The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards characterize the waveform distortions in power systems with the amplitudes of harmonic and interharmonic groups and subgroups. These groups/subgroups utilize the waveform spectral components obtained from a fixed frequency-resolution discrete Fourier transform (DFT). Using the IEC standards allows for a compromise among the different goals, such as the needs for accuracy, simplification, and unification. In some cases, however, the power-system waveforms are characterized by spectral components that the DFT cannot capture with enough accuracy due to the fixed frequency resolution and/or the spectral leakage phenomenon. This paper investigates the possibility of a group/subgroup evaluation using the following advanced spectrum estimation methods: adaptive Prony, estimation of signal parameters via rotational invariance techniques, and root multiple-signal classification (MUSIC). These adaptive methods use variable lengths of time windows of analysis to ensure the best fit of the waveforms; they are not characterized by the fixed frequency resolution and do not suffer from the spectral leakage phenomenon. This paper also presents the results of the applications of these methods to three test waveforms, to current and voltage waveforms obtained from simulations of a real DC arc-furnace plant, and to waveforms measured at the point of common coupling of the low-voltage network supplying a high-performance laser printer.