With sales of its valve audio equipment on the increase, UK manufacturer Thermionic Culture has invested in a Prism Sound dScope Series III Audio Analyzer to help speed up the flow of new products moving through its testing and quality control department.
The company is so delighted with its dScope Series III unit – and with the level of support it has received from Prism Sound's technical staff – that it has now ordered a second instrument, which will be delivered shortly.
Harlow-based Thermionic Culture is renowned for producing high quality professional audio products that aim to deliver the ultimate in all-valve signal path performance. Earlier this year the company moved into larger premises and began using dScope Series III to test for noise, distortion and frequency response performance across its entire product range.
Mark 'Horse' Phillips, Thermionic Culture's chief engineer, says: "We're using dScope Series III for production testing and in our R&D department. As well as the standard performance tests, we're also running specific tests such as microphony and compressor pulse response on certain products in our range."
By investing in dScope Series III, Thermionic Culture has replaced an array of signal analyzers, function generators and oscilloscopes with just one unit, thus saving a considerable amount of space in its testing department.
"The fact that dScope Series III can analyze two channels of a product at once has also proved useful," Phillips says. "Previously the distortion analyzers we were using were only single channel, so we have been able to dramatically cut the time needed to test each unit. This is also true in regard to the multi-function nature of the dScope Series III, so there's no time wasted when swapping between distortion/noise analysis and frequency response. This can now be done with the click of a mouse, whereas before a totally different piece of equipment had to be connected up."
Prism Sound has been supplying successful high quality audio test solutions for more than 20 years. The company's solutions provide state-of-the-art testing capabilities, backed up by consultancy and support services that are recognised as the best in the industry.
The dScope Series III offers comprehensive analogue and digital audio signal generation and analysis, plus support for digital audio carrier testing, quasi-anechoic microphone/loudspeaker analysis and testing of Windows™ audio devices. Users can also define their own analysis filters or measurement algorithms, enabling dScope Series III to go far beyond the hugely flexible tool that is already provided as standard. dScope Series III can be easily automated using its built in VBScript interpreter, enabling the creation of custom test routines and pass/fail limit checking. Furthermore, Test automation can also be accomplished with dScope's "COM" interface, when using external automation software. This makes dScope Series III ideally suited to production line testing applications, where testing of many different types of functionality in different domains (analogue, digital, electronic, acoustic) can all be accomplished using this single instrument.
The dScope Series III system comprises a Windows PC software application (XP™ and Vista™ compatible) coupled with an external high-precision audio I/O processor for equipment-under-test (EUT) connection.
Phillips adds that Thermionic Culture staff are extremely happy with the features offered by the dScope Series III, particularly the 'Bin centers' frequency response analysis technique that has proved to be a powerful R&D tool.
"It has enabled us to design and adjust EQ circuits and see the frequency response results in real time, as the adjustments are being made," he says. "Previously this was a laborious chore involving frequency/amplitude results being taken and a graph being plotted after each alteration."
Thermionic Culture is now planning to write automation scripts so that dScope Series III test results can be sent directly into Microsoft Word test report documents. This will make the production line testing even more seamless, Mark Phillips says.