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1 kHz Oscillators
great test equipment, and great first kits

Two versions to choose from

The first version of the oscillator has 0.005% distortion. The later, improved version, costs a little more, but has 0.0002% distortion. That's better than pretty much anything out there. It costs a little more, but you'd have to pay thousands of dollars to get lower distortion.

Original Oscillator (1KHZCLOTHED, $61 in kit form)

1 kHz oscillator kit with enclosure

This kit generates a low distortion 1 kHz sine wave that's handy for signal tracing and distortion testing. You hook it up to the equipment under test and get a sound that's easy to hear on speakers and easy to recognize on an oscilloscope. The sine wave's very pure sound makes it easy to recognize distortion even without instruments.

It has stereo RCA outputs and a level control. It runs from a pair of 9V batteries (not supplied), and has an LED power light. The specs:

It's also a simple to build kit, so it's a great introduction to kit building. It has just one circuit board, a dual op-amp, and a small pile of precision passive parts.

Batteries not included (requires 2 9V batteries).

The Assembly Manual for the original oscillator tells you all you need to know to build the kit. It also has a theory of operation section for those who want to dig deeper.

Improved Oscillator with less than 2 PPM of distortion (1KHZ2PPM, $79 in kit form)

1 kHz 2 PPM oscillator with enclosure 1 kHz 2 PPM oscillator PCB and components

This oscillator has state of the art distortion performance, about 30 times lower than the less expensive 1 kHz oscillator shown above. This distortion is better than the best A2D's, D2A's, and sound cards. Typically, getting distortion this low would could at least $1000.

How do we do it? Well, start with a really careful layout. Make sure you groom where all the nonlinear currents go. Bypass the power supplies well. Use only the highest performing op-amps. Use a high selectivity topology with low distortion. Top it off with the oldest trick in the book...an incandescent lamp used to provide the perfect balance of positive and negative feedback and LOW distortion! The only way you can get lower distortion is with an Audio Precision oscillator. The only way to measure the distortion is on an Audio Precision Distortion Analyzer in FFT Residual mode.

Like the 1KHZCLOTHED oscillator, it has stereo RCA outputs and a level control. It also runs from a pair of 9V batteries (not supplied), and has an LED power light. The specs:

Download the assembly manual for the 2 PPM oscillator.

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