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Nonlinearity in Horn Drivers - Where the Distortion Comes From?

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Horn drivers have the worst nonlinear distortion compared to other components of professional sound systems (omitting free propagation distortion). Some of the driver's distortions can be mitigated by proper mechanical measures. However, distortions caused by nonlinear air compression and propagation are inherent to any horn driver. In this work the comparison of nonlinear distortions caused by different sources is carried through measurements and modeling. The new dynamic model of compression driver is based on the system of nonlinear differential and algebraic equations. Complex impedance of an arbitrary horn is considered by turning the impedance into a system of differential equations describing the pressure and velocity at the horn's throat. Comparison is carried out using harmonic distortion and the reaction to multitone.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society