Fluorescence detection is classically achieved with a solid state detector (SSD) on x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) beamlines. This kind of detection however presents some limitations related to the limited energy resolution and saturation. Crystal analyzer spectrometers (CAS) based on a Johann-type geometry have been developed to overcome these limitations. We have tested and installed such a system on the BM30B/CRG-FAME XAS beamline at the ESRF dedicated to the structural investigation of very dilute systems in environmental, material and biological sciences. The spectrometer has been designed to be a mobile device for easy integration in multi-purpose hard x-ray synchrotron beamlines or even with a laboratory x-ray source. The CAS allows to collect x-ray photons from a large solid angle with five spherically bent crystals. It will cover a large energy range allowing to probe fluorescence lines characteristic of all the elements from Ca (Z = 20) to U (Z = 92). It provides an energy resolution of 1–2 eV. XAS spectroscopy is the main application of this device even if other spectroscopic techniques (RIXS, XES, XRS, etc.) can be also achieved with it. The performances of the CAS are illustrated by two experiments that are difficult or impossible to perform with SSD and the complementarity of the CAS vs SSD detectors is discussed.

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