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    Thread: ICE Glossary

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      Mi10's Avatar
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      ICE Glossary

      A

      • Acoustics - The study of sound. The science of production, effects, and transmission of sound waves through various mediums and the effects of absorption, diffraction, interference, reflection, and refraction.
      • Air Gap - The space between the top plate and the pole piece. This is where the voice coil sits
      • Alternator - A device that is turned by a motor to produce AC voltage, which is then rectified (turned into DC) and used to supply voltage to the vehicle's electrical system.
      • Alternator Whine - A whining that is heard when the RPMs of an engine increase. The noise is usually the result of a voltage differential created by more than one ground path or a poor ground path (ground loop).
      • Amplifier - 1 A device which increases the level of a signal by increasing the current or voltage. 2 May also be used to isolate or control a signal and even decrease the level as in a line output converter.
      • Amplitude - The maximum value of a periodically varying quantity.
      • Analog to Digital Convertor (ADC) - A circuit that converts an analog signal into a digital signal. With a continuous input signal the ADC will check the signal several time per second (sampling), assign values to the samples and represent it as a binary number (quantization and encoding)
      • Attenuator - A device to decrease or increase the strength of a signal.
      • Automatic Gain Control (AGC) - A circuit that continuously adjust the recording amplifier gain to maintain a relatively constant recording level.


      B

      • B - Magnetic flux density in gap, in Tesla-meters
      • Balance - The relative volume level between two channels, usually the left and right channels. May also refer to the relative volume between front and rear channels of an audio system. To make the same or equal.
      • Bandpass - A two-part filter that cuts both high and low frequencies allowing the band of frequencies between these two points to pass.
      • Bandwidth - The range of frequency response between lower and upper frequencies points which audio signals pass through an electrical device or conductor where the signal has rolled off by three decibels.
      • Basket - The rigid frame of a speaker that supports all of it's components.
      • Bass Reflex - A vented enclosure that allows control of rear radiated sound waves.
      • BBE Processing - A signal processing circuit that provides improvements in imaging and spatial realism by altering the frequency and phase characteristics of portions of the input signal.
      • Bi-Amplification - The use of two amplifiers, one for the amplification of lower (bass) frequencies , and the other for higher (midrange and treble) frequencies. The audio signal from the head unit or pre-amplifier is passed through an electronic crossover and divided into two separated signals. These signals are sent to the respective amplifiers and their outputs are sent to the respective speakers.
      • Bias - A necessary high frequency current applied to the record head along with the audio signal to prevent distortion and increase sensitivity during recording.
      • BL - The magnetic strength of the motor structure. Expressed in Tesla meters, this is a measurement of the motor strength of a speaker. A high BL figure indicates a very strong transducer that moves the cone with authority
      • Bottom End - Bass response; referring to the sound qualities of the lowest frequency ranges of a speaker or audio system.
      • Bridging - Combining two outputs of an amplifier to use as one, usually to a woofer. The provides an increase in power output (wattage) necessary to reproduce lower frequencies at higher volume levels.
      • BTL - Bridged, Transformer Less. A circuit design wherein two small Integrated Circuit (IC) amplifier channels are bridged together to provide a single, larger output circuit. These circuits are limited by their current capabilities and the amount of heat they generate.


      C

      • Capacitance - The ability of a conductor or dielectric to store electric charge.
      • Clipping - Audible distortion that occurs when continuous power-to-peak power capabilities (headroom) are exceeded.
      • Closed Circuit - A continuous unbroken circuit in which current can flow without interruption.
      • Cms - The driver's mechanical compliance (reciprocal of stiffness), in m/N
      • Coaxial - A speaker composed of larger cone for low range frequencies and a smaller cone or tweeter for higher frequencies aligned on the same axis. A crossover network is necessary to route the proper signals to each driver. These may be passive (usually included).
      • Cone - The most common shape for the radiating surface of a loudspeaker referred to as the part that moves the air.
      • Crossover Frequencies - The frequencies at which an active or passive crossover network divides audio signals, expressed in Hertz (Hz).
      • Crossover Network - A unit that divides the audio spectrum into two or more frequency bands. The two types are active and passive.
      • Crosstalk (Channel Separation) - The amount of interference on one stereo channel caused by the leaking of the other stereo channel. The higher the rating in decibels (dB), the better the Channel Separation.
      • Current - The rate of flow of electricity, measured in amperes (amps).


