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An apparatus suitable for pressure-jump experiments with variable pressure amplitude and a fast response time to facilitate time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering at synchrotron facilities is described. The high pressure-jump apparatus is capable of performing bidirectional pressure jumps at a time resolution as high as 5 ms. The high pressure sample cell presented has flat diamond windows and is suited for pressures up to 0.7 GPa operating in the temperature range from -40 to 120 °C. The cell is designed for investigating biological and other soft condensed matter materials. Modifications on the window supports allow also simultaneous wide-angle x-ray scattering data to be taken. We have used the equipment to study the kinetics of protein folding reactions. The performance of the apparatus is demonstrated by presenting data on the pressure-induced un/refolding reaction of the water-soluble protein SNase WT. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.