Leveling Up?

As DD has pointed, I am in the luxurious position of having both a precision bubble level and a digital inclinometer (the LD-2M) from Level Developments, a company that seems to be the go-to choice if you are serious about getting things level (or really precisely angled). I have both because they do different jobs with different equipment. Also like DD, I have various bubble and digital box levels, for general work. But when it comes to turntable set-up there is no substitute for the PEL – and when comes to speakers, the LD-2M with its 30 degree measurement range and simultaneous numerical readout of inclination in two axes is equally indispensible. Could I use the LD-2M on turntables? I could – but having done so I don’t find it nearly as intuitive to use as the PEL and comparing results across the two, it isn’t as accurate either. Close, but in this hyper-critical application, no cigar.

What the LD-2M does have going for it (besides the obvious range of angular measurement possible) is its physical form. Unlike the Blu-tooth unit that Stirling uses, the LD-2M is self-contained with an internal, rechargeable battery. It also has a shorter length. In one sense that makes it less accurate across longer lengths, but it does make it a lot easier to place on a speaker with limited flat surfaces (an increasing problem these days). You can also place it horizontally or vertically – and if you must, there’s an RS232 interface to hook up to a lap-top so that you can have the screen bigger, although I’ve never felt that need.

Because I work with complete systems on a daily basis, I really do need/use both devices. But for people who don’t make their living doing this, I’d start with one or the other. If you are a digital listener, go for the LD-2M: it will do more, different things for you and you’ll be surprised how much use it gets. But if you have a turntable, then the PEL is a must. Its cost, compared to even a moderately high-end turntable is out of all proportion to its contribution. As DD stated – indispensible! Just one word of caution – it is also heavy, so sprung sub-chassis decks or decks mounted on a Vibraplane-type isolation platform or other flexible support will be out. Otherwise, purchase with confidence, purchase immediately and enjoy the (somewhat shocking) musical benefits that accrue…

Prices and availability

Level Developments

Croyden, UK

T. +44 208 684 1400


PEL – https://www.leveldevelopments.com/products/engineers-level/premium-engineers-levels/

LD- 2M – https://www.leveldevelopments.com/products/inclinometers/digital-inclinometers/ld-2m-dual-axis-inclinometer-with-digital-display-30/