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Best multimeter recommendation ...and I mean THE best.

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by The Guy, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. The Guy

    The Guy Tele-Holic

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    So, i've been trying to find a thread about the best multimeters for making amps, but they are all about the cheapest multimeter, best bang for the buck, under $100, etc... Bummer.

    I want to know what are THE best. Period. I don't care about the money. I want reliability, accuracy, easy of use and most importantly QUALITY. I want to buy me one and never have to shop for a multimeter again ;)

    Thanks for your advice.

    The guy.

    P.d: i know the standard is Fluke, but what's THE best fluke ever made anyway?
     
  2. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The best Fluke (or any other multimeter) is the one that measures what you need to measure. As a starting point for tube amp repair, you need a meter that will measure up to 600 volts d.c. or so, 600 volts a.c or so, resistance up to 2 Megs, current to 100ma. Capacitance is handy, but for serious capacitor testing you need another type of meter. Take a look at the Fluke 177, it's versatile meter that will do anything you need a meter to do inside an amp.

    Is it THE best? No, that's like asking what's the best ice cream.

    More important than a double gee whiz meter, though, are small details like the ability to work safely, to use the meter as it's designed to be used, knowing what to measure and why, and some idea how to interpret what the meter is telling you.
     
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  3. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just completely smoked a 600 volt fluke testing B+ on a 6550 equipped Sound City with the standby off. Whoops!!!!

    Get 1kv rating. A good probe assortment is as important as any good multimeter.

    A rack mounted Vtvm or any old high voltage probe on an Oscilloscope is the best voltmeter.
     
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  4. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Fluke
     
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  5. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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    A few "must have" options you want in a DVM are as already mentioned a 1KV CAT III rating, auto ranging, microamp measurement and a back lit display. Flukes are the Cadillacs of meters, but overkill pricewise unless you are in an industrial setting. Look up the Extech line of meters. We use these for our techs and they are priced with very good features. Most will have a capacitance measurement which is nice to check an unknown cap. Some have temperature and transistor measurements.

    The dude in the following video is a little annoying, but he explains why cheap meters are not worth it.

     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  6. Sandhill69

    Sandhill69 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Amp building is a pretty low bar in terms of demands on the meter. Any of the decent meters will give you more "reliability, accuracy, easy of use and most importantly QUALITY" than you'll need building amps. My Fluke 77, by the way, failed utterly, complete failure of the rotary switch, the tech at their repair center told me that it was not worth repairing, so I left it with them for parts. Buying a meter that costs several times what a perfectly adequate one costs does not seem like such a good plan to me...
     
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  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What is the best Ford?
     
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  8. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Fluke 177. Great meter for accuracy. Does a whole lot of things, I have to refer to the manual often times
     
  9. TmyBmore

    TmyBmore Tele-Meister

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    Fluke makes the best.
     
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  10. The Guy

    The Guy Tele-Holic

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    Hmm... For reliability and quality probably it's the T ;) ...some of them are still running today.
     
  11. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    A Fluke 77 is a great meter, I've had several that i use in my day job but they don't measure capacitance, which is handy
    I'm sure there are lots of Fluke models that do everything but they'd probably be over your allotment.
    I currently have a $45 Klien that does everything I need it to do.
    When it craps out I'll get another.
     
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  12. The Guy

    The Guy Tele-Holic

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    Thanks everyone!

    I'm seriously thinking about getting a fluke 187, I found one almost new for 140 bucks. But it is a discontinued model that was replaced by the 287

    The other models I'm also considering are the 87v and the 287.

    What do you think?

    Also what are the Flukes still being made in the USA if there is any, and/or which were the last models made in USA?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  13. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    just make sure its directional
     
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  14. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Some of us old guys still swear by the Simpson 260.

    0246077-24.jpg
     
  15. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I love my Fluke 87 V.
     
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  16. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Out of the two you listed, the 87v meets all the tic marks. 1kv rating, resistance, capacitance, diode checking, low range current. I went with its little brother the 117 since I rarely, if ever, need to measure over 600V. HT secondaries over 600V total can just as easily be measured as each half to center. Browse used and refurbished, and you can save a lot.
     
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  17. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    ... another happy Fluke 177 owner/operator here!
    You pay for what get, and I don't want to cheap out when playing around with 500+ volts!
     
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  18. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

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    The Fluke 187 is a good one... Even does true RMS up to 10kHz
     
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  19. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I remember the 260 well, what a great meter. It also brings up a good point that some measurements are more easily made with an analog meter. And it's sometimes very useful to use two meters at once.
    I agree with the OP about getting quality equipment. It isn't always a "win" to go for that bargain.
    Also, in addition to knowing the voltage limits, you also need to be mindful of what your input impedences are in the various settings, to know what effect the meter is going to have on the circuits you attach it to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  20. elpico

    elpico Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't throw crazy money at a meter, it's not your most useful tool. Get one that meets your basic needs and refocus your "I don't care about the cost" spending goals on a good scope.
     
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