute noise levels. Any SLM in this price range will only have A- or C-weighting capability (not flat-response Z-weighting), which makes them not terribly different from the common Radio Shack meter.

It’s not an uncommon misconception for people to think that some SLMs will work better than others for measuring subwoofer response. However, SLMs were never designed for measurement of frequency response. Audio hobbyists merely “hijacked” them for that purpose in order to economically take measurements of subwoofers, with the inclusion of correction factors to compensate for the meter’s C-weighted response.

Certainly, there are pro-grade meters that can analyze the frequency content of a noise source, but they cost thousands of dollars. For accurate full-range frequency response measurements, you can get a custom calibrated mic and suitable USB audio interface, for a program like REW, for a fraction of the price of a professional-grade meter capable of accurate frequency-content analysis.

Short of that, just get a decent-quality Class 3 meter. Anything comparably priced to the Radio Shack meter is fine.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt




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post #3 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth3si View Post

I've gathered a short list of SPL meters of which to consider purchasing. I have Denon 1712 which has the Audyssey feature and would be interested in leveling the speakers and sub after doing Audyssey to verify it.

Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=390-801

What Wayne said.

You can spend more money on a SPL meter to try to get the performance you desire than you'd spend on a good measurement mic such as the one you mention above. Add a USB mic preamp (The ART USB Dual Pre Project Series Microphone Preamp seems to be the price/performance leader) and your choice of freebie software is the way to go.

One of many possible sources:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-ART-USB-Dual-Pre/dp/B002KEAT78



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post #4 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm brand new at this...

so i would plug the mic into an xlr cable (male/femalre) into tthe preamp to PC, play audio, record sound frequencies near the subwoofer and speakers, read them on the software, interpret the data to conclude how good/bad the subwoofer is matched with the speakers and then adjust Denon's settings to fix any anomolies??

next, check for frequencies around the room, record them onto the computer, interpret the data and note down the areas of the room where the frequencies are giving bad signals and then apply bass traps and acoustic foams, panels, absorbers, etc to those areas??

any other equipment needed besides the ones i mentioned?

My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth3si View Post

I've gathered a short list of SPL meters of which to consider purchasing. I have Denon 1712 which has the Audyssey feature and would be interested in leveling the speakers and sub after doing Audyssey to verify it.
You'll need more than an SPL meter to verify the Audyssey-set level settings. If you use the test tones in the receiver to check the levels, they bypass the Audyssey EQ, so they won't provide a "post-Audyssey" signal. You would need test tones sourced from a test disc or some other source to provide a signal that will "go through" the Audyssey EQ in order to check the post-Audyssey levels. Here are a few such discs:

http://www.gold-line.com/51atdvd.htm

http://www.videoessentials.com/

or most any disc with the THX Optimizer.

Craig

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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cool good to know will look for it.

My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-17-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

What Wayne said.
You can spend more money on a SPL meter to try to get the performance you desire than you'd spend on a good measurement mic such as the one you mention above. Add a USB mic preamp (The ART USB Dual Pre Project Series Microphone Preamp seems to be the price/performance leader) and your choice of freebie software is the way to go.
One of many possible sources:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-ART-USB-Dual-Pre/dp/B002KEAT78

This one is cheaper but would it do the job equally well as the one you linked?

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-302USB-Premium-5-Input-Interface/dp/B005EHILV4/ref=pd_cp_MI_2




My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth3si View Post

This one is cheaper but would it do the job equally well as the one you linked?

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-302USB-Premium-5-Input-Interface/dp/B005EHILV4/ref=pd_cp_MI_2




IME cheap mixers with tone controls can be necessarily non-flat because they depend on the mechanical centering and QC of the potentiometers that they involve. For the small extra bucks, I'd take the mic pre because:

(1) No tone controls
(2) Two mic inputs, not one.

I'd like to have both on my test bench for some measurements before giving my final answer, because there are a ton of mic preamps that are rolled off below 50 Hz, particularly at high gain settings.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 08:37 AM
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Don’t know about other measurement programs, but REW could compensate for non-flat tone controls in its soundcard calibration process. That said, the XENYX 302USB is unsuitable as a stand-alone soundcard/pre-amp for REW because it does not have duplex capability - see here .

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt



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post #10 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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good looking out...

does the art pre dual come with a manual, tutorial or user guide on how to do this , looking for usntable signals and how to look for areas to treat?

My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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do i need this xlr cable?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10244&cs_id=1024401&p_id=4752&seq=1&format=2#description

My 5.1 audio system bedroom setup:
10'1" L x 9'11" D x 8' H. One corner opens up to a space (for the door to open/close) that measures 2'4" L x 2'11" D x 8' H.
AVR: Denon 1712
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS41-LR
Center: Pioneer SP-C21
Rear: Pioneer SP-BS21-LR
Subwoofer: SVS PC12-NSD
TV: Samsung UN46EH6070...
Stealth3si is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth3si View Post

good looking out...

does the art pre dual come with a manual, tutorial or user guide on how to do this , looking for usntable signals and how to look for areas to treat?

Probably not.

Your best bet might be to find the main the AVS REW thread, and get interactive advice from there. I'll bet money that someone else who posts to that thread has the ART pre and is using it.
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