Acoustic suspension - a sealed or closed box speaker enclosure.

Alignment - a class of enclosure parameters that provides optimum performance
for a woofer with a given value of Q.
Alpha - in sealed enclosure designs, the ratio of Vas to Vb, where Vb is the volume
of the box you will build. See sealed enclosure.
Alternating Current (AC) - an electrical current that periodically changes in
magnitude and direction.
Ampere (A) - the unit of measurement for electrical current in coulombs per
second. There is one ampere in a circuit that has one ohm resistance when one volt
is applied to the circuit. See hms !aw.
Amplifer - an electrical circuit designed to increase the current, voltage, or power
of an applied signal.
Aperiodic Enclosure - an otherwise sealed enclosure design, but with a vent that
is stu"ed with damping material, which #attens out the impedance curve of the
design. The area of this resistive vent should be about $% s&. in. per cubic ft. of
enclosure volume. This design might take some experimentation with the vent
stu'ng, testing the impedance curve several times with di"erent amounts of
damping material until the #attest impedance curve is found. The aperiodic resistive
vent damps the driver in much the same way as fully stu'ng a sealed enclosure
with damping material ($%%) *ll+. ,n this way, an optimum design may be made up
to -%) (or more+ smaller due to the extra damping of the resistive vent. .nthusiasts
of this design often compare the performance with transmission line enclosures,
advocating that the design avoids the /ringing/ e"ects of ported enclosures while
alleviating the /pressure e"ect/ of the sealed box. 0ynaudio sells a 0,1 insertable
resistive vent called the Variovent.
Attenuation - the reduction, typically by some controlled amount, of an electrical
Audio frequency - the acoustic spectrum of human hearing, generally regarded to
be between -% 23 and -% k23.
Audio Noise - see 4oise.
Bafe - a board or other plane surface used to mount a loudspeaker.
Balanced Line: an audio line comprising three conductors5 two carrying signal and
a ground (shield+ wire, in which one of the signal wires carries the sound, while the
other carries an inverted copy. 6hen the signal reaches the destination, the
inverted copy is #ipped and added to the original. 7ny noise that has been induced
into the signal is also inverted. 6hen this is combined with the /un-inverted/ noise,
it cancels it out. Thus, balanced lines are less susceptible to hum and can carry
audio signals over longer distances. 8alanced audio lines typically use 9-pin :!; or
$<=-inch tip-ring-sleeve phone connectors.
Bandidth - the range of fre&uencies covered by a driver or a network (crossover+.
Band!pass Enclosure - see dual re#ex bandpass and single re#ex bandpass.
Band!pass flter - an electric circuit designed to pass only middle fre&uencies. See
also 2igh-pass and !ow-pass *lters.
Bas"et - the metal frame of a speaker.
#Bass Bloc"ers# - *rst order high pass crossovers (non-polari3ed capacitors+,
generally used on midbass or dash speakers to keep them from trying to reproduce
deep bass.
Bass (los) - The low end of the audio fre&uency spectrum, from approximately -%
23 up to =%% 23 or so.
Bass $e%e& - a ported enclosure.
Beaming - the tendency of a loudspeaker to concentrate the sound in a narrow
path instead of spreading it.
Boomy - the smearing of transients that makes bass reproduction sound muddled,
usually because of improperly designed sealed (to small+, ported (to small or tuned
improperly+, and bandpass enclosures, although the latter are sometimes designed
this way on purpose by car audio manufacturers or install shops to be loud.
Bridging - combining both left and right stereo channels on an automotive
ampli*er into one higher powered mono channel. 6hen an ampli*er is bridged, the
impedance that the ampli*er actually /sees/ is calculated based upon the output of
both stereo channels. 2ere is a simple formula to help de*ne this5
8ridged >ono ,mpedance ? (1 < :+<-
1 ? impedance of driver(s+ (both drivers should be identical+
: ? @ of drivers in circuit
So, hooking up one = ohm sub bridged mono would be e&ual to hooking up two -
ohm subs in stereo, one to each channel.
Ca'in gain - the low fre&uency boost normally obtained inside a vehicle interior
when subs are properly mounted.
