XM radio
Mar 24, 2002 at 9:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

TimSchirmer

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Anyone know if this sounds at all better than normal radio? I know it has no commercials, but I'm speaking in terms of sound quality.
 
Mar 24, 2002 at 11:11 PM Post #2 of 28

MacDEF

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Search function...
Search function...
Search function...

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http://www.head-fi.org/forums/search...der=descending

I found at least three threads there that talk about it. Kind of mixed opinions.
 
Apr 16, 2002 at 5:21 AM Post #4 of 28

ellisos020

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Well I've been doing a little looking into XM and supposedly it's CD quality, I haven't heard it but I'm positive it at least beats even the best FM beacuse owners complain about the wuality when it's run through the FM aprt of their radio (meaning it must be better than the best FM stations right.....)
 
Apr 16, 2002 at 9:51 AM Post #5 of 28

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by ellisos020
Well I've been doing a little looking into XM and supposedly it's CD quality,


Kind of like MP3 is "CD quality"?
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Nov 13, 2002 at 4:25 PM Post #7 of 28

Mike Walker

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ellisos020 believes that since there is a sonic compromise when listening to xm (or other source) through an fm modulator in a car, then fm must not be capable of high quality sound. Now that's logical thinkin'! Because a 30 dollar fm modulator on sale at Wal Mart or Best Buy sounds bad, then the 30,000 dollar transmitter in use at the local NPR affiliate must not be capable of high quality sound. GEEZ! Talk about apples and oranges!

Perhaps I shouldn't get too upset. I've had an opportunity that most people haven't. Since I've worked in radio for nearly 30 years, I've been able on many occaions to directly compare the sound of a recording playing straight "through the board" from cd, lp, or dat with the signal having been processed, broadcast on fm (or am), and received through the "modulation monitor"...an extraordinarily high quality tuner locked onto the station's frequency, with both an audible output, and meters to measure modulation, frequency deviation, separation, channel balance, etc. Not only does fm sound REMARKABLY clean this way, often indistinguishable from the source recording (with audio processing switched out of the circuit), I think most people would be shocked at how good AM sounds!

Even with the audio processing switched in the circuit, if it's been set by an engineer who knows what he's doing, the major difference between the direct sound source and that having been broadcast on fm is a slight softening of transients caused by the peak limiter "limiting" large transient peaks to allow for higher average modulation, thus giving the station more "dial presence" (loudness), and (by raising average audio higher above the noise level, particularly in fringe areas), extending effective coverage.

OF COURSE FM IS A HIGH QUALITY MEDIUM! Prior to the addition of the potentially noisy Zenith system for fm stereo in the early 60s, fm was THE highest quality audio medium available to the public. Certainly FAR higher in quality than lp or tape recordings! The ultimate in high fidelity was a live band or orchestra playing live on an fm station! Frequency response extended to 20khz or beyond, with distortion and noise levels within striking distance of today's best digital sources!

The addition of stereo DID compromise ultimate fidelity potential, but far less than many believe! Get your hands on a TRULY high quality fm tuner! One of the "super tuners" from the 70s and early 80s would be an excellent investment (from companies such as Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, or Yamaha). These can be found on Ebay for well under a hundred bucks, often around 50! Or choose a new fm radio such as the new PAL from Tivoli Audio. Think fm isn't high fidelity? Plug in your headphones, and tune your "PAL" (Portable Audio Laboratory) to your favorite public radio playing classical, acoustic jazz, folk, or any other kind of acoustic music. The PAL is a remarkable value at 129.95! (www.tivoli.com)
 
Nov 13, 2002 at 7:40 PM Post #8 of 28

Tuberoller

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Quote:

Originally posted by morphsci
Yeah I was pretty high on XM before I heard it. Too many channels on the available bandwidth. We do not have very good FM stations around here but many of them have a better sound quality than XM. IMO.


