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FM Analog Radio = Dead?


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Broadcast FM is far from dead, much less AM. As Fast996 pointed out, new music is a driver for their audience, but it depends on the format of the station. Of course advertisement is what makes this possible for the listener. 

 

When HD Radio was first introduced, HD maintained that is was about pushing more content, but in reality, and later admitted by HD, it was always about more channels for advertisers. 

 

Am is popular with the older segment for talk radio and sports. 

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I listen to FM HD classic rock on a regular basis. The quality does vary from one end to the other. The commercials always being on the very clear pristine side with some small exceptions. Some DJ's soup up their mics and you can hear the obvious compression and over driven stuff. The well done recordings sound very good all the time, for example the Eagles. Joe Walsh, and Henley,  Heart, and Styx.  Some are awful like "Kiss"  and the "Beatles song Revolution". Steppin Wolf is not very good either. Aerosmith and Journey are all over the place in quality.

There are some station that are pure compression, The classical music station is just the opposite and sounds like a table model radio with no range of bass and treble.

How do you fight the compression of the original recording playing through the fm transmitter compression to get more distance of the station signal and cover more territory.

JJK

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In Belgium, DAB+ is heavily promoted by the government. It is digital ether  broadcast. Some stations are CD quality. 

Is it international, European or Belgian?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_broadcasting

It's European. In North America, they have HD Radio. 

 

Would you agree that digital radio is superior to FM? 

 

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29 minutes ago, MeloManiac said:

Would you agree that digital radio is superior to FM? 

320kbs digital radio sounds better than FM. FLAC blows it away. Radio is inherently noisy. I hate noise. 

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I have not read the whole thing but.....Is this an either or ? I use both, stream and FM at home. Sometimes I even listen to FM seriously for a little while. I use several different old 70's era radios. I exchange speakers and radios every few weeks for a change of pace, pretty interesting too. I use a small classic T antenna, between 20 and 40 miles away usually. I have a better antenna I'm gonna set up, outdoor rotating cheap dealeo. I get several stations pretty well 3 or 4 on meter, classic rock. I will admit it's maybe 15% of my listening, sometimes more or less. For absolute critical listening, no. For general music or even something more it's still alive, maybe life support but still.....There are internet, free /ad free classic rock stations that sound very good, maybe even bass heavy which I like. If you have high speed try Handcrafted Radio or Radio Shadow Deep Tracks, really serious classic rock that was too good for FM.

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Which brings me to internet station streaming. Audio Paradise think it is and others.

Cannot complain and with or without a dj, have to admit I like the random selection at times.

Back to fm, if the HD channels strategy is to have more channels acting as a commercial, advertisement platform, not interested.

Less is more, for me in that regard.

Like the turntable, I can tolerate a pop, a click, or a bit of static in listening to a fm station.

Nostalgia? Yes and no...

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2 hours ago, billybob said:

Back to fm, if the HD channels strategy is to have more channels acting as a commercial, advertisement platform, not interested.

 

In Belgium, we have Klara, which is the classical music radio station (jazz and worldmusic included). They have presenters and news flashes every hour, and short commercials before the news. But then rhere's also 'Klara Continuo', which is 24/7 classical music. No news, no talking, no commercials. It is on dab+ and on the internet, but not on fm unfortunately. 

Most DAB channels on my receiver are aac 96k, only one was 108k. Nothing like 320k... 😭

 

 

PSX_20210726_194624.jpg

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Guess you have watched Professor T Prefer it over the 

BBC version. Watch PBS here since station inception here local since 1970. PBR also for music.

Both quality channels for all.

Belgium have considered but, will want to wait longer now since not ideal travel time. Lost an uncle at the Bulge before was born.

No, have read your posts and would consider the tech. Ideal enough. Sophisticated will say.

Thanks!

 

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I've still got my analog NAD Tuner, bought in 1980. Analog dial, analog tuning. Unfortunately the signal strength meter is LED, not analog. But it is pre-auto tune, you can drift off the channel (happens very rarely). It will be part of my system until no FM or AM broadcasts are decipherable by it's old school circuits. But I rarely listen to it. 

 

My biggest mistake was letting my AM tube radio go in 2006. I grew up listening to baseball on an old crackling tube radio. It doesn't sound right any other way.

