Test & Measurement Equipment for DIY Designers - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Amplifiers > Solid State
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Solid State Talk all about solid state amplification.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd July 2005, 02:45 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Boulder Colorado
Question Test & Measurement Equipment for DIY Designers

Can anyone share what some of the most popular choices are for test and measurement equipment for high performance amplifier design work?

Beyond your basic precision Meters, Scope, Bench Power Supply, etc., what tools are really required to design and evaluate the worlds best designs?

How far can one go with free downloadable software like Right Mark Audio Analyzer and high-end Professional Audio Workstation sounds card? So far, RMAA and an M-Audio Delta 66 has been pretty helpful to me. What does it take to get to the next level?

Budget is hundreds to thousands, but not tens of thousands...
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2005, 03:30 AM   #2
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
diyAudio Member
sam9's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Left Coast
There is Audio-Tester (www.audiotester.de)

after that is Spectra Plus with a Lynx L22 card. A pretty big ticket item but a tiny fraction of the cost of an AP system.

Both of these have the issue that you need to feed the signal back in to the soundcard. For that you need to build your own voltage divider and isolation buffer. The idea of feeding amplifier output in to an expensive but unprotected soundcard should make one pause and reflect before jumping right end.

One way to avoid that is to use an external module such as Picotech's 16 bit unit or the Velleman unit.
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2005, 09:58 AM   #3
diyAudio Member
destroyer X's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Recife - Brasil Northeast
Default Fluke 87 series Multimeter, once you have one, will not be satisfied with any other.

Auto range functions, average measurements and hold functions are wonderfull.

You can pick audio direct from the first pick up amplifier transistor.... some milivolts of audio frequency are enougth to read.

Wonderfull Multimeter.


Sorry, Brazil only to be sold... top secret ultimate schematic, not to share...encapsulated VAS:
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2005, 10:23 AM   #4
diyAudio Moderator
pinkmouse's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Rotherham, England
I like a proper signal generator for sines and square waves, as the software ones can be a bit noisy.
Rick: Oh Cliff / Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if / You really are a cliff / when fascists keep trying to push you over it! / Are they the lemmings / Or are you, Cliff? / Or are you Cliff?
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2005, 10:47 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: The Netherlands
I use:

-HP 204D sine / square generator, THD 0.1%

-HP400GL rms AC-voltmeter, measures down to 10uV rms

-DIY 1KHz pure sine generator, THD < 0.0005% (NE5534 wienbridge)

-DIY Distortion Analyzer (www.sound.au.com Project 52 & 59, NE5532), measures THD down to 0.0005%

20MHz osciloscope (about 500$), 2 channel, build in sine-generator

PC with soundcard for spectrographic analysis

I also used to have a scientific grade , calibrated, National Instruments 200samples/sec 16bit DAQ card controlled with Labview software, which was excelent for audio testings.. one day it died on me...

allmost forgot... goldwave audio software, nero CD burning software and a CDplayer for a cheap and simple pure sine generator
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2005, 11:26 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: TN
Hi all,
A good low cost generator @ band 1hz-100khz and low audio band thd= 0.002% is the Black Star LDO100 ( I use it with an ADC216 Picotech as FFT analizer ).
The quality of the recent PCaudio card ( and of the new software ) allows to get very accurate measures, but is fundamental an analogical interface in degree to isolate the loop GNDS and to adapt the input/output signal levels. the programs indicated by sam9 are interesting and they prepare of all the tools of analysis. In particular, the generators of signals are able to reproduce nonelementary forms a lot of difficulties to produce ( with low THD) with standards generators. If some were in degree to signal a good interface circuit for PC card to high performances ( and with isolation of GND ) I am very thankful...


  Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2005, 01:38 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
The best audio generator
The best analogue scope
and my pascal analogue simulator

  Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2005, 11:24 AM   #8
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: TN
Thanks mastertech, your contribution to this thread is very important...


  Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2005, 12:46 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
jackinnj's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Llanddewi Brefi, NJ
Originally posted by tschrama

I also used to have a scientific grade , calibrated, National Instruments 200samples/sec 16bit DAQ card controlled with Labview software, which was excelent for audio testings.. one day it died on me...
the NATI cards show up on EBay very frequently -- I have one which was purchased for about 1/4 the cost of new.

in addition to all the above "honorable mentions" you should consider getting a decent power supply with which to test out your projects. it can be as simple as a Lambda or Acopian "opamp" supply with +/- 15V, or a more versatile tracking supply.

also -- Textronix TM500 and TM5000 test equipment bays are really excellent -- I use one with a PS5010 programmable power supply , a couple of auto-ranging DMM's, pulse generator and an SG505 signal generator. there is a guy in Canada selling vector-style circuit cards for the TM500 series so you could build your own IMD or THD analyzer, tone burst generator etc. I am very enthusiastic about the TM500's because they are inexpensive and very high quality.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2005, 11:40 AM   #10
EDUM is offline EDUM  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Almere
What about the new Terratec Phase-X-24 (Firewire 24bit 192kHz) with Rigthmark Audio Analyzer? For about 350 Euro's it should give great value for money.
Only disadvantage is that this Phase-X-24 has been promised for a long time already....

The vast number of parameters involved in human hearing make imperfect designs certain.
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Test Equipment jwatts Swap Meet 1 18th November 2008 02:46 AM
Test equipment ID glen65 The Lounge 0 18th March 2008 09:41 PM
Radiometer Test Equipment stellavox Equipment & Tools 0 24th September 2007 11:47 AM
Old test equipment f.s. Cobra2 Swap Meet 0 4th March 2004 06:15 PM
What's this test equipment for?? hugobross Solid State 7 15th November 2002 03:54 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:19 AM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2