Doubly curved crystal X-ray optics provide intense focused monochromatic beams from laboratory X-ray tube sources. These optics are employed in crystallography and X-ray fluorescence systems and may find application to imaging. It is increasingly important to understand how optic defects impact performance for these systems. A simulation model was developed to assess the effects of misalignment and optic defects on system parameters such as intensity, beam size and resolution. Simulation results were compared to optics measurements. Rapid reproducible measurements of optics quality are important both for performing systematic studies of optics defects and for assessing individual optics. A simple operator-independent alignment technique was developed that was also beneficial in ensuring optimal beam intensity in analysis systems. The measurements and simulations were in good agreement and provided insight into essential optics parameters. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.