The Definitive Hi-Fi Glossary of Terms

Posted on 11th September, 2023

The Definitive Hi-Fi Glossary of Terms

Phil Hawkins puts together the definitive glossary of terms that all audiophiles should know…

8K

The amount of money you dropped on a new projector or large-screen TV before you realised you had nothing left for an amplifier and speakers. 

BANANA PLUG

A method of advertising fruit by constant praise and mentions, especially on TV or radio.

BASS

In a band, the instrument played by the person who translates for the drummer.

CAPSTAN

A former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

CHIPSET

An accompaniment to a parmigiana.

CHROMA

One who inhales solvents. Not recommended.

CODEC

An old brand of photographic equipment from South Africa.

COPPER WINDINGS

Being chased by the police on a mountain road.

CROSSOVER FREQUENCY

The number of times a politician votes against his or her own party.

DIPOLES

Something to do with the Indian Ocean and rainfall in Australia.

DISPERSION

What happens when you start explaining the features of your new receiver to people who aren’t interested.

DISTORTION

An intentional misrepresentation, for example, by a politician. (See “Crossover Frequency”)

EQUALISER

A late goal at the soccer.

ELECTROSTATIC

The feeling of profound excitement caused by buying a new piece of electronic gear.

FLAC

Strong criticism about the way you download or rip music files.

FLAT RESPONSE

The usual reaction from your partner when your friends suddenly descend on your house with numerous bottles of wine and heaps of vinyl.

GAIN

The psychological and very personal effect of spending twice as much as you needed to after originally setting a budget. It may or may not be logarithmic.

HDMI

An abbreviation for Hydroxydesipramine: a chemical created when using the antidepressant Norpramin, administered to people with Cable Overload.

HERTZ

A German physicist who saw no practical application for electromagnetic radio waves.

HYBRID LOG GAMMA

A fraternity house in one of those screwball American college movies.

INFINITE BAFFLE

The lingering effect of reading a 128-page instruction manual written by people with engineering degrees.

JITTER

The feeling of nervousness after parting with a lot of money on one new device that you thought you needed. (See 8K)

LEGACY CONNECTIONS

The obscure family members you meet up with after the death of a wealthy relative.

LENS SHIFT

When you can’t find your reading glasses.

LIGHT BLEED

Just a scratch.

MATRIX

A computer-generated virtual reality designed to keep human beings under control. Also known as Netflix.

NATIVE RESOLUTION

Any form of agreement with the original inhabitants.

OVER EAR

An invitation to join a geezer for a drink in a London pub.

POWER BOARD

A collective of people who preside over big companies.

REFLEX PORT

A fortified drink that you naturally turn to during a long night of music after the wine has run out. (See Flat Response)

SLEW RATE

How quickly a vehicle loses control on an icy road.

SOUNDBAR

An intimate space serving alcohol and either live or prerecorded music.

SOUNDSTAGE

The raised bit at one end of the soundbar.

SPEAKER SENSITIVITY

A condition where criticism or feedback on what you say to others is always unwelcome.

SPIDER

A small creature that lives behind the subwoofer. Very skilled web designer.

STEREO SEPARATION

A trial period apart from your beloved due to your obsession with hi-fi equipment.

SUBSAMPLING

What the Australian Government and Department of Defence have been doing for the best part of a decade.

SWEET SPOT

The best aisle in the supermarket.

TIMBRE

The focus of Irish carpenters.

TONE ARM

A sequence of exercises directed at the biceps and triceps.

TRANSFORMER

A Japanese toy that spawned more movies than Rocky Balboa.

TWEETER

A rampant social media junkie.

UHD

User Help Desk. The department that you call if the instructions for setting up your TV / display device are too complex. (See Infinite Baffle)

VOLUME KNOB

The bloke next door who continually complains about noise levels from your home theatre system.

WATT

The inventor of the steam engine. He was satisfied at the time there was no need to explain how many of his surname it produced.

WOOFER COVERS

Protection for your dog during these cold winters.

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    Phil Hawkins

    Phil spent most of his career in the consumer electronics industry, wholesale and manufacturing, import and export. He started in the early days of CD, hoping to buy good equipment that would do his band’s recordings justice. Turns out not much would fix that, but a career built nevertheless.

    Posted in:Hi-Fi StereoNET
    Tags: fun  hifi jokes 

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