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Effects of Cable, Loudspeaker, and Amplifier Interactions

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Loudspeaker cables are among the least understood yet mandatory components of an audio system. How cables work and interact with loudspeaker and amplifier is often based more on presumption and speculation than on fact. The literature on loudspeaker cable behavior and effects is minimal. Measurements were made with 12 cables covering a variety of geometries, gauges, and types. The measured data indicate distinct differences among the cables as frequency-dependent impedance, subtle response variations with loudspeakers, and rectance interactions between amplifier, cable, and loudspeaker. In some cases the effects of the amplifier overwhelm the cable's effects. Mathematical models that provide insight into the interaction mechanisms were constructed and compared to the measured data.

JAES Volume 39 Issue 6 pp. 461-468; June 1991
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