Capacitor - a device made up of two metallic plates separated by a dielectric
(insulating material+. Ased to store electrical energy in the electrostatic *eld
between the plates. ,t produces an impedance to an ac current. ,n automotive
applications, special /Bower !ine Caps/ can be connected inline to the ampli*er to
aid the alternator in supplying current demands of amps. 4on-polari3ed capacitors
can be used as *rst order passive high pass crossovers, or as components in more
complex high pass, bandpass and lowpass crossovers. See power line caps.
Center Channel - in home theater, sound decoded from the stereo signal sent to a
speaker mounted in front of the listener, specially designed to enhance voices and
sound e"ects from a movie soundtrack. Ased in car audio to help o"set skewed
stereo imaging due to seating positions in the automotive environment.
Channel - the path an audio signal travels through a circuit during playback. 7t
least - channels are re&uired for stereo sound.
Circuit - a complete path that allows electrical current from one terminal of a
voltage source to the other terminal.
Clipping - a distortion caused by cutting o" the peaks of audio signals. Clipping
usually occurs in the ampli*er when itDs input signal is too high or when the volume
control is turned to high.
Cms - mechanical suspension compliance of a driver, consisting of the spider and
Coa&ial (ri)er - a speaker composed of two individual voice coils and conesE used
for reproduction of sounds in two segments of the sound spectrum. See also triaxial
Coulom' - F.-G ($%+H$I electrons per second.
Coloration - any change in the character of sound that reduces naturalness, such
as an overemphasis of certain tones.
Compliance - the relative sti"ness of a speaker suspension, speci*ed as Vas.
Cone - the cone-shaped diaphragm of a speaker attached to the voice coil which
produces pulsationDs of air that the ear detects as sound.
Crosso)er *requency - the fre&uency at which a driverDs response is down -9d8.
See ;oll-o".
Crosso)er Netor" (*ilter) - an electric circuit or network that splits the audio
fre&uencies into di"erent bands for application to individual speakers. See
.lectronic and Bassive Crossover.
Cross +al" - when a signal of one channel leaks into the other. usually occurs on
the op amp or via the op amp power supply.
Current (,) - the #ow of electrical charge measured in amperes.
(amping - the reduction of movement of a speaker cone, due either to the
electromechanical characteristics of the speaker driver and suspension, the e"ects
of frictional losses inside a speaker enclosure, and<or by electrical means.
(amping *actor - the measurement to derive the ability of the of the ampli*er to
control loudspeaker motion(0amping+, via load impedance divided by ampli*er
output impedance.
(amping -aterial - any material added to the interior of a speaker enclosure to
absorb sound and reduce out-of-phase re#ection to the driver diaphragm (cone+.
Asually acoustic *berglass, polyester batting, or Boly*ll is used in speaker
(eci'el (dB) - a logarithmic scale used to denote a change in the relative strength
of an electric signal or acoustic wave. ,t is a standard unit for expressing the ratio
between power and power level. 7n increase of J9 d8 is a doubling of electrical (or
signal+ powerE an increase of J$% d8 is a doubling of perceived loudness. The
decibel is not an absolute measurement, but indicates the relationship or ratio
between two signal levels.
(iaphragm - the part of a dynamic loudspeaker attached to the voice coil that
moves and produces the sound. ,t usually has the shape of a cone or dome.
(irect Current ((C) - current in only one direction.
(i.raction - a change in the direction of a wave front that is caused by the wave
moving past an obstacle.
(ispersion - the spreading of sound waves as it leaves a speaker.
(istortion - any undesirable change or error in the reproduction of sound that
alters the original signal.
(ome +eeter - a high fre&uency speaker with a dome-shaped diaphragm.
(ou'le ((ual) /oice Coil ((/C) - a voice coil with two windings, generally
subwoofers. .ach voice coil can be connected to a stereo channel, or both voice
coils can be wired in parallel or series to a single mono channel.
(ri)er - a loudspeaker unit, consisting of the electromagnetic components of a
speaker, typically a magnet and voice coil.
(ri)er 0arameters - the physical properties of a driver that determine itDs
electrical and acoustical behavior. The minimum parameters used in determining
speaker enclosures are Ks, Qts, and Vas. See Thiele<Small Barameters.
