We present an experimental study of the time scales for various quasiparticle processes in a superconducting single photon spectrometer. Processes studied include quasiparticle recombination, diffusion, trapping, tunneling, and energy redistribution. Experiments were performed with a double junction, imaging x-ray detector whose charge output provides a measure of the photon energy. Time scales are extracted with a simple model and the values of several parameters, including the diffusion constant and recombination time, are found to differ from theoretical predictions. These results provide guidelines for performance analysis, device scaling, and future designs. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.