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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Nyugen had a great link on how to read test info but I'll take it a step further...
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/klippel-reviews-driver-specs/1002-how-interpret-data-*read-me-first*.html



FR Data:
Frequency response is typically known as "linear distortion" because the FR pretty much stays the same at any volume (aka: linear).

Here are some good links:
Linear distortion
Frequency response - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm*
Understanding Speaker Frequency Response - eCoustics.com

*this one is cool because it shows you how various frequencies can change the sound


Google terms such as :
Linear Distortion
Frequency Response
Sound Power
Flat Response

On/Off axis data is an indicator of a speaker's sound at various angles positioned to the listener. At 90* off axis the driver is facing perpidicularly away from the listener, whereas 0* axis is pointing right at the listener. Sometimes 0* may not be desired due to certain things in the response (ie: say 4khz is bumped up here and we know that 4khz is one of the more painful frequencies) and you may want to go off-axis to smooth out the response at the tradeoff of having lower top end response.

It's really all up to YOU, the listener, to decide how you want to use a driver. Use the data to find traits in the response and then go from there. However, don't depend solely on the data to tell you if you'll like a speaker or not. There are certainly those who can do this, but most of us just aren't educated enough to let the data be the sole dictator of our purchase. The more you see the data and listen to the drivers, the better you'll get at understanding what the data says about the drivers.​


HD Data:
Harmonic Distortion is known as Non-Linear distortion because it doesn't stay the same with output volume (aka: non-linear).

For information on how to read results from the distortion testing, here are a few links:
Midrange distortion test
Intermodulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AES E-Library » Auditory Perception of Nonlinear Distortion
non-linear distortion imd - Google Search
Zaph|Audio - The importance of non-linear distortion

Use the terms "intermodulated distortion" or "IMD distortion" or "non-linear distortion" in google. You should get good results rooted in textbook definitions and also applied science.
Be cautious, though, I've yet to find any source that directly correlates the audiophile lingo such as "dry", "warm", "sparkle", "breath", etc, etc with distortion measurements.

What does it mean?... my simple take on distortion measurements:
That's where listening and seeing graphs comes in. There's no AES papers or books written on how X in HD charts correlates to sound.
Realistically, I look at them to point me in the direction of crossover points.
Secondly, you can try to see what you hear and try to sync that to the HD plots (ie: "warm", "cold", "detailed", etc).

It's not really a simple answer and, I'm afraid, there's too much room for subjectivity in a post such as that for me to be the one to try to answer that.
It's up to you, the listener, to hear the drivers, look at the data given to you (here, or elsewhere) and try to draw conclusions. One test isn't enough and I'm sure not even 5 are, either. It takes time. Your goal is to be able to look at data and understand how what you see will translate in to what you hear. We all define the lingo differently, I've found, and what you may call "warm", another may call "dark". Always proceed with caution when you see these terms and, at the least, prod the author for what makes him give that particular adjective to the sound.​


Everyone, feel free to contribute to the thread with links, etc. Try to leave subjective opinions out unlees you can DEFINE EXACTLY what you call "warm" or "dry" and how it's shown in distortion. Links to studies, research, etc certainly help.
At the end of the day the listener is the best parameter for defining these terms but maybe we can get a good handle on where to start.

Again, please leave totally subjective and hearsay statements out. I don't want this to be another typical "audiophile term" thread as the data should be linked to the terms used.
 

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Re: How to read Harmonic Distortion Plots

TYVM for the links and explanations! I hope you realize that there are MANY of us that truly appreciate the time and effort, not to mention cash out of your pocket, you are investing in the testing.
 

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Well, today must be your lucky day cause you got another :D.

BUT I came here expecting to find a nice long post that would explain the correlation between
audiophile lingo such as "dry", "warm", "sparkle", "breath", etc, etc with distortion measurements.
WWAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I feel cheated:p. I like my sound on the clinical side but with a touch of dark, comforting warmth. What should I be looking at in terms of the numbers.:) :inquisitive:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the simple answer is:
You want as little distortion as possible in order to achieve a true playback system that in no way colors the original recording. That's bottom line. If you have ANY variance then you change the original recording. In order to achieve that you need: Flat Frequency Response and Inaudible Distortion. If you read the definitions in the OP you'll see these two components are known as linear and non-linear distortion.

The complex part then is: no one seems to like this ideal playback goal. Everyone seems to like some level of distortion.
I am NOT going to argue if one should or shouldn't have a preference. I don't care, frankly.
 

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Well this is the way I look at it.

Flat FR doesn't have life. So if it takes a bit of non linear distortion to get the life in, whats the issue? All speakers car and home will add some distortion 'coloration' to the original signal. At the end of the day it's about getting the sound and it's presentation right. At least that's the way I look at it.

We know that in a car, distortion from, amp < speakers < environment. We also know that the combined distortion from the amp and the speakers pales in front of that from the environment. In real world terms I still have way to many environment related issues, I need to get the tuning better for whic I need a processor, I definitely want to play with placement and go 3 way, before I even think, much less worry about the distortion from my amps or speakers. If distortion patterns of speakers can be linked to their voicing, then yes I'm all ears.

It's fine to study numbers and patterns like you do, try to find associations with qualities that you hear. It's when people get fixated with 'you can't possibly have good sound with even the slightest distortion, that I begin to tune out. Like you've said yourself, 'you have to hear it'.

I hope this makes sense.
 

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I've re-read the post above and it just comes across wrong. I know I have the finesse of a bull in china shop :blush:. I think it comes across as arrogant even though that was not the intention. I also think that it's not appropriate on your sticky, not when you put in so much time and effort in this hobby and in educating a lot of us. Please go ahead and delete the post above.
 

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@ Erin
Your efforts are not in vain.
I and many others have learned plenty from this and other threads of this nature. It just doesn't do to clutter it up with questions and comments that are found by a search.
The secret joy of knowledge is in bringing others up to a higher level. My game has been raised.
Many thanks.
:)

No distortion would be ideal, speakers in particular. I like to add my own "distortion" in the form of EQ to please the ears, ear sensitivity chart.
 

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@ Erin
Your efforts are not in vain.
I and many others have learned plenty from this and other threads of this nature. It just doesn't do to clutter it up with questions and comments that are found by a search...
:thumbsup:

x2 :) Thank You Erin!
 

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Erin,I have always enjoyed your Stickies ans their info. Since I am still learning and try2to understand all this, can you elaborate more on what you mean by all this.
 
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