(ual $e%e& Bandpass Enclosure - sometimes called a Fth order bandpass. This
design was engineered and patented by 8oseLM with their original 7>-GLM Fth
rder 8andpass7coustimassLM sub<satellite system (home speakers+. ,n these
designs, Vr is ported as well as Vf, so that there are - resonant fre&uencies. Vf and
Vr are tuned about an octave apart, providing the driver with excellent damping at
resonance, even further reducing distortion. This design is even more e'cient than
a single re#ex bandpass, but with a compromise. The system has the same high
fre&uency roll-o" of -$- d8<octave, but low fre&uency cut-o" is at --= d8<octave
(Nust like a regular ported enclosure+. Bower handling is excellent within itDs
fre&uency bandwidth, but these designs are similar to ported in that they are
subNect to low fre&uency noise upsetting the driver(s+ below K9. Transient response
is also rather poor, but these enclosures can be made to play very loud. ne of the
most di'cult enclosures to build and tune.
(ynamic range - the range of sound intensity a system can reproduce without
compressing or distorting the signal.
EB0 - .'ciency 8andwidth Broduct. 7 rating that helps a builder determine whether
a driver is suitable for a sealed or ported enclosure. .8B of less than G% indicates
the driver should be used in a sealed, G% - O% indicates #exible design options, over
O% indicates best for a ported enclosure.
.8B ? Ks < Qes
E1ciency rating - the loudspeaker parameter that shows the level of sound output
when measured at a prescribed distance with a standard level of electrical energy
fed into the speaker. 4ote, however, that a driver with a high e'ciency rating needs
a larger box to play a lower fre&uency than a driver with a lower e'ciency rating.
This means that a low e'ciency driver in a small box will actually have higher sub
bass SB!Ds than a high e'ciency driver in a similar small boxP
Electronic Crosso)er - uses active circuitry to send signals to appropriate drivers.
>ore e'cient than passive crossovers.
Enclosure - the box that contains the driver(s+.
Equali2er - electronic device used to boost or attenuate certain fre&uencies.
Equal Loudness Cur)e - see Kletcher->unson and ;obinson and 0adson Curves
*3 - the roll-o" fre&uency at which the driverDs response is down -9d8 from the level
of itDs midband response, sometimes called the cuto" fre&uency.
*' - the tuned fre&uency of a ported box.
*c or *c' - the system resonance fre&uency of a driver in a sealed box.
*s - the fre&uency of resonance for a driver in free air.
*arad - the basic unit of capacitance. 7 capacitor has a value of one farad when it
can store one coulomb of charge with one volt across it.
*ilter - any electrical circuit or mechanical device that removes or attenuates
energy at certain fre&uencies. See Crossover 4etwork.
*lat $esponse - the faithful reproduction of an audio signalE speci*cally, the
variations in output level of less than $ d8 above or below a median level over the
audio spectrum.
*letcher -unson cur)e - one of many sets of e&ual-loudness contours for the
human ear
*ree Air $esonance - the natural resonant fre&uency of a driver when operating
outside an enclosure.
*requency - the number of waves (or cycles+ arriving at or passing a point in one
second, expressed in hert3 (23+.
*requency $esponse - the fre&uency range to which a system, or any part of it,
can respond. Anless a limit of variation in intensity is stated, this speci*cation is
meaningless. i.e., you see a subwoofer in a ported enclosure with a rated response
of 9G - 9%% 23. >eans nothing. ,t could very well be that it is 9G - 9%% 23 (--= d8+,
which means the low fre&uency roll-o" actually begins at around Q% 23. ,t needs to
read something like this5 9G - 9%% 23 (- 9 d8+, which gives 9G 23 as the actual roll o"
*undamental +one - the tone produced by the lowest fre&uency component of an
audio signal.
*ull!range - a speaker designed to reproduce all or most of the sound spectrum.
4olden $atio - the ratio of the depth, width, and height of a speaker enclosure,
based on the Rreek Rolden ;ectangle. Asually recommended for home speakers,
di'cult to use in car audio applications. The ;atio5 6 ? $.%, 0epth ? %.F$I6,
2eight ? $.F$I6.
4round - refers to a point of (usually+ 3ero voltage, and can pertain to a power
circuit or a signal circuit. ,n car audio, the single most important factor to avoid
unwanted noise is *nding and setting a good ground.
5armonic - the multiple fre&uencies of a given sound, created by the interaction of
signal waveforms.