I don't know how you heard XM radio.even the worst skeptics acknowledge the superior audio quality of XM broadcasts.I'll make this statement from the position of a guy who owns a few very good tuners and antennas and lives in an area with three very good FM stations:XM radio is superior in sound quality to ANY FM broadcast I have personally ever heard,It is not perfect but is still superior in nearly every way to FM.
 
Nov 13, 2002 at 8:32 PM Post #9 of 28

morphsci

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Quote:

Originally posted by Tuberoller
I don't know how you heard XM radio.even the worst skeptics acknowledge the superior audio quality of XM broadcasts.I'll make this satement for the position of a guy who owns a few very good tuners and antennas and lives in an area with three very good FM stations:XM radio is superior in sound quality to ANY FM broadcast I have personally ever heard,It is not perfect but is still superior in nearly every way to FM.


That was back in April, and I stand by my assessment at the time. I have since heard other units and I just purchased an XM tuner for the xterra. I guess I have changed my mind since that time.
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BTW what do you expect when you dredge up an old thread.
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Nov 15, 2002 at 2:07 AM Post #11 of 28

nately

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Quote:

Originally posted by Mike Walker
The addition of stereo DID compromise ultimate fidelity potential, but far less than many believe! Get your hands on a TRULY high quality fm tuner! One of the "super tuners" from the 70s and early 80s would be an excellent investment (from companies such as Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, or Yamaha).


I have an old Sansui, and it is built like a tank. It'll outlive all my Sony gear.

BUT

Aren't they going to start broadcast digital signals over FM soon? Or is that just a scam to try to get me to replace my lovely analog tuner? And wouldn't that make XM obselete before it could take off?
 
Nov 15, 2002 at 1:37 PM Post #12 of 28

Mike Walker

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Yes Nately, they ARE going to begin broadcasting digital signals on both fm AND am soon (yes the am system works, and sounds great...I've heard it!), BUT, both systems (am and fm) use lossy compression codecs. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound "degraded". But it doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound better than good ole' analog fm, either! Analog fm stereo, particularly in a strong-signal area free from multipath, is DAMN good already...as you're already hearing on your Sansui.

People (like me) who live in the fringes of most fm stations (except for one 100kw powerhouse....I'm in a VERY rural area) will hear the most improvement...because hiss-free, multipath-free fm is about as rare as hens' teeth where I live!). Those in urban areas with strong signals might be surprised at just how little difference there is! However, ALL am listeners will hear a startling improvement. But this improvement won't do ANYHING abour programming quality and/or variety. That'll be just as bad as ever. So there will be plenty of room for services like XM!
 
Nov 23, 2002 at 7:26 PM Post #14 of 28

punosion

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Quote:

Originally posted by nately
Ah, good points. My bad, I always forget that lots of people live in the middle of nowhere
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*bump*
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Man, lemme tell you what...if you haven't ever heard XL93 located in Grand Forks here, you haven't heard hell's own voice curdling from the FM radio.

<shudder> Not a pleasant experience.

"Ahhhh yeah, it's Trevor D. on X! L! 93!"

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AAAAAARRRGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!
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Yeah, radio pretty much sucks here.
 
Dec 14, 2002 at 6:07 AM Post #15 of 28

kevinsinnott

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My wife yawns at single-ended tubes, vintage loudspeakers and other audiophile gear I've snuck into her life throughout the years.

XM is the first time in our relationship (Twenty years) that she's actually brought it up to me.

Maybe it's Chicago, but even WFMT (classical lion) sounds iffy when I'm traveling. Sometimes good, but never even close to CD/Vinyl. Even a nearby NPR jazz station with a new transmitter is just okay. I wish I had a mono swith in my car radio or anything I have at home.

Haven't heard the Tivoli, but all I can say, is she's excited about the promise of commercial-free, diverse, niche market content.

If it sounds as good as my mini-disc player, I bet she'll be just fine. Me, too, although, yeah, I'd love good FM if I could get it.
 

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