Glottographic signals may be superior to acoustic signals for tracking glottal source perturbations, since supraglottal vocal tract effects on glottographic signals are relatively minimal compared with the acoustic signal as measured beyond the lips. This study compared the ability of differing signals to differentiate among normal voices and abnormal voices that were due to two categories of biomechanical disease. Acoustic, electroglottographic, and photoglottographic signals recorded during vowel phonation sustained by 26 normal subjects and 65 patients were measured for perturbations of frequency and amplitude. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that amplitude perturbation measures from photoglottographic signals significantly differentiated neuromuscular from mass lesion sources of dysphonia. Acoustic and electroglottographic signal perturbations differentiated between normal and abnormal voices but did not distinguish between the dysphonic characteristics of neuromuscular disorders and those of mass lesions of the vocal folds.