5armonic (istortion - harmonics arti*cially added by an electrical circuit or
speaker, and are generally undesirable. ,t is expressed as a percentage of the
original signal. See T20.
5ead 6nit - the in dash control center of a car audio system, usually consisting of
an internal low powered amp, 7><K> receiver, and either a tape or C0 player (or
5ert2 (52) - a measurement of the fre&uency of sound vibration. ne hert3 is e&ual
to one cycle per second. The hert3 is named for 2.;. 2ert3, a Rerman physicist.
5igh!pass *ilter - an electric circuit that passes high fre&uencies but blocks low
ones. See 8and-pass and !ow-pass *lters.
5iss - audio noise that sounds like air escaping from a tire.
5ome +heater - an audio system designed to reproduce the theater sound
experience while viewing movies in the home. >inimally consisting of a 0olby Bro
!ogicLM surround sound receiver, left and right front speakers, a center channel
speaker, and at least ($+ surround sound speaker. These plus optional subwoofer(s+,
surround speaker(s+, and digital formats such as 0olby 0igitalLM can enhance the
viewing experience by drastically improving the sound &uality of movie
5um - audio noise that has a steady low fre&uency pitch.
,maging - see Soundstage.
,mpedance - the opposition of a circuit or speaker to ac currentE the combined
e"ect of a speakerDs resistance, inductance, and capacitance that opposes the
current fed to it. ,t is measured in ohms and varies with the fre&uency of the signal.
,nductance (L) - the capability of a coil to store energy in a magnetic *eld
surrounding it. ,t produces an impedance to an ac current. ,nductors are commonly
used in audio as low pass crossovers. See !e.
,nfnite Bafe - a #at surface that completely isolates the back wave of a driver
from the front without a standard enclosure.
,nfrasonic (7u'sonic) *ilter - a *lter designed to remove extremely low
fre&uency (-G23 or lower+ noise from the audio signal. Aseful for Borted box
,nput - the current fed into a loudspeaker.
,so'ari" Enclosure - enclosure where one woofer is buried in the enclosure and a
second is mounted up against the *rst and wired in reverse polarity ,sobarik
Con*guration(there are other variations for ,sobarik designs, but this one is the
best+. This allows the e"ective Vas of both drivers working in this push-pull
con*guration to be half that of a single identical driver mounted normally. Very
small enclosures may be constructed as a result, with increased power handling.
7ny variation of a normal enclosure can be made ,sobarik - so you could conceivably
have an ,sobarik dual re#ex bandpass, ect. (good luck tuning it, though+. !ess
e'cient than other designs, but the push pull con*guration greatly reduces second
order harmonic distortion. riginally, a variation of this design was patented by ,van
Tiefenbrun, who produces various audiophile components in Scotland under the
name of !inn Broducts. The name ,sobarik comes from a term that means /constant
pressure/. See push-pull.
8ilohert2 ("52) - one thousand hert3.
Le - the inductance of a driverDs voice coil, typically measured at $ k23 in
millihenries (m2+.
Lo!0ass *ilter - an electric circuit designed to pass only low fre&uencies. See
8and-pass and 2igh-pass *lters.
Lo'ing - the tendency of a speaker system that consists of more than one driver to
produce a lobed fre&uency response in space with in-phase reinforcement (lobes+
from the various drivers occurring at some elevations and out-of-phase opposition
(nulls+ at points between the lobes.
-a&imum poer rating - a value which means almost nothing, but is used
nonetheless by manufacturers to entice the unsuspecting into purchasing their
product based solely on the big number. Technically, it is the maximum wattage that
an audio component can deliver<handle as a brief burst during a musical peak. >ost
reputable manufacturers will provide both an ;>S and >ax power rating. Typically,
the given value for the maximum power rating is twice to three times that of ;>S.
7utomotive head units are a good example of this shady techni&ue, as all the ones ,
have ever seen use this rating for the built in ampli*er output. Ase ;>S for
determining real world e&uipment capabilities. See 6!S.
-icrofarads (m*) - a measurement of capacitance.
-id'ass - mid level bass, usually fre&uencies Nust above the sub-bass range, from
around $%% - =%% 23 or so.
-idrange (mids) - the fre&uency range above bass but below treble that carries
most of the identifying tones of music or speech. ,t is usually from 9%% - =%% 23 to
9k23 or so.
