Jump to content

FM Analog Radio = Dead?


Recommended Posts

Listen to FM daily, sometimes all day as background while I go about my work.

 

I have a strong preference for DJs, that add a lot of value to the program by selection and sometimes background information.

 

A computer can only select music for you based on ratings or what others have listened to, a computer has no idea if a song is great or sucks in melody, lyrics or technical proficiency. Or which three songs compliment each other.

 

On occasion I stream remote radio stations, one I like in Cape Town has lots of local news and issues on their jazz station, interesting to hear what others are up to.

 

FM forever !

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has been just in the truck/car for me when tired of the discs I had with me at the time. Commercials started to grate on my nerves as I got older.

Then when I rebuilt the stereo tuners weren't available, it was internet radio. 

So streaming for three or more years now.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up with FM and have always loved it. Of course, streaming opens up access to the whole world of all radio stations. And today, my Bluesound Node is my (digital) tuner. But let's go back in time to the 70s and 80s. The latest achievement was analog cable. So I could receive in good quality all German and also Dutch, Belgian and other stations from other countries…not only local FM.

In the past, I always attached importance to a good quality of the analog tuner or receiver. I had a Quad FM3 tuner and later an Audiolab 8000T. The sound was indescribably good.

In the past, analog radio was a great advantage in terms of sound. The radio stations had much better turntables and tape recorders than I had at home in my youth. And the highlight was live broadcasts, e.g. of classical or rock concerts.

But today everything is different and much more unhappy. We still have analog FM, there is discussion to end analog radio....

But...analog is only the broadcasting technology. The big problem is that many if not all stations only broadcast music from bad digital sources in analog. For this reason, the sound quality of a very good FM tuner is very disappointing because the limitation is a bad source. As good as 40 years ago the record players and tape recorders of the radio stations were, so bad is today their converter technology to send digital sources analog. They don't care. 
For the reasons mentioned, digital radio today sounds better than analog radio by saving the conversion. If analog FM were based on analog sources as it was decades ago, it would even be unbeatably better than digital streaming radio via digital receivers today. At least that's how it is in Germany. It would be a cool niche if some enthusiasts relaunched an FM station with pure analog sources to be enjoyed via a good old analog tuner.

 

Postscript.
I see a very similar development with vinyl records. It is gratifying that vinyl is experiencing a nice revival. But it makes no sense when people buy vinyl from productions that were recorded digitally. Because then I have the combination of negative artifacts from the world of digital and from the world of analog.

 

One more addendum. When I go on vacation to Italy by car, I pass through the Black Forest in the direction of Freiburg very close to the French border. There is a station that plays only analog sources. I have no special stereo in the car, only standard. But if I can listen to this station for 15 minutes while driving by, then an indescribable sound fills the car.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Way back in the day I built a Dynakit FM-5 tuner and I had an 8 element beam on a rotor. Lot's of decent sounding stations in the 70's in the Boston area. Today it would be pointless to have a good FM setup, there's only one good station left. But I do miss it. I listen to a few internet radio stations that stream flac instead.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live 5km away from the border with France, so all my life, I' ve enjoyed French fm stations too! 

Also, it's a political thing too. Last year, some small established fm stations were not given a licence anymore by the responsible minister. They were forced to go digital only, while some newcomers with deep pockets ie large companies, got the spot on the fm band. The minister was accused of corruption....

https://www.hln.be/binnenland/vijf-radiozenders-dienen-klacht-in-alle-niet-openbare-radio-s-zijn-nu-piraatzenders~aef4fa18/

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not going to ask your opinion, yet,

have you considered having a station of your own affiliates.

Not a question as such, yet said small. Low power stations were here.

Hope you are well with what received.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MeloManiac said:

I live 5km away from the border with France, so all my life, I' ve enjoyed French fm stations too! 

Also, it's a political thing too. Last year, some small established fm stations were not given a licence anymore by the responsible minister. They were forced to go digital only, while some newcomers with deep pockets ie large companies, got the spot on the fm band. The minister was accused of corruption....

https://www.hln.be/binnenland/vijf-radiozenders-dienen-klacht-in-alle-niet-openbare-radio-s-zijn-nu-piraatzenders~aef4fa18/

 

Translated from the newspaper article:

"Because of Minister Gatz's new media decree, we are only allowed to broadcast digitally," says Dave Verdonck of Radio FG, formerly a local radio station and now a station that only broadcasts digitally from Antwerp Central Station.

 

I can understand (but not agree) that greedy media moguls want to get as many frequencies as possible and also that a bribable minister becomes an accomplice. I also understand (not agree) that people with power could reduce the range/broadcasting power of small stations by fictitious law, but I don't see the point why the small stations are no longer allowed to broadcast analog. What is the benefit for those who prohibit it?

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, KT88 said:

can understand (but not agree) that greedy media moguls want to get as many frequencies as possible and also that a bribable minister becomes an accomplice. I also understand (not agree) that people with power could reduce the range/broadcasting power of small stations by fictitious law, but I don't see the point why the small stations are no longer allowed to broadcast analog. What is the benefit for those who prohibit it?

 

I think, part of the answer is right there: Money & Power (Control of a medium.). Isn´t it easier to control fewer stations allowed to air digitaly than a bunch of more independent local stations?

On the other hand, conjecture like this is on he border of conspiracy-theory...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KT88 said:

What is the benefit for those who prohibit it?

