Large Stereo VU Meter in a 2U package
At a glance
A large, real VU meter with precision Sifam units and LED backlights. Designed for modern workflows so you can concentrate on the music and not on metering:
- Large, proper VU meter with Sifam VUs for accurate metering
- LED backlighting so it’s easy to read in any studio
- Built in stepped attenuator, means they work perfectly with any studio level
- Easy to connect, calibrate and adjust
- Fit into any 2U space, or place onto a surface with the optional oak case
There’s something very reassuring about a solid hardware VU meter.
Whether it’s the warm yellow colour of the backlights or the smooth movement of the VU needles, a proper VU reeks of professionalism and music. However they’re not easy to find these days. Thankfully Crookwood have improved on the original VU design to make it a unique and powerful tool in your studio.
The first and most important ingredient is the VU unit itself. We use real, large Sifam VU units, as used the old analogue SSL, Neve and Focusrite consoles. These mechancial meters work by virtue of their precision construction and they’re light-years away from the typical consumer and copy-cat units used elsewhere. You can trust what they’re telling you with real music as well as static tones.
Then we designed our own LED backlights, using LED arrays to give a solid colour backlight to the meter for use in low light environments. We added our own lighting gel filters to get a really pleasing yellow colour, reminiscent of the old Sifam festoon bulbs, but without the bulbs associated heat and short life.
Our LEDs are rated at over 10,000 hours, so you’ll keep working for longer.
Lastly we added a precision stepped attenuator, unique to us, so you can adjust the level to the VU’s so that they’re always working within their range, no matter how hot the signal is, or how compressed or not the music is. This feature makes these VU meters really useful with modern signal levels.
So no matter how hot your signal is, these VUs will work perfectly.
Because today, in the midst of a plethora of modern digital meters, the VU meter still has a solid place. In fact for many situations it is preferable to a digital meter for everyday metering.
This is because it is really good at displaying average loudness, but unlike a digital meter, you can just glance at it to see the level. In contrast, digital meters sit in your eyesight, demanding your attention and taking your attention off the music (we’ve written a large article about this here: https://crookwood.com/blog/the-beauty-of-vu-meters/)
In short, our VUs let you concentrate on the music, not on the metering.
Easy to install
To make connecting easy, the meter has XLR inputs feeding a high impedance balanced input buffer. This allows you to connect the meter to virtually any source, including unbalanced consumer type outputs, without altering the level, or loading the source. It’s also easy to fit to a monitor controller that doesn’t have a dedicated meter output.
A mechanical VU meter will drift over time and will need to be re-calibrated occasionally. For this reason, we’ve made the meter open at the back, so you can access all trimmers easily while still powered up and connected. All electronics are sealed however for protection.
Finally for users with no rack space left, we can provide an English Oak wooden surround for the meter, so it can be mounted, freestanding on top of a surface.
Whether it’s rack mounted or freestanding, our VU meter will improve your audio experience.
- Easy to mount, 2U 19″ package
- Two big VUs, 105mm (4″) across
- VUs conform to BS6840:part 17 1991 & IEC268-17:1990, apart from attack time which is slightly over compensated
- Stepped attenuator offers attenuation of 3, 6, 9, 12 & 15dB.
- LED backlights, with 10,000 hour rating
- 40KΩ input impedance for easy connection to balanced or unbalanced outputs
- Balanced XLR inputs on rear of box
- 12V DC powered. External power supply is provided and has a 1M long lead
- Open frame rear for easy access, only 80mm ( 3″) deep
- Optional wooden case is handmade from English Oak