-illihenries (m5) - a measurement of inductance.
-ms - the moving mass of a driver assembly.
-ono - monophonic sound. 7 method for reproducing sound where the signals from
all directions or sources are blended into a single channel.
-97*E+ - >etal xide Semiconductor Kield ."ect Transistors. Ased in most
modern, &uality car audio ampli*ers in the power supply (and sometimes in the
output stage+. >SK.TDs run cooler than normal bipolar transistors, and have a
faster switching speed.
Noise - any undesirable sound reproduced in an audio system.
Noise *loor - ,n an electronic device, the sound level of undesired sounds
generated by the device itself. 2ow loud the background static generated by a
device is. (7ll audio gear produces some amount of noise due to the thermal
properties of components.+
9cta)e - a range of tones where the highest tone occurs at twice the fre&uency of
the lowest tone.
9hm - a unit of electrical resistance or impedance.
9hm:s La - a basic law of electric circuits. ,t states that the current S,T in amperes
in a circuit is e&ual to the voltage S.T in volts divided by the resistance S;T in ohmsE
thus, , ? .<;.
9ut of 0hase - 2aving waveforms that are of the same fre&uency but do not pass
through corresponding values at the same instant. < when your speakers are
mounted in reverse polarity, i.e., one speaker is wired J<J and -<- from the amp and
the other is wired J<- and -<J. 8ass response will be very thin due to cancellation.
9utput - the sound level produced by a loudspeaker.
0assi)e Crosso)er - uses inductors (coils+ and capacitors to direct proper
fre&uencies to appropriate drivers. These crossover systems can be simple (Kirst
rder ? $ component U -F d8<octave slope+ to complex (Kourth rder ? =
components U --= d8<octave slope+.
0assi)e $adiator - a device that looks Nust like an ordinary driver, except it has no
magnet or voice coil. 7 radiator is usually a highly compliant device, with a similar
cone material and surround found on regular active drivers. The radiator must
usually be at least as large (or larger+ than the driver it is aligned with. The passive
radiator is tuned to Kb and used in place of a port, providing bass reinforcement for
the driver in a similar fashion as any regular ported box. 7 clear advantage of the
radiator is the absence of port noise, and some audiophiles claim the radiator
provides a better sounding bass than a ported enclosure. 0isadvantages include
di'culty in tuning, and the extra re&uired baVe area for the radiator. >ost radiators
can be tuned with either weights or silicone, adding material in a balanced manner
until Kb is attained.
0e - 0riverDs rated ;>S power handling capability.
0ea" - the maximum amplitude of a voltage or current.
0ea" poer rating - see >aximum power rating.
0ea"!to!0ea" poer rating - a totally unreliable value of rating power ampli*ers,
often = times (or moreP+ the actual ;>S output. See 6!S.
0hase - a point in time (instant+ on a waveform cycle. 7 complete cycle is de*ned
as 9F% degrees of phase
0hase Coherence - the relationship and timing of sounds that come from di"erent
drivers (subs, mids, tweets+ mounted in di"erent locations in the vehicle.
0hase 7hift - The change in phase of a periodic signal with respect to a reference.
0hase (istortion - a type of audible distortion caused by time delay between
various parts of the signalE can be caused by e&uali3ers.
phon - unit of perceived loudness level !4 for pure tonesS$T. The purpose of the
phon scale is to compensate for the e"ect of fre&uency on the perceived loudness
of tonesS-T. 8y de*nition, $ phon is e&ual to $ d8SB! at a fre&uency of $ k23S9T. The
Kletcher->unson curves are a way of mapping the d8SB! of a pure tone to the
perceived loudness level in phons.
0olarity - the orientation of magnetic or electric *elds. The polarity of the incoming
audio signal determines the direction of movement of the speaker cone. >ust be
observed when wiring speakers, so that they are /in phase/. See ut of Bhase.