 

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7 hours ago, billybob said:

Which brings me to internet station streaming. Audio Paradise think it is and others.

Cannot complain and with or without a dj, have to admit I like the random selection at times.

Back to fm, if the HD channels strategy is to have more channels acting as a commercial, advertisement platform, not interested.

Less is more, for me in that regard.

Like the turntable, I can tolerate a pop, a click, or a bit of static in listening to a fm station.

Nostalgia? Yes and no...

 

That’s Radio Paradise, from Paradise, California.  I’m listening to it right now.  They have DJs and the most eclectic mix of music I’ve ever heard.

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I did like terrestrial FM, especially because one of my favourite stations seems to be unavailable on streaming Internet Radio.  The problem is that my building is now surrounded by condo towers that are taller than my place, so the FM signals are now so weak as to be useless.  At the same time, Internet Radio offers clean sound from stations around the world, including two local stations whose FM signals are now near-buried in static.

 

If you use a computer in your system, radiogarden is a great way to explore for new and interesting stations.  It’s at radio.garden, and lets you scroll around on a globe.  When you stop on a city, you get a drop-down menu listing the stations in that city, and you can choose one to listen to.  To change stations, just scroll away.  Simple!

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Radio Paradise, yes nice mix.

 

I did like terrestrial FM, especially because one of my favourite stations seems to be unavailable on streaming Internet Radio.  The problem is that my building is now surrounded by condo towers that are taller than my place, so the FM signals are now so weak as to be useless.  At the same time, Internet Radio offers clean sound from stations around the world, including two local stations whose FM signals are now near-buried in static.

 

Have you tried amplification? 

@Islander

 

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Hi guys - I'm a huge fan of the vintage FM tuners & receivers.  I sold them at retail 1966 > 1974 in Minneapolis, all the big brands.

Alignment is the magic that restores classic 1970's analog tuner performance!  Like 50 year old sportscars, they need a tune-up.

Major improvements in sensititivity & selectivity, less noise & distortion. I get 42+ stations on a 31" wire antenna when I'm done!

EZ enough to DIY - most mfr's Service Manuals have alignment charts - you'll need tiny hex & nylon screwdrivers and some time.

Let me know if I can help - PM me with your Tuner/Receiver model # - and your name & phone # - I talk much faster than I type!

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More one  dab+ (European HD radio) 

In Belgium, audio quality is limited to 96kbps, some stations only are allowed 80kbps. FM is scheduled to be shut down in 2022 but fm radios are still being sold... 

The analog TV signal was taken down in June 2021, so my guess is that they will carry out the shutdown of analog audio also. 

DAB is supposed to be be much more energy efficient and 'greener' , but where is the logic if you still allow to sell soon obsolete fm only radios? That's not 'green', is it?

Welcome to 'hell hole' Belgium and its short sighted, incompetent politicians! 

 

https://www.test-aankoop.be/hightech/audio/dossier/dab

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Not me.  Once I got my Integra Pre/pro with internet radio, I quit FM.  Other than to test it to be su re it works, my FM section  never gets used. 

 

OTOH, I have a late '70s Technics receiver driving my H IVs and it often has FM on as as background music. 

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22 hours ago, billybob said:

 

I did like terrestrial FM, especially because one of my favourite stations seems to be unavailable on streaming Internet Radio.  The problem is that my building is now surrounded by condo towers that are taller than my place, so the FM signals are now so weak as to be useless.  At the same time, Internet Radio offers clean sound from stations around the world, including two local stations whose FM signals are now near-buried in static.

 

Have you tried amplification? 

@Islander

 

 

Yes, I’ve used an amplified rabbit-ears style antenna for years, but in another room I have an unamplified rabbit-ears antenna that seems to work better.  I found that having the the long 40” whips seemed to help more than the marginal difference the amplifier made.

 

Interestingly, the bedroom antenna indicates how much the building sways during a strong windstorm.  One night years ago, I noticed that the antenna tips were swaying a bit.  Since the window was closed, there was not a trace of wind in the room.  Reasoning it out, I figured it was not the tips that were moving, it was the base, along with the building, and the long whips slightly magnified the movement.  I’m on the 9th floor, so it makes sense that the building would sway a bit if the wind was strong enough.

