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#252049 - 03/16/09 09:21 PM Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Hi all,
While I am on vacation in the US this week I thought I'd stop by a local Radioshack and pick up an SPL meter for tweaking calibrations when I get home. Not that I've looked hard, but I have checked my local Radioshack's (ok fellow canuck's - The Source by Circuit City now purchased by Bell) once or twice and they haven't had them available. So long story short, I see the they have a digital and analog meter available within ~$5 of each other. Anybody have experience/recommendations whether to go digital or analog? Thanks!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#252062 - 03/16/09 09:51 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13323
Loc: Iowa
I've always like the analog version, as I like watching the meter and it is easier to see the big picture. Never used the digital display, but I think it would not be as easy to monitor watching numbers change.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#252071 - 03/16/09 10:03 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16267
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
You're on vacation and you want to go to Radio Shack? I'm so sorry, man.

\:\)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#252073 - 03/16/09 10:11 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: pmbuko]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Good point Sirquack, never thought of it that way - just figured that digital would be more 'exact'.

Pmbuko - Maybe that's why my wife likes to call me 'techno geek'? I just don't get it


Edited by cb919 (03/16/09 10:15 PM)
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#252081 - 03/16/09 10:24 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
Official Ninja Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 64
You know what I don't understand? Why does the digital SPL meter have that big knob to set the range? Same as the analog one. I mean it's digital, does it really need that knob?
_________________________
Yamaha RX-V2700 / CDC-815 , Oppo DV-980H , Axiom M22s , Paradigm DSP-3100

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#252097 - 03/16/09 11:52 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10375
Dan, before I bought my SPL meter I had an opportunity to use both the analog and digital models which were owned by acquaintances. I preferred the digital by a clear margin and bought one. To me, seeing an actual number indicating the sound level was easier than interpreting the position of a needle on a scale. In addition, the digital model has additional measurement modes which are important to me, such as the maximum level reached mode.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#252114 - 03/17/09 03:40 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: JohnK]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
I much prefer reading an analog needle than a digital readout..

"the needle is pointing around 75 3/4"
is easier to read than
"Find the mean of: 75.7/75.6/75.9/75.2/76.1/75.8"

Bren R.

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#252129 - 03/17/09 05:32 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: BrenR]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
 Originally Posted By: BrenR
I much prefer reading an analog needle than a digital readout..

"the needle is pointing around 75 3/4"
is easier to read than
"Find the mean of: 75.7/75.6/75.9/75.2/76.1/75.8"

Bren R.
Ya, that digital read out is so much harder to guesstimate with the last decimal point bouncing around and all ;\)

Actually the RS meter doesn't read down into the tenths only whole numbers and it would just flicker between 75 and 76 using Bren's example.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#252134 - 03/17/09 06:57 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I'm with John. I prefer using the digital over analog and yes Jay is correct, the digital meter only reads whole numbers.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#252168 - 03/17/09 09:28 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: RickF]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6773
Loc: PEI, Canada
Mine is digital and constantly flickers by .5
I usually calibrate by setting them all so they are flickering between nn.0 and nn.5

Serves my purpose but I'd prefer analogue for the Geiger Counter look if nothing else.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#252184 - 03/17/09 10:43 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: Murph]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
I like Digital for my visual perception, plus the ability to save Hi dB peaks. Sounds like we have been of little help in arriving at a consensus. Got a coin? ;o)
It seems to come down to, are you a 'needle' or 'LCD' guy?
(hint: go LCD and be winner!) \:D
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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#252227 - 03/17/09 02:27 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
 Originally Posted By: jakewash
Actually the RS meter doesn't read down into the tenths only whole numbers and it would just flicker between 75 and 76 using Bren's example.
I actually own one at home, but I've used the analog one at work about 100x more often. I stand corrected... I think mine has whole numbers and a ".5" that lights up. Been a while since I used it.

Bren R.

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#252231 - 03/17/09 02:43 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: BrenR]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi,

There really is no consensus. I prefer the analog version because I grew up watching analog meters. I don't much like digital speedometers on cars, either. Come to think of it, I installed a back-lighted digital voltmeter on my car, which I do like.

At Axiom, we have an expensive calibrated digital SPL meter but the values are always jumping around by fractions of a dB--kind of annoying.

Regards,
Alan
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#252441 - 03/18/09 03:36 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: alan]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
I also prefer analog clocks - at a glance, you can get an idea of the rough time, or look a fraction of a second longer and get the precise time. I find it's faster than having my mind process the 3 or 4 numbers that make up a digital clock readout.

And worse than anything else is the digital multimeter... trying to read anything with a changing value is maddening.