0orted Enclosure - a type of speaker enclosure that uses a duct or port to improve
e'ciency at low fre&uencies. .xcellent design for lower power systems, as the port
often adds up to J9 d8 to low fre&uency e'ciency. K9 can be set considerably lower
with proper design, although low fre&uency roll-o" is generally --= d8<octave. Rood
transient response with proper tuning, although the driver loses damping below the
tuning fre&uency. .xcellent power handling about Kb, but source material or
fre&uencies below Kb cause the driver to progressively Bortedperform as if it were
not enclosed at all. 0ue to this, ported enclosures without a low fre&uency *lter may
have lower power handling compared to other designs. >ore di'cult to properly
build and tune than a sealed enclosure, with several /optimum/ alignments
available depending upon the Qts of the driver. , highly recommend Vance
0ickasonDs /The !oudspeaker 0esign Cookbook,/ which goes into great detail
concerning the di"erent possible alignments of ported enclosures. The best way to
model these alignments is with a software program, where changes in tuning and
enclosure si3e can be immediately noted. Though it can be dated to the $O9%Ds, the
ported alignments were thoroughly researched and standardi3ed by 7.4. Thiele in
the F%Ds and ;. Small in the Q%Ds. This work was further expanded by 0.8. Weele and
0oer (0) - the time rate of doing work or the rate at which energy is used. ne
e&uation for Bower5
B ? VoltsH- < ,mpedance
0oer Line Capacitor - wired inline on the power lead with your car amp, this
device stores current for instant release when short bursts of energy are needed to
produce loud, deep bass notes. 8est to mount as close to amp as possible.
0ressure E.ect - in sealed box designs, the pressure build-up on one side of the
cone which may cause non-linearity and inhibit dynamic range in the low
bass.Sun*re True Subwoofer
0ush!0ull Confguration - one driver is mounted normally, the second is mounted
so that it faces into the enclosure, both sharing the same internal volume and wired
out of phase with one another. 7lthough electrically out of phase with one another,
the drivers are acoustically in phase since they move in the same direction. This
alignment theoretically reduces second order harmonic distortion. 8ob Carver has
done a great deal of research into this area, and has manufactured the Sun*re True
Subwoofer, a uni&ue push-pull design that utili3es a special passive radiator. Check
out the white paper descriptionP 6owP
; - the magni*cation of resonance factor of any resonant device or circuit. 7 driver
with a high Q is more resonant than one with a low Q.
;es - the electrical Q of the driver.
;ms - the mechanical Q of the driver.
;ts - the total Q of the driver at Ks. Qts ? Qes x Qms<Qes J Qms.
;tc - value for the damping provided for a driver in a sealed enclosure. 0enotes the
enclosures ability to control the driver response at resonance. Qtc ? %.Q%Q is the
optimum value for sealed enclosures, providing #attest response and highest SB!
for deep bass extension. .nclosures for this value are often rather large. !ower Qtc
can give even better transient response, down to a Qtc of %.GQQ for the best
damping and transients, but the enclosure is usually huge and SB!Ds are down. 7
Qtc of $.% is a compromise between deep bass and transient response vs. smaller
si3ed enclosure. !arger subs can go with an even higher Qtc, as their resonant
fre&uency is often very low, but QtcDs above $.G can begin to sound very muddled
and boomy, and sacri*ce deep bass extension and transient response for enhanced
mid-bass peaks (louder+. Check out .nclosure 0ilemma5 Borted vs. Sealed, an article
on this web site that gives more information about Qtc.
$ear fll - in autosound, the ambience created by a pair of rear speakers that helps
complete the soundstage. 7 set of high &uality components for the front powered by
an external amp and a set of coax mounted on the rear deck powered by the head
unit or small amp is a good example of a rear *ll application. ;ear *ll speakers
should be faded so that they create a richer ambience, but you should not be able
to isolate any sounds coming from them.
$esonance - the tendency of a speaker to vibrate most at a particular fre&uency.
$esonance *requency - the fre&uency at which any system vibrates naturally
when excited by a stimulus.
$esistance ($e) - in electrical or electronic circuits, a characteristic of a material
that opposes the #ow of electrons. Speakers have resistance that opposes current.
$-7 - an acronym for /root mean s&uare./ Ased in audio to help rate the
continuous power output of an ampli*er or input capability of speakers. This is the
preferred method for comparing anything in audio applications.
$o'inson and (adson - in $OGF, became the basis for an ,S standard ,S --F
which was only revised recently regarding the .&ual !oudness Contour
$oll!o. (cut!o.) - the attenuation that occurs at the lower or upper fre&uency
range of a driver, network, or system. The roll-o" fre&uency is usually de*ned as the
fre&uency where response is reduced by -9 d8.
