• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Douk VU2 Review (VU Meter/Input Selector)

andrewinnj

New Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
4
Likes
10
Yamaha M-85 had a nice meter setup.
1435270-1e6e998e-yamaha-m85-amplifier-restored-and-refurbished.jpg
I think that was the Knight Rider influence

1631603292578.png
 

Eldus

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Messages
20
Likes
32
I suppose this could get distortion free movement from the pre-out of a receiver.
 

AdamG247

Audioverse demystification Community
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
1,780
Likes
3,626
That's a very different box. I took a quick picture of the insides of this thing before sending it back:

View attachment 153217
There are two different versions of this Douk VU meter.

A line level rca connection version that measures the input Signal to the Amp. Named the VU2 which you reviewed in this thread: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N12PSC8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_37D4B6H3QA8MCF5MNJ9J

And the other model the VU3. This model is speaker wire connected to measure the output side of the Amp:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096KLDMCV/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_ZMKB253Z0ZSMG7QCQE4E

At least this is my understanding.
 

Rick Sykora

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
1,652
Likes
2,698
Location
Stow, Ohio USA
There are two different versions of this Douk VU meter.

A line level rca connection version that measures the input Signal to the Amp. Named the VU2 which you reviewed in this thread: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N12PSC8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_37D4B6H3QA8MCF5MNJ9J

And the other model the VU3. This model is speaker wire connected to measure the output side of the Amp:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096KLDMCV/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_ZMKB253Z0ZSMG7QCQE4E

At least this is my understanding.

Correct. For comparison, here is back panel of the VU3…


E670DE0E-1ED8-4296-983C-FB69E96D21FF.jpeg
 

AdamG247

Audioverse demystification Community
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
1,780
Likes
3,626
Just FYI to those following this review thread. Amir tested the VU2 which measures the input signal not the Amp. A new VU3 model that directly measures the Output side of the Amp is being shipped to Amir for comparison testing. @Rick Sykora will be shipping out the unit soon. Thanks Rick!
 

Jim Shaw

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
103
Likes
110
Location
Northeastern Ohio, USA, in the woods
I've never got my head around VU (Volume Unit) meters for audio playback. What's with this audiophile fetish? I've worked much of my life with real VU metered recording and transmitting systems, and still do with reel tape. There, they have value, especially if one still records anything in analog.

I don't know what these should be called; maybe needle waggers? Real VU meters have very specific sensitivity and dynamic response to naturally occurring sound signals. There are several good reasons for this, including a measure of similarity between VU meters on mixes of unmatched equipment, and a dynamic response character that makes them useful to monitor modulation amplitude. VU meters are incapable of responding to instantaneous signal changes. Before we had peak-reading meters, we tolerated the vagaries of (even well tuned) VU meter movements, and often had to give up some dynamic headroom to be assured of not crashing through zero dB.

Real VU meters are quickly becoming extinct, replaced by solid state LED-type signal level indicators. They have become dinosaurs -- which may explain (along with vacuum tubes) the fetishes 'audiophiles' seem to have for them.

It's just another reason why 'engineer' is a term very distinct from 'audiophile.' Audiophiles talk incessant nonsense and worship false gods; engineers chuckle and shake their heads.
 

Inner Space

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
832
Likes
1,639
I totally get why they put meters on the front of things - there seems to be some deeply visceral attraction for some people, perhaps worthy of further study. I have an amp with meters - the moving needles show how the amp is actively contributing to the process ... which sounds phoolish, but it has a valid technical dimension too, that somehow satisfies both sides of my brain.

The question here is why VU? It's a weird choice, on the replay side. And it's an ugly, prosaic meter - some fancy engraving and fine gradations between made-up values would look way better, and would be just as helpful.
 

