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Dayton Audio Test System V2 (DATS) - Review


Dayton Audio Test System V2 (DATS) Review

With most DIY speaker projects come the need to be able to measure speakers parameters and make impedance sweeps quickly and accurately. The Dayton Audio Test System (DATS) seemed like it could satisfy this role. This Dayton Audio Test System V2 (DATS) is advertised as an all-inclusive USB hardware solution designed that can accurately measure the Thiele/Small (T/S) parameters of a speaker in just a few seconds.

The DATS measures loudspeaker parameters or R, L, and C values in just seconds and also includes the unique Rub and Buzz test. In addition to impedance testing and T/S measurements the DATS also includes a second test mode featuring a general purpose signal generator and oscilloscope working in tandem. The DATS features a number of improvements over the Dayton Woofer Tester 3 (WT3) which it has replaced.

  • New signal generator with selectable waveform, frequency, and amplitude
  • Sine, square, triangle, saw tooth, impulse, pink noise, and log sweeps
  • New oscilloscope with dual traces and adjustable time and amplitude scales
  • Oscilloscope and generator compatible with other audio interfaces
  • Improved audio device selection dialogue
  • Improved alligator clip leads provide a more consistent test lead impedance
  • New method for calculating Vas from specified Mmd
  • Faster hardware startup time (reduced from 90 seconds to 30 seconds)

Dayton Audio Test System (DATS)

Photograph 1: Dayton Audio Test System (DATS)

For speaker driver and loudspeaker system measurement, the DATS is clearly the leader when it comes to very simple to use. Once the supplied software is installed and the DATS connected to a USB port, you are good to go Be sure to set the windows volume controls as noted in the Quick Start Guide. If you see anomalies in the result such as strange dips, spikes or jagged plots in the results, check the settings. Also, the Quick Start Guide makes a point to wait at least 30 seconds in order to allow the DATS to stabilize.

You will want to calibrate the test leads and the DATS. Calibration of the leads is done by simply connecting the leads together and calibration of the unit is completed by using the supplied calibration resistor (1k-ohm, 1%). The test result seem to be very dependent of the calibration, so use a multi-meter to measure the calibration resistor and enter the value manually into the software. The manual indicates that completing calibration of both test leads and the DATS unit is essential in order to ensure accurate loudspeaker measurements. The video below provides detailed instructions on the setup the DATS with your computer and calibration.

The software is quite intuitive to use and has a number of features, including the ability to export the test results and multiple plot capabilities. The software includes extensive documentation to help you along should you get stuck.

Software - Dayton Audio Test System (DATS)

Figure 1: Software - Dayton Audio Test System (DATS)

Overall, the DATS is very accurate and a very simple to use computer tool for loudspeaker measurement. At only $99 (May 2014), the DATS can be fit into most DIY budgets and really is a must have tool for DIY loudspeaker projects. The DATS is available from Parts Express.