I am sure that a $3000 unit would be a better RTA, but how can you go wrong with the Behringer DEQ2496 at about $370 (including mic)? If you can't accept that it is a fine unit, think of it as a learning tool until you get something better (which you never will). Oh, and by the way, it is also an equalizer that can automatically correct for room problems. Hell, just think of it as a fun game. When you get to use it, yourself, you will discover its real value.
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Take a look at the $150 ETF 5 acoustic measurement software package at ETF Acoustic. It runs on a Windows PC with a two channel sound card. You can use the ubiquitous Radio Shack SPL meter as a microphone; ETF can supply a correction file to offset the RS meter's frequency response deviations. ETF does measurement as narrow as 1/12 octave and can present the data in a number of ways including those nice waterfall charts you see in Stereophile's speaker reviews. You can also gate the measurements to remove the effects of room reflections. ETF is an awesomely powerful tool and a steal at the price.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Eldartford - This is the unit I was considering when I posted the question. It sounds like an accessable way to get started.
Robdoorack - I checked out the ETF site and AA. This sounds really interesting. I especially like the idea of using the PC computing power, rather than paying for a dedicated unit. And the ETF seems to have sufficient resolution for my purposes. I think I'll try this sw. Are you using the radio Shack SPL with this? Any tip for a newbee when setting up and interpreting results? Thanks much for the suggestion.