Bren R.

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#252499 - 03/18/09 08:01 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: BrenR]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Well thanks for the input y'all! I have reached the official consensus of...I don't know! At least I know I can't be wrong with whichever version I get. It'll depend on what they have in stock - or if I'm feeling old school or new school at the time

Pics and updates of the new HT soon to come!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#252507 - 03/18/09 09:11 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
Happy Birthday Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6607
Loc: It's all about the location.
Can't decide? everything considered equal, save a few bucks on the analogue.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#252587 - 03/19/09 11:01 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: Murph]
dewd Offline
local

Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 200
Loc: Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
Does the analog have the output connector (RCA) like the digital does? Very useful for programs like REW.
_________________________
Dave
Audyssey Setup Guide

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#252591 - 03/19/09 11:07 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: dewd]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Dewd,

Yes, the analog meter does have the RCA output. I just checked mine.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#252863 - 03/20/09 04:05 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: alan]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: alan
...
At Axiom, we have an expensive calibrated digital SPL meter but the values are always jumping around by fractions of a dB--kind of annoying.
...


That's interesting. I would think that a nice calibrated digital meter like that would have some kind of mode where it could do 'smoothing' to the response. Kind of like how analog meters have 'slow' and 'fast' settings.

I have the traditional radio shack analog meter, and it works well. The decision on which to get is the same argument as to whether you want a digital or analog watch. It's whichever you prefer.
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M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#252868 - 03/20/09 04:20 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: PeterChenoweth]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Peter,

The calibrated one does have a "peak-hold" function but no averaging setting.
I like the "slow-fast" settings on the analog Radio Shack meter. I don't think the digital version has a quasi-averaging setting.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#252872 - 03/20/09 04:34 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: alan]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
There's a slow/fast response button on the digital too.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#252874 - 03/20/09 04:43 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: alan]
dewd Offline
local

Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 200
Loc: Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
The digital has slow-fast setting. It is really steady when doing the mains, but it jumps a bit for the sub (but not so much that you can't get a good reading).

*Notice I said 'good' reading, which is different from 'accurate'.
_________________________
Dave
Audyssey Setup Guide

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#253053 - 03/22/09 11:16 AM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: dewd]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi,

Oh, OK. Well, that makes the comparison even closer and the decision harder between the digital and analog meters. Of course, you could get both and do comparisons of accuracy, returning whichever meter came second.

Hey, another fun vacation project!

Cheers,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#253152 - 03/22/09 08:23 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: alan]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Does the analog have an output like the digital one does? I seem to remember it not having one, if not the digital can be used as a mic for REW(Room EQ Wizard) to plot room response etc.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#253154 - 03/22/09 08:24 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13323
Loc: Iowa
yep, the analog one has an output, that is how I graphed with REW.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#253155 - 03/22/09 08:24 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11164
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I see an output on my analog. I've never used it.

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#253160 - 03/22/09 09:06 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: CV]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Dang, I thought that might be the trump card.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#253163 - 03/22/09 09:25 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17753
Loc: NoVA
How do you hook up that output to what?
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I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#253164 - 03/22/09 09:55 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: Ken.C]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
You can use that to hook up to allow the SPL meter to act as a mic by hooking it up to a soundcard's input and then use REW or similar to graph responses.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#253179 - 03/22/09 11:18 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: jakewash]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13323
Loc: Iowa
yup
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#253834 - 03/26/09 03:16 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: SirQuack]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Well, just to close the loop - I am back from vacation and while away I purchased the digital meter. In the end I liked the ability to 'hold' the max SPL feature (thanks JohnK!). This could be handy for my motorcycle. Funny how a non HT related thought made my decision for me. Thanks for the input and discussions. I am looking forward to using it this weekend with the new setup which arrived this week - woohoo!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#253896 - 03/26/09 10:14 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10375
Very good, Dan. Yes, as I commented before, the added modes on the digital meter, especially the Max modes, give it a substantial advantage over the analog meter. Although most of the discussion seemed to center on the relative ease in reading the two, in my view the modes are an even more important consideration.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#253984 - 03/27/09 04:27 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: cb919]
ACE CONDOR Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Oregon
I have used digital and analog sound level meters for many years, and find the following: As the defination of digital is to count, and the defination of analog is to measure. The selection should depend on your goals using either type of sound level measuring device.
Digital will be more accurite for absolute level determination.
Analog will be easier to determine trend information.

I prefer to use both systems in my work as a sound engineer.

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#253985 - 03/27/09 04:31 PM Re: Digital vs. Analog RS SPL Meter [Re: ACE CONDOR]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Welcome to the forum!!
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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