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Rackmount VU Meters
Old 23rd June 2005
  #1
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Rackmount VU Meters

http://www.logitekaudio.com/mvmeter.htm

I want to hook up VU meters to my patch bay to see levels of incoming and outgoing audio to and from my meterless Midas console. If I go with Logitek, this will be a lot of money. Anyone know of a cheaper way to get the same thing? Their 4 unit goes for a bit under a grand and I'd need four of them.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 23rd June 2005
  #2
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brianroth's Avatar
 

Mechanical VU meter "movements" are expensive, especially ones that comply with the ANSI standard (I think it's now an IEC standard).

That standard specifies the "responsiveness" of the meter under program conditions...ie, the rise and fallback time of the needle.

Hence, it's possible to have two meter movements that read an identical level with a steady test tone, yet behave totally differently with an actual audio program.

Being sort of "old school", I refer to meters as being "true ANSI" or not, and "true" meters are available from only a few companies anymore.

However, some of the "non ANSI" meters (which are less expensive) can be useful for setting levels with tones and giving a "signal is present" indication, not to mention providing nice eyecandy <g>.

I'm using some "non ANSI" meters in a rackup of some ADM preamps for a client, who was mainly interested in level setting and eyecandy for his rack vs. having the meters "dance" exactly per the ANSI spec. The cost savings were considerable, since "true ANSI" meters would be the single most costly items in the rack after the ADM modules themselves!!

Long story short...if Logitek is using "true ANSI" meters, the price isn't out of line.

Bri
Old 23rd June 2005
  #3
Gear Head
 

coleman audio mb4


not sure if these comply with the ANSI standard ..
Old 23rd June 2005
  #4
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brianroth's Avatar
 

I should also say that the majority of so-called VU meters in gear the past 20-30 years are NOT "true ANSI" due to the cost. You have to go back many years when Westons and such were the standard meters used...like on Ampex 350/351 recorders. Even Ampex cheaped-out on this with the later recorders.

I believe Jay Mcknight has test/verification info posted about meters at the www.mrltapes.com.

But...maybe it doesn't matter in a given application.......depends upon the goals.

Bri
Old 23rd June 2005
  #5
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Brian where can I get non Ansi meters? I'm not looking for mastering accuracy..

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 23rd June 2005
  #6
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

If you are going to use VU meters, you really want ANSI.

Otherwise you'll need to learn how to read each different meter. Ampex "cheaped out" because people were only using the meters on the tape machines to set tones. Studer didn't even include meters for years.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #7
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brianroth's Avatar
 

My recent survey shows that the meter movements (ie, just the raw meter housed in a plastic case that has to be bolted into a box and wired up) are available from Hoyt Instruments, Jewell/Modutec, Sifam and perhaps Triplett. In the UK, I've heard that Compton makes them as well. Apparently all of the above companies make "true" and "quasi" meters. I'm using some of the "quasi" Modutecs in the ADM module rackup I'm currently building for a client.

In addition to the cabinet (rack case or otherwise) you will need to add a buffer amp per channel to isolate the meter from the audio circuit and provide a balanced audio input if required. It's important to buffer the meter from the audio since the diodes and other facets of the meter itself will introduce distortion back into the audio line.

Bri
Old 23rd June 2005
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
http://www.logitekaudio.com/mvmeter.htm

I want to hook up VU meters to my patch bay to see levels of incoming and outgoing audio to and from my meterless Midas console. If I go with Logitek, this will be a lot of money. Anyone know of a cheaper way to get the same thing? Their 4 unit goes for a bit under a grand and I'd need four of them.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Brian's right - the Logiteks are competitively priced, and I probably would trust their quality. Pardon the spam, but we sell a bank of eight Vu meters (for surround work) at US$1,995.00 http://www.martinsound.com/pd_mvu.htm, so it looks like the Logitek pricing is correct.

We have found it difficult for any of the manufacturers listed to deliver consistent Vu meters except at a very high price, and this is the same meter that we use in our Martech MSS-10 mic preamp.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #9
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brianroth's Avatar
 

I notice the Coleman MB4 is $600 on the Markertek website. That's heading in the direction that Bang was seeking., but dunno about the meter movements being in the "ANSI Ballpark".

Bri
Old 23rd June 2005
  #10
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max cooper's Avatar
 

If you want to 'Trek-out' in your control room, Dorrough makes some nice looking stuff:

http://www.proaudio.com/product_info...oducts_id=1006

http://www.dorrough.com/dorrough/
Old 24th June 2005
  #11
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hociman's Avatar
 

Yea Buddy

Dorrough meters are standard fare in post studios. They are great, though not cheap.
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