Some theory based on the Fourier integral transform pair is used to evaluate the usefulness of several test signals for the testing of audio systems. Music reproduction systems need not, and usually do not have minimum-phase behavior; therefore, tests made with wide-spectrum signals are subject to interpretation errors. The spectral structure of both long- and short-duration musical tones indicates that the simple sinusoid is an adequate test signal. In terms of both economics and understanding, the sinusoid is hard to surpass.
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