Jargon and lingo glossary - E to G.

Jargon and lingo glossary - E to G.

A very hard vulcanised rubber often used in mouthpieces especially for clarinets and saxophones, and more seldom as an insulator in high end power connectors/conditioners etc. sold to hi-fi buffs. Note that mouthpieces are often also made out of hard vulcanised rubber that is actually softer than ebonite and some manufacturers will give you an option of the 2 variations since the same basic process is used in forming mouthpieces even though the post processing is slightly different. Ebonite has been largely superseded by plastics but still preferred by many manufacturers and players since it is usually slightly softer than plastics, has a more natural feel and slightly different acoustical characteristics, but in general the acoustical properties of ebonite are closer to plastics than to softer rubbers. Originally invented in the late 19th century as an alternative to ebony wood, hence name.

EMA/EMEA = Europe/Middle East/Africa
A large part of multinational companies let their European headquarters handle logistics and marketing for the Middle East and Africa in addition to Europe, this has lead to the creation of EMA as a marketing term. Slightly geographically incorrect since it usually includes Asia Minor as well.

Fanzine See --> magazine

FFT = Fast Fourier Transforms
A group of very fast algorithm that are used to calculate discrete Fourier transforms, or to put it another way FFTs are sets of formulas that allow you to do DFT calculations using much less computing power than calculating using the DFT formula itself but getting the same results. They are so efficient at this that it meant that early computing equipment could be used to analyse digitised sound data and convert them to usable textural and graphical information that can then be used to analyse a sounds or devices behaviour. This meant that loudspeaker companies started to use computers for aiding them in designing speakers as early as the late 60s and by the late 70s even small 8 bit personal computers could be used to useful sound analysis.

Firewire See --> 1394

A design feature seen on high end belt/string driven turntables although it has cropped up on a few ultra high end belt driven CD players. Instead of having motor connected to the platter via the belt, the motor actually drives a flywheel that in turn drives the platter, pulley is usually on the flywheel (although I have seen another arrangements such as a flywheel directly connected to the motor). This arrangement can reduce motor vibrations and timing incorrections.

FM = Frequency Modulation
A technique where information content is added to a wave by modulating the frequency of the wave.

In radio: To get audio data onto a radio wave the instantaneous frequency of the wave is modulated while the amplitude remains constant, this is the opposite to an AM radio where the amplitude is modulated while the frequency axis remains constant. There is limited if any quality difference between FM and AM radio per-se, the better quality of FM broadcasts is due to FMs use of a much wider bandwidth, the reason FM was chosen over AM in its day for HQ broadcasts was more due to the tendency of AM to do amplitude fading but in the 1920's and 30s that phenomenon was difficult to fight with the technology available. Originally developed in Germany in the 1920's.

In video recorders: All analogue video recorders modulate the luminance and chrominance signals with a low carrier ratio FM to limit the frequency content of the signals but the magnetic recording techniques available at the time they were introduced simply did not have enough bandwidth to record the untreated signals.

In music technology: Modulating the base frequency carrier of a digital sound to get a more harmonically richer one is a process that is light on CPU power in comparison to other techniques available to early digital synthesiser designers, this meant it was widespread in academic circles in the 60s and 70s. That technique used the Stanford FM system which required the use of a large number of oscillators (typically 32+), later refinement by Yamaha Corp. in the late 70s introduced a feedback loop into the modulator and enabled you to get similar results with only 4+ oscillators, although to be truthful the Yamaha system is closer to Phase Distortion than FM.

The initial effects of a the breakdown of paper material due to the acids left in the paper from the manufacturing process, this is something that can be critical in any audio product that utilises paper and in particular in loudspeaker cones and paper capacitors. Paper has been made for a few thousand years and is a remarkably resilient material, however at the beginning of the 19th century European paper manufacturers developed much cheaper and faster techniques to manufacture paper that often left the paper more acidic or chemically active that it had previously been, in particular the deamand for compleatly white paper lead to manufacturers starting to utilise bleach in the manufacturing process.

Acidic paper becomes brittle and starts falling apart after a few years, the breakdown of the paper will be accelerated by 2 factors, the asidics generated by car engines and by various glues and chemical treatments that have been used on the paper in the case of treated paper.

FPGA = Field Programmable Gate Array
Basically a user configurable computer logic IC, an expensive but highly flexible engineering solution often used in high end audio DSP's since some audio related calculations require headroom not provided by commercial chips or only in configurations that are prohibitively expensive.

Fractional-Space Equalisation See --> transversal

Frecuency See --> Hz

Full Duplex See --> duplex

1024 Megabytes of data or 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 8 bits.

GNP = Gross National Product
A country's relative riches, or the amount of money each country is thought to have made in a given year divided by the number of inhabitants and this is the primary source of data used in perceived worth pricing models increasingly used in the CE business. At the top of the published lists you will usually have Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, give or take a meltdown or two, and at the bottom there are usually various sub-Saharan countries.

