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Determining the Peak Sound Level Capability of Loudspeakers and Sound Systems

One of the most relevant characteristics of a sound system is the maximum level at which it will function in its intended environment before the output becomes objectionably distorted. Due to design, construction, or thermal limitations, this characteristic can vary with both the frequency content and the duration of the applied stimulus at each measurement. Further complicating distortion measurement is the variation in frequency response caused by reflections in the environment. This paper describes an automated technique using shaped tone-bursts under software control to generate the stimuli, acquire the responses, process and correct the data for room response, and present a graphical representation of the peak sound level capability versus test frequency. Also described is a novel technique for separating noise and distortion energy from stimulus energy from an in-room measurement.

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