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What to measure for and what gear to use?
What to measure for and what gear to use?
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Old 17th June 2019, 07:56 PM   #21
FriedMule is offline FriedMule  Denmark
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Perfect idea, but what is my needs? :-)
Can you please try to help define it?
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Old 17th June 2019, 10:55 PM   #22
ej25awd is online now ej25awd  Canada
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Download the "Audio Measurement Handbook" directly from the Audio Precision website , read and learn from it.

The Audio Measurement Handbook - Audio Precision
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Old 17th June 2019, 11:14 PM   #23
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What to measure for and what gear to use?
Hi FriedMule,
I've been an audio service technician for most of my life (with a few day jobs). I have used everything from separate audio generators and THD meters. I still use my HP 339A for some adjustments where it is just plain easier. Like Suzy, I have an HP 3585A (hers is a "B" series). It is still on my bench and used as it covers high frequencies. I also am lucky enough to have an RTX-6001. I use that every day, and it is a wonderful instrument. If I'm going to pay for an AP, I'll go all the way and buy the Keysight U8903B with the 1.5 MHz option. Keysight/Agilent/HP equipment tends to perform much better than their specs would suggest.

The RTX-6001 unit along with Virtins M.I. has integration. That means that it performs like an AP at a fraction of the price. M.I. software can also execute a series of commands to perform a series of tests with one key press.

Too bad ej25awd hasn't used an RTX yet. I would highly recommend the RTX-6001 and Virtins M.I. combination for your test needs. The 6001 will work with almost any sound card software, you aren't married to a single vendor. I also use ARTA with the 6001. I have license for both software packages. With any luck, other software packages will include integration for the RTX-6001. For now, Virtins does and their software is excellent.

-Chris
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:19 AM   #24
ej25awd is online now ej25awd  Canada
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Chris,

I'm full aware of the RTX 6001, I have followed it from birth and watched the GB 2 years ago. I never wanted one because my intended application doesn't fit the RTX 6001 features set.

I need an analog generator with output greater than 96kHz, ability to analyze frequencies above 96kHz, fully isolated outputs, provision for custom analog filters, tightly integrated software, digital I/O, auto ranging, etc. RTX 6001 doesn't support any of these.

Audio Precision software for the older System One and Two is free, no license required.

I have used AP, HP, SRS, Tektronix and R&S audio analyzers when designing commercial products, I know their limits, reliability, stability and ergonomics. They all have pros and cons, HP gear are not bullet-proof, I have fixed some of their spectrum analyzers and audio analyzers.

We all have our bias but I like to keep an open mind.

Last edited by ej25awd; 18th June 2019 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:56 AM   #25
FriedMule is offline FriedMule  Denmark
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My goal is to construct and repair amplifiers and media players.
I would rather have a dedicated unit for measuring and testing, instead of using my laptop. Jazid do I think, is making a great list for the amplifier part but if there is more then just ad it in my "hope to get". :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazid View Post
The classic tests for power amps are power output to specified level of distortion into differing loads, signal to noise, input sensitivity/gain, input and output impedances, polarity, bandwidth, distortion as THD, THD+N, nature of distortion products (odd/even harmonics), and maybe output offset voltage and power consumption.
For pre amps gain/input sensitivity, output voltage, input/output impedances, signal to noise from the different inputs, distortion at specified output voltages (and its components), headroom, maybe RIAA compliance.
It'll take too long to describe the equipment, maybe you could read some of the RTX6001 analyser thread on this forum for pointers?

ej25awd writes about several tests then the 8903A/B

Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25awd View Post
The older ATS-1 is a more productive and far superior tool than the even older 8903A/B. I've used both at work. The ATS-1 so easy to use and lighter. The ATS-1 has sold for 1x-2x that of the 8903A/B on eBay. Pricing is all over the place, you can't rely on the current eBay listings.

Things you can do with an ATS-1 that are not available on the 8903A/B

- dual input and output channel
- phase measurements
- crosstalk
- AC mains check for distortion, frequency and level
- device input resistance vs frequency
- swept impedance measurement, e.g. loudspeakers
- wow and flutter
- tunable bandpass filter (2-pole)
- IMD (option)
- dual domain (option)
- bode plots out of the box or hook up an HP parallel port printer for hard copies
- etc.
A unit with even more / better test is welcome, as long we are not being insane about the price. (What is insane, it's more then what a home DIY would use) yes that's a non telling amount but I hope that it exclude a 10,000$ unit:-)
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Old 18th June 2019, 03:04 AM   #26
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What to measure for and what gear to use?
Hi ej25awd,
Have you ever played with the RTX? This is the crucial question that shapes your impression of the unit.

