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Author Topic: Testing Equipment  (Read 4905 times)

Dan Fowler

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Testing Equipment
« on: June 14, 2004, 09:41:16 am »

What equipment / software does everyone use for testing their installed audio systems?

Also, does the equpiment / software that you use allow you to certify your installation to an industry standard?

I've been using my ears for the last few years, but I am taking a step up.  I'd like some advice...
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Tony Grimwood

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2004, 04:08:52 pm »

I mostly use a Minirator and Minilyzer for checking things like gain structure and noise floor. I like them because they're small enough to fit in my briefcase and accurate enough for most purposes.

Tony
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Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

Brian Bolly

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2004, 08:27:08 pm »

- Neutrik Minirator/Minilyzer
- Turbosound phase checker
- Fluke 123 Scopemeter
- Fluke 112 DMM
- Whirlwind Q-Box
- Whirlwind cable testers
- SIA SmaartLive (Dell laptop, M-Audio preamp, Earthworks mic)
- Punts and adapters of various shapes, sizes & configurations
- Sony/Sennheiser headphones
- Shure SM58
- Sony discman
- various CDs
- tools of all sorts (too numerous to list)
- bottle of Advil

That's about all I can think of for now.  I'm sure there's more in my bags and briefcase that I'm forgetting.

-Brian
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Rick Johnston

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2004, 07:14:42 am »

For constant-voltage distributed systems (100v, 70v, 50v & 25v) an impedance meter and a continuity tester (or multimeter) will tell you if the speaker lines are within amp capabilities and have no shorts to building ground.
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Too Tall (Curtis H. List)

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2004, 12:07:10 pm »

danz wrote on Mon, 14 June 2004 09:41

What equipment / software does everyone use for testing their installed audio systems?

Also, does the equpiment / software that you use allow you to certify your installation to an industry standard?

I've been using my ears for the last few years, but I am taking a step up.  I'd like some advice...



Hi,
   Since you used installed systems as an example I suggest you look at Praxis for audio analysis of acoustic and electronic frequency/phase magnitude, many types of distortion, impedance, Impulse Response (stereo if needed), Schroeder, convolution and de-convolution of Impulse Response for auralization, waterfall, etc
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Too Tall
        Curtis H. List    
             Bridgeport, Mich.   
        I.A.T.S.E. Local # 274 (Gold Card)
        Lansing, Mich
Independent Live Sound Engineer (and I'm Tall Too!)

wesburgh

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2004, 07:08:49 pm »

The short list I have of helpful stuff.

IVIE IE-30 analyzer.  (Hey, third octave analysis worked for a   long time.)    

TOA Z (impedance) meter, ZM-104 I think. I also use and old Sennheiser meter that has 6 freq selsctions.  Great for testing a two or three way passive box that you can't get up to.  I'm sure someone still makes these without having to spent 2 grand on the Terra Sonde thingy.

True RMS multi meter.

POLARITY (remember, not PHASE) test kit.(burst gen and reciever)

SM-58 mic

Sony cans

Reference CD's and discman

Cables and adaptoids

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audiomfg

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2004, 06:30:33 pm »

Just to clarify an inaccuracy that "wesburgh" posted: Our new ATB-3's start at $1399 and include:

***begin marketing plug here***

the meter with 2 phantom-powered inputs and onboard USB audio preamp, lithium-ion battery w/charger, tons of acoustic analysis tools; sound level meter with weightings, RTA: octave and third octave, FFT to 1/12th Octave with Low mode for analyzing subwoofer response, impedance meter, signal generator, energy-time graph, polarity tester and a cable tester. Now that we have phantom-powered inputs, you can use any compatible microphone - Behringer makes a reasonably flat mic for like $40.00. Or use our awesone refernce mic for $239.00.  And oh by the way, this Toolbox makes a sweet USB preamp for dricing things like Smaart or recording apps..the pre's were designed by Grace Design exclusively for TerraSonde

And, when you want to upgrade the Toolbox, you buy an unlock code and use the tool on the box - they're all there, ready to go. we've added some high end tools like a TEF-style measurement (swept-sine wave) and speech intelligibility testing...

***ok, marketing plug over.
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TerraSonde-manufacturers of the most versatile audio test equipment in the world

Tom Young

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Re: Testing Equipment
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2004, 08:55:55 pm »

Just to add a few notes:

The impedance measurement provided by the Terrasonde ATB is hands-down far superior to TOA and Sennheiser impedance meters.  It displays an impedance over frequency graph as opposed to the octave band measuremnts provided by the others.  The contractor can send the measurement file via email to (for example) the consultant or to the shop and it may be dislayed there.  One can (of course) print the graph to include it in the system documentation binder.

Polarity measurements made with the ATB and Minilyzer are far more accurate and repeatble than with any of the stand-alone checkers.

As far as Ivie (and other) RTA's are concerned (and I've owned 4 IE30A's and probably 4 other equally accurate/expensive RTA's over the past 30 years): Yeah, they "worked"....... but not very well.  They were the best we had to work with 'back then' but 2-channel time-based measurments have been around now (in pro audio) for 20 years and Smaart made this form of measurement no longer a "rich man's" tool..... anyone can afford it.  Other than to observe line-level audio frequency response (which has its place, I guess) an RTA provides so little and so misleading electracoustic data that it is preposterous to employ one these days given what we know now. If nothing else, how do you measure and set delays without TEF, SIM or Smaart ?  Having said all that, I would add that there is no point in owning a complex measurment system without 2-5 days of training via SynAudCon, Smaart or SIM.

Which brings me back to the ATB.  When you add up all of the test functions it provides, the accuracy of these, the graphics that can utilized with a PC, the build quality and the robustness of the unit itself..... it is hands-down the best choice (in my not so humble opinion).  I have owned the Minilyzer and I own the ATB Plus and also the Ivie IE33 (Ipaq-based multi-measurement system).  I keep the IE33 because I always have it with me (for its pocket PC functions) and it is pretty darn impressive in its own right. It won't survive a fall off a ladder or the balcony but and ATB will.
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Tom Young
Electroacoustic Design Services
Oxford CT
Tel: 203.888.6217
Email: dbspl@earthlink.net
www.dbspl.com
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