BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Interpreting THD Measurements – Think dB not Percent!

John Siau writes:

Distortion measurements (THD, THD+N and IMD) are traditionally expressed in terms of percent. But what do 1%, 0.1%, 0.01% or 0.001% mean in terms of loudness or audibility?

If you are like most people you just know that 0.001% is the best of the three numbers listed above. If you are a well-trained geek you will recognize that each added leading zero represents a 20 dB improvement. 0.01% is 20 dB lower than 0.1% and this is 20 dB lower than 1%. The well-trained geek will convert % to dB in order to give meaning to these numbers.

When distortion reaches 1% it is just 40 dB lower than the music. When distortion reaches 0.1% it is 60 dB lower than the music. When distortion reaches 0.01% it is 80 dB lower than the music. Obviously the 40 dB, 60 dB and 80 dB figures are easier to understand than 1%, 0.1% and 0.01%.

Handicapped by Tradition

Unfortunately, distortion measurements are traditionally expressed as a percent. The specifications tell us that the distortion voltage is a certain percentage of test signal voltage. 

If we use decibels we can say that the distortion voltage is ...............

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/interpreting-thd-measurements-think-db-not-percent

Many preowned classic examples for sale HERE

EDITORIAL NOTE: The opinions expressed in the above post do not necessarily reflect those of our editorial team – just in case you wondered. Neil McCauley

 

Leave a Reply