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Thread: Audio Analyzer Development

  1. #1
    MSS Supporting Vendor
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    Audio Analyzer Development

    The following is a compare/contrast some models of portable audio analyzers. The details and specifications between models varies greatly, so I'm primarily focusing on features and pricing.


    Portable - Full Featured
    Audio Precision Portable One


    • Widely recognized product
    • Discontinued Dec 2010, Used Market
    • Precise, accurate, repeatable measurement
    • "Industry Standard"....if regularly calibrated
    • $3000+ Used

    Phonic PAA6
    • Full test suite
    • Color touch screen (stylus based)
    • Rechargeable Battery (3 hour life, no sleep or standby mode)
    • $1000

    NTI Minilyzer

    • Full test suite
    • Single Ended measurements (input only, no signal generator)
    • 16 hour battery life (Alkaline, no recharging capability)
    • $700, $1000 with USB interface


    Portable - Basic Function

    SMD DD-1
    • Two point THD+N test at 40Hz and 1kHz - Auto tracking
    • Single LED to indicate 1% level
    • 9V battery, Unknown battery life. Auto Off
    • $190

    Portable - Other

    Velleman HPS-50
    • Primarily an oscilloscope
    • RMS reading voltage measurement
    • No THD measurement capability
    • $300


    None but the DD-1 are specifically targeted for car audio usage, but all serve a purpose for tuning an audio - even those severely limited in function. My goal is to produce a portable meter that combines the most useful features while eliminating those that can be had for next to nothing from an iPhone or PC application.

    Primarily, there is a hole in the market for a meter that can accurately measure THD and amplitude and display them simultaneously for under $1000. Qualifying a product isn't in the interest of an installer who wants to know if the amp is clipping AND how much power is being delivered into the load in calculated Watts, dBV or dBu. Relative amplitude is also a useful feature and is essentially what the SMD CC-1 does...for another $150. $300 for crossover calibration and a single THD measurement. Not bad - but not terribly useful, either. A faulty amplifier may register 1% THD at something less than rated output. But with the SMD devices, you will never know unless you connect an oscilloscope or True RMS voltmeter. Uh-oh...that's another $100-500 depending on frequency response ($100 meters can't do RMS readings beyond about 100Hz). So now you're up to as much as $800 to analyze exactly two data points at a time. Two. :eek:

    Now you can see the problem. We want to develop a logging meter than will generate signals, display relative levels, measure THD+N, S/N Ratio and polarity in one, portable unit for around $300. A lesser-equipped version without logging and graphic LCD might be $150. Still, you can read numbers on a screen rather than LEDs on a panel. This isn't 1986.
    Last edited by envisionelec; 05-23-2012 at 03:09 PM.
    I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are still missing.

  2. #2
    Junior Member MDubYa's Avatar
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    Any luck with this yet??

  3. #3
    really looking forward to this. I want to pull the trigger on the dd1 just on simplicity alone, but can't bring myself to do it after reading your other thread. Please give us an update, I would love to be in a preorder for it. Thanks for helping innovate new ideas to better tune our systems!

  4. #4
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    Everything car audio - or even audio-related is on hold for the next couple months. Our big product is being redesigned and is going to take up all my free time for the rest of 2012.

    In the meantime, I am teaching myself how to program the little microcontroller bastards in C. It's been a looong time since I did any text-based programming. Syntax, syntax, syntax.
    I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are still missing.

  5. #5
    Founding Member pocket5s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by envisionelec View Post
    In the meantime, I am teaching myself how to program the little microcontroller bastards in C. It's been a looong time since I did any text-based programming. Syntax, syntax, syntax.
    AND it's in C? I feel for you... I really do... at least it isn't assembler or some arcane language like that. As one developer once told me early in my career, C is a great language as it will let you do just about anything you want; even drive right off cliff...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocket5s View Post
    AND it's in C? I feel for you... I really do... at least it isn't assembler or some arcane language like that. As one developer once told me early in my career, C is a great language as it will let you do just about anything you want; even drive right off cliff...
    Yeah, anything that we develop will not be something I program. I'm far too inexperienced. The Audio Analyzer would be programmed in VHDL as it would be almost certainly based on a Xilinx FPGA. I have a special engineer for that kind of thing.
    I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are still missing.

  7. #7
    Big Daddy Chad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by envisionelec View Post
    Everything car audio - or even audio-related is on hold for the next couple months. Our big product is being redesigned and is going to take up all my free time for the rest of 2012.
    Anything with the letters MPC?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad View Post
    Anything with the letters MPC?
    Yes, it's the display for the MPC2000XL.
    I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are still missing.

  9. #9
    Big Daddy Chad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by envisionelec View Post
    Yes, it's the display for the MPC2000XL.
    The music industry appreciates this.

  10. #10
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    interesting, keep us posted

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