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Old 05-03-2010, 10:44 PM
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Default SPL-Labs LCD Bass Meter

The mythical creature has arrived. I'll begin with some pictures.

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:47 PM
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I'm going to try a formal / outlined review. First, I'll hit the major points and give a "what's it feel like / observational review. A "this is what it feels like in your hands" / "this is what it looks like" review.


First and foremost it was all in English. All communications was conducted via e-mail through the contact info on the SPL-Labs website. All replies were as prompt as can be given the time difference, I'm in Texas, SPL-Labs is in Russia. All my questions were answered professionally and completely. I was given additional information about the products offered. Most importantly all the information given was straight forward. Here's a little about me to put things in perspective. When dealing with something that has my interest my patients is limitless. I'm pretty thorough, I read the fine print and take my time reading instruction manuals. I have no problems with language barriers. I deal with rough English all the time. With that said, they get an A for communications.


This one is a little tricky for me. When I finally decided what I was going to get, SPL-Labs shut down for a brief holiday. I can't really hold this against them. They did let me know ahead of time what the deadline would be for placing an order. They held they're end of the bargain so I had to wait. When SPL-Labs re-opened I was contacted promptly and notified when my item would ship. I was given a follow up notification of actual shipment and given a tracking number. I opted for the EMS Postal service. This is like some sort of International Priority/Express mail. The tracking number service is excellent and done through the US Postal website. I saw when it got to the Russian post office, when I left Russia, when it entered customs, when it left customs, when it arrived at my local post office, and when the first delivery attempt was made. Good stuff.


From the pictures, the item came in a plain jane box. The items were secured in place with foam. All the important metering equipment was double wrapped in bubble wrap. There were no loose items in the package. Nothing rattled when I shook the box. Very nice.


All the cables included with the device were of good quality. They all had adequate molded in strain releife.

The audio cable that connected the sensor to the meter was a name brand, DAXX is what I made the brand out to be. It was a fancier cable with the tip being gold plated and the housing was chrome. The overall length measured 45" I found this to be a bit amusing as all the cable had printing in English.

The included USB cable is you standard issue cable. I looked and felt durable, but time will only tell. the overall length is 10ft.

Also included in this kit was a 12v power cable that plugs into a standard cigarette lighter socket. It had a serviceable fuse and integrated LED that would light up when plugged in. A nice feature to have if you don't know if your cigarette lighter socket is working or not.


The included disk is a CD. It contains the SPL-Viewer software and some music/test tone tracks. The CD is professionally silk screened. It looks nice and professional. No CD-R with a sticker on it here. Here is a break down of the music tracks.

Tracks 1-8 are of various hip hop songs

Tracks 9-19 are of sweeps recorded at 0 Db

Track 20-80 are of test tones. The track number = test tone frequency. All are at 0 Db.

Track 81 is pink noise, 5 minutes worth.


The sensor is straight forward. It's just like the Term-Lab sensor, with a different plug. It's in a non-serviceable plastic enclosure. The suction cups are okay, but they don't have a release tab. Think fingerprints on windshield when you try to get it off. The mini jack connector is of good quality, and it's hold is pretty good. With the sensor on the windshield if you tug on the mini jack cable you're probably going to unplug the cable before you get the suction cups to release.


It's a good size. It reminds me of holding on of the old school brick cell phones from the 80's, just not as heavy. It has an integrated kickstand with good detents. The kickstand will stay closed until you open it with a generous tug. It also have an eyelet for hanging. Pretty cool. The buttons are large and equally spaced. The power button clicks and hold at a different height to distinguish on from off. There is also a red LED next to it indicating power on if you choose not to verify button height. All the other buttons are standard push buttons, no detents, no clicking, like the letter buttons on a keyboard. The layout of the plugs of the cables is good. Mini jack and power up top, USB on the side, makes sense. There are also some bright white LEDs to indicate when the meter is sending or recieving info via USB. Did I mention they are bright. Here is what I felt was most important. The meter is solid, when I shook it there were no rattles. Also, no funny smells. Laugh, but this is very important.

I'll continue with a functionality run down. Stay tuned.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:49 PM
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By now everyone must be wondering how are the instructions? Hehe, I know, I know, who cares, you all want vids. I'll get to it I promise. Let me go over the instructions first, this is very important. Firstly, that way everyone will know that I know what I'm doing. Secondly, everyone who buys one will have some thing to refer to because it didn't come with any! Wonk, wonk, wonk.

I contacted SPL-Labs about this. Their response, it a new product and they are still working on translating an instruction manual. Not to worry they gave me the DL on how it works and what the buttons do. So here we go.


