Test Your Hi-FiQ

How do you rate as an audio expert? Test yourself on these 25 questions.

All of the following are multiple-choice questions, dealing with things that every audio hobbyist should know, either before or after completing the test. Most of them are easy, but take your time in answering and don't jump to conclusions. Some of the questions are quite tricky, and wrong answers will be subtracted from your final score, so read them and the possible answers carefully before committing yourself. Don't guess if you aren't fairly sure. (Answers are on the next page.)

1. When an elliptical stylus is in the groove, which stylus radii contact the groove walls?
(a) The smaller radii.
(b) The larger radii.
(c) The stylus tip.

2. When an FM stereocast is received on a monophonic table-model FM radio, the listener hears
(a) the left channel only.
(b) both channels simultaneously.
(c) the right channel only.

3. The watts of power produced by an amplifier are the same kind of watts of power consumed by a flashlight bulb.
(a) True
(b) False

4. It is theoretically impossible for a very large loudspeaker radiator to produce very high frequencies.
(a) True
(b) False

5. Loudness compensation should be used
(a) when the orchestra is playing loudly.
(b) when the orchestra is playing softly.
(c) Neither of these.

6. The tracking weight of a pickup is correctly called
(a) tracking pressure.
(b) tracking force.
(c) static balance.

7. If an unidentified tape reproduces sound backwards through both channels when played on a properly- adjusted 4-track machine, the tape was originally recorded in
(a) full-track mono.
(b) 4-track stereo.
(c) 2-track stereo.
(d) 4-track mono.

8. When a pickup hums as your hand approaches it, it is receiving inductive hum interference.
(a) True
(b) False

9. The input loading resistor in a preamplifier serves to provide a correct match to the pickup's output impedance.
(a) True
(b) False

10. Selectivity is the measure of an FM tuner's ability to separate stations that are on the same frequency.
(a) True
(b) False

11. One variety of loudspeaker utilizes the same force that causes dust to adhere to a vinyl disc. What force is this?
(a) Ionization.
(b) Magnetic attraction.
(c) Electrostatic attraction.
(d) Gravitational force.

12. Assuming that the optimum tracking force for a pickup is the minimum value at which it will track most discs without distortion, the error that would yield the least record wear would be one that deviates
(a) slightly above the optimum force.
(b) slightly below the optimum force.

13. Most ribbon microphones have a directivity (pickup) pattern shaped like
(a) a heart (cardioid).
(b) a figure 8 (bidirectional).

14. Sinewaves are used for testing an amplifier's continuous-power output capability. Music-power tests are made using
(a) squarewaves.
(b) sinewaves.
(c) saw-tooth waves.
(d) white noise.

15. Friction in a tonearm's pivot has the same effect as viscous damping of the pivot.
(a) True
(b) False

16. The deepest musical fundamental frequencies are produced by
(a) the double bass.
(b) the bassoon.
(c) some pipe organs.
(d) some bass drums.

17. The harsh, tearing distortion one often hears from the inner grooves of heavily-modulated discs is
(a) tracing distortion.
(b) tracking distortion.

18. In order to reproduce (in an average-sized living room) the original concert-hall volume of an orchestra, the power amplifier must be able to deliver peak power levels of
(a) 5 watts.
(b) 35 watts.
(c) 70 watts.
(d) 144 watts.
(e) any of the above.

19. Which of these instruments is most likely to cause high-frequency overloading at recording sessions?
(a) Cymbals.
(b) Triangle.
(c) Castanets.
(d) Xylophone.

20. If the entire sound is drastically reduced in volume when a monophonic disc is played with the function switch in the A+B position, this usually means
(a) the loudspeakers are connected out of phase.
(b) the pickup is connected out of phase.
(c) the preamplifier is defective.

21. A nuvistor is
(a) a special transistor for RF applications.
(b) a variety of field-effect transistor.
(c) a variety of vacuum tube.

22. Increasing a pickup's compliance will usually improve its tracking of high frequencies.
(a) True
(b) False

23. Why doesn't lightning usually cause static in an FM receiver?
(a) Because its energy is limited to a different part of the radio frequency band.
(b) Because the FM signal is stronger than the static interference.
(c) Because lightning is AM and not FM.

24. For best results, a phono unit should always be levelled.
(a) True
(b) False

25, What is the distance between successive air pressure waves (ie, what is the wavelength) of a 1130Hz air borne sound?
(a) 1 foot.
(b) 113 inches.
(c) 11.3 feet.


jim davis's picture

For some reason, I expected more questions about pipe organs.

Archimago's picture

No worries. Remember folks, this is a 1968 article. 14/25 questions are about vinyl or FM radio :-).

I guess that's what they thought about almost 50 years ago when digital reproduction was only a dream. Obviously vinyl is still with us and FM probably is viewed as convenience rather than medium of "hi-fi", I bet many of us weren't even born yet.

calaf's picture

fun! Looks like 1968 audiophiles knew their physics...

Catcher10's picture

Apparently that is what I am...an audio doofus. 14/25 right.....What the krapp is a "phono unit"? LOL

arksoundguy's picture

Oh ! Wait a minute... I have a job in this industry.
What do I win?