SPL meter recommendation

I don't own a handheld SPL meter and would like to get one. The only one we ever seem to read about is a Radio Shack model that's nice and cheap, but is always referred to as being not that accurate. (From what I can tell, it may not even come with any type of calibration disk, but I'm not sure about that). Without going crazy expensive, are there any up-a-level alternatives out there that might give even better results and come equipped with diagnostic tools? Or is there nothing in between the RS and full-on pro-caliber or remote-mic jobs?
I think Rives has one listed on his website: rives@rivesaudio.com
Indirectly related; Rives Audio, an Audiogon dealer, recently auctioned off 40 system/room testing CD-Rs with test tones that are specifically calibrated for the analog Radio Shack SPL meter. I bid and got one for adjusting the bass controls on my Vandersteen 5 speakers, but haven't used it yet-- seems like an excellent idea though, and would have many in-room acoustic uses. If interested, Rives may be selling these routinely too. Cheers. Craig
........it seems Lak and I were posting at the same time. Do great minds run along similar lines?;>). Craig
YES! :-)
At the risk of starting another analog vs. digital battle, does the RS digital SPL meter suffer from the same inaccuracies as the analog version? Any reasons to buy the analog instead of the digital version?
Analog, digital, refers to the readout system, not the detection or measurement system. The accuracy with either is dependent on the microphone used. Extreme accuracy is not necesary for room measurements. Digital readouts do have some handy features, however, I still use the analog Radio Shack.
I can understand your point inpepinnovations, but wouldn't meter ballistics still enter into the accuracy question?
The Audio Toolbox Plus by TerraSonde is a handheld audio and acoustic lab (acoustics: FFT (1/12 octave), RTA, RT60, Energy-Time Graph, SPL Meter, Noise Criteria, Sound Study Graph; audio: Signal Generator, Stereo dB, VU/PPM Meter, Frequency Counter, Amplitude & Impedence Sweeps, THD METER, S/N; system tools: Time Code Reader, Analyzer, and Generator, Audio Sample Scope, Speaker/Microphone Tester; ultilities: Headphone Monitor Amp, Phantom Power Tester, Cable Tester, Memory Download) they also have a Digital Audio Toolbox the 24/96 digital audio detective. www.terrasonde.com
Zaikesman, Yes & No. The ballistics of the meter affects the response time of the meter, but the reading is correct, if the ballistics are fast enough, but then one cannot register it with one's eyes (visual resolution, you know). So actually the inherent "slowness" of the meter is used to enable one to read it. The same "ballistic" error exists on a digital readout also, if the reading is fluctuating - can your eyes register the change in readings if the readings are changing faster than 30 times a second?
Like I said, extreme accuracy is not necesary for level measurements.
BTW, I prefer my analog meters on my Nak 600 to any "digital" meters on tape decks.

Bob P.
There is also an analog SPL Meter made by Simpson model no. 886-2 and a calibrator. This is what I use.
Richingoth (Are you really? I know that's probably a name and the place you live, but I like the way it sounds as if it's your financial status and style preference!), that sounds like one hell of a handheld instrument. :-) Thanks for the reference, and to the other members' as well. Inpepinnovations, I guess "peak-hold" and averaging functions are useful in this regard.
Thanks for the kind words Alex.