This method of calculating economic power can be misleading though, countries with an unusually large percentage of young people like Iran have a middle class with a greater purchasing power than the GNP would indicate since the younger people are not yet economically active, so sales of luxury products like mid and high end audio are larger than you might infer from the GNP, countries with an unusually even wealth distribution like Sweden have a middle class with a much greater purchasing power than in countries like the UK, even though the latter has a higher GNP currently (had, by the time you read this, the real world keeps interfering with my writings).

The GNP has a bearing on consumer electronics due to the existence of "perceived worth" pricing models, these models were traditionally used in the USA fashion industry and are alleged to have originated at the Levi's jeans company but have also been seen used by other companies with a strong brand presence like Coca-Cola. In those models a product is priced according to what a market is deemed to be capable of paying rather than in any relation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution cost of a product. Export prices were simply calculated with a GNP report from the Department of Trade next to you.

This practice is commonly taught in stateside business schools and has been taken up more and more recently by electronics companies, noticeably by industry behemoth Hewlett Packard, and it has quite frankly been causing heap-loads of trouble. Financial support from other nations is not calculated in to the GNP so countries like Israel that get unusually large amounts of financial aid per head have a greater purchasing power than what might seem at first, in addition the occupied territories are calculated into the GNP even though they are not really a part of the Israeli economy giving the country an unusually low GNP.

This has led to the country being the main supplier of grey market American goods to Europe, they are getting the products at considerably lower prices that some of their neighbours like the Balkan countries despite in reality having a similar standard of living. Similar trends are showing up elsewhere in the world, this is not a huge issue in the fashion industry were fakes are more of a problem than grey imports but in the electronics industry this simply means that companies are in price competition with themselves and are giving trade companies their business, in Europe they are forced by law to service the goods and honour guarantees of their products regardless of where they sold it to and at what price, in extreme cases this has led to losses for the European divisions of companies since they were servicing products that they had never seen before and thus had no profit from.

The UK and USA are usually not at the top of the GNP lists since they have a lower income distribution that the rest of the West, i.e. there is a tendency for the richer portions of those 2 societies to have more of the wealth than is usual making them seem richer than they actually are, this makes for another distortion in perception because this means that there are large portions of those 2 countries that are economically in the second or third world while other parts of the 2 are probably richer per square kilometre than anywhere outside of Dubai, and speaking of Dubai, large portions of the UAE are very poor keeping them off the top of the rich lists.

In some cases the extra cost of living in a given economy also needs to be factored in, Iceland is disgustingly rich, well, was when I wrote this apologies for any financial meltdowns that have happened in the meantime, but in the middle of nowhere and with no natural resources outside of geothermal energy and a few fish, so all industrial products and most foodstuff needs to be imported at great cost so the purchasing power there is more in line with Central Europe than Kuwait, and much lower than the GNP would indicate. This imbalance in purchase prices for the country has lead the local electronics importers to buy more and more from trading companies and less and less from the manufacturer themselves since they get the goods cheaper that way, this results in the goodwill residing with the trading company and not the manufacturer..

Guang Zhou
Commonly known in English as Canton and in large parts of Europe as Kanton. Guang Zhou is the capital of Guang Dong province in China and is the centre of musical instrument manufacture in the country with literally thousands of makers and subcontractors located there ranging from small workshops making traditional Cantonese instruments to multinationals manufacturing western instruments en masse for export. Note, Guang Dong and Guang Zhou can both be written as two words as the Chinese prefer it, or as one word as is common in the west.

Gns = Guineas
Since all historical prices on this site are given verbatim RRP for UK made hi-fi's is sometimes show in the currency of Gns or Guineas, in particular if they are from manufacturers that made "musical reproduction equipment for the discerning gentleman" (i.e. bloody expensive) rather than something bought at the local supermarket.

A Guinea is 1.05 Pounds Sterling or 21 shillings and was sometimes just abbreviated as G. or Gs., this form of currency was discontinued in 1971 when the UK government decimalised the Pound in anticipation of the UK joining the EU, but is still used in horse trading. The basic idea was that the 5% over the pound represented a sort of a commission, so if you "gave a gentleman a Guinea he would keep the pound and his gentleman would get a shilling".

To convert to pound prices simply multiply by 105%.

Grey markets
A grey market is simply the distribution of a product through a legal but not official distribution channels. In the case of hi-fi products the existence of a grey market is an indicator that there is a large difference between local wholesale prices and export wholesale prices from a manufacturer.

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