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Electronic Test Equipment


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i have been building and repairing guitars for several years now and am pretty handy inside a control cavity. but i've managed with just a good soldering iron and an inexpensive multi-meter like you'd buy in any hardware store.

lately i've had a lot of requests for amp repairs which i don't do. so i've ordered some books on basic amplifier troubleshooting and repair and might look into a class on basic electronics if needed but right now i need advice on the test equipment that i'm going to need.

i did a search here and came up empty. so what would you guys recommend for a basic set up for someone just getting into amp repair?



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keith, thanks and a word or warning. i took your advice and googled signal generator and the very first page i opened up had devices from $6000 to $30,000. thought i was gonna choke. grabbed my heart and did the "this is the big one elizabeth" deal. :D

the next few sites were more in my range so i was fine after i breathed in the brown paper bag for a little while.

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Yes the electronic test equipment can be pretty pricey. Just remember you only need to worry about audio frequencies ie those under 20kHz. The software versions working on your PC's sound card are perfectly adequate and cheap some even free.

The hardware versions for audio are more expensive but not as much as the high frequency stuff. I have worked with Hewlett-Packard Spectrum Analysers that have cost as much as my house, but those are for use in the Giga Hertz range.

Good Luck


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You can get a decent new scope for around $500-1000. There's lot of them for sale on ebay (usually used). I also got a signal generator capable of producing sine, square and triangle waves from 1hZ to 1mHz for about $50. You can even make your own audio oscillator for probably $20. You can get tube testers, too.

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i've been watching some stuff on e-bay including a couple of tube testers. one of guitar instructors that works at my shop has "an attic full of test gear" that he's going to bring me after he goes home for thanksgiving so i think i'll hold off til then. how cool would it be if some of it was actually what i needed...and free?

keith, thanks for the clarification on the frequency range. probably kept me from over buying.

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