Jargon and lingo glossary - W.

Jargon and lingo glossary - W.

WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor
A formal set of rules put forward by former Studio Sound and HFN&RR editor John Crabbe to determine the likelihood of your wife allowing your latest purchase into the living room rather than relegating it to your "listening room" (e.g. garage). If simplified it states that the more a hi-fi unit resembles a furniture item, artwork or something ridiculously expensive the higher the WAF, in other words anything made by Bang & Olufsen has a high WAF, while anything made by SAE has a low one and something you built yourself has zero. In the more politically correct parts of the world (e.g. USA, Sweden etc.) WAF becomes SAF or Social Acceptance Factor and "wife" becomes "partner", this term is obviously incorrect since it implies that an audiophile has a social life of some sort.

Watermarking is a technique whereby a signal or a file is modified so that it gets a "fingerprint" that can be used to later identify that signal or recording/copy thereof by checking for the existence of a watermark. The technique is sometimes called fingerprinting.

In the audio field this technique has always been controversial since most audio recorders only record audio signals and then only in the human audible range, this means that any audio watermarking technique is basically either taking something out of or adding to the audible range since there is no space for anything else. In other words you will be able to hear the difference between a clean and a watermarked signal, theoretically if not in practice.

There have been numerous attempts by record companies to add watermarking techniques to their releases, most of them based on work done at the old CBS laboratories that where based on various Psychoacoustic Masking techniques that got increasingly complex as the years progressed. The last time this technique was seriously used was with DVDA disks, but the DVD-A standard demanded that the audio signal contained an analogue watermark, although later dropped from the specifications the only company that was by that time regularly putting out DVD-A releases was Warner Brothers, the company that originally demanded that the standard featured watermarking, so they continued to release their disks with marks anyhow.

In video creating watermarks is something that is much easier since any sort of video signal whether it is analogue or digital has all kinds of gaps in them for technical reasons that can be used to create a watermark that will have little or no effect or reproduction.


A type of a Hawaiian lap steel guitar originally designed by German instrument maker Hermann C. Weissenborn from his Los Angeles, USA based workshop in the late 1910's. The guitar features a deep hollow neck, an enlarged body for higher volume and a strong X-bracing required for the steel strings, in fact with the exception of the body shape that is reminiscent of a guitar the instrument would not normally be classified as a guitar, it is built like a dulcimer or zither, and apart from the large body is strangely reminiscent of certain Scandinavian 6 string Lyres.

Name used to cover sundry and usually unrelated German and Austrian post-WWII resistance movements. In Germany primarily active in the British and American occupation zones but in Austria almost exclusively in the Soviet zone.

Wet hire See --> Dry Hire

White Goods
As opposite to brown goods, historically it refers to the types of electric household products that were traditionally white in colour i.e.. fridges and washing machines etc., today it is used to cover all household products that are used for utilitarian purposes.

White instruments
A musical instrument made out of wood that is sold fully built but unvarnished, unfinished and unbranded, these are usually classical instruments such as violin although guitars are sometimes sold as WI as well.

A master clock signal sent out by a digital audio playback device such as a DAT recorder or a CD transport to a receiver such as another recorder or a D/A converter side by side with a digital audio signal such as S/PDIF, this means that the receiving device input converters/processors are being controlled by the clock of the device that is sending the audio signal, although in hi-fi it is often the other way around with the receiver controlling the sender and in professional audio circles a master clock is often used but that is a specially built high precision device that will in turn control multiple transmitting and receiving devices.

The use of a wordclock minimises Jitter and other clock mismatch errors, this is especially important when further conversion has to take place on the receiving end such as sample rate conversion or dithering etc. Primarily seen in the pro audio industry although not unknown in high end audio products, the use of a wordclock obviously requires the correct I/O on both the transmitting and the receiving device and the connectors are usually BNC

Most modern professional or audiophile digital audio standards such as I2S Enhanced et al, send out clocking signal alongside the audio signal for this purpose, either integrated into the signal or into the medium (extra pins on a cable for a wordclock signal etc.).

WORM = Write Once Read Many
Any recordable technology or format that does not allow deletion and/or re-recording of it's media. Examples include almost all mechanical recording technologies such as paper tapes, recordable disks and acetates, but some more modern technologies such as Compact Disk Recordable and so on are also WORM's due to technical or marketing reasons, some types of WORM disks such as MO disks are referred to as "postscript media" and are variants of normally re-recordable media especially designed for archival purposes (longer lifetime and durability in addition of no chance of you writing over any existing data).

WOT = With Output Transformer.
Usenet slang, seldom seen these days, this is the most common way of making valve amplifiers where a trasformer is used as both a current source for the output stage and as a means to lowering Zout from a valve to make it usable with a speaker. The high interest in OTL amps in the late 90's created the need for an opposite term.

Next Page : Jargon Dictionary - X to 9 -- Previous Page : Jargon Dictionary - U & V

© 1993 - 2013 Ólafur Gunnlaugsson, all rights reserved.

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