7 or (;:) - the overall damping of a =th order bandpass enclosure. i.e., if you were
to *gure a =th order bandpass enclosure with a Qtc of %.Q% for Vr (the sealed
chamber+, then you would also *gure Vf (ported chamber+ with an S of %.Q%. See
Aseful Conversions and Kormulas for more information and the formulas involved.
7d - e"ective piston area of a driver.
7ealed enclosure - air tight enclosure that completely isolates the back wave of
the Sealeddriver from the front. Very tight, de*ned sound (with Qtc ? %.Q%Q+ with
very good transient response and power handling. !ow fre&uency roll-o" is at -$-
d8<octave. !ess e'cient than other designs, and higher distortion levels at
resonance. .asy to design and build. riginally this design was pioneered and
marketed by companies like 7coustic ;esearch. See Qtc.
7ignal - the desired portion of electrical information.
7ignal!to!noise (7<N) - the ratio, expressed in d8, between the signal and noise.
7ine a)e - the waveform of a pure alternating current or voltage. ,t deviates
about a 3ero point to a positive value and a negative value. 7udio signals are sine
waves or combinations of sine waves.
7ingle $e%e& Bandpass Enclosure - sometimes called a =th order bandpass. 7
design where the driver is completely /buried/ in the enclosure, mounted in a=th
rder 8andpass sealed chamber (Vr+ and *ring into a second ported chamber with
the sound emanating from one or more ports. This second chamber (Vf+ is tuned to
the sealed drivers Kcb. 8and-pass enclosures pass only a limited range of
fre&uencies, negating the need for crossovers in the circuit. ,n a typical single re#ex
bandpass, the cuto" rate below and above the /pass-band/ is at a rate of
-$-d8<octave. These designs are very e'cient within the operating bandwidth, with
superior power handling, but generally inferior transient response to sealed (all the
sound has to come out of the vent+. Transient response can be very good if the
enclosure is con*gured with a S of %.Q%. Can be very di'cult to design and build.
These enclosures have been around since the $OG%Ds, and companies like W.K
helped pioneer the manufacture and marketing of this design. See also 0ual re#ex
7"in E.ect - technically, a physical phenomenon that relates to the limited
penetration into a conductor of an ;adioKre&uent signal according to its fre&uency.
,n a direct current case everything is constant and so nothing seems to happen.
6ith an alternating current, however, there is a delay in the magnetic *eldDs
response to the change in current and the DoldD magnetic *eld tends to push the
current towards the outside of the conductor. 7s the fre&uency increases, so does
the e"ect until at very high fre&uencies the entire current #ows in a very narrow
skin on the conductor - hence the name. Skin e"ect is negligable in car audio
applications. (The full article can be found here+. Thanks 6imP
7ound 0ressure Le)el (70L) - the loudness of an acoustic wave stated in d8 that
is proportional to the logarithm of its intensity.
7ound 7tage - the sound systems ability to correctly place instruments on an
imaginary soundstageE reproduction of the way the music would sound if you were
actually watching the musicians play in front of you. The stage should always
appear to be in front of you, with a proper /image/ of where each musician is
playing on the imaginary soundstage.
7pider - the #exible material that supports the former, voice coil, and inside portion
of the cone within the speaker frame.
7tanding a)e - a buildup of sound level at a particular fre&uency that is
dependent upon the dimensions of a resonant room, car interior, or enclosure. ,t
occurs when the rate of energy loss e&uals the rate of energy input into the system.
This is what you hear when you listen into a sea shell.
7u'!'ass - portion of bass that is very low, usually from -% 23 - $%% 23 or so.
7u'oofer - a loudspeaker designed to reproduce sub-bass fre&uencies.
7urround (suspension) - the outer suspension of a speaker coneE holds the
diaphragm in place but allows it to move when activated. Asually made of foam or
7urround 7ound - usually representative of the monophonic sound extracted from
the stereo signal sent to smaller rear or side speakers used in a home theater.
+hiele<7mall parameters - numbers that specify the behaviour of drivers, as
de*ned and analy3ed by two engineers, 4eville Thiele and ;ichard Small. See 0river
+hree!ay - a type of speaker system composed of three ranges of speakers,
speci*cally a woofer, midrange, and tweeter.
