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Coherence-Based, Wide-Band, Signal-to-Distortion Ratio versus Total Harmonic Distortion of Slightly Non-Linear Audio Systems

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A quantitative comparison is given between the signal-to-distortion ratio (SDR) for wide-band operation of slightly nonlinear electronic circuits or systems and that derived from conventional total harmonic distortion (THD) for single-frequency excitation at the equivalent input-power level. Simulated or measured SDRs are presented graphically for three different, commonly encountered nonlinearities (soft compression, hard clipping and slew-rate limiting), each operated over a range of successively higher input-power levels. The results indicate that for slight to moderate nonlinear operation, the wide-band SDR based on coherence analysis of white-noise excitation can be from 2 to 20 dB worse than that predicted from the THD produced by a single sine wave.:

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AES - Audio Engineering Society