Jargon and lingo glossary - C.

Jargon and lingo glossary - C.

Canton See --> Guang Zhou

In recordable media : A media format that contains 1 reel that is enclosed in a protective casing of some sort and the media (tape or wire typically) rolls from one end of the reel to another. The opposite to a Cassette.
In gramophones : Alternative name for phonographic Pickups, mostly used in USA and Australia and should only be used for a user replaceable pick-up separate from the tonearms headshell, for instance an electric reproducer is a pickup but it is not a cartridge.

A media format that contains 2 reels that are enclosed in a protective casing of some sort and the media (tape or wire typically) rolls from one reel to another. The opposite to a Cartridge.

CAV = Constant Angular Velocity
On disk based media formats such as gramophone records or floppies the rotational speed remains constant (or CLV) even though the size of a groove is smaller at the centre than it is at the edge of the disk, this means that the inner you get on the disk the smaller the groove gets leading to a loss of data quality or density. In some systems it is advantageous to make the angular speed constant rather than the rotational speed so that the same amount and quality of data is read off the disk regardless of where on the disk the reading takes place.

This is known as “Constant Angular Velocity” and simply means that the disk spins progressively faster the closer it gets to the centre, note that some formats, notably Laserdisc and CD-ROM’s allowed for both variants so that producers of media could choose between the trade-offs each system has.

CE = Consumer Electronics
Literally all electronics and most electric products that are built for sale to consumers for personal usage as opposed to built for use for professional purposes only, this includes household products such as white goods and brown goods in addition to portable and "toolshed" products such as power tools designed for consumer usage and so on, so forth.

Cellophane = Regenerated Cellulose Film
Cellophane is the common name for "Regenerated Cellulose Film" or "Transparent Cellulose Film", a material made out of wood pulp which has been converted into viscose with the aid of carbon disulphide and sodium carbonate, is then cast into a film with the aid of sulphuric acid and then baked. Cellophane is actually a trademark originating in 1912 when a French company called La Cellophane SA was formed to commercialise on the invention of the film by a Swiss chemist working for Cortaulds in 1910 or thereabouts, but the word has long since entered common usage to signify all RCF's.

Since it was the first cheap and relatively stable film material available it was used heavily by the film industry for both moving and still pictures, especially after 1920 but then the Dupont company had developed coatings that made it stronger and more stable but it also saw some use in the recording industry for a time, mostly as a base material for phonographic films such as the Tefifon etc.

As oil based films where cheaper, more resilient, could more easily be made thinner and are more chemically stable over time they quickly replaced Cellophane in media usage, however it survived much longer in the packaging industry, in particular in the food packaging industry since it was deemed to have less effect on the taste of the products it was wrapped around than the plastic equivalents, it is still used to a degree by the luxuries industries, where thick coloured variants are deemed superior to any plastics but price increases in wood pulp during the 1960's and 70's and technical innovation in plastic film in the early 80's meant that it has mostly disappeared from the general market.

There has been some recent interest in the material since it is based on a regenerable resource and can be made with fairly little effect on the environment, recent advancements in treatments of cellophane have also made it more flexible as a material.

Chapter 11
Chapter 11 is a part of USA bankruptcy law that gives companies that go into voluntary bankruptcy a limited protection from debtors in order to give them time to reorganise their finances, in most cases companies that go into Chapter 11 protection end up in full bankruptcy proceedings, but there have been some notable exceptions. This is in contrast to Chapter 7 which is a normal bankruptcy (administration) procedure. Very popular with audio companies.

A phenomenon that can happen in any sort of an amplification stage were the circuit is driven beyond its capabilities and thus either all excessive energy is discarded to a greater or lesser degree or the circuit cannot supply the required amount of energy, in the case of an audio signal the end result is that all transients and/or extreme edges of the Dynamic Range are cut off (or clipped) the signal and this will lead to a greater total harmonic distortion as the signal gets sharp edges and acts as a square like fundamental, generating overtones across the audio spectrum.

The technical reasons that cause clipping vary, in the case of power amplifiers it's usually not the active electronics themselves that are the cause of clipping but rather that the power supply is unable to supply the required amount of energy to the speakers, in preamplifier stages this can be the other way around, i.e. the device cannot handle the amount of energy.

CLV = Constant Linear Velocity
A term used for disk based media, traditional disk media such as gramophone records and hard drives maintain a constant rotational speed (aka linear velocity) even though that means as loss of data density at the inner grooves in comparison with the outer grooves, some newer media formats use CAV to fight this.

