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glossary of speaker terms


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Old 10-14-2008, 01:42 AM   #1
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1-W SPL :The reference sensitivity of a driver with a 1 watt signal and measured at 1 meter as a sound pressure level (dBSPL).
2.8-V SPL: The reference sensitivity of a driver with a 2.83 volt signal and measured at 1 meter as a sound pressure level (dBSPL).
AC :Alternating current. Audio signals are AC signals.
audible :Able to be heard. A sound that cannot be heard is inaudible. What makes a sound audible? Answer: 1) The frequency of the sound waves are within the range of human hearing. 2) The sound waves have sufficient amplitude (loudness) to be heard. 3) The sound waves are not “masked” by a louder sound or noise.

Av :The cross-section area of the inside of a vent.
BL :The motor strength of a driver.
Cms :The mechanical compliance of a driver’s suspension.
DC: direct current. DC flows in a steady direction. The direction depends on the polarity of the energy source. A battery produces a DC signal.
DCR :The DC resistance of an electric device such as an inductor.
DF :The system damping factor. This can be the system damping factor in the case of a single-tuned bandpass box or the damping factor of an amplifier output.

Dia :The diaphragm or piston diameter of a driver or passive radiator.
diffraction :The bending of sound waves as they pass near an edge or corner of a solid object.
distortion :When a signal flowing through a circuit is compared at two different points, any change except for magnitude is distortion.
Dv :The inside diameter of a vent.
E-M :The electro-mechanical speaker parameters.
EBP :The efficiency bandwidth product (Fs/Qes). Note: When Qes is unknown it is sometimes estimated as Fs/Qts.

ESR :The equivalent series resistance of an electric device such as an inductor.
F3 :The half-power (–3 dB) frequency of a system. F3 is sometimes referred to as the “corner” or “cutoff” frequency.

Fb :The system resonant frequency of a box system. It is also called the “tuning frequency” of a box with a vent.
Fc :The resonant frequency of a closed box system.
Fill :The acoustic absorption or damping added inside a box to suppress unwanted resonances (and sometimes to increase the apparent volume of the box).
frequency :The number of sound waves per second. It is expressed in hertz (Hz).
Fs :The free-air resonant frequency of a driver or passive radiator.
g (gamma) :The ratio of heat at constant pressure to that at constant temperature for the air inside a box. It characterizes the change in the “springiness” of the air inside the box after acoustic absorption or “fill” is added inside.

Hv :The inside height of a square or rectangular vent.
impedance Any opposition to the flow of electricity. This opposition is from all sources, both resistive and reactive.
isobaric :Constant pressure. A “compound” pair of drivers are mounted on either end of a small, sealed isobaric chamber. The pressure in the chamber is kept constant because both drivers are fed the same signal and their diaphragms move in the same direction.
Le :The inductance that a driver “appears” to have because of the inductive reactance of its voice coil.

Lv :The length or depth of a vent (including, if present, the flared ends).

max flat: (maximally flat) An amplitude response curve with the least possible ripple in the passband.
midrange :A driver designed to produce frequencies in the middle of the audible spectrum (500 to 4000 Hz).

Mms :The mechanical mass of a driver diaphragm assembly including the air load.
h0: (eta zero) The reference efficiency of a driver with a half-space acoustical load.

octave :One octave is a two-to-one change in frequency. For example, 100 to 200 Hz is one octave and 5000 to 10000 Hz is also one octave.
on-axis :When a speaker or driver is pointing directly at something it is “on-axis” to it. Most speaker measurements are made on-axis.
overhung :An overhung voice coil is taller than the height of the magnet gap.
parallel :Components that are connected side-by-side are wired in parallel.

passband :The operating frequency band of a driver. The passband is usually defined by F3.
Pe :The maximum electrical power that a driver can handle before it is damaged, usually when the voice coil burns. Also called the “thermal power limit”.
phase shift :When a signal flowing through a circuit is compared at two different points, any delay in the signal can be observed as a phase shift. It is expressed as an angle of rotation.
piston band : The frequency band where a driver maintains a constant load versus frequency.

polarity :A driver is said to be “in” polarity when its diaphragm moves outward in response to a positive signal. It is said to be inverted or “out” of polarity when its diaphragm moves inward in response to a positive signal.
push-pull :When two drivers are mounted in opposite directions and wired with opposite polarity with respect to each other, they are said to be in a “push-pull” configuration. This is because when the cone of one driver moves away from its magnet, the other driver’s cone moves toward its magnet. This results in a reduction in even-order distortion because many suspension nonlinearities are cancelled.

