oscilloscope recommendations

hey all,
i've been buggin you guys for help with my aleph amp and everyone is telling me to get a !*#&(#& scope!!!

i've been looking on Ebay and not sure what i should be looking for as far as specs on scopes and what a fair price is.

can anyone give some recommendations?

much appreciated!!


Try looking at Tom Gootee's site and talking to him - he has many 7600 series mainframes and some nice 465 and 475 scopes for sale.

$199 for a working 465 that's been tested by a proper technician is a pretty good deal - i've heard many stories of people paying *more* than that for one on e-bay, even when it's advertised as "as-is" and have it not be working properly.
Old Tek scopes

You can do pretty well with the low-end scopes too! No need to invest in a Tek unless you're really serious.

Check out the "20MHz dual channel" scopes on eBay. Brand names such as Leader, B&K, Hameg, Tenma, Kenwood, Hitachi, Protek, etc. will often go for $50. These are typically far more modern than the olf Tek 465 or 7000 series. Of course, they are not as good, either. But will do a decent job for most audio work.

I used my cheap Kenwood for 6 or 7 years before I upgraded to the Tek 7000 stuff. Still works just fine (I use it for XY curve tracer display).

Personally, I find these "analog" scopes far more useful than the PC card digital scopes you get get for cheap.

I'll also repeat a comment from the other thread - the 7A22 plugin for a Tek 7000 mainframe is THE BEST front-end for audio work. Most scopes will go down to 5mV or 1mV per div. The 7A22 will go to 10uV! The 7A13 is also a pretty neat piece.

Good luck!
Good cheap scopes for audio

I owned a Tek 5223 at one time (gave it away to a biophysicist) -- these are great instruments for audio/vibration analysis - it has a larger screen than the 7XXX Series, great sensitivity, but relatively low bandwidth. It is primarily used in biomedical applications, industrial (think autos, manufacturing), etc. They usually go for less than $50 complete with plugins and timebase. Mine came out of GM.
Re: Old Tek scopes

hagtech said:
I'll also repeat a comment from the other thread - the 7A22 plugin for a Tek 7000 mainframe is THE BEST front-end for audio work. Most scopes will go down to 5mV or 1mV per div. The 7A22 will go to 10uV! The 7A13 is also a pretty neat piece.

Good luck!


Are all of the 7000 series plugins interoperable? What exactly does it take to build an operational unit...Mainframe, timebase, front end.....?

A link to a site that discusses any of this would be great too. Thanks.
parts is parts

Yes, all 7000 plugins go with all 7000 mainframes (with a few exceptions such as the 7A19 built for 7104).

I like the flexibility too. Add a curve tracer plugin, spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer, or even a fast sampler.

You'll need amp & timebase to start. Often full systems are available. I recommend these as they typically cost less than buying same pieces separately. Many dealers pull apart scopes and sell separately for that sole reason.

I just bought a 7603 because it has a very large screen. It'll be my backup for a 7704A (a real workhorse).

True of the 7XXX series

but not all plug-ins for the 5XXX series will fit in all mainframes -- to prevent heartbreak, however, the TEK engineers fitted straps across the rear sockets in the mainframe to prevent accidents. Now for my question, will all accessories for the TMXXX power supplies work with all the TMXXX mainframes?
Cheap scopes

I agree with Hagtech's earlier suggestion that if you want cheap, look for a 20mhz model by any number of manufacturers. Still, Tektronix is best, even with low-bandwith ones, since they are so ubiquitous that info is generally readily available on them (and manuals).

Two points about ebay: use the "completed auctions" view to see historical selling prices for a specific model, and secondly, WAIT until you see one that is guaranteed or at least claimed to be working. There are so many, it shouldn't take long.
Scope noise

Don't waste to much money on a scopes like the TEK465. These have much to much internal noise, and always a fuzzy display on even fairly good signal levels. However, they are still a lot better for analog work than all the digital scopes that I have ever used. This includes some very expensive units.

The 7000 series are fine but some have power supplies that are rather difficult to trouble shoot when they fail.

For very little money you can purchase some of the 50Mhz dual trace/time delayed with trigger view Kikusui scopes that used to retail for around $1200 for less than $100.00. I have one of these for a backup scope that I keep around just in case my main Iwatsu scope breaks down.

John Fassotte
Alaskan Audio
I agree with alaskanaudio. My Tek465 is useful, but also frustrating. It has an internal noise source that generates quite a bit of crap around 10-20MHz. It also isn't fast enough for digital audio work, and of course has no modern scope features at all. I'd go for something newer.
I bought a Hitachi V1065 over 13 years ago. It continues to serve me very well. Either 60MHz or 100MHz (I don't remember anymore), cursor measurments, delayed sweep, lots of other stuff. I think the current versions of this don't have as many features anymore. Initially, I was dissappointed at the time that I couldn't afford the Tek model I really wanted. After a month or so, I forgot about that.:)