 

The antenna tips weren’t swinging wildly.  It was more like about 6mm or 1/4”, maybe 12 mm or 1/2” if the gust was really strong, like over 70-80 km/hr, or 45-50 mph.  About ten years ago, we had extensive update and upgrade work done to the building.  Surrounding the roof was a parapet (extension of the wall up past the roof) that was roughly elbow high, so you could lean on it.  I was, and am, a member of the building’s Strata Council, so we occasionally go up onto the roof to inspect various items and features.

 

Part of the upgrade included restyling the building a bit, and the parapet was cut down to around knee high.  No more leaning on it and looking out over the city.  Now we stay away from the edge of the roof.

 

Here’s the surprising part:  now the building sway is reduced by about 1/3.  The uppermost part of the wall is now less of a sail, so the wind stress on the building is reduced a bit.  That should be a good thing.

 

Okay, that’s quite a digression.  Back to antenna radio reception.  I wouldn’t mind installing some kind of indoor/outdoor antenna on the enclosed balcony, but I don’t want to drill through the wall or any window frames, and I don’t want to leave the sliding door open a crack to let the antenna cable pass through.  This means that I’m kind of stuck with indoor antennas.  The rabbit-ears are the only models I’ve seen for sale.  Are there higher-performing indoor antennas available?

 

To go another way, what about getting a vintage tuner, like one of the later Yamaha models?  Are they markedly better than the tuner in my 2016 Yamaha RX-A2060 receiver?

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

 Are there higher-performing indoor antennas available?

Definitely seek out a B.I.C. FM-10 Beam Box. Always available on eBay. You want the top end model, not the FM-8 or below.

 

Here's a link to my review, if you haven't seen it above.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

 

Yes, I’ve used an amplified rabbit-ears style antenna for years, but in another room I have an unamplified rabbit-ears antenna that seems to work better.  I found that having the the long 40” whips seemed to help more than the marginal difference the amplifier made.

 

Interestingly, the bedroom antenna indicates how much the building sways during a strong windstorm.  One night years ago, I noticed that the antenna tips were swaying a bit.  Since the window was closed, there was not a trace of wind in the room.  Reasoning it out, I figured it was not the tips that were moving, it was the base, along with the building, and the long whips slightly magnified the movement.  I’m on the 9th floor, so it makes sense that the building would sway a bit if the wind was strong enough.

 

The antenna tips weren’t swinging wildly.  It was more like about 6mm or 1/4”, maybe 12 mm or 1/2” if the gust was really strong, like over 70-80 km/hr, or 45-50 mph.  About ten years ago, we had extensive update and upgrade work done to the building.  Surrounding the roof was a parapet (extension of the wall up past the roof) that was roughly elbow high, so you could lean on it.  I was, and am, a member of the building’s Strata Council, so we occasionally go up onto the roof to inspect various items and features.

 

Part of the upgrade included restyling the building a bit, and the parapet was cut down to around knee high.  No more leaning on it and looking out over the city.  Now we stay away from the edge of the roof.

 

Here’s the surprising part:  now the building sway is reduced by about 1/3.  The uppermost part of the wall is now less of a sail, so the wind stress on the building is reduced a bit.  That should be a good thing.

 

Okay, that’s quite a digression.  Back to antenna radio reception.  I wouldn’t mind installing some kind of indoor/outdoor antenna on the enclosed balcony, but I don’t want to drill through the wall or any window frames, and I don’t want to leave the sliding door open a crack to let the antenna cable pass through.  This means that I’m kind of stuck with indoor antennas.  The rabbit-ears are the only models I’ve seen for sale.  Are there higher-performing indoor antennas available?

 

To go another way, what about getting a vintage tuner, like one of the later Yamaha models?  Are they markedly better than the tuner in my 2016 Yamaha RX-A2060 receiver?

You seem to be homing into some of my thoughts so, not too far from a similar page.

That is trippy about the building and the wind loading improved by eliminating some of sail effect.

 Decent shape analog tuner may 

Come into it, as fine tuning. Nice to have a standalone anyway.

Mine has analog and led readout.

Have some ideas will bounce on PM.

Started earlier and got too wordy.

Evening...

 

 

 

 

 

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