Does HD radio sound better than analog? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi. Is the whole idea behind HD music supposed to be better sound quality, or is it more about having more programs to listen to? What has better sound quality, HD music or a regular analog signal?
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post #2 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 03:57 PM
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You mention HD radio and I'm not sure if you are limiting your discussion to just radio or formats like superaudio cds. I have HD radio in my car. I have not heard it anywhere else except for the demo on the HD radio website (which sounds NOTHING like what you get when you actually install it). I will say unequivocally that this was the biggest waste of money I have ever spent. Some radio stations actually do sound better than their analog counterparts but fpr the most part they do not. They sound like low bitrate mp3s. And I mean like 96k mp3s. On the positive side, it does clean up all the analog static. I still say it is not worth a crap though in my opinion. I'm not sure what HD stands for in HD radio but Ican guarantee you its not high definition.
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post #3 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 04:08 PM
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Here comes trouble.

Thre "idea", at least according to the hype, is that it has better sound AND more programming.

In my experience here in LA, HD Radio CAN sound better than analog, but often doesn't. I find that KPCC is the only local FM station that has multiple streams AND superior sound on the HD-1 stream. (Their other two streams are mono and sound horrible.) All the other multicasters sound better in analog, says I, whereas most of the single-stream FM stations clearly sound better in HD.

The bitrate on AM is too low for good sound. Since AM HD adds noise to the analog and robs it of bandwidth, the HD usually wins by default, but the claim of "FM-quality sound" is absurd.

Most of the regulars in this corner of AVS Forum vehemently disagree with me, saying they like the extended high frequencies and better signal-to-noise ratio, and they aren't bothered by the obvious (to me) encoding artifacts.

So there's no easy answer to your question. I'd advise you to find some way to listen for yourself and make your own decision.
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post #4 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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It's interesting markspud that you mention a station with multiple streams where the secondary streams are mono. I live in the DC area and WTOP radio has a secondary stream called "ichannel" that plays unsigned hard rock bands. The music is great but it sounds like mono. Can any DC people listen and comment?

When the "HD" quits blinking and locks onto an HD signal, the music sounds more quite and subdued to me. If listening to a CD, many would call this better mastering. I've always wondered what that more quiet sound is that I'm hearing, however.
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post #5 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 05:59 PM
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When my Sangean Tuner locks onto HD I notice a definite improvement which is better than FM Analog and XM stations but not as good as a CD. I only listen to AM for news in the car.
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post #6 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 06:53 PM
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I have a home HD radio right now, it sounds very good in HD. I sometimes put my system in 6.1 mode it really makes a diffrents then, I have a live simulation mode, when a station here does live music events that comes in handy and sounds great. I was really impressed with the AM HD sound durring the NBA playoffs it sounded really good. I'm really wanting these radios prices to come down so I can upgrade my truck!
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post #7 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 07:15 PM
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I think that we have to face this honestly. HD Radio is different things to different people.

I think that for now the sound quality is the winning component for me. On my Sangean tuner at home I can hear a large difference between analog and digital. I can not tell so much on our table radio.

I do like the multicasting channels if done properly. If the multichannel is put on in a rush it can quite easilly not only destroy the primary, but then sound horrible as well making the whole thing practically useless.

Yes, there is an artifact or two from time to time, but that has more to do with the source audio than anything else from what I can tell.

But back to the main question, is HD Radio better than analog, YES!! With HD Radio, even without the sound quality and extra channels I can receive more stations clearly than I could before. . and that alone is worth it to me.
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post #8 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 07:29 PM
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I've never considered myself an audiophile; I've never had much of an ear for it. But with the HD, compared to the analog, I can definitely hear it. It's not a huge difference, but it's there... and I think the HD does indeed sound better.

My only complaint is mobile reception. In the car, if analog gets weak, maybe there's static or it gets a little quieter. But the audio is still there. With HD though, it drops out entirely. That can get annoying.
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post #9 of 195 Old 08-01-2007, 08:35 PM
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I will try to be as objective as possible in answering your question. I currently own a BA Receptor HD and have also used a Sangean HDR-1 extensively as well.

