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You might want to consider this as two separate questions:

Is the sound level actually higher when you take a measurement than when you calibrate the levels? If so, see Bruce's advice that Check Level operates differently on the measurement screen than on the overall calibration. (Thanks for the observation, Bruce. I did not put one and one together to realize that the Check Level during measurement would take into account the chosen measurement range. That's cool.)

Does the reported level on the graph appear higher? This may be an effect of the averaging in the SPL meter over the whole range. Or this may be come from manufacturing variation in the RS meters. My experience parallels that of Drudge above; after buying an EMM-6 meter with its own calibration file, its measures are different in overall level than the RS meter, even following the same level setting technique. Interestingly, measurements I took with the RS meter as a C-meter without the calibration file parallel the EMM-6 results much more closely than those I took with the RS meter calibration file loaded. So the calibration file provided here on this Forum may be typical, but I think there is still significant RS meter variation.

I found I could learn a lot about what I was seeing without have perfectly calibrated levels. More important was the frequencies of the peaks and valleys, and being able to compare before and after measures during a session without changing any of the settings. You can adjust the graph lines for level differences with the Trace Offset in the Trace Adjustments.

Good luck,
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