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Choosing between entry-level 12-bit DSOs

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awakephd:
**** Even as a newbie to this forum, I understand that this is a question which can generate religious fervor and inflammatory rhetoric. I would really, really like to avoid that, and just get some straightforward input. Note that I did not say "objective" or "unbiased," because I assume each person will have some bias towards one or another, but if the input could be focused on features and tradeoffs rather than ad hominem attacks on the character of those who dare to differ, that would be most helpful. ****

On to the question: I am planning to buy my first DSO in the next couple of months, either to supplement or replace my beloved but massive Tektronix 465M. I have been reading extensively (here in the eevblog forum and elsewhere) and watching YouTube videos, seeking to gain a good understanding of the options. For the very modest budget and modest needs that I have, it seems clear that either Rigol or Siglent are the brands to consider. My sense is that a year ago, the choice between the brands was partly driven by price, with the Rigol 1054 slightly less capable than, but also cheaper than, the Siglent 1104. My sense from six months ago is that the then-new Rigol DHO804 was the unit to beat. Today, however, we have competing 804's (Rigol DHO804 and Siglent SDS804) that appear to be appear to be priced identically at $USD 439.

This is where I am thus far in my research, reflecting the fact that the Rigol 804 has been out longer than the Siglent 804:

Rigol DHO804: compact size, possible use on battery, extremely hackable, easily available (e.g., via Amazon); unclear to me how many bugs remain in the firmware or how serious / limiting they are; noisy fan.

Siglent SDS804: brand seems to be slightly more highly regarded, higher sampling rate; not yet as easily available; unclear to me how it compares feature-to-feature with the Rigol; unclear how readily hackable it is; some bugs reported, but again unclear how serious / limiting they are.

What I really could use would be an extended side-by-side comparison of the two, ideally as a YouTube video, ideally with the reviewer offering transparency concerning any bias. I've been searching, but so far I haven't found such a thing.

I am guessing that the definitive answer is always, "it depends on what you need to do." Since I have never used a DSO before, I honestly don't know what I may find useful down the road, but at this stage, I am looking for the basic DSO capabilities to capture and view waveforms in detail. I don't know that I will ever need to use an FFT - maybe? - and I don't even know what a Bode plot is, so pretty sure I won't need that any time soon.

So ... hoping not to open yet another flame war ... can anyone offer some point-by-point comparison or point me to a review? Or does anyone know if such a review is due to arrive "any day now"?

2N3055:

--- Quote from: awakephd on March 31, 2024, 02:09:38 pm ---**** Even as a newbie to this forum, I understand that this is a question which can generate religious fervor and inflammatory rhetoric. I would really, really like to avoid that, and just get some straightforward input. Note that I did not say "objective" or "unbiased," because I assume each person will have some bias towards one or another, but if the input could be focused on features and tradeoffs rather than ad hominem attacks on the character of those who dare to differ, that would be most helpful. ****

On to the question: I am planning to buy my first DSO in the next couple of months, either to supplement or replace my beloved but massive Tektronix 465M. I have been reading extensively (here in the eevblog forum and elsewhere) and watching YouTube videos, seeking to gain a good understanding of the options. For the very modest budget and modest needs that I have, it seems clear that either Rigol or Siglent are the brands to consider. My sense is that a year ago, the choice between the brands was partly driven by price, with the Rigol 1054 slightly less capable than, but also cheaper than, the Siglent 1104. My sense from six months ago is that the then-new Rigol DHO804 was the unit to beat. Today, however, we have competing 804's (Rigol DHO804 and Siglent SDS804) that appear to be appear to be priced identically at $USD 439.

This is where I am thus far in my research, reflecting the fact that the Rigol 804 has been out longer than the Siglent 804:

Rigol DHO804: compact size, possible use on battery, extremely hackable, easily available (e.g., via Amazon); unclear to me how many bugs remain in the firmware or how serious / limiting they are; noisy fan.

Siglent SDS804: brand seems to be slightly more highly regarded, higher sampling rate; not yet as easily available; unclear to me how it compares feature-to-feature with the Rigol; unclear how readily hackable it is; some bugs reported, but again unclear how serious / limiting they are.

What I really could use would be an extended side-by-side comparison of the two, ideally as a YouTube video, ideally with the reviewer offering transparency concerning any bias. I've been searching, but so far I haven't found such a thing.

I am guessing that the definitive answer is always, "it depends on what you need to do." Since I have never used a DSO before, I honestly don't know what I may find useful down the road, but at this stage, I am looking for the basic DSO capabilities to capture and view waveforms in detail. I don't know that I will ever need to use an FFT - maybe? - and I don't even know what a Bode plot is, so pretty sure I won't need that any time soon.

So ... hoping not to open yet another flame war ... can anyone offer some point-by-point comparison or point me to a review? Or does anyone know if such a review is due to arrive "any day now"?

--- End quote ---

There was an attempt to make such comparison. It has quickly devolved to something stupid.
Because if you start really showing that one device has some real benefits, fanboys of competition come in hordes and start with personal attacks.
Also such "comparisons" are not really possible in a way.
Just comparing on "number of features" is nonsense because it doesn't take into account if "feature" is really useful and how well it is implemented.
Also, as you astutely point out, not every user needs same capabilities.
Some need only simple device, some want (and know how to use) advanced analytic functions...

So, my advice to you is that, sadly, you will need to do footwork yourself.

Few pointers to help you with process:
- decide what you need.
- if you are such a beginner you don't really know what you need, start small.
- decide how much money you are prepared to give.
- based on needs and budget create small list of possible candidates.
- from list of candidates, decide on device that has local support in your country, and has minimum bugs. That is important because you want device to actually work as expected.
- all the fuss about hackability is mostly irrelevant if you don't need all the features. See the "how much features I need" point. Hackability means nothing if it unlocks features you don't need. And most of the "usual suspects" are hackable anyways.

Good luck.


Electro Fan:
Welcome to the forum - nice first post.  Your intro and your observations of the landscape were all very good and well said. 

The short answer is that you can’t go wrong with Siglent or Rigol but Siglent has gained very substantial momentum. 

In the end it will come down to the criteria that are most important to you, and the Q&A in this thread will help you surface and learn/develop your criteria - so enjoy the Q&A and all your research - it might be almost as much fun as eventually owning the new scope. 

Back to the Siglent momentum, while either a Rigol or Siglent scope will open new learning and doing opportunities for you beyond the no doubt excellent experience you have gained from the Tektronix 465M, what I think might tip the scale toward Siglent is the phenomenal user community here.  The Rigol users here are also many and outstanding, no doubt.  And there are some users who have experience with both - but as you have diagnosed, recent adoption has gone pretty substantially with Siglent.

Net, net:  a big part of what makes both Rigol and Siglent scopes excellent is the user community.  When you factor in Siglent’s product dev momentum plus the user response around here I think you are likely headed for a Siglent.  (fwiw, I have 4 oscilloscopes: 3 analog Tektronix and 1 Rigol - YMMV).  Enjoy the journey.

csuhi17:
If you want to choose between these two,
  then, looking at the price/value ratio, I think Siglent is better worth it.
It offers more for less and has some good mini features.
Many useful things are described in the Manuals.

Grandchuck:
Performa01 has made a significant contribution to the Siglent community which is worth your taking a look at:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/sds800x-hd-review-demonstration-thread/msg5422823/#msg5422823

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