Co. = Company (English) or Company/Corporation (Asia)
The shortening Co. is invariably used in an English language trade entity name to shorten the term Company so any instance you will find of Co. can be safely expanded, the same goes for most European languages where the same shortening is used for the same term or a local variant thereof. However in Asia, even in the English speaking part of it is as commonly used as a shortening for Corporation and you will have to check before you expand. This can be significant because company is usually just a term for any sort of association while corporation can have a formal legal meaning in some countries.

Coax = Coaxial
Often shortened to just Coax, the term simply means 2 or more objects sharing one axis.

Coaxial speakers : A loudspeaker driver that contains 2 generators inside it, usually a bass driver and a tweeter.

Coaxial cable : Most commonly seen used in reference to Coaxial cable which is a signal cable (usually solid wire) that is electrically insulated with dielectric material, usually plastic, and then shielded by a tightly woven wire mesh that is also used as a signal return. Interestingly the tightly woven shielding is usually a better conductor than the signal cable due to electron jump (i.e. the mesh can handle higher bandwidth than a solid wire given the same amount of material), this is not by design and was only noted after this type of cable had become commonplace.

Audio cables that use this type of wire are S/PDIF interconnects that terminate in cinch plugs and analogue interconnects that terminate in BNC plugs, these are typically found in high end audio products only but also popular as a DIY mod, this type of cable and connector configuration actually comes from the computer world and was the most popular method of network wiring prior to the introduction of IBM's Twisted Pair.

The best known example of Coax wire however is the good old aerial cable that is used to carry information from an aerial to a receiver, this type of cable can found terminated in just about any type of connector but by far the most abundant example is the TV lead.

Codec = Encoder/Decoder
Simply put, a system or a device that can both encode and decode a signal.

Collective or Co-Operative businesses (Co-Op’s)
Often know by the shortened term CO-OP, a co-operative is a form of business organisation that has a long history in Europe, informal examples having existed since the dawn of European history and formally since the early 19th century in what is now Germany.

The basic difference between a co-op and a limited company of any sort is that a limited company is actually treated as a separate living organisms, but as far as the law is concerned a company is the equivalent to an individual with similar rights and responsibilities while in a co-op the members share the rights, responsibilities and profit.

This means in practical terms that a limited company owned by a single person for instance has a different credit rating than the owner and when a limited company goes bankrupt the owner is not liquidated since the company is in legal terms a wholly separate individual. With a cooperative company however the credit rating would be based around the participants and if a Co-op goes titsup any debts incurred by the company will be transferred to the owners.

This simplifies the regulatory structure surrounding the co-op a lot since there is no need for rules that specifically target a company structure, organisation and responsibilities, as individuals that make up the co-op are responsible for their own actions and any wrongdoing is treated as individual matters, dissolving of such companies is also much quicker so this is a form often used by larger companies for temporary projects, but that is only true if it is an unforced dissolvement, a forced liquidation of such a company by an owner or a third party can be unnecessarily complex.

For obvious reasons this sort of company structure is more suited to a smaller organisation although it is sometimes used by bigger concerns especially if it is a company structure made out of smaller companies, but it should be noted that the law regarding ownership of ltd. companies differs between countries, in some there needs only be one owner, in others there are strict rules on minimum and maximum ownership, this means that there are sometimes co-op’s running where you would expect to see a limited partnership and the other way around etc.

The USA political establishment and a number of European right wing economists have for a long time denounced this form of companies as “communism” but they do in fact have a number of advantages over the more modern forms of company structures, the main objections some people have appear to be historical, Karl Marx worked for the pan-German Cooperative movement (as a free-trade advocate funnily enough) and that experience had a large influence on his later work.

However in the USA there was a recognised tax term called simply "partnership" that followed very similar rules to a European co-op but lacked any real legal structure or definitions in many states, this was then formalised in 1988 after the Internal Revenue Service (tax authorities) decided that so called Limited Liability Companies would be taxed as partnerships. LLC's were used in the state of Wyoming for temporary oil businesses and directly modelled on German GmbH? legislation and funnily enough incorporate many of the ideas put forward in the Prussian Co-Op law of the 1830's, the main difference between a GmbH and a Co-Op is that there is a certain limitation of liabilities with a GmbH that is not given with a Co-Op and in turn GmbH's have a little bit more formal responsibilities, but in cases of any sort of foul play these liability limitations can be taken away by a court and the USA LLC legislature usually copies this down to a T.

Used for the 3 upper treble strings on a classsical guitar, in historical guitar literature this may be the top 2 strings. Opposite term is Name.

Compander = Compressor/Expander
A device such as a Noise Reduction Systems unit that can perform both compression and expansion to a signal.

