In 1984, four former Tektronix engineers formed Audio Precision with the intent of becoming “the quality leader in the audio test equipment market.” Armed with decades of experience in designing audio test gear, the group set out to accomplish that task. A year later, the company unveiled its System One, which was three to 10 times faster than other systems on the market, while setting new performance standards with residual distortion and noise specs that could handle the CD players and 16-bit digital products that had just come to market.
One of the first PC-based instruments, System One combined dedicated hardware with software that simplified the creation of automated test procedures, which was ideal in manufacturing environments where non-technical users often run quality control tests. Within a few years, the System One was accepted as the standard in consumer and pro audio, but the company continued to refine the product with software updates and new hardware platforms that added DSP (FFT analysis, waveform displays, etc.), digital domain testing and full 192kHz measurements. In 20 years, more than 10,000 Audio Precision systems have been sold and thousands of the original System Ones remain in operation worldwide.