      D

      • DAC (D/A) - Digital to analog converter. A component or circuit that is used to derive or convert an analog signal from a digital one.
      • Damping Factor - The ratio of rated load impedance to the internal impedance of an amplifier. The higher the value, the more efficiently an amplifier can control unwanted movement of the speaker coil. A high damping factor is crucial for large speakers that reproduce bass.
      • Decibel (dB) - A unit of measurement for the ratio of loudness. The threshold of hearing is 0 dB. One dB SPL is the smallest audible difference in sound level.
      • Digital Time Delay - A component that electronically delays the audio signals (in milliseconds) to provide surround type sound as well as compensate for speaker placements.
      • Distortion - Sound that is modified or changed in some way. Measured as a percentage of the whole signal.
      • Driver - Synonymous with loudspeaker. The term also refers to a loudspeaker being coupled to a horn for acoustic coupling and controlled dispersion of sound.
      • DSP - Digital Signal Processing (or Processor). A type of processing accomplished by a microcomputer chip specifically designed for signal manipulation, or a component using such processing.


      E

      • Efficiency - The ratio of energy output to total energy input, expressed as a percentage. With speakers, this refers to the ratio of total acoustic watts radiated to total electrical watts input.
      • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) - The interference caused by an electromagnetic field created by the flow of current.
      • Enclosure - A box housing a speaker to separate the front sound waves from the rear sound waves.
      • Equalizer - A component designed to alter the frequency balance of an audio signal.


      F

      • Fader - The control that adjusts the relative volume levels of front and rear speakers in a four speaker system or the front and rear pre-amplifier outputs.
      • Filter - An active or passive circuit or device designed to block a certain frequency or range of frequencies.
      • Fs - Driver free air resonance, in Hz. This is the point at which driver impedance is maximum. "This parameter is the free-air resonant frequency of a speaker. Simply stated, it is the point at which the weight of the moving parts of the speaker becomes balanced with the force of the speaker suspension when in motion.


      G

      • Gain - The amount of amplification used in an electrical circuit.
      • Gauge (wire) - The diameter of a wire. The higher the number, the thinner the wire.
      • Ground Loop - The condition created when two or more paths for electricity are created in a ground line, or when one or more paths are created in a shield or an audio cable. This can create undesirable noise such as a high pitched whine when the vehicle is running or pops and clicks when other devices are used in the vehicle.


      H

      • Harmonic - A weaker overtone or undertone of the original note responsible for the character of the note.
      • Hertz (Hz) - The unit of measurement for frequency. 1 Hz is equal to 1 cycle per second.
      • High Pass Filter - A network of elements used to attenuate all frequencies below a predetermined frequency. Frequencies above the cutoff point pass without any effect.


      I

      • ICE - Acronym for In Car Entertainment
      • Infinite Baffle - A loudspeaker baffle of infinite space that has no openings for the passage of sound from the front to the back of the speaker. Also, a sealed enclosure where the internal volume is greater than the Vas of the driver.
      • Input Sensitivity Control - Adjusts the amount of input signal being fed to the amplifier stage to reduce distortion.


      L

      • Le - "This is the voice coil inductance measured in millihenries (mH). The industry standard is to measure inductance at 1,000 Hz.
      • Load - The electrical demand of a process, expressed in current (amps), power (watts), or resistance (ohms).
      • Low Pass Filter - A network of elements used to attenuate all frequencies above a predetermined frequency. Frequencies below the cutoff point pass without any effect.


      M

      • Magnet - A device which has the ability to attract or repel pieces of iron or other magnetic material. Speaker magnets provide a stationary magnetic field so that when the coil produces magnetic energy, it is either repelled or attracted by the stationary magne
      • Microprocessor - A semiconductor that can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks in many different systems.
      • Monaural (mono) - A sound recorded or reproduced in only one channel.
      • MOSFET - Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. A form of field-effect transistor controlled by voltage rather than current, like a bipolar transistor. MOSFETs have a significantly higher switching speed than bipolar transistors. They generate almost no loss (little heat generation), which lends the power supply fast response, excellent linearity, and high efficiency. Typically used in high power output amplifiers.
      • Mute - Silent, attenuate.


