The Audio-Visual Working Group within the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) has approved and published the "Audio Analog-to-Digital Converter Performance Specification and Test Method: Guideline (High Level Performance), Version 1.0."  The guideline and an accompanying introduction are available from the "audio device performance" Web page:

Here are direct links to the PDF files:   

As you will read in the introduction, the guideline owes a particular debt to prior work carried out by the Technical Committee of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), in their TC-04 publication.  The Working Group's principal investigator, Chris Lacinak of Audiovisual Preservation Solutions, also relied upon a pair of standards that provide a rich source of information on methods: AES17-1998 (r2009): AES standard method for digital audio engineering  Measurement of digital audio equipment (Revision of AES17-1991) from the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and IEC-61606-3 Audio and audiovisual equipment - Digital audio parts - Basic measurement methods of audio characteristics - Part 3: Professional use (2008) from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The Working Group has begun to discuss possible follow-on actions.  These include establishing one or two additional performance levels with relaxed specifications in order to provide guidance to those who feel that the high level performance guideline is not appropriate for their particular circumstance. The discussions also include exploration of how to overcome the challenges posed by the cost and complexity of traditional test and measurement systems.  Ultimately the Working Group is interested in finding relatively affordable ways to help archives large and small implement the guideline, to the degree possible using methods that can be carried out by persons with limited engineering backgrounds.

Chris Lacinak
AudioVisual Preservation Solutions
350 7th Ave., Suite 1605
New York, NY 10001
office: 917-475-9630
mobile: 917-548-8632