Coneing or Re-Coneing
The art of placing a cone on a dynamic loudspeaker. Many people do not realise that a loudspeaker with a ripped or otherwise damaged cone is not something that you need to throw away but can be repaired fairly easily, in fact almost all speakers feature standard cone sizes and materials and in the case of expensive or medium priced loudspeakers this is well worth it, in fact if the speaker is worth more than ca 60 to 100 euros or so on the second hand market this is almaost always a worthwhile option.

Constant voltage systems See --> 100v

Term used to differentiate customers or other end users that only consume products, from customers and end users that use the product or service in an professional or interactive capacity. Although the word itself is older the meaning of the term as it is used in the electronics and computer industries originates in the USA radio broadcast field but unlike the European ones the USA radio station model does not involve licensing fees and thus relies on advertising or endorsement for financial sustenance, that usually comes from third parties rather than the users of the service, leaving the end-user as a passive recipient with no interaction with the creators of the products or their representatives in any form which was more or less a new concept at the time.

C.P.S. See --> Hz

Mostly useless pieces of software that are shipped "free" with hardware you buy, these are either small utilities or OEM software from third parties that will only function with a specific piece of hardware or "trial - software" which is normal software modified in such a way to render it useless in the hope of enticing you to buy a full version of it.


A term used for mixing together 2 audio tracks by lowering the signal volume from one track while boosting the signal volume from the other by the same amount. Primarily used with program material when the end of one song has to lead into the beginning of another, such as with DJ applications. This has led to the invention of the Crossfader, a single fader automatically regulates the volume decrease from one channel to the other, since the crossfader has become the most used fader on DJ mixers it is often made of a better quality materials than the rest of the faders on the mixer and is frequently optical rather than resistive.

The separation (or rather the lack thereof) between channels in audio equipment, measured as a crosstalk rejection in dB, note that this is usually only an interesting measurement in analogue tape recorders and mixers. Caveat : Japanese manufacturers and in particular American manufacturers of tape recorders usually only publish crosstalk figures for 1 specific frequency and thus gain a better specification since they avoid the more problematic high and low frequencies, European manufacturers however quote a crosstalk figure tested within a frequency range (usually 60Hz to 15KHz or so) giving a significantly lower, but more realistic figure.

CRTC = Canadian Radio-televison & Telecommunications Commission
A Canadian government run bureau that monitors, licenses and regulates communications and broadcasting in both wireless and landline variants.

CRT = Cathode Ray Tube
American slang for a Braun Tube.

The process of freezing things to very low temperatures. Interesting things start to happen to materials that are subjected to temperatures below -190 or so, the atomic structure gets slightly reorganised and small impurities in the structure even out. Although many theories are abound as to why this happens, no one is really sure. This process has been used commercially since the 60's by the Gillette company which uses it to prolong the life of certain types of metal blades, but in those sort of applications the difference between treated and untreated blades is quite pronounced, recently a number of wire manufactures have started to offer cables treated with this process.

C37 = Carbon 37
A theory on the response of your body to aural and other vibrational stimuli put forward by Austrian inventor Dieter Ennemoser, his theory is in reality a better worked out version of the various "Om" theories that have been doing the rounds courtesy of Occultists in the last couple of centuries but you can read more on the theory here here and make your own judgement.

Having said that, a couple of the products emerging from his research have been interesting, first and foremost is a type of lacquer that is intended to be used on a variety of surfaces available in a number of versions classified by the operational temperature of the material it's meant to be used with, but while the inventor intends the paint to be used on almost any surface it is mostly used on loudspeaker cones. This has been decried as an outright scandal by some self proclaimed "scientific thinkers" in the audio community on the basis that a lacquer cannot have any effect on the sound of a product, you can read one of the more often cited page here. One has to question if those gentlemen are not in need of a little brushing up on material theory, you should note that the writer of the page in question is not even familiar with the practice of lacquering transducers such as microphone elements and loudspeaker cones. Applying lacquer to loudspeaker cones is common in the loudspeaker industry in fact paper cones cannot be used in countries with high humidity without treatment and lacquering is the most common of them, this trick has also been used since the 30's at the least in an attempt to change the resonance characteristics of other items such as turntable platters and pickups, albeit with a varying degree of success.

The main problem with evaluating theories of this kind in the is that if you read both the writings of the proponents and the detractors, neither side appears quite erm... balanced .... Anyway, the fact that the most successful product to emerge from this is a lacquer may have a more mundane explanation than the one voiced in the C37 theory, Herr Ennemoser is a master violin maker, violins are covered in multiple layers of lacquer, not just for looks and wear and tear but also to change the acoustical properties of the instruments and one of the best kept secrets of the trade is the composition of its lacquers..... Oh... and C37 is a registered trademark BTW.

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