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This work considers the need for both the amplitude and phase to fully characterize polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane hydrophones and presents a comprehensive discussion of the nonlinear acoustic measurements utilized to extract the phase information and the experimental results taken with two widely used PVDF membrane hydrophones up to 100 MHz. A semi-empirical computer model utilized the hyperbolic propagation operator to predict the nonlinear pressure field and provide the complex frequency response of the corresponding source transducer. The PVDF hydrophone phase characteristics, which were obtained directly from the difference between the computer-modeled nonlinear field simulation and the corresponding measured harmonic frequency phase values, agree to within 10% with the phase predictions obtained from receive-transfer-function simulations based on software modeling of the membrane's physical properties. Cable loading effects and membrane hydrophone resonances were distinguished and identified through a series of impedance measurements and receive transfer function simulations on the hydrophones including their hard-wired coaxial cables. The results obtained indicate that the PVDF membrane hydrophone's phase versus frequency plot exhibits oscillations about a monotonically decreasing line. The maxima and minima inflection point slopes occur at the membrane thickness resonances and antiresonances, respectively. A cable resonance was seen at 100 MHz for the hydrophone with a 1-m cable attached, but not seen for the hydrophone with a shorter 0.65-m cable.