Audio Precision Introduces B Series APx Analyzers with Improved Specs and Capabilities

December 19 2018, 00:55
Audio Precision announced the introduction of the APx555 B Series two-channel audio analyzer. The B Series APx analyzers are the successor platform to Audio Precision’s original, or Legacy, APx platform. The second-generation APx555 offers improved sine generator frequency stability, lower system residual distortion, single-ended, balanced analog output and an optional ADC test mode which provides VBias, a common mode DC Bias. Designed for R&D engineers and production technicians who need the highest possible performance, the APx555 B Series is the new standard for audio analyzers.

The arrival of the B Series APx555 audio analyzer brings several enhancements to the analog high-performance sine generator that will have broad appeal to developers of high-performance audio devices such as compressors, limiters, amplifiers, codecs and digital signal processors. This enhanced analog generator (EAG) — standard with B Series APx555 analyzers and available as an upgrade for Legacy APx555 systems — provides several improvements in its low distortion sine generator and high-precision sine analyzer, including improved sine generator frequency stability with an accuracy of <30 ppm. The system can now also generate low-distortion analog sine burst signals from 5 Hz to 100 kHz and allows users to independently invert the signal polarity of balanced channel outputs. Finally, the B Series APx555 has lower system residual distortion, with THD+N improvement above 50 kHz (−2 dB) and THD improvement above 5 kHz (varying from −2 to −5 dB).

For design engineers validating and testing complex, multichannel analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), the B Series APx555 now offers an ADC Test Mode option capable of generating balanced analog audio signals mixed with a calibrated common mode DC offset voltage. This optional feature is especially useful in testing devices that operate on a single supply voltage and require inputs with a DC bias voltage, such as audio codecs and ADC chips in mobile products. The ADC Test Mode also includes programmable voltage limits to prevent overvoltage damage to the device being tested. This option is included when a Legacy APx555 analyzer receives an EAG upgrade. 

“Originally introduced in late 2014, the APx555 achieved significant, measurable performance that exceeded all other audio test systems,” states Mike Flaherty, Audio Precision Chief Executive Officer. “With the introduction of the B Series APx555, its enhanced analog generator and optional ADC Test Mode, the next-generation APx555 raises the performance bar yet again.” 
Block diagram illustrating the APx555 B Series audio analyzer signal connections to test the analog inputs and receive digital outputs of a smart audio codec. The converter’s digital outputs are internally routed to one of its TDM outputs.

B Series APx Audio Analyzers
B Series APx analyzers are the successor platform to Audio Precision’s APx platform. While the APx555 is the primary beneficiary of performance improvements, the B Series introduction applies to the entire line of APx audio analyzers, with all systems incorporating a re-designed embedded processor module that enables playback of longer arbitrary waveforms and improved download speeds. B Series APx analyzers require APx500 audio measurement software version 5.0 (or later) but are compatible with APx project files created from version 4.6 (or earlier) software. See separate announcement for APx Software Version 5.0.

With the introduction of the B Series APx audio analyzers, two previous generations of Audio Precision analyzers — the Legacy APx Series and the 2700 Series analyzers — are now in “Limited Supply” and, as Audio Precision confirmed, the B Series announcement served also as the formal end-of-life announcement for both instrument families. Orders for Legacy APx analyzers are still accepted until June 2019. Orders for 2700 Series analyzers are accepted until December 2019. 

Anyway, pricing for B Series APx audio analyzers is the same as their Legacy APx counterparts. This includes the B Series APx555 with its enhanced analog generator (EAG). The EAG factory upgrade for Legacy APx555 analyzers retails for US$6,000 and includes version 5.0 software for upgrades ordered by June 28, 2019. The ADC Test Mode option is listed at US$3,000.
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