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A Musically Appropriate Dynamic Headroom Test for Power Amplifiers

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The EIA RS-490 (former IHF A-202) amplifier test standard includes a "dynamic headroom" test employing a 20-mS tone-burst. In an informal survey of musical recordings, power bursts were found with durations from a few milliseconds up to several hundred milliseconds, with an apparent clustering in the 80-200-mS range. Since the practical value of an amplifier depends on its ability to reproduce musical dynamics, a more useful power rating would be obtained by amending the dynamic headroom test to employ a 200-millisecond (or similar) tone-burst.

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