There are some decent-looking VU meters being sold on eBay at a very low price (which always gives me pause... "you get what you pay for" and all).

I was wondering if anyone has experience with the current state-of-the-art of cheap eBay VU meters (model number seems to be "TN-73")?

I'd be happy to post a link, I just don't want to inadvertently bend a forum rule (I have no affiliation with the sales, obviously).


analogguru

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 03:39:22 PM »
...... "you get what you pay for".....
Hopefully is this the case......  IMHO $ 18,-- and above isn't really "cheap", especially for chinawarez.

JohnRoberts

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 03:55:12 PM »
Indeed $18 is not cheap (for cheap meters), but too inexpensive to resemble true VU meters so if all you want is eye candy that looks like a VU meter YMMV. Back when I was using decent meters, I still added red peak LEDs because meters be slow.

FWIW you can make almost any meter behave like you want with some glue circuitry, but not my idea of fun.

JR
It's nice to be nice....

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 05:17:45 PM »
Dimensionally, these look more-or-less similar to the ones Hairball sells (out of stock at the moment), but I wonder whether anyone has an idea of how operationally similar they are (or are not).

One of the listings I found advertised specifications that I couldn't make any sense of:

Input: 1000uA±5%
Internal Resistance: 50Ω±10%

I'm not sure whether these specs are totally not germane, or whether I just don't know enough to interpret them.

Nowhere in the listings does it say they conform to ANSI standards for VU meters, which might be telling. Then again, the >2x more expensive ones sold by Hairball don't specifically claim that, either.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 05:21:57 PM by soapfoot »

JohnRoberts

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 05:49:01 PM »
Dimensionally, these look more-or-less similar to the ones Hairball sells (out of stock at the moment), but I wonder whether anyone has an idea of how operationally similar they are (or are not).

One of the listings I found advertised specifications that I couldn't make any sense of:

Input: 1000uA±5%
That suggests that the meter movement is a micro-ammeter. Current specs are generally given as full scale (1000uA), generally not 0VU (70% of full scale for typical VU meter legend), but I do not know that for a fact.
Quote
Internal Resistance: 50Ω±10%
this may have some impact on damping but you want to drive micro ammeters with currents.
Quote
I'm not sure whether these specs are totally not germane, or whether I just don't know enough to interpret them.

Nowhere in the listings does it say they conform to ANSI standards for VU meters, which might be telling. Then again, the >2x more expensive ones sold by Hairball don't specifically claim that, either.
I'd be more surprised if they did claim to meet VU meter standards.

JR
It's nice to be nice....

analogguru

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 05:59:58 PM »
....
Input: 1000uA±5%
Internal Resistance: 50Ω±10%
I read everywhere 650 Ohm and 12V (for the illumination).

.... Nowhere in the listings does it say they conform to ANSI standards for VU meters,....
Because it doesn't matter.... VU-meters are always far away of being accurate - especially with percussive sounds they lag behind up to 10dB.  VU-Meters were made for vintage telephone lines and are for those people who like to look at a dancing needle.

BTW, for the last two VU-meters I bought I had to pay in sum € 20,-- (together with more than 140 potentiometers, knobs and jacks...)



Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 07:25:55 PM »
In my application, "wanting to look at a dancing needle" is honestly probably all I want.

Just to have a rough idea that gain reduction is happening, and some sort of relative visual context for how much may be happening.

Am I starting to get the sense that these inexpensive meters may be worth a shot? All I really have to lose is 35 bucks...

analogguru

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 09:26:56 PM »
Am I starting to get the sense that these inexpensive meters may be worth a shot?
They should be able to deliver a beautiful dance for your eyes .... ;)

JohnRoberts

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 10:16:35 AM »
In my application, "wanting to look at a dancing needle" is honestly probably all I want.

Just to have a rough idea that gain reduction is happening, and some sort of relative visual context for how much may be happening.

Am I starting to get the sense that these inexpensive meters may be worth a shot? All I really have to lose is 35 bucks...
My sense is that may be expensive for cheap meters but it's your money...

JR
It's nice to be nice....

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 10:48:54 AM »
My sense is that may be expensive for cheap meters but it's your money...

JR

Do you (or anyone) have a preferred source for inexpensive meters?




gyraf

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2021, 01:36:43 PM »
The TN73 was more than halfway decent last time I got a handful of them - reaction and behavior was virtually impossible to distinguish from a "real" AL29WF..

/Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2021, 02:41:21 PM »
Thanks everyone!

rp

Re: experience with most recent round of inexpensive VU meters on eBay?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2021, 01:36:23 PM »
I've gotten small Flashstar brand VU meters from the ebay seller wonderco_buy. The needle movement is nice. I'm not sure how close the are to a proper VU, I think they are just uA dc meters. Most of them require you to come up with your own mounting strategy, though it seems like some come with hardware.

https://www.ebay.com/str/wondercobuy79

Search for "VU" within in the store


 

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