+otal 5armonic (istortion (+5() - the percentage, in relation to a pure input
signal, of harmonically derived fre&uencies introduced in the sound reproducing
circuitry and hi-* e&uipment (including speakers+.
+ransient $esponse - the ability of a speaker to respond to any sudden change in
the signal without blurring (smearing+ the sound.Banga ;ibbon Transmission !ine
+ransmission Line Enclosure - a design in which the driver is at one end of the
enclosure, with an internal path which consists of a series of bends or curves that
lead to a port at the other end of the enclosure. The path length is a fraction of the
wavelength at low fre&uencies. The length of the path is increased by stu'ng the
box with either long *ber wool or polyester batting, and produces a phase shift in
the back wave that reinforces bass at low fre&uencies. .nclosures must be very
large, but low end response of these systems is legendary among audiophiles.
0rivers with Qts of less than %.= that work well in ported should work well in these
designs, but no standardi3ed method for con*guring these enclosures exists that
engineers have yet to agree upon. Bower handling is generally less than in other
designs, but drivers may be capable of responding down to Ks. ne of the most
di'cult enclosures to design and build, and much experimentation may be
necessary to get things right. /!abyrinths/ and /Tapered (Stu"ed+ Bipes/are both
variants of this type of enclosure. Check out the Banga transmission line speaker
manufactured by 0avidson !oudspeakers.
+re'le (highs) - the upper end of the audio spectrum reproduced by tweeters,
usually 9 - = k23 and up.
+ria&ial dri)er - a speaker that is composed of three individual voice coils and
conesE used for the reproduction of sounds in three segments of the sound
+ri!ay output - when a special passive crossover is used with an automotive
ampli*er to safely power a subwoofer in bridged mono (low pass circuit+ as well as a
pair of stereo speakers (high pass circuit+. 4ormal inductors and capacitors can be
used for Tri-way output.
+eeter - a speaker designed to reproduce the high or treble range of the sound
+o!ay - a type of speaker system composed of two ranges of speakers, usually a
woofer and tweeter.
/as - the e&uivalent volume of compliance, which speci*es a volume of air having
the same compliance as the suspension system of a driver.
/' - total box volume, usually in cubic feet or liters. Ased speci*cally in sealed and
ported designs.
/f - front volume of a bandpass design.
/r - rear volume of a bandpass design.
/oice coil - the wire wound around the speaker former. The former is mechanically
connected to the speaker cone and causes the cone to vibrate in response to the
audio current in the voice coil.
/olt (E) - a unit of measurement used to measure how much /pressure/ is used to
force electricity through a circuit.
=att - a unit of electrical power. 7 watt of electrical power is the use of one Noule of
energy per second. 6atts of electrical power e&uals volts times amperes.
=a)elength - the length of a sound wave in air. ,t can be found for any fre&uency
by dividing the speed of sound in air ($$-% feet per second+ by the fre&uency of the
sound, or5 6! ? $$-% < Kre&.
=hi22er - a small supplementary cone attached to the center of the speakerDs main
cone for the purpose of increasing high fre&uency response.
=L7 - 6hen !ightning Strikes. The power ratings that you see provided on head
units or cheap amps and stereo e&uipment that means absolutely nothing. ,f you
see e&uipment with an impossible exaggerated rating, Nust say no. W, , made this
one up, but , think it is rather appropriate. >aybe the Kederal Trade Commission will
see this pageXYZ
=oofer - a bass loudspeaker designed to reproduce low-fre&uency sound only. 7
woofer and subwoofer are usually the same type of loudspeaker, but their
application (crossover fre&uency+ di"erentiates them.
>L$ - 0eveloped by ,TT<Cannon, :!;s are rugged, locking, multi-pin connectors
fre&uently used in professional audio e&uipment. 6hile 9-pin :!;s are most
commonly seen on microphones and console inputs, other con*gurations also exist,
such as =-pin :!;s (a standard for stage intercom systems+ and G-pin :!;s (often
used on stereo microphones+.
>ma& - maximum linear cone excursion of a driver, measured in inches or
millimeters. Check out what [! 7udio has to say about :max and acoustic output
\de*nitions sourced from di"erent audio websites