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Where can I get a cheap VU meter? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 20th February 2003
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Question Where can I get a cheap VU meter?

To check average levels with. Must be cheap.
Old 20th February 2003
  #2
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dave-G's Avatar
try http://www.colemanaudio.com/

Their stereo VU meter is $360

-dave
Old 20th February 2003
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'm sure there's a way to buy a VU meter and some resistors and wire it up yourself. Should be a simple DIY project. You could also look for a piece of gear with a VU meter on it. There are times when I'll send something to a tape return on the console just to see the VU reading before I hit the A/D converter.
Old 20th February 2003
  #4
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Tim L's Avatar
 

You can get raw Vu's from Selco . I have no idea what it would cost but it shouldn't be too hard to throw something together.
Old 21st February 2003
  #5
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Real VU meters are never cheap. Fake ones don't have the right ballistics and aren't uniform from unit to unit so you never really learn them.
Old 21st February 2003
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 

How cheap? I just bought a pair of raw Sifam meters for under $40 each.
Old 21st February 2003
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
What else is needed to make a raw VU meter work? Is it as simple as attaching an XLR?
Old 21st February 2003
  #8
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
What else is needed to make a raw VU meter work? Is it as simple as attaching an XLR?
I dunno - I bought these to use in a pair of old GE broadcast limiters. In any case, thank goodnes that the tech knows what he's doing...
Old 22nd February 2003
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
JRE Productions's Avatar
 

It seems to me (if I remember correctly) they went inline with the audio signal. Meaning you could put them in an insert point of the main outs and get them to work without any other components as long as they are set up for the signal level you are using. (+4 or -10) Or between the outs of a board and the ins of a mixdown deck ect....

Not sure if this method would have an effect on the sound quality.

Joe
Old 22nd February 2003
  #10
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

cheap meters

If you look at the schematics for any gear with onboard meters, you will almost always find a "buffer amp" located where the meter is tied into the circuit. You'll need to talk with a real tech to get the details of How and Why, but that seems to be the way it is usually done. I avoided having to learn about this when I bought a pair of Dorrough meters which are fully self-contained. If you just want to know your signal levels, you can find reasonably accurate LED meters for a lot less than real VU meters, probably about as low as $100 for a stereo pair that are self-contained like the Dorrough meters. But for real VU meters, a complete "meter system in a box" is gonna run more like $300 for the Colemans or maybe the least expensive Logitek model. For more complete info from somebody who really knows what they're talking about (unlike me) you might want to ask this question on one of the Tech forums, like the John Klett forum on RecPit.

But even though I love vintage gear (and have a bunch of the old stuff), I'd be bummed if I had to get by with just a regular VU meter anymore, even a high quality set. Once you've used a combination meter, like the Dorrough, that shows peak and average levels simultaneously, you won't want to give up that extra info - it can be VERY useful.

steve
[email protected]
Old 23rd February 2003
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Steve Remote has a box with VU meters, digital meter on LED's and a scope all in the same rack. It's pretty sweet and I want one.
Old 27th February 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

cheap in line VU meter

Markertek just came out with a whole bunch of low cost small audio products that are really cool and fit the bill. They have a OMX-INVU2(unbalanced) and OMX-INVU1(balanced). They are 12VDC operated and cost 159.95 and 169.95(balanced with XLRs).

Check them out: Audio and Video Equipment - Professional Broadcast Studio Equipment - Markertek.com
Attached Thumbnails
Where can I get a cheap VU meter?-omx-invu2.jpg  
Old 27th February 2009
  #13
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I was looking for a monitoring solution and came across this. Anyone use these yet?
Old 28th February 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedupsteve View Post
I was looking for a monitoring solution and came across this. Anyone use these yet?
VU meters are not cheap. Good ones will run you some bucks. You need a VU meter a 3600 ohm resistor and you can bridge a 600 ohm line. Here is more than you probably wanted to know Understanding the Volume Unit

Also as others have pointed out you normally would want to buffer the VU meter because it can increase the distortion by putting a rectifier across your audio lines.

Here is a quick schematic of a buffer amplifier. http://www.brianroth.com/library/vu-buffer.pdf

Best of luck!
Old 28th February 2009
  #15
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sonare's Avatar
The ultimate VU is the Dorrough Loudness Meter. I used to own a pair and then realized I did not need them, as there is no sense in going any higher than -6dBFS.

Rich
Old 1st March 2009
  #16
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loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by towerman View Post
Markertek just came out with a whole bunch of low cost small audio products that are really cool and fit the bill. They have a OMX-INVU2(unbalanced) and OMX-INVU1(balanced). They are 12VDC operated and cost 159.95 and 169.95(balanced with XLRs).