Let's take a look at the user interface.

The blue buttons have two functions. The primary function is described above the button, the secondary is described below the button.

To get the show started press the red power button. As previously mentioned this button has a detent so it'll click when you press it. The read LED next to the button will turn on. This is the startup menu.

After a second or two the unit is ready to measure. The screen looks like this.

Let's take a closer look at the blue button functions now. I'll start on the with the primary functions.

Peak Hold - This function is normally off. Press the Peak Hold button to change to Peak Hold measurements. What this means is that the meter will register the highest db reading and at what frequency this was accomplished at. Press it again to exit Peak Hold measuring and return to continuous measuring. This is what the screen looks like measuring in Peak Hold. Note the M next to the P.

PH Reset - Press this button during Peak Hold measuring to clear the previous measurement and generate an new measurement.

Light - Press once to turn on the LCD display back lighting. It's of the electroluminescent variety. Press again to turn it off.

Calibration - Let's get into calibration. I know this is considered taboo, but let me tell you, this is pretty straight forward. Most likely you'll never use this, but then again never say never. Lets get started. Press the calibration button. This will bring up the calibration menu. It looks like this.

The default is 0. The K stands for constant, but all you math gurus already knew that. What's going to happen is this K value is going to be added or subtracted to the actual measurement. Here's how you adjust the K value, or more commonly know as calibrating the meter? Once in the calibration menu the blue button's secondary functions are active. Now we can calibrate / adjust the K value. To do this press the + (Peak Hold) or - (Light) buttons. The meter can be calibrated plus or minus 10db in 0.1 increments. This is what an adjusted calibration menu looks like.

To store the calibration in memory press the Save (Calibration) button. You will get a "Saved" prompt. Then the meter will return to the measurement screen. Note: Turning off the meter does not reset the calibration. Removing the batteries does not reset the calibration. The calibration has to be reset manually through the calibration menu.

The "Saved" prompt.

I would like everyone to notice once the meter has been calibrated there will be a period, or dot if you prefer, next to the P. Like this:

To exit the calibration menu with out saving press the Exit (PH Reset) button.

So far so good. Next will be software installation. Stay tuned
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:30 PM
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Okay, lets take a look at the software. It's called SPL Lab Viewer, and well, it does just that. It allows you to see what the LCD bass meter is reading on your computer monitor. In addition to seeing the numeric measurement you also get to see a graphical representation of the measurement in the form of a continuously adjusting bar graph.

Lets get started by loading up the software. Pop the CD into your disk drive and open to see the contents of the disk. It should look like this.

Click on the SPL Lab Viewer folder and drag it to a convenient location on you computer. I put it on my desktop. That's it, software loaded.

In addition to loading the software you'll need to plug in the LCD Bass meter, via the USB cable, into you PC. Once you do a driver will automatically will down load to you PC for the LCD Bass Meter to work with your PC.

Now we can take a look at SPL Viewer. Open the SPL Lab Viewer folder and double click the SPL-viewer application. You should get this.

Please note the Utilities button and the Play/Stop button.

Lets get started to measure.

Power up the LCD Bass Meter with either a pair of AA batteries or the supplied cigarette lighter power cable. Connect the pressure sensor to the Meter with the supplied mini jack cable. Position the sensor. Now let's connect the meter to the PC. The USB Tx LED on your meter should blink a few times, it is establishing communication with your PC. With SPL Veiwer open, click on the utilities button. The utilities menu will open and a device will be available to select. It will look something like this.

Click apply. Then press the play/stop button. You are officially measuring.

Pop in the SPL Labs CD in to your player and select the appropriate tracks to take some measurements.


Stay tuned for more. Thanks for looking
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:42 AM
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Here it is everybody. First, a big thanks to BigJon. Apperantly the Term-Lab is a rare creature around these parts in Texas. Tell me what you think.



Meters were on the windshield on the passenger side. Here's a pic, sorry about the glare.

We metered BigJon's Navigator, 2 15" Nightshades and a SAZ3000. Just pics, had some technical difficulties with the video.

TL score

LCD Bass Meter Score

Meter locations

Let me here your thoughts.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:30 PM
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i think its cool man , i would rather use the TL though when your dealing with /10ths it can mean life or death very good review tho man , great job and a good meter.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:17 AM
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You know termlabs will read different with each other as well, right?

Want an SPL meter for a lot less than the cost of a Termlab, but just as accurate and has more features and more support? PM me.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:26 PM
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How much did you pay shipped?
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:32 PM
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x2 of the price

would be good for testing
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:36 PM
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Price and where did you get it from Thanks in advance
jordan i want my subs
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