I was a bit worried about my purchase at first, but that worry evaporated seeing the support we had and the software that supported the RTX. But without ever using one, I couldn't have come to the strong affinity I developed for them.

As for repairing HP gear, I do and have as well. The old 339A isn't perfect, but it is perfect for aligning tuners. Just as the old 3581A/B I have for setting the traps on the output (19 and 38 KHz). Same for tape bias traps.

You must differentiate between the older 8903x analysers and the current U8903x analyser. These run at least $35K optioned out for me, as does the AP. The cheap AP is over $10K and doesn't really offer much, if anything (been two years since I looked) over the RTX and MI software. The RTX sits around $2,500 US I think, and $500 for MI full license. Again, I haven't looked in a long while. It seemed foolish to me to spend that great a difference over two very similar products. Never mind the fact that I couldn't afford the AP at those prices. You do get a calibration certificate with a new RTX btw.

-Chris
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Old 18th June 2019, 03:07 AM   #27
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What to measure for and what gear to use?
Hi FriedMule,
Have a look at the options and prices for the different units. The "HP" Keysight unit is the U8903B currently. It is a very capable unit with a 1.5 MHz option. I consider audio to include 1 MHz where nasty things can happen, like oscillations for example.

The more you look at this, the better the RTX looks.

-Chris
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:27 AM   #28
FriedMule is offline FriedMule  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anatech View Post
Hi FriedMule,
Have a look at the options and prices for the different units. The "HP" Keysight unit is the U8903B currently. It is a very capable unit with a 1.5 MHz option. I consider audio to include 1 MHz where nasty things can happen, like oscillations for example.

The more you look at this, the better the RTX looks.

-Chris
I am sure that it is a great peace of gear but we are way over my budget! :-)
I think it's about 1,500-2,000$ that maybe is my max.
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Old 18th June 2019, 04:14 PM   #29
FriedMule is offline FriedMule  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25awd View Post
The ATS-1 has sold for 1x-2x that of the 8903A/B on eBay. Pricing is all over the place, you can't rely on the current eBay listings.
If I want to buy an ATS-1 to a more realistic price, what to do? As stated earlier they is priced to around 2000$ on eBay.
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Old 19th June 2019, 03:00 AM   #30
ej25awd is online now ej25awd  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anatech View Post
Hi ej25awd,
Have you ever played with the RTX? This is the crucial question that shapes your impression of the unit.
Nope, no future plans. I already told you why I didn't buy an RTX. Please read my complete post.

You are barking up the wrong tree. I've used FFT analyzers for 15 years now including the HP (dynamic) signal analyzers which I forgot to include on my previous post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anatech View Post
I was a bit worried about my purchase at first, but that worry evaporated seeing the support we had and the software that supported the RTX. But without ever using one, I couldn't have come to the strong affinity I developed for them.

As for repairing HP gear, I do and have as well. The old 339A isn't perfect, but it is perfect for aligning tuners. Just as the old 3581A/B I have for setting the traps on the output (19 and 38 KHz). Same for tape bias traps.

You must differentiate between the older 8903x analysers and the current U8903x analyser. These run at least $35K optioned out for me, as does the AP. The cheap AP is over $10K and doesn't really offer much, if anything (been two years since I looked) over the RTX and MI software. The RTX sits around $2,500 US I think, and $500 for MI full license. Again, I haven't looked in a long while. It seemed foolish to me to spend that great a difference over two very similar products. Never mind the fact that I couldn't afford the AP at those prices. You do get a calibration certificate with a new RTX btw.

-Chris
I was talking to the OP about the older 8903A/B and AP ATS-1 which are what he was interested in. At that point, it is clear how much his budget was. No point mentioning to him the new Keysight U8903x that I'm also familiar with or anything new from other vendors.

I also gave him an example using my method that a used Audio Precision System One 22A for only $150 is possible. I don't make things up, I back my post with documentation when warranted to save myself from long unnecessary discussion.

I can't justify spending money on something I don't NEED. What is wrong with this belief?
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