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Old 01-10-2017, 02:42 AM   #1
Dan B

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Oscilloscope for gains and fun

Hey guys I want to buy an oscilloscope to help set my gains and to just play with to maybe learn more about car audio. I know everyone says just use your ears but I would like to use one and compair how my ears compair. The question I have is what one to buy ? I want to spend around $150-200

I've been looking at the dso nano v3 or the dso note ll

https://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Ver...words=Dso+nano

https://www.amazon.com/Handheld-Osci...ds=Dso+nano+v3

If anyone can tell me witch one would be better for car audio or another option i should look at I would appreciate it. I have done a lot of searching but can't find any current info on this topic
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
SPL_Krayzie112

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I think you´re better off with an RTA first and then an oscilloscope...as far as I know oscilloscopes are just frequency response displays...let´s you know if your speakers are clipping etc.. I suggest an RTA first.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:50 PM   #3
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they seem to be pretty equal i think you will get what you need out of either of them.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPL_Krayzie112 View Post
I think you´re better off with an RTA first and then an oscilloscope...as far as I know oscilloscopes are just frequency response displays...let´s you know if your speakers are clipping etc.. I suggest an RTA first.
An RTA is useful for measuring peaks and dips in system response, but not so useful for setting gains.

Hint: Speakers don't clip .
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basicxj View Post
An RTA is useful for measuring peaks and dips in system response, but not so useful for setting gains.

Hint: Speakers don't clip .
How's that? Adjusting the gain does alter frequency response. I'm pretty sure an RTA will play a legitimate role with what he wants to do.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basicxj View Post

Hint: Speakers don't clip .
How else would you know if the reproduced sound is clipping?
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPL_Krayzie112 View Post
How else would you know if the reproduced sound is clipping?
by using an oscilloscope.

Using an RTA for gain setting is useless it does not tell you if a signal is clipped it just tells you the amplitude of a signal.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPL_Krayzie112 View Post
How else would you know if the reproduced sound is clipping?
By using your ears, by using an oscilloscope, by checking voltages with a multimeter.

A Real Time Analyzer is a good tool for car audio tuning, but is the wrong tool for the job of setting gains. You could certainly use an RTA with gain structure to level match certain parts of a system, but it will be no good for raw gain setting to eliminate clipping.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:00 PM   #9
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A speaker doesn't "clip"- that happens upstream of the speaker at the signal level.

You can get a clipped signal from an amplifier (the built in amp in a head unit or an external amplifier), or you can get clipping from a pre-out level signal. Fortunately, most good head units do not clip the pre-out signal until very high on the volume knob if at all.

An RTA doesn't tell you whether a signal is clipped, it simply measures overall frequency response through the speaker(s) and shows it as a graph. A speaker will reproduce a clipped signal or an unclipped signal- if the clipped signal is not of sufficient power to distress the speaker via too much heat or too much excursion, a speaker will play a clipped signal all day long without damage, the problem being it doesn't sound very pretty. An unclipped signal from a system playing a test tone will exhibit a peak in an RTA measurement in the general area of that test tone (in hz or Khz) amongst ambient noise measured in the listening environment. A clipped signal from a system playing the same test tone may or may not show the harmonics the ear picks up that makes the clipped signal sound ugly as much of it will fall within the same bandwidth- if it does show it, it would appear as a slightly wider peak that bleeds slightly into neighbouring bands, but that isn't so useful. Play a clipped signal with some music and the clipping would be indistinguishable from what is going on in the rest of the spectrum and get lost.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:00 PM   #10
latifrc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan B View Post
Hey guys I want to buy an oscilloscope to help set my gains and to just play with to maybe learn more about car audio. I know everyone says just use your ears but I would like to use one and compair how my ears compair. The question I have is what one to buy ? I want to spend around $150-200

I've been looking at the dso nano v3 or the dso note ll

https://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Ver...words=Dso+nano

https://www.amazon.com/Handheld-Osci...ds=Dso+nano+v3

If anyone can tell me witch one would be better for car audio or another option i should look at I would appreciate it. I have done a lot of searching but can't find any current info on this topic
good info, thanks for link sugggest
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:05 AM   #11
Dan B

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Thanks for all info. Can someone tell me if either one of the oscilloscope I listed are good brands or if they will work for car audio? Will they be able to test the output from a 2000 watt amp ?
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basicxj View Post
By using your ears, by using an oscilloscope, by checking voltages with a multimeter.

A Real Time Analyzer is a good tool for car audio tuning, but is the wrong tool for the job of setting gains. You could certainly use an RTA with gain structure to level match certain parts of a system, but it will be no good for raw gain setting to eliminate clipping.
IMO RTA it first...you´ll know if the sound is clipping by first using your ears and then oscilloscope after.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPL_Krayzie112 View Post
IMO RTA it first...you´ll know if the sound is clipping by first using your ears and then oscilloscope after.
Not if you do not know what a clipped signal sounds like... I.e. 90% of the guys installing audio today. The OP point blank states he wants to compare the sound using an oscilloscope to his ears, making RTA not only a moot point, but a backwards argument.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:53 PM   #14
Dan B

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I definitely think the oscilloscope is the right tool for the job. I think it will help me train my ears to know what to look for when setting my gains. Now I just need to find the right one. Can someone recommend a place to find test tones ? Thanks
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:33 PM   #15
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