AdamG247

Audioverse demystification Community
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
1,780
Likes
3,626
It’s just old school,and I’m guessing that there is some amount of nostalgia involved. Especially with this crowd. It’s visually appealing and pleasing to watch the meter dance to the music. Functionality is questionable but visually rewarding.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,315
Likes
134,774
Location
Seattle Area
I've never got my head around VU (Volume Unit) meters for audio playback. What's with this audiophile fetish? I've worked much of my life with real VU metered recording and transmitting systems, and still do with reel tape. There, they have value, especially if one still records anything in analog.
For me it goes back to my childhood when I got into hifi. Cheapest gear didn't have VU meters or had tiny ones. The more you moved up the scale, the bigger and fancier the VU meters got. Except for recording on tape, what it showed was not important. What was important was that it moved. :)

I am still mesmerized by the VU meters on my Reel to Reel tape deck.
 

Doodski

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
8,265
Likes
7,699
Location
Canada
For me it goes back to my childhood when I got into hifi. Cheapest gear didn't have VU meters or had tiny ones. The more you moved up the scale, the bigger and fancier the VU meters got. Except for recording on tape, what it showed was not important. What was important was that it moved. :)

I am still mesmerized by the VU meters on my Reel to Reel tape deck.
I prefer the vintage VU look. Before the last hold-out of a used electronics gear retailer in Vancouver closed I used to go there just to look at what was selling. The very old man with a very hoarse voice was always interested when I approached the, "Meter cabinet." He had a very old antique looking display case with shelving inside and it was packed full of small and large meters that he found while collecting the gear that he sold. He seemingly always knew what I wanted and advised me that the ones associated with nuclear or radiation are more expensive. I wanted to buy some of them but I feared they would be radioactive and the price of these meters was at the time was still ~$50-$200 each dependent on the size, markings on the meter face and the indicator needle shapes. Some of the indicator needles where very interesting and had symbols, electricity bolts and radioactive symbol(s). He's most likely long gone but I bet he still has a influence on collectors. :D
radiation meter.png

12365864_0.jpg
 
Last edited:

Sal1950

Master Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
9,265
Likes
9,014
Location
Central Fl

MakeMineVinyl

Major Contributor
Manufacturer
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,294
Location
Santa Fe, NM
VU = Volume Units ;)
Volume Units as defined for a VU meter is based a ratio, not an absolute value. So yes, a VU meter is just audiophile window dressing for playback, and doesn't provide useful data, especially those meters which are adjustable like the one reviewed here so that they wiggle enough to justify themselves. A wattage meter on a power amplifier is more useful.
 
Last edited:

digicidal

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
1,478
Likes
2,490
Location
Sin City, NV
I'd say this was trying to not only give a nostalgic appearance of older hifi - but also the distortion of it... however, most older hifi stuff wasn't nearly as bad as the signal leaving this box (well maybe some vinyl tube preamps)! :rolleyes:

Still a sucker for VU's - but I'll take a digital facsimile with near 0 impact on signal quality long before I'd sacrifice what this requires just to get the "real deal".
 

Jim Shaw

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
103
Likes
110
Location
Northeastern Ohio, USA, in the woods
For me it goes back to my childhood when I got into hifi. Cheapest gear didn't have VU meters or had tiny ones. The more you moved up the scale, the bigger and fancier the VU meters got. Except for recording on tape, what it showed was not important. What was important was that it moved. :)

I am still mesmerized by the VU meters on my Reel to Reel tape deck.
Different strokes for different folks. I have VUs on an RTR too. The only time I look at them is when setting/monitoring levels for recording -- which is about twice a year, these days.
Perhaps some of those seeking repeated "eargasms" also worship "eyegasms"? :)
 

digicidal

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
1,478
Likes
2,490
Location
Sin City, NV
Different strokes for different folks. I have VUs on an RTR too. The only time I look at them is when setting/monitoring levels for recording -- which is about twice a year, these days.
Perhaps some of those seeking repeated "eargasms" also worship "eyegasms"?:)

Can't speak for others... but I'm a fan of all 'gasms' - can't even imagine a bad one. ;)
 
Top Bottom