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The Audio Universe

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How Far should you Separate two Speakers to Get the Maximum Stereo Effect?

When installing loudspeakers, one of the most important criteria is sound quality. However, the sound quality depends on a variety of factors. Foremost, the speakers themselves will impact the quality to a great degree. After all, the speakers are the crucial link between the electric signal and the sound waves which can be perceived by humans. Sound is generated by a moving diaphragm which is being excited with an electric signal. The output of the speaker will depend on its construction as well as the quality of its components. Therefore, the sound quality as well as wattage are dependent on those parameters.

However, stereo separation is one criterion which is often overlooked. Most albums are recorded in two channel format. This means that you will need at least two speakers to reproduce such music. Obviously, you could also use a single speaker but the difference between using two speakers and a single speaker is quite significant. In particular, you will not be able to re-create the ambience of a life performance by using a single speaker. However, for casual …

An Explanation of the Term Linearity related to loudspeakers

Oftentimes you will find specifications of audio equipment that deal with distortion and linearity. However, the fact is that many people don’t really understand the meaning of this term. Linearity is often used for the wrong purpose. Let me shed some light on the definition of linearity and then explain how it affects audio equipment and also loudspeakers.

Many audio components process audio. An audio amplifier, for example, with take a fairly small input signal and amplified sufficiently in order to be able to drive a pair of loudspeakers. Therefore, the main purpose of the amplifier is to transfer the fairly large input impedance to a very low output impedance suitable for connecting to a low-impedance loudspeaker. The other function is to raise the magnitude of the signal.

In doing so, an amplifier will incorporate several electronic devices such as MOSFET transistors. These components are not ideal and will tend to degrade the signal to some extent. Therefore, the term distortion was invented. Distortion describes how much the output signal when divided by the amplification factor differs from the …

A Simple Introduction into Loudspeakers

If you are planning to purchase a pair of loudspeakers or if you are trying to build some, is often advantageous to have a basic working knowledge of the working principle of speakers. In the next few sections I will give you a simple introduction into how loudspeakers work. I hope that you will find this information useful.

Loudspeakers utilize audio transducers which are at the core of a loudspeaker. Transducers are elements which are designed to convert an electric voltage into sound waves. The way a transducer works is by using a diaphragm which a voice coil is attached. This voice coil is connected the speaker terminal. This voice coil further suspended in a magnetic field which is provided by a magnet that is part of the transducer.

When a voltage is applied to the voice coil, there will be a force which is moving the diaphragm. The movement of the diaphragm is pushing air molecules and thus creates a sound wave. The larger the voltage is applied to the cross the voice coil, the father the diaphragm …

An Explanation of Distortion of Loudspeakers

When you purchase audio components, you will probably have noticed that distortion specification which is published in most data sheets. Distortion can be caused by several factors and essentially describes how much the audio signal which passes through any specific component will be changed because of nonlinearities of components. The lower the distortion the best the audio signal will be changed.

Obviously, no audio component is ideal. Therefore, each audio block will have a certain amount of distortion. People usually look at distortion when purchasing audio amplifiers and source components. However, many people don’t realize that loudspeakers themselves also have fairly large distortion. In fact, distortion of loudspeakers usually is by orders of magnitude larger than distortion generated by other audio components.

Why do loudspeakers cause distortion? Let’s look at how loudspeakers work. Loudspeakers generate sound waves by spending a diaphragm in a magnetic field. This magnetic field is generated by a coil which is stimulated by a voltage. The voltage is being generated by an audio amplifier. The magnitude of the magnetic field is proportional to a large …

How to Get Better Sound Quality from Your Power Amplifier

Power amplifiers come in all shapes and sizes. You can purchase models for as little as $10 upwards to spending almost $10,000. However, as with most products, the quality of power amplifiers can vary. One common problem with audio amplifiers in particular amplifiers which employ tubes is audio distortion. Let me explain the term distortion. The main purpose of an amplifier is to take a low-level audio signal which is usually fed into the unit via an RCA connector and then raise the amplitude of the signal and in addition provide a low-impedance output that is able to drive speakers to sufficient volume.

However, since amplifiers use nonlinear components, the audio which is amplified is not exactly the input signal multiplied by the amplification but rather contains a small difference. This difference is measured in harmonic distortion. Simply put, harmonic distortion describes the amount of energy which the audio signal contains which is different from the ideal audio signal. This is usually given as a ratio.

In order to get the best sound quality from an amplifier, I never …