As far as sound goes, some stations sound better. It seems that in most areas people agree on the fact that their local NPR, public radio, or college station sounds the best and there is a noticeable difference with IBOC. In my area (Atlanta), our local public radio station (WABE) sounds spectacular and has spurred interested in HD Radio. On my Receptor, people are amazed at the dynamic sound and the additional notes that you hear in HD. This may be also due to the fact that classical music was mastered to sound really good on CD especially with live performaces. Contrarily, contemporary pop, urban, and country music has been mastered to remove these extra notes for optimal sound on analog radio. So for these formats, HD is of little benefit. I have also been told that college stations sound better because they commonly use CDs as a source of music instead of computers like commercial stations. I am not sure if this matters. Here in my area, in addition to the public radio station, the Radio One stations sound significantly better in HD. The bass is the hip hop songs is very well defined. The Cox stations sound marginally better. And, I can barely notice a difference (if at all) on the Clear Channel stations. To be fair, I will also admit that my Receptor makes everything sound better and enhances the sound of everthing. I use it to output audio of my HDTV and would put it on par with a high-end Bose system. I am not an audiophile and I have read that others do not notice much of a difference, and I am not sure how much of the HD enhancing is done by the processor in my Receptor.

In summary, if HD radio is to be adopted by the masses, it will not be because of the enhanced sound. HD-AM may be an exception if it can get its act together. Honestly, the masses are comfortable listening to the same sound quality that exists on FM today. However, people would be very convinced to purchase an HD radio for the additional stations. If nothing else, the "Stations between the stations" slogan has generated a lot of curiousity in this area about what's out there. Instead of paying $13/month for satellite radio, consumers would be more than willing to purchase a radio to get 20 additional stations for free especially since prices on receivers have dropped recently. Here in Atlanta, two competing community groups complained to WABE. One group wanted more NPR talk programs on the schedule and the other wanted more classical music programs. WABE ran a successful fund raiser to create an HD2 stream (classica music & the arts) and an HD3 stream (news/talk). Beyond being a successful pledge drive with its member base, WABE has claimed that this has spawned "significant" interest in HD radio. Here is the story: http://www.accessatlanta.com/blogs/c...abe_going.html

Now if other stations would learn from this, HD Radio could be successful. Here in Atlanta, many complain that there is no longer any oldies station. Clear Channel had an oldies station on HD2 but replaced it with new country...WTF as if we need another country station here! Star 94 had a Jack type station on HD2 that played a lot of 80's and heavy metal but they killed it saying at the time that they were upgrading the equipment. That was over 8 months ago!

HD could win if stations were smart about it and gave consumers a reason to adopt HD Radio. They could do stuff like simulcast AM talk and sports on sister FM HD2 signals or introduce niche formats like southern gospel, classic country, chillout, dance music, or margaritaville. They are definitely not going to win if they just duplicate other formats already available in the market. The million dollars worth of equipment will be nothing more than scrap metal in a couple of years if broadcasters continue making these stupid decisions!
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post #10 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 04:27 AM
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Exactly. HD CAN sound better. I'm fortunate that around here it usually does. But good analog fm isn't terrible. There's enough overlap that analog can indeed sound better, if engineering on the HD side isn't better (and it CAN BE BETTER...no pre-emphasis, more extended highs, 96db dynamic range, far lower distortion).

As for why HD sounds "quieter", it's because when you quit clipping the transient peaks to allow for higher average level (in order to overcome noise on analog fm stereo, among other things), the average energy level will be lower. This IS better engineering! If EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS LOUD, by definiton there is no dynamic RANGE. If your AVERAGE level is 100 percent (0dbfs in digital terms), how the hell are you going to get louder on a musical peak? REAL music (acoustic music, anyway) is sometimes whisper soft...something that analog radio has NEVER been able to faithfully convey, but digital radio can! We're all used to hearing tons of audio compression and limiting. HD removes the need for this. Listen to a well engineered classical station through headphones during the transition from analog to digital. You may not be hearing noise on the analog signal, but when the transition to digital takes place you'll realize that there WAS some residual noise, and that it has dropped away. After all, CLEAN analog fm stereo has a noise level of perhaps -60 to -70db (under extraordinary circumstances! Usually it's much worse). HD radio's noise is thirty to forty db quieter. With no noise "down there", there's no reason to "crank up the volume" to mask it!
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post #11 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 07:22 AM
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I agree, HD Radio CAN sound better than analog radio, but I get the impression that there is a bit of a learning curve for the engineers involved in fine tuning things. I say this, because the sound quality of several of the HD stations in this area, and even more noticeably that of the multicast streams, has improved dramatically since I first got my Recepter over a year ago. And the best sounding station in town is Classical WETA 90.9. It sounds like they've put a lot of effort into making that station sound great, and since they aren't using up bandwidth for multicasts, the HD sounds spectacular. Of course, as someone mentioned above, the BA Recepter HD already sounds great, even in analog mode. I just wish it was a bit more sensitive. I don't have too many reception problems since I live right in the center of the market, but I'm sure that if I lived 30-40 miles outside of town, I'd be pretty disappointed with its performance.
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post #12 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 09:26 AM
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My general rules:

48 Kbps stations sound pretty much the same as FM stereo with improved stereo separation and no hiss or multipath, and improved high end and dynamic range if the station is set up to deliver that. If you listen carefully you will hear artifacts.

