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Summary form only given. X-ray spectroscopy is a key diagnostic for characterizing plasma radiation Sources. A wide range of spectroscopic techniques is used on the Sphinx machine to study the spectral emission from aluminum and argon z-pinch loads. Depending on the desired time or spectral resolution, either dispersive crystal-based, time-integrated and time-resolved methods or non-dispersive techniques, using a combination of relevant x-ray detectors and filters, were developed. In particular, a defocusing crystal-based spectrometer which is time-integrated, but spatially-resolved, is utilized to capture the X emission either on films, or on image plates, at 1.7 keV or 3.1 keV. As an upgrade of this configuration, pin diodes were added to provide continuous time resolution on the main K-lines or K continuum. The output of this technique is cross-compared to the results obtained using a set of detectors/filters of different thicknesses and absorption K-edges.Thermodynamic plasma parameters inferred from time integrated data are presented. The electronic temperature profile and the He/H-like K-shell emission temporal evolutions are determined. The results strongly suggest a wavelength-dependent dynamics for the K-shell radiation. Ongoing spectroscopic measurements with higher time resolution are expected to unveil more detailed temporal features on the continuum and K-lines.