Jargon and lingo glossary - T.

Jargon and lingo glossary - T.

A town in Taizhu prefecture in China originally founded in 937, remained a small trading town servicing the local agricultural areas until the latter half of the 20th century when the town industrialised at an explosive rate. What is unusual is that the area it is in is not traditionally an industrial or international trading area but an agricultural one while other towns & city’s in China that have seen such growth in the last 2 decades have either traditionally been trading hubs or industrial areas or have had good connections to such.

What is even more remarkable is the proliferation of musical instruments manufacturers in the area, it is now the biggest single point of musical instruments manufacturing in the world with for instance over 20% of all violins made worldwide originating in that one place. Other Chinese cities with lots of MI factories like Guang Zhou have a long tradition of MI manufacturing and the companies tend to be small and specialised, Guang Zhou had over 5000 small MI makers a few years back for instance, Taixing on the other hand has no history of MI manufacture and the companies tend to range from mid-sized to big although some smaller operators exist.

Tape Speed
The speed at which a tape travels across the recording or playback head measured in centimetres per second. Most open reel recorders offer a choice of recording speeds so that the user can choose between recording quality and length, this is also possible with some cassette decks and other analogue recording formats, but by no means common.

In the English speaking world tape speeds are often expressed in the archaic IPS or inches per second, note that while ips is indeed an abbreviation and should be spelled all caps there is a long running tradition of using and spelling it as a word especially in England.

The most common speeds are : 2.38cm (15/16ips), 4.75cm (1.7/8ips), 9.5cm (3.3/4ips), 19.05cm (7.1/2ips), 38.1cm (15ips) and 76.2cm (30ips), those numbers are often rounded nota bene.

The origins of the tape speed standard are simple, the first tape recorder from Telefunken ran at 77 cm and later portable models from the company featured speeds that were divides of that number, and since stolen Telefunkens were heavily used by the US broadcasting industry after WWII the first US based manufacturers of recorders such as Ranger and Ampex needed to make their equipment compatible with pre-recorded tapes and averaged the speed to the nearest inch, this is also the reason the early Ampex units used DIN spools.

1024 Gigabytes of data or 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 8 bits (sigh) in the real world or 1012 if you are a hard disk manufacturer.

The representation of number in powers of 3, this is occasionally used as the basis for a digital system mostly as a "last resource" when you need to build a system that has to be compatible with an older binary based standard but also to offer a higher resolution as with Supermidi, in such "upgrade" cases the system used is typically Balanced Ternary using the digits 0, 1 and -1 rather than the usual 0, 1 and 2 as is used in logical applications (i.e. a normal ternary system), the legacy systems ignore the negative and see the data as binary while the ternary based systems take advantage of it.

Rotating force, in most cases measured in kilograms. Primarily useful as a measurement in the audio world when talking about DJ or other professional record decks, but the more torque a turntable motor has means that it's platter will start up or respond faster after being held by force, but in general terms the more torque that a turntable motor has the easier it is to design a system that is stable speed wise.

TOSLink See --> S/PDIF

A term used in the broadcasting industry to describe radio broadcast that originate in the earth's atmosphere as in traditional TV and radio broadcasting, opposed to signals beamed in from space or brought to you via cable.

Transceiver = Transmitter/Reciever
A device or an component that can both transmit and receive signals, traditionally this word was used for combined radio transmitters/receivers only but in the last few decades this word has become common in the computer and telephony industries for anything that can handle any sort of transmission and reception functions simultaneously.

Any device that converts mechanical or acoustical energy into electrical energy or vice versa. Phonographic pickups, loudspeakers and microphones are all examples of a transducer. There term is also used for mechanisms that convert mechanical energy into acoustic energy and so on, but those have not been used in the audio industry since the days of wind up gramophones so the simplified explanation given here above is more pertinent.

