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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 minima that real loudspeakers may approach but can never excel.

JAES Volume 27 Issue 6 pp. 492-495; June 1979
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AES - Audio Engineering Society