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Silence Sweep: A Novel Method for Measuring Electroacoustical Devices

This paper presents a new method for measuring some properties of an electro-acoustical system, for example a loudspeaker or a complete sound system. Coupled with the already established method based on Exponential Sine Sweep, this new Silence Sweep method provides a quick and complete characterization of not linear distortions and noise of the device under test. The method is based on the analysis of the distortion products, such as harmonic distortion products or intermodulation effects, occurring when the system is fed with a wide-band signal. Removing from the test signal a small portion of the whole spectrum, it becomes possible to collect and analyze the not-linear response and the noise of the system in that “suppressed” band. Changing continuously the suppressed band over time, we get the Silence Sweep test signal, which allows for quick measurement of noise and distortion over the whole spectrum. The paper explains the method with a number of examples. The results obtained for some typical devices are presented, compared with those obtained with a standard, state-of-the-art measurement system.

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