Term literally means something of a short duration but it's usually meant to mean a sudden and sharp but temporary increase in energy or information volume (i.e. a "spike" in a waveform or plot). This can cause all sorts of problems in that either the device has not expected this amount of energy and thus reacts by ignoring everything beyond it's expectations causing distortion (in extreme cases can damage the equipment) or the equipment can react and adapt to the transient but by doing so creates abnormal conditions for the normal signal.

For instance in loudspeakers a transient can cause the woofer to travel to it's extremes, this can not only mask or distort the sounds immediately around the transient since the woofer cannot react to them but the counter force will cause sounds that come after the transient to be masked or lose their timing coherence (their attack and decay characteristics are partially lost resulting in a muddled sound).

Note that because of the integration tendencies of your ears that results in sounds of very short duration being ignored and not presented to the brain it can happen that a transient itself is not heard by you directly but only the side effects, in the previous case of a woofer you might hear a thump when the woofer is driven to its extremes and a muddy sound for a couple of seconds afterwards but not the spike that actually caused it, in some cases the spike can also go beond the reproduction capabilities of the equipment and a similar effect will happen, i.e. you will hear the side effects and see the smoke but not the spike itself or only a portion of it.

On/Off Transient : Some equipment generates a huge signal transient when turned on or off, this manifests itself as an audible "thump" sound when you perform either operation, this is usually a minor design fault and is in most cases nothing to worry about, however if an amplifier is turned up loud such a transient can damage a speaker in extreme cases due to the sharpness of the pulse. The solution to this is simple, do not turn on your amplifier until you have turned on your source components and turn off your amp before you turn off your sources, this is a recommended practice anyway.


Primarily seen used for a Transversal Equaliser but these are “trainable filters” that operate in the phase-amplitude domain (time domain) rather than the frequency domain like the tuned filters used in most equalisers, and are intended for use in sound reinforcement installations to cancel out echos, problematic frequency’s and similar phenomena. The device is basically has an analysis cirquit that feeds a delay line with multiple output taps, each tap is hooked up to an all-pass filter controlled by the analyser and the output of these is then re-aligned and summed. For the unit to work correctly it has to be “trained” although in modern implementations that is an automatic function. A transversal equaliser can have a user interface that is either specifically adapted for its usage or have the user interface of a graphic equaliser.

The primary advantage that a transversal eq. has over a traditional tuned filter approach used in most equalisers is that it has no or limited phase errors, no ripples at its extremities like analogue tuned filters show and no harmonic distortion at extremities like digital filters show due to a lack of data width. This led to people attempting to sell these devices into recording studios in the 70’s and 80’s as replacements for graphic and octave equalisers but the primitive digital and BBD based circuits of the day, while good enough for PA applications, simply did not sound good enough to compete with the analogue designs in situations that required good fidelity and were comparatively expensive. The thing with analogue tuned filters is that phase errors need not sound bad, even though they are obviously errors, this means that clever designers can develop equalisers that turn the phase error from a defect to an advantage by making the phase error pleasant sounding, effectively making the output of the equaliser sound better than the input, passive octave equalisers also often showed mild saturation effects that sound rather good as well.

The presence of multiple output taps is where the name comes from, the signal “transverses in time” along its tap outputs, but it was also commonly called “Fractional-Space Equalisation”. In practical terms a transversal equaliser is the same as a FIR filter although modern FIR filters are implemented slightly differently but it has become customary to refer to analogue devices or separate units as Transversal Eq’s or filters even though they use FIR’s internally, while integrated units or software are referred to as by implementation name.

A trust company set up by the German government in 1991 after the unification of East and West Germany. All the property owned by the East German government was put in to the trust and either redistributed to their original owners in the cases were they had been confiscated or nationalised in the first place or in the case of those that were deemed to be truly to be original creations of the East German state they where liquidated or sold off, like in the case of companies that were state owned enterprises from the start and not built on the foundations of earlier companies and properties that already belonged to the state prior to the creation of EG in 1949. In the case of companies such as RFT that were both, e.g. they were built up of both original and appropriated companies, they were liquidated and either the original appropriated property was returned to it's original owners or they were compensated financially by the trust.

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