Advanced Test Equipment for Car Audio
by: Eddie Runner


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B&K and HP Audio Audio Oscillators, These are capable of making sine waves for testing of audio products. I usually use them for testing loudspeaker boxes. Every shop should have one of these, even a cheap one works fine and is better than nothing. They allow you to make a steady tone and helps when looking for speaker box leaks and strange rattles. Also for finding the resonances in speakers, speaker boxes or your car. Also useful for finding your own T/S parameters.

Distortion analyzers, useful in measuring amplifiers output power. Both the Sound Technology and the HP pieces here also have very accurate and very sensitive voltmeters on them. I bought one of these at a ham radio tailgate sale and the other one in a pawn shop..  

Volt meters, a very useful tool...  Both these pictured are Flukes, the model 27 on the right is my favorite and they are pretty cheap new, and cheaper at the pawn shops or on EBAY.  The meter on the left is our bench meter capable of super accurate measurements and a much more expensive meter.

Oscilloscope, everyone needs a scope, it allows you to actually see a visual representation of the music or test signal right on the CRT screen! With it you can see an amplifier clip! And allot of other stuff including the complete waveform.

This is a Fluke digital volt meter AND digital oscilloscope in one! It also has a built in audio oscillator but it only has one output frequency, I prefer the variable oscillators but this might help in a pinch. And since it is battery powered I can use the scope in a car out in the parking lot when I need to.

CB/two way radio test gear.

Frequency counter, tells you the exact frequency, this one is for two way radio but I also have one for measuring audio frequencies (sound)...


Power supplies. This is a monster power supply used for running our test bench.  It turns 120 volts out of the wall into 12volts for use with car stereo gear.

This is a nifty item from radio shack, it is a small battery powered amplifier with a speaker in it, you can test the RCA outputs on a stereo or crossover to see if a signal is present.

Part of the control center on our test bench, it switches speakers, amps and sources for testing stuff on the bench.

RTA and SPL meter! Both useful for seeing sound levels in your listening environment. Couldn't live without them!

Magnifying glass!  Look closely at circuit boards when the gear doesn't work, you might see the problem and avoid an expensive trip to the repair man!

Headphones are indispensable for me! I have a set of alligator clips I can plug the headphones into and clip onto amplifiers in cars, so I can hear the amplifier outputs while working on the vehicle. Very good for hunting alternator noises!!!!

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