      O

      • Octave - 1. The interval of eight diatonic degrees between two musical tones. 2.The doubling or halving of frequencies.1000Hz is an octave higher than 500Hz.
      • Ohm's Law - Current in a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage, and inversely proportional to resistance.It also includes the relationships of watts to amps, volts and ohms


      P

      • Parametric - A type of equalizer with adjustable parameters such as center frequency and bandwidth (Q) as well as amplitude.
      • Phase Shift - Frequency interaction in the crossover region of passive crossovers which can cause some frequencies to be delayed with respect to other frequencies.
      • Polarity - The electrical quality of having two opposite poles, one positive and one negative. Polarity determines the direction in which a current tends to flow.
      • Pre-amplifier (pre-amp) - The circuit which takes a small signal and amplifies it to be fed into the power amplifier for further amplification. Contains controls for volume, regulating tone, and channel balance.


      Q

      • Q Parameters - "Qms, Qes, and Qts are measurements related to the control of a transducer's suspension when it reaches the resonant frequency (Fs).
      • Qes - The driver's Q at resonance (Fs), due to electrical losses; dimensionless; measurement of the control coming from the speaker's electrical suspension system (the voice coil and magnet). Opposing forces from the mechanical and electrical suspensions act to absorb shock.
      • Qms - The driver's Q at resonance (Fs), due to mechanical losses; measurement of the control coming from the speaker's mechanical suspension system (the surround and spider).
      • Quantization - The assigning of values to discrete samples of a continuous signal in the analog to digital conversion process.


      R

      • Resistor - An electrical device that resist the flow of electrical current. The higher the value of resistance (measured in ohms) the lower the current will be.
      • RMS - Root Mean Square.
      • Roll-Off - Relates to the attenuation of frequencies, above or below a given point, at a specific rate.


      S

      • Sensitivity - The sound pressure level a speaker produces when fed by a given input power, measured at a specific distance on axis directly in front of the speaker. Typically specified in dB SPL at 1 meter with 1 watt of input signal.
      • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N) - The ratio of the desired signal level to the level of unwanted noise. Measured in decibels.
      • Slope - The rate of boost or attenuation expressed in decibels of change per octave.
      • Sound Pressure Level (SPL) - An acoustic measurement of sound energy, typically expressed in dB SPL
      • Spectrum Analyzer - A device that displays a frequency response curve, in real time, as the curve, changes.


      T

      • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) - The noise referenced to signal in decibels (dB) as a percentage
      • Transducer - A device used to convert energy from one form to another. Acoustical to electrical (microphone), electrical to acoustical (speaker), and electrical to mechanical (Aura Bass Shaker) are three examples of transducers.
      • Transformer - An electrical device that can be used to provide circuitry isolation, signal coupling, impedance matching, or voltage step-up
      • Transistor - A three terminal device used for amplification and switching.


      V

      • Vas - Compliance. A measurement in liters or cubic feet of the volume of air that is equal to the compliance of the speaker's total suspension.
      • Voice Coil - Coil of wire wrapped around a tube and attached to the speaker cone or driver diaphragm. Becomes an electromagnet when an audio signal is applied and interacts with a permanent magnet which causes the cone or diaphragm to vibrate.


      X

      • Xmax - Maximum peak linear excursion of driver, in meters.
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      hydra's Avatar
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      Here's a nice resource of "audiophile" lingo:

      Sounds Like? An Audio Glossary Glossary: A | Stereophile.com

      It is a pretty nice and exhaustive resource that describes terms used to describe sound/music and its character.

      Some examples:

      airy: Pertaining to treble which sounds light, delicate, open, and seemingly unrestricted in upper extension. A quality of reproducing systems having very smooth and very extended HF response.
      attack transient: The initial energy pulse of a percussive sound, such as from a piano string, triangle, or drum head.
      And a very important term:
      autohype: Suggestive self-deception; hearing something that isn't there, because you expect it to be. A rich source of audio mythology.

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