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What is AC waveform distortion?

by Nyal Mellor April 08, 2013

  The power supplies in electronics, both linear and switching, draw current only at the peaks of the AC voltage creating a characteristic 'flat topped' waveform. />

The amount of distortion of a waveform can be quantified by its Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). Ideally, for high performance audio, studio and home theater systems, THD would be under 2%. In some locations measured THD has been 10 times higher than this!

All amplifiers, except Class A devices, draw current in response to the music waveform. 'Flat topping' restricts current delivery, leading to reduced dynamics, loss of articulation, bass extension and an anemic, uninvolving overall presentation.


Nyal Mellor
Nyal Mellor

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