[sdiy] Cheap audio spectrum analyzer

Tom Bugs admin at bugbrand.co.uk
Mon Oct 26 18:39:54 CET 2015


I think I'd picked up the HP8903A after reading Neil's webpage of test 
equipment a couple of years ago.
Spurred on by today's discussion I tried again to see if I could get the 
Pete Millett Freq-Response software working 
(http://www.pmillett.com/hp_8903_software.htm) via GPIB
After quite some head-banging, it is finally working! (This proved a 
vital video for setting things up right, but still took some time/jigs: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GD-FU27wpk)
Should be very useful going forward.

On 26/10/2015 15:18, Neil Johnson wrote:
> Jean-Pierre Desrochers wrote:
>> Do you know of a cheap audio spectrum analyzer I could
>> buy to check 20-20khz frequency response on audio stuff ?
> Define "cheap".
>
>> That would includes sinus generator + analyzer in the same box.
> Ok.
>
>> I checked on eBay and most analyzers are RF band based and are
>> so $$$$$ expensives. But 2 things:
> You're looking for the wrong kind of thing.
>
>> - I don't want to use analysis software on a separate PC
>> - Any DIY projects with micro/graphic LCD would do..
>> I want a standalone analyzer.
> Well, for a complete standalone box I would recommend an HP Dynamic
> Signal Analyser, such as the venerable 3561A, or something a little
> more modern such as a 35660A.  Pros: all-in-one, built-in screen, will
> do amplitude and phase response.  Cons: dynamic range ok but won't get
> down to the very low levels of noise and distortion.
>
> The next step up would be audio analysers, such as the HP 8903 or
> something from Audio Precision.  While the 8903 does have a built-in
> computer and can do sweeps, the display is 7-seg LED so you'll need a
> pencil and some graph paper.  The Audio Precision kit needs an
> external control computer, but can measure the very lowest noise and
> distortion.
>
> Again, what do you mean by "cheap"...?  What is your budget, and what
> level of performance do you want to measure?
>
> Neil
> --
> http://www.njohnson.co.uk
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