 

In this particular case, a very big media company in Belgium, Studio 100, owning theme parks and TV channels, also wants their own country wide fm radio channel. As the fm band is very crowded in Belgium, they had the minister change the licence procedure, an excuse to get rid of smaller radio stations, and to take their place. 

https://www.tijd.be/ondernemen/media-marketing/studio-100-gaat-volop-voor-nieuw-radioavontuur/10310470.html

 

The benefit, as mentioned in the article, is a very stable revenue through advertising... 

 

Two years ago, the idea was launched to completely stop fm broadcast of state radio stations in favor of dab, but recently that plan has been buried. There's simply too much money to be made in the fm band....

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Artto I still do! LOVE IT!!! I use a Yamaha T-85 it has outdone many about ten tuners including the modern Sony XDHR i think it was? that was an unpleasant tuner but as we all know synergy wins the day....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listen to fm broadcast radio almost daily. Our local npr/fm/ college station has a LOT of locally generated playlists with many different genres  of music. Tons of backstories on the musicians and music.

 

It ends up being less expensive than paying for syndicated shows.

 

On the technical side, almost all of the Chattanooga stations have their antennae located on Signal Mountain, TN. Named for it's use by the Cherokee Indians and by Union troops to signal movements of friend and foe alike.

 

Pretty much all of the signals from the studios in the valley get routed up the mountain to the transmitters by digital methods. Where once they were highly equalised phone lines, they are currently 48k sample rate digital lines, which the broadcast industry has accepted and standardised on.

 

Livewire+, AES67, Ravenna, Dante... all play a part in this. It's vastly improved the qualiy of the analog broadcasts.

 

The tech can handle much higher bitrates, but broadcasters mostly use 48k.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

Only FM in my car when not using copy CD's for my own music. On the rare occasion I have FM on, I noticed they still play the same old songs they played years ago. The most guilty is Classic Rock stations. HINT: The Rolling Stones, not including the greatest hits, had 26 Studio Albums, and 10 Live Albums. So why do we only hear the same 5 Frikkin' songs over and over.

 

The worst is Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seeger. Played at every Wedding for the last 30 years, and still on the air today. Yuck.

I totally agree with you Claude. The problem I have with radio stations is the fact that they play only the SAME 5 songs from an artist and that playlist never changes to include other music the artist created. I often prefer the tracks radio stations have never played from my favorite artists..

 constant commercials = hell no

babbling radio DJs - please no

The ability to create endless custom playlists and listen to them ad free wherever I go makes streaming so preferable to me. I have hundreds of hours of music saved on my phone I can play in my living room, office, on my bike, in the car, on a plane or on my rocket ship,

 I’m a rocket man!

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, KT88 said:

Postscript.
I see a very similar development with vinyl records. It is gratifying that vinyl is experiencing a nice revival. But it makes no sense when people buy vinyl from productions that were recorded digitally. Because then I have the combination of negative artifacts from the world of digital and from the world of analog.

Good to know. So i wasn´t wrong on only buying used vinyl once i get a TT. Hunting for old stuff in all kinds of shops is more fun anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in New Orleans we have two decent FM stations, WWOZ Jazz and WTUL is the local College station. I have a rooftop antenna with a rotor been there for years, I never use the rotor anymore because I have it adjusted to pickup these two stations perfectly. I am using a Kenwood KT 5020 tuner I think it came in at # 10 in the great tuner shootout back in the day. 

Anyway it drags the stations in crystal clear and it sounds good to me, I don't listen to a lot of FM usually to warm up and cool down my system or when we have guest or cooking.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, KT88 said:

 

Postscript.
I see a very similar development with vinyl records. It is gratifying that vinyl is experiencing a nice revival. But it makes no sense when people buy vinyl from productions that were recorded digitally. Because then I have the combination of negative artifacts from the world of digital and from the world of analog.

 

One of my best sounding LPs isDire Straits 'Brothers in Arms'. It was recorded on a digital format. 

 

Now, back to the original post...

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, jcmusic said:

Here in New Orleans we have two decent FM stations, WWOZ Jazz and WTUL is the local College station.

Thank you, two more stations in my favorites list to listen to.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love my FM Tuners and have many great stations that play classical,Jazz,contempary,classic rock,and country. What's not to like? I use it because it's the easiest way for me to hear new music. Stations like KUNR,KNCJ,KVNV,KHTX,KODS all have excellent signals. I use several Terk antennas that do a very good job at providing signal.

I have several tuners...Accuphase,DaySequerra,McIntosh,Dynaco. My Bedroom tuner the Accuphase T-106,I listen to into the late nite. 

FM is here to stay as with a great tuner the sound especially the human voice to me sounds analog. Even though most stations use digital source I think with the FM signal adds to the SQ.

Tuners have come down in price and that's great because you can kind find some good deals.

Btw I hear live broadcasts and archived material that I could never find by myself....Jazz,contempary,Opera,....

The really good cutting edge FM stations have the latest in technology and know their strengths which are live events or recorded events...especially from local

venues.

The local angle is really nice because low power FM stations in my area fill a niche that just can't be filled as simply for the listener any other way. After all FM is Local for the majority of users. Having a University NPR station is very important to me and UNR has a cutting edge broadcasting department.

 

https://www.kunr.org/895-kncj-nevada-classical-jazz#stream/0

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20210725-093846_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20210725-102933_Gallery.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...