Q :The resonance magnification of a system.
Q't: (Q prime T) The total Q of a driver’s suspension with the load of the rear chamber in a single-tuned bandpass box.
Qa :The Q of a box resulting from all absorption losses. Absorption losses usually result from the addition of an acoustical absorber or “fill” to the box interior.
Qec :The Q of a driver at Fc considering only its electrical (non-mechanical) resistance.
Qes :The Q of a driver at Fs considering only its electrical (non-mechanical) resistance.

QL :The Q of a box resulting from all leakage losses. Sources of leakage loss include box wall vibration, poor box construction, poor driver gasket seal, a porous driver dust cap and a “lossy” driver surround.
QLv :The Q of a vent resulting from all of its losses. One source of vent loss is the viscosity friction of air moving through the vent.
Qmc :The Q of a driver or passive radiator at Fc considering only its mechanical (non-electrical) resistance.
Qms :The Q of a driver or passive radiator at Fs considering only its mechanical (non-electrical) resistance.

Qtc :The total Q of a driver at Fc considering both electrical and mechanical resistance.
Qts :The total Q of a driver at Fs considering both electrical and mechanical resistance.
Re :The DC resistance of a driver’s voice coil.
reactance :An opposition to the flow of electricity because of capacitive and inductive characteristics. Purely resistive characteristics are not included in reactance.
resistance :An opposition to the flow of electricity without capacitive and inductive characteristics.

resonance :The frequency of peak response of a device that results from the balance of its capacitive and inductive characteristics.
Rms :The mechanical resistance of a driver or passive radiator suspension losses.
RMS :The root mean square level. For example, voltage is often measured as an RMS voltage because this is the “effective” or “steady-state” level that determines how much work or heat can be produced. It is calculated from a peak level by dividing the peak level by the square root of 2.

Sd :The diaphragm or piston area of a driver or passive radiator.
series Components that are connected end-to-end are wired in series.
SPL :The sound pressure level.
stopband :The area outside of the operating frequency band (passband) of a driver.
subsonic :Sound waves with such a low frequency that they cannot be heard and are therefore beyond the range of human hearing.
subwoofer :A driver designed to produce ultra-low frequencies (below 100 Hz).
supertweeter :A driver designed to produce ultra-high frequencies (above 5000 Hz).

T-S :The Thiele-Small driver or passive radiator parameters, named after A.N. Thiele and R.H. Small who popularized the “lumped sum” method of enclosure analysis used by many in the audio industry. Many of their key papers are included in the Audio Engineering Society Loudspeaker Anthologies.
tweeter :A driver designed to produce high frequencies (2000 to 20000 Hz).
ultrasonic :Sound waves with such a high frequency that they cannot be heard and are therefore beyond the range of human hearing.

underhung :An underhung voice coil is shorter than the height of the magnet gap.
Vas:The volume of air having the same compliance or “springiness” as the suspension of a driver or passive radiator.
Vb :The net internal volume of a box.
Vd :The diaphragm or piston displacement volume of a driver or passive radiator. For a driver, this is usually the volume displaced at Xmax. For a passive radiator, this is the volume displaced at Xmech.
woofer A driver designed to produce low frequencies (20 to 2000 Hz).

Wv :The inside width of a square or rectangular vent.
Xmax :The maximum linear excursion of the driver or passive radiator. It is should be measured in one direction from the resting position of the voice coil.
Xmech :The maximum mechanical excursion of the driver or passive radiator. With some drivers, Xmech is reached when the driver’s diaphragm has moved as far as the suspension will allow. In other drivers, Xmech is reached when the voice coil former hits the back plate of the magnet structure. Xmech should be measured in one direction from the resting position of the voice coil.

Z :The nominal electromagnetic impedance of a driver.



note: if you have any additions or corrections,please pm me so i can update this list.




Last edited by paint toad; 10-14-2008 at 01:51 AM..
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