Jargon and lingo glossary - Hi to H9.

Jargon and lingo glossary - Hi to H9.

Hi-Fi = High Fidelity
A term taken from the German photographic industry where it was used in relation to the emerging fast lenses in first decades of the 20th century and seen as early as 1914 to describe the Zeiss 1.4 "eagle-eye", and probably used much earlier. First seen used in the English audio world by H.A. Hartley in 1928 to describe an ideal rather than a concept or an item.

The term starts to crop up more often in the late 40's, then used to describe the emerging new amplifiers designs and by the fifties had become fairly commonplace but it's usage then was similar to how we use term "Audiophile" today, in other words it signified a goal rather than an item or a standard (real or imaginary). By the early 60's the term had taken on a somewhat different meaning, it had become a byword for something new, high tech and exiting and you would see reference so hi-fi in places you would not associate them with such as men magazines and so on. There is even a style of easy listening music that is referred to by the term and it was associated with slightly nerdy single men much as they are associated with computers and the Internet nowadays

By the 1970’s hi-fi had started to represent in general public’s eye a term for any fixed home audio only installation while in the audiophile press it remained an ideal to a degree but today the phrase become so generic that most users understand it to mean almost any sound producing equipment even though the usage in the audiophile press is a bit different.

Note that in the English speaking world the shortening is supposed to be written as Hi-Fi or Hi-fi but on the European mainland and in particular in Central and Northern Europe were the shortening does not have a direct reference point in the local lingo the usage is as one word eg. Hifi. Since there have always been unscrupulous salesmen around there was for a time a problem with just about anything capable of reproducing sound being labelled hi-fi, in order to counter that the DIN organisation created a standard for what products can be sold as Hi-Fi in Germany, while not extremely strict there are still to be found home theatre and audio systems that do not meet the requirements even to this day.

High Blend
A circuit used in stereo FM tuners that blends the high frequencies into a mono signal. This is useful with low signals strength and with bad receiving conditions were you can get rid of the stereo noise in the higher frequencies since a lot of the noise is out of phase between the channels and hence disappears when you revert it to mono. The result is to greatly reduce overall noise but still give you a stereo signal in the lower frequencies. In personal and car radios this circuit is usually permanently on without the manufacturers ever telling you so, but this is a very useful function that should be on every tuner as an option (preferably as a variable option) and an inclusion of it is a pointer towards a careful design. Some manufacturers also have an automatic blending circuit which detects the presence of stereo noise and adjust accordingly, this is usually called AutoBlend.

Hill and dale
Used to describe mechanical recording and reproducing systems were the transducer moves on the vertical axis only, thus creating a up-and-down groove that soon became came popularly known as "hill and dale" to differentiate it from the horizontally modulated groove of the gramophone. Examples include the Dictaphone and Edison cylenders.

A widescreen high definition television with 1125 lines and 30 frames a second compressed using the MUSE standard. Designed in Japan in the late 70's and early 80's and intended to replace the archaic NTSC standard but the American government resisted the usage of something not "home made" so it was never deployed outside Japan.

HS-Link = Accuphase High Speed Link
A propriety digital audio interface used by Accuphase from the late 1990's onwards due to a lack of a standardised high resolution audio transfer interfaces on the market. HS-Link is a digital audio interface that transmits PCM audio data at up to 192 kHz @ 24 bits and DSD data at 2.8224 MHz and uses computer networking technology, including transceivers and a standard Cat-5 networking cable terminated in a RJ-45 connector. Despite the use of networking transceivers it should be noted that HS-Link's are not duplex devices and require an input connector and an output connector.

It should also be noted that the HS-Link interfaces are sold as optional plug-in boards rather than supplied as standard in most cases, high end units such as Accuphase DP-100 and Accuphase DC-101 were shipped with those HS-Link boards but a number of cheaper units such as the Accuphase DP-77 and Accuphase DP-85 SACD players, the Accuphase DP-75v CD player and the Accuphase DC-303 amplifier could take them as an option. When this was written in April 2011, Accupahse was still supplying the DI2-HS1 input board for use in compatible DAC’s and amplifiers, but was no longer supplying the DO2-HS1 dual output board, however at this point in time all of the company's SACD players have an HS-Link output as standard, with only the “cheaper” CD and DVD players missing it. If you have an all Accuphase kit that includes upsampling CD or DVD player from the company capable of more operating at more than 96kHz or an SACD player this might be an worthwhile option for your amp.

This is an American term that is used for transducers that have some sort of shielding or other design features that minimise the injection of hum from internal or external sources, they "buck the hum" in other words. The word was commonly used in the 1930's and into the 1960's in audio circles primarily in relation to microphones but sees little use these day's except when it is used to describe a specific type of musical instrument pickups that features 2 coils wired out of phase making them reject noise, interference and so on via CMRR.

Hungarian naming convention
In Hungary it is customary to write the family name before the given name opposite to what is the convention in the west, giving rise to webpages and markings on equipment that can differ between intended markets, so an instrument sold to the western markets may be credited to Joe Bloggs while the same sold in Hungary is credited to Bloggs Joe. Note that large parts of Rumania were Hungarian until 1920 when they were given to Rumania as a thank you for their participation in WWI, the centre of musical instrument manufacture in Romania is the town of Reghin which is an 1926 amalgamation of the German Regen and Hungarian Magyarrégen. As much of the German speaking populace was forced to move out of the country in the 60’s and 70’s the town became a Hungarian linguistic zone even though the actual Hungarians were fewer than Romanian settlers and it is common for instrument makers to use the Hungarian custom of name writing even though they are ethnically Romanian or even Russian.

Hurdy Gurdy
Any hand cranked musical instrument, what that means in popular usage depends on what is the best known hand cranked instruments at the time, today a hurdy gurdy is commonly taken to be a wheel fiddle but in the latter half of the 19th century it was a hand cranked player piano and 50 years earlier it was the sort of reed instruments that you saw at music fairs.

Hz = Hertz
Denotes the cycles per second that a wave performs. Any acoustic, mechanical, magnetic, electric or radio wave has a duty cycle that can be described as the length the wave travels between the start and the end of each cycle or in the frequency of cycles it performs per second.

When describing the latter it was traditional to use the shortening C.P.S. or "cycles per second" in the English speaking world but the ISO organisation decided to promote the use of Hz moniker to honour the name of Heinrich Hertz and to gain a standardised word that works across languages. In common usage it is assumed that you understand that it is waves that are being referred to, so duty cycles are "frequency", "length", "bands" and so on, note also that kilohertz are shortened to kHz while megahertz are shortened to MHz, this is because K is supposed to stand for Kelvin in SI units so in technical publications any shortenings that denote a thousand are to use a small k, this is in opposition to political and financial documents where a thousand is always shortened to a big K.

While ISO expects Hertz to be used everywhere there are a few language zones where the take-up has been slow or non-existent, primarily where a the native equivalent word has a naturalistic or logical basis and thus gets preference in common usage, such as in Icelandic rið (= wobble).

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am