I'm learning about distortion and I got stuck at

"What is the difference between linear and non-linear distortion?" (Also in frequency spectrum i.e. Amplitude and phase spectrum)

  • $\begingroup$ Also I would like to know if a LTI system can cause Nonlinear distortion? $\endgroup$ – Avinash Baldi Apr 15 '19 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ An ideal LTI system is linear by definition, so I guess the answer is clear (?) $\endgroup$ – Matt L. Apr 15 '19 at 7:06

The Wikipedia article on "distortion" is actually pretty good. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distortion

Partially it's about semantics and how you exactly define the term. By most definition "linear distortion" is used equivalent to "non ideal frequency response" where magnitude and/or phase are a non-trivial function of frequency.

Non-linear distortion is caused by any type of mechanism that violates linearity. Typical examples are limiting or clipping or compression.

An LTI does not cause any type of non-linear distortion, however they typically do cause linear distortion if defined as "non-flat frequency response"


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