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Suspension Bounce as a Distortion Mechanism in Loudspeakers with a Progressive Stiffness

The stiffness of a progressive suspension is fairly constant for small excursions and then gets progressively stiffer for larger excursions. When the moving assembly enters the region of increasing stiffness, forces are generated that rapidly reverse its motion much the same as when a bouncing ball hits the ground. Contrary to the common wisdom that predicts a squared-off displacement waveform, the bouncing-ball analogy predicts that the displacement waveform will be turned into a triangle wave. Under some conditions, the moving assembly will repetitively bounce at a frequency tens of times higher than the excitation frequency with acoustic output that exhibits high-level harmonics several times higher in amplitude and frequency than the fundamental. Time-domain simulations and experiments are presented to illustrate the effects.

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