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Audio Terminology And Definitions Dictionary


Feedback  Acoustic or structure-borne vibrations that interfere with the operation of audio equipment. For example loud deep bass emanating from a loudspeaker may upset the performance of a turntable such that the pickup stylus reads the interference as bass signal. In extreme instances a loop of sound may be created resulting in high frequency instability; the more usual effect is a loss of clarity to the music signal. Bass becomes woolly and the rest of the signal unfocused. See also Negative Feedback.


Ferrofluid    An oil with suspended magnetic particles that is often used in the voice coil gap of tweeters and some midrange drivers to conduct heat away from the voice coil and thus improve its power handling capacity.


Fiber Optics   Transmission of energy by light through glass fibers. A technology that uses light as an information carrier.


Filter    An electrical circuit which blocks signal below or above a predetermined frequency. The filter rate may be shallow, steep, or in the case of a digital filter  of 'brick wall' type.


FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) FLAC can provide full, CD-quality audio in about half the space of the original file and is considered a lossless container format.


Flat  When applied to frequency response, "flat" refers to an ideal unvarying straight line representing the response of any component (amplifier, speaker, etc.) that does not deviate in any way from the input applied to that device. Of course, a "flat" speaker will exhibit much more deviation than will a "flat" amplifier, so this term is not absolute. 


"Foley" Effect  A subcategory of "effects" that usually deals with smaller sounds such as footsteps, door closings, and so on. Usually recorded separately on a Foley stage equipped with many different devices for producing sound effects of various kinds.


Frequency     The rate at which an object vibrates in order to move air molecules and thus produce sound. Usually expressed in "cycles per second" or, more commonly, as Hertz (Hz), the range of frequencies humans perceive as sound spans from 20 Hz (very low bass) to 20,000 Hz (or 20 kHz) (very high treble). (See also: octave.)


Frequency Response    The range of frequencies an audio device can reproduce. The frequency response range is usually accompanied with a specified measure of deviation from the ideal. A speaker, for example, may have a frequency response from 40 Hz to 20 kHz, +/- 3 dB.


Front End   Traditionally used to designate the input stage of a radio tuner. More broadly it refers to the source component in a hi-fi system. This could be one of a number of product types from CD player and turntable to tuner and turntable.


Fuse   Protection device containing thin wire within glass case. The fuse wire will break under high stress conditions preventing overload of the component (e.g. Loudspeaker or amplifier).


































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