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Ford Truck Club Forum > GARAGE TALK > Garage Talk: Shop Class 101



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Old November 27th, 2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Here Are Some Basic Audio Terms - Defined

Basic audio terms defined:

What is Phase?

Phase is defined as a fraction of a complete cycle, and is usually expressed in degrees. Sound travels in waves, and waves are divided into degrees. The total number of degrees in a wave is 360 (just like in a circle). When you talk about the phase of a wave, you often refer to the number of degrees a wave has already fluctuated. This is important in sound, since many things can go wrong with phase and make a speaker system sound bad.
The most common thing that goes wrong, is that some doofus hooks up one or more speakers out of phase. Most commonly, a subwoofer is hooked up backwards compared to its mate. Then, it is 180 degrees out of phase. The result is that the one woofer is moving out, while the other is going in, and you get piss poor bass performance. Phase can also affect performance between subs, mids, and highs.


What does RMS mean?

RMS means Root Mean Square. RMS is basically a way to calculate the actual power of an AC wave. Since a wave goes from peak to peak, it's apparent power is often more than the actual power of the entire signal.


What is oversampling?

Oversampling is a way to remove digital noise from the signal of a digital media player. Typically, there is a slight distortion introduced because of the way a digital player (CD, DAT, or MD player) decodes the information. Oversampling does not actually take this distortion out, but it makes it inaudible to humans (your dog will probably bitch about it though!).


What is "Transfer Function"?

Transfer Function, simply put, is the difference between a sound or signal before it enters a system, and while it is in that system. Most often, when we talk about a cars transfer function, we talk about how the car itself affects sound. Some cars, like hatchbacks, tend to amplify bass, making them sound boomy, while other cars sound great. Transfer function most often has to do with the size and shape of the cabin. A hatchback is shaped like a horn, and tends to bring out bass, while a convertible has almost infinite volume (since it is not contained), so bass is often harder to reproduce. Transfer function can also describe what a signal processor or amplifier does to a signal in terms of adding distortion.


What is "Dispersion"?

Dispersion, quite simply, is the way a speaker sounds when it's not pointed at you. When you are off axis, meaning, you are not directly in front of a speaker, it often will sound different. A speaker with good dispersion will sound pretty much the same even if it's pointing slightly away from you, while a speaker with poor dispersion will change drastically when directed away from you.


How do you measure your amps output wattage?

For a pretty close guestimate, it can be as simple as hooking your voltmeter in parallel with your speaker leads while the amp is playing. Set your meter to AC Volts. If you have a meter which can measure RMS, then select that option. Take whatever reading you got, and using Ohm's Law, you can calculate the wattage. The formula is "power equals voltage squared, then divided by resistance (P=E^2/R). The resistance you will use is the resistance of your speaker. While this will get you in the neighborhood, there are many factors which affect the amplifiers output power, and much more equipment is needed to accurately test for this.

TeamRocs
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Old November 28th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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good info! thanks for posting

Matt

2007 F-150 FX4



I say try, if you never try you can never succeed.





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