The drive (excitation) level is a general description of how hard a transducer is electrically excited. Three regimes are typically noted:
- Signal (instrumentation) level. This is typically less than one volt (e.g., for impedance analyzers).
- Low (instrumentation) level. This is typically less than 10 volts (e.g., for signal generators). This regime may also include the signal level regime. The resulting amplitudes are low; heating and nonlinear effects are generally not present.
- High level. This is typically several hundred volts for power supplies and power amplifiers. This gives amplitudes near the operational amplitude of the transducer; significant heating and nonlinear effects may occur.