Check them out: Audio and Video Equipment - Professional Broadcast Studio Equipment - Markertek.com
The appelation "VU" is inaccurate in this case. That's an LED audio level meter, not a VU indicator!
Cute, though.
L
Old 1st March 2009
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
The ultimate VU is the Dorrough Loudness Meter. I used to own a pair and then realized I did not need them, as there is no sense in going any higher than -6dBFS.

Rich
Actually the Dorrough is a loudness meter and not a VU meter per se. It gives you peak and average reading where a VU meter gives you averages. I own both the Dorroughs and VU meters and use them for different things.

There are always VU meters on Ebay ranging from ARC GL08 STEREO VU METER FOR AUDIO / HI FI PANEL MT - eBay (item 360096306474 end time Mar-07-09 22:50:53 PST)

to

SIMPSON LARGE 50'S STYLE VU METERS ALTEC PANEL, AMPEX - eBay (item 280315871203 end time Mar-01-09 10:09:27 PST)

to

COLEMAN AUDIO - MB2 Stereo Microphone VU Meters - eBay (item 310124672271 end time Mar-01-09 19:10:00 PST)

You just have to figure out what you want to spend.
Old 1st March 2009
  #18
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

I have a few old MCI JH-110 meters, $20.00 ea...
Old 2nd March 2009
  #19
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Barnabas's Avatar
 

FInd an old cassette recorder that has VU meters. Most people are giving them away.
Old 2nd March 2009
  #20
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
FInd an old cassette recorder that has VU meters. Most people are giving them away.
Thats true, have kept reel to reel meters for same reason, just a shame to trash them..
Old 2nd September 2018
  #21
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
FInd an old cassette recorder that has VU meters. Most people are giving them away.
Why don't just use a plug in? And also, I've found an old super 8 proyector sankyo sound 401 in the trash last night it's completely rusted and useless but it has a tone control and a vumeter should I take them apart? Are they expected to be any good?

Made an account just for this comment BTW.
Please help me and maybe the guy who actually started the thread
Old 2nd September 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Budriai View Post
Why don't just use a plug in? And also, I've found an old super 8 proyector sankyo sound 401 in the trash last night it's completely rusted and useless but it has a tone control and a vumeter should I take them apart? Are they expected to be any good?

Made an account just for this comment BTW.
Please help me and maybe the guy who actually started the thread
This thread is 15 years old.

I am sure the OP found a solution by now.

Many meters say VU on them but are really NOT a true VU meter. They are more likely a voltage meter which will give you an indication but will not have the same specs as a "real" VU meter.

Best of luck!
Old 2nd September 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
In DAW world there are plenty of VU's available, some free..more paid.

Dorrough Stereo Meter Plugin | Waves

Dorrough

Loudness (LUFS) or PPM might be more significant measures to make than VU, in this era
Old 6th September 2018
  #24
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jwh1192's Avatar
too bad i have one API VU meter .. not a plugin .. and a Logictek 6 channel meter as well !!!
Old 7th September 2018
  #25
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Why is there a need for VU meters with digital audio?
Old 7th September 2018
  #26
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Build or buy, hardware versions: JLM Audio Shop

Various kits: JLM Audio Shop

Soundlabs Group VU-800SW VU Meter
Old 7th September 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Why is there a need for VU meters with digital audio?
So people can see how loud you're listening to music ? Meters Music OV-1 Over Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones w/ VU Meter (Tan) | Noise Cancelling Headphones - Store DJ

YouTube
Old 7th September 2018
  #28
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jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Why is there a need for VU meters with digital audio?
this has been talked about TOO many Times ..please, please do a search if you are not sure what advantages you can get form using VU meters ..

VU meters are for Average Level / RMS Levels .. they are not for PEaks like we need in Digital .. and some will say, since we do not have analog tape machines we do not need VU meters ..

lets change the name of these meters to Averaging Meters for recording / mixing !!! and maybe some will strt to use them to help Average their Mixes for the Calm Act and other purposes ..

are VU meters ESSENTIAL !! they are for me .. but you can work without them ..

also, if they are not needed, then why do all DAW's have them ?? to help people NOT to slam levels ... again, been discussed many times ..
Old 7th September 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
also, if they are not needed, then why do all DAW's have them ?? to help people NOT to slam levels ... again, been discussed many times ..
To satisfy people who still think they are working with tape? They are an anachronism for digital audio where all you have to do is capture without overloading the encoder.
Old 7th September 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
Hey! Do you people look at the dates? The OP never responded to any of the posters, and the thread died in 2009 at post 21.
“The Return of the Zombie VU Thread” doesn’t promise to be a popular movie.
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