Melvin C. Sprinkle, 65, an audio acoustical engineer in the Washington area since 1941 who was active in Masonic groups, died of a heart ailment Wednesday at Holy Cross Hospital.

Mr. Sprinkle, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Martinsburg, W.Va., and graduated from Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va. When he first moved here, he worked for the Navy Department. He then worked in private industry.

In 1970, he formed his own consulting firm, Sprinkle & Associates. Earlier this year, he joined Deleuw Cather & Company, a consulting firm.

Mr. Sprinkle had been a part-time teacher at the Capitol Institute of Technology in Kensington and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He was a member of the Acoustical Society of America and was a founder and felow of the Audio Engineering Society. He published numerous papers in professional journals.

Mr. Sprinkle was a past master of the William R. Singleton Masonic Lodge and a former Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons of the District of Columbia. He also belonged to a number of other Masonic organizations.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys M., of Silver Spring; three children, William M., of Richmond, Janet E. Gilbert of Kintnersville, Pa., and Kenneth A., of Poolesville, Md., and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Over 60 Counseling & Employment Service, 4700 Norwood Dr., Chevy Chase, Md. 20815.