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Old 17th April 2010, 03:45 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Carp
speedskater beat me to it. Looks like on the audioXpress web site you will have to buy the magazine. They have some of the past articles available to look at online but not that one. I don't know who has the copyright, Simon or AudioeXpess. In the post I mentioned above Simon had some comments a few posts later maybe you can PM him.
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Old 19th April 2010, 01:42 PM   #12
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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The 33120A is quite good, especially if you need/want the arbitrary waveform capability. I have loaded pink and brown noise waveforms, as well as an emulation of an S/PDIF signal carrying a 1 kHz sine wave onto mine. The RS-232 port is valuable here if you don't have GPIB/IEEE488.

The 33120A sine wave is specified to have 0.04% THD, and that is also what I measure it to be - not bad but not great. Rise and fall time on square waves and other steps is not good, making high frequency square waves look more like a flattened sin wave. (It looks just like a Besel filter step response, because it is). So to answer your question directly, no it definitely can't do a step with insanely fast rise time.

It uses direct digital synthesis at a fixed frequency: 40 MHz. So it basically has a waveform (sin, triangle, arbitrary) of up to 16000 points stored in RAM, and it outputs samples from there at 40 MS/s. The output frequency determines the rate at which the instrument increments samples. At low output frequencies, samples are repeated, sometimes many times. At high output frequencies, samples are skipped, sometimes most samples of the waveform are skipped. There is no interpolation or proper resampling, so this can result in some additional waveform distortion creeping in, even after the reconstruction filter.

Other features are nice to have: logarithmic frequency sweep, and even modulation. The burst and AM modulation enables you to create tone-burst signals, useful for example in testing transient responses of drivers or rooms, or testing the dynamic headroom of an amplifier. You can also create signals to test for intermodulation distortion.

Download and read the manual; it is a wealth of information on the abilities and limitations of this instrument.
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