Audiophile Glossary

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April 23rd Written by 

the actual sound wave. 

Baffle bounce

Reflection off the baffle of the sound wave after the main wave has launched. The larger the baffle, the more bounces. 


Any spectrum of frequencies used for discussion. Audio bandwidth is 20hz to 20,000Hz. Subwoofer bandwidth might be 15Hz to 45Hz etc. 

Bass reach

Ability to go down to the low frequency extremes. 

Bass tightness

Tuneful, accurate bass not bloated or muddy. 


Using one channel of an amplifier to drive each Ribbon and midbass so that a stereo pair of speakers requires 4 channels of amplification. Means that instead of driving a speaker full-range with a single channel of amplification, through a single set of speaker cables, you actually connect two sets of cables, with each set driven by a separate amplifier, or separate channels of a multi-channel amplifier. This way, low frequencies and high frequencies each receive dedicated amplifiers. 


Running separate cables from the amplifier to the Ribbon and midbasses. 


Carrying higher voltage and power, running from the amplifiers to the speakers. Also power cables 


Digital, passive, electronic - means of channeling high frequencies into the high frequency driver (Ribbon midrange/tweeter or dome tweeter etc.), and low frequencies to the woofer. 


Anomalies created when a wave moves out from the diaphragm and encounters a radical change in the baffle - say a 90 degree corner. The sharper the corner, the greater the diffraction effect. 


The soundwave is broken down into a digital format which bears no physical resemblance to the original analog waveform. 

Digital chain

Where the complete signal path is digital and there are no analog steps except when the amplifier converts the digital information into the analog waveform which powers the speakers. 


Horizontal, vertical - radiation pattern - how evenly the soundwave moves off to the sides and up and down. 


Ability to play loudly and cleanly. 


Equalizing electronically to deal with room acoustic problems or produce special effects.  


Forward and backward movement of the diaphragm. 


Emphasis of very high frequencies sounding very live but harsh. 


Too much mid-treble emphasis leading to rapid listening fatigue. 


carrying low voltage signals from the CD player say to the preamp and from the preamp to amp. 


tall loudspeaker with a line of drivers or diaphragms (in the case of Ribbon) all producing the same frequencies. Tall enough to put the listener in the nearfield where there is very little room interaction. The taller the linesource, the further back the nearfield area extends. Very little floor or ceiling reflections. Radiates in a columnar form. 


speaker driver reproducing middle (say speech) frequencies. 

Midbass driver

basically a woofer which also operates well into the lower midrange. 


refers to bass and midbass where the notes are indistinct and poorly defined. 


the position relative to a line straight ahead of the diaphragm. Off-axis vertical and off-axis horizontal. 


time arrival of the information. Out of phase means wave is 180 degrees shifted from the in phase (ideal) wave. 


any flat surface diaphragm driver typically film based, electrostatic, Ribbon types. 


radiates hemispherically - as much towards the ceiling and floor as to the sidewalls and listening position. 


thin conductive diaphragm suspended in strong magnetic gap. Diaphragm vibrates when audio signal is put through it.  

Room acoustics

the sonic signature of a room, the frequencies it emphasizes and damps down. 


rolled off treble and bass producing very mellow sound but losing a lot of information. 


effect of hearing the soundsources - instruments, singers etc. - located in specific places horizontally and in front of and behind the plane of the speakers. 3D sound localization as it would appear in a live show. 

Smooth response

even frequency response so that all frequencies are presented evenly, it their proper perspective. 

Suck out

a hole or depression in the frequency response - not as easy to detect as a boosted section of bandwidth. 

Tight group of curves

off axis response very close to that of the on-axis response. Ie broad horizontal dispersion giving even sound in a wide listening area. 


modifying you sound components for better performance. 


ability to hear into the music. Separation of instruments, removal of "veils" from obscuring musical detail. Naturalness. 


speaker driver reproducing high frequencies. 

Voicing a speaker

giving a speaker a specific character. (Newform's policy is to remove character as much as possible) 


speaker driver reproducing low frequencies. 


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