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Minimum Harmonic Distortion levels in Ideal Loudspeakers

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Threshold harmonic distortion levels are postulated to exist even for the ideal loudspeaker, owing to the spontaneous generation of harmonics by nonlinearity inherent in acoustic propagation. The distortion curves, derived from perturbation analysis of small-signal propagation of a supposedly mono-frequency plane wave, represent the absolute minimums which real loudspeakers may approach but can never achieve.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society