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Discussion Starter #1
I was just looking up some info about distortion in loudspeakers and came across a good page with some decent info about it that may benefit some of the newer crowd around here. Sometimes when deciding on drivers people may not always have enough emphasis put on distortion specs.

Nonlinear distortion testing of loudspeaker driver units

This is (one reason) why the KDA is so helpful on the forum :)

Also worth a good read is npdang's thread http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/post-your-own-car-audio-articles/4-how-interpret-distortion-plots.html
 

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Even if you don’t care about reproducing frequencies below, say 40-50 Hz, you still can’t get away unscathed. If there is low frequency information in the program material, while it won’t be reproduced by your loudspeaker, the distortion products will. You will suffer from the "fake bass syndrome."

Distortion occurs across a spectrum. There is a range of linear, undistorted bass. As the SPL is increased, generally 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortion products rise. These are audible, but not necessarily all that offensive, especially 2nd order. It’s perceived as "richness." I suspect many people like it. It’s still "fake bass," i.e. distortion. As the level is increased, 3rd order and higher products rise, and multiple IM products occur. Now more edginess and what is typically perceived as distortion starts to occur.
This is what I have seen and heard in your basic , throw em in the door location :surprised:
 

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That's a great read. I've been eyeballing that site for years, than and the few others out there with good info on drivers: zaph, augerpro, linkwitz, our klippel section.

In a car the problems with small drivers are exacerbated. Take everything Mark threw out there plus:
* significantly higher road noise
* road noise frequency spectrum is bottom heavy
(still not sure why Car and Driver uses A weight for cabin noise tests, fools...)
* hard to install large drivers up front
* unusually small enclosures that lower low end sensitivity
* more basshead users that have the low end 20db higher than the high frequencies
* higher distortion drivers. Most car audio manufacturers don't believe intermodulation distortion exists and no measures are taken to reduce it
* lossy enclosures and baffles (sheet metal, plastics)
* poor front and rear wave separation (door panel speaker covers and open door skins)
* high temperature operation resulting in compression and reduced output
* low depth requirements that specify low xmax/xmech drivers

Perhaps the only savior is cabin gain, but it only does so much, and arguably little in my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah cars do suck as an environment, and we are some pretty crazy kids for still persisting in getting good sound out of it..

When I came across that I was actually trying to find the real answer as to WHY there is harmonic distortion in speakers, which I found a little blurb on here.

That's just a synopsis for an article, which I think would be a pretty good read, but damn people for trying to make a profit!
 
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