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Can the VU meters on gear be used as um... VUs?
Old 4th August 2011
  #1
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superwack's Avatar
Can the VU meters on gear be used as um... VUs?

My dumb question of the day (so far heh)

I was thinking about getting an analog VU meter (or pair) to have around for calibration, testing, etc.... but I don't have a ton of rack space available and I'm sorta crazy about stuff being rackmountable.

So I was wondering - as I am also in the market for a new compressor - how "good" the VUs are in these boxes and if they can they be used as proper, accurate "VU" when, obviously, the unit is not being used as a compressor?

There are a bunch of choices that have switchable metering (not just GR) such as the MC77, API2500, 1968, FETIII, or even something like an LA3A...

what do you all think?
Old 4th August 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack View Post
My dumb question of the day (so far heh)

I was thinking about getting an analog VU meter (or pair) to have around for calibration, testing, etc.... but I don't have a ton of rack space available and I'm sorta crazy about stuff being rackmountable.

So I was wondering - as I am also in the market for a new compressor - how "good" the VUs are in these boxes and if they can they be used as proper, accurate "VU" when, obviously, the unit is not being used as a compressor?

There are a bunch of choices that have switchable metering (not just GR) such as the MC77, API2500, 1968, FETIII, or even something like an LA3A...

what do you all think?
If they are really vu meters and not just meters with vu stamped on them then i guess you could use them.

Not sure they are best for calibration or testing.
Read about metering, loudness, international standards, broadcast practice, etc. first.
Old 4th August 2011
  #3
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superwack's Avatar
thanks... I have read all about them and had basically decided to get some Crookwoods - just hoping I could kill two birds in 2RU (already have some dorroughs just looking for some additional old school analog goodness) maybe I should clarify that I am asking exactly what you brought up - are there any comps with "real" VU meters not just meters stamped V-U
Old 4th August 2011
  #4
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abechap024's Avatar
 

also be aware that without some sort of buffer circuit the vus with cause a little bit of distortion on whatever you hang them accross .... incase you did know that already..


really simple to do ps. an opamp and a couple resistors...then u can leave them on your master all the time with no adverse effects
Old 4th August 2011
  #5
You might check these out, or find some used, as they are pricey, but worth every penny. Good stuff, very accurate:

Dorrough

Used and new on the evil bay:

dorrough meter | eBay

Peace,
john
Old 4th August 2011
  #6
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dualflip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abechap024 View Post
also be aware that without some sort of buffer circuit the vus with cause a little bit of distortion on whatever you hang them accross .... incase you did know that already..


really simple to do ps. an opamp and a couple resistors...then u can leave them on your master all the time with no adverse effects
What he said ^, plus remember if you are using the VU in a compressor, chances are that its not at unity gain, so you just have to be sure that you set your compressor in a way that its at unity gain, probably its something really unpractical to do with something like an 1176

Also, like someone else mentioned, not al VU meters are really VU, so take that into account, SIFAM meters are some of the best VU meters out there (used on SSLs, 1176s, etc...) JLM audio sells some DIY meter buffer kits, and VU meters.
Old 4th August 2011
  #7
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superwack's Avatar
Thanks guys! I've looked in to the JLM kits - might go that route or the crookwoods which look amazing. As for dorroughs, they are pretty - I've already got a rack with 1 pair of 12-AES and a pair of 10-A plus a stand alone 40-A2... just wanted some needles (does that make me sound like a junky?) I pretty much figured that the meters in a comp weren't setup for/as accurate as "real" vu's just trying to be cheap and space conscious.

Shucks... guess I gotta do it the right way!
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