32-36 Kbps stations don't fool me. Generally they sound OK but in addition to more artifacts it sounds like major parts of the sound are just missing and in some cases they can sound harsh. They sound much better than AM or AM stereo, but I would prefer FM stereo in some cases.

96 Kbps stations are simply the best sounding radio stations on the air today. Stations that play from CDs or other high quality sources sound excellent. No, they do not sound as good as CDs but they are as close as any radio today and make FM stereo sound like the 40+ year old technology it is.

We regularly get people dropping in here who claim that this or that technology is going to run HD Radio into the ground... as soon as this or that technology gets off the ground. I say bring it on. Beat the 96 Kbps stations in sound quality and knock the 1,000 HD Radio stations off the air.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
NEXT: someone else's post on AVS Forum.
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post #13 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 09:39 AM
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More than a thousand, Scowl...about 1400 I think is the most recent count(?)

Yes artifacts are sometimes audible at 48kbps, but analog fm stereo is pretty damn far from artifact-free! Distortion can be MANY times higher than a 48kbps stream due to multipath, and noise is enormously more. Then there's the pre-emphasis, which keeps analog fm stereo from EVER sounding as bright and clear as HD.

Don't be so quick to dis AM Stereo! If you've ever heard C-Quam on a well engineered station, within ten miles of the tower, received on something like a Carver TX-11a, or Sony SRF-A100, you'd be AMAZED at how it sounds (sounded). Before the 9khz limit and NRSC mask, AM stereo was brighter, and had a cleaner high end than most fm stereo. The only limitation is one that's always gotten on my news...low bass that takes a nosedive below 50hz to allow for the 25hz "pilot tone", which isn't even necessary for the system to work! An octave of low bass was sacrificed to turn on a freakin' stereo light! WHAT A WASTE! Otherwise, C-Quam worked VERY well, and was capable of VERY wide separation. There was the issue of platform-motion, but then the mediumwave (standard am) band is prone to interference!
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post #14 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 10:48 AM
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Here's a demo of what the kind of multi-band compression and limiting radio stations use does to the audio, and why hd stations without such excessive processing sound "quieter".

This file includes a short segment of the song "Wondering where the lions are" by Bruce Cockburn...first as it came off the cd, second with the kind of multiband compression and limiting used in radio. Which is "louder"? A trick question...BOTH are normalized so that the loudest peaks are at 100 percent (0dbfs). But since the peaks are clipped on the second one, it's AVERAGE volume is quite a bit higher. Again, BOTH have maximum peaks at 100 percent. But loudness isn't about peaks, it's about AVERAGE level. Clipping the sudden peaks allows the average to be raised. Hear for yourself http://www.theproductionroom.net/compressiondemo.wma
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post #15 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 01:22 PM
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With just a few exceptions, in my area, most stations have blown it with HD radio. They continue to compress and limit and otherwise over process the sound such that there is not benefit to my ears. A few have reduced the compression, and the bass and dynamics sound better. FM analog could sound great if it too dropped the excessive audio processing.

Richard
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post #16 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 02:44 PM
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I don't think the question should be "Does HD sound better than analog?" It should be "Are broadcast engineers doing what it takes to maximize the benefits of digital vs. analog?" In other words, are they fine tuning the digital sound to showcase its advantages, or just taking the lazy way out?

Obviously, many are not putting much time into it. But you have to consider the programmer and/or owner's wishes. Do they want a super-loud overly-processed presence on-air? If so, you're not going to hear much of a difference on HD, save for its ability to lock in cleanly where analog might be fraught with multipath.

In a perfect world with source material that's flat eq with full dynamic range and very little compression, I think it's safe to say HD (FM) can easily sound better than analog.

So, it's not whether the technology is a waste of time or money. It's the implementation at the station's end that matters, as well as the source material. Many CD's today are so heavily compressed and clipped that you'd be hard-pressed to notice any difference in a digital realm vs. analog. The old adage is true: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
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post #17 of 195 Old 08-02-2007, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd love to hear an audiophile HD radio station that specializes in playing DCC Gold mastered CDs!
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post #18 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 04:20 AM
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With due respect, Dead of Night, I'd RATHER hear a station play hissy tapes and scratchy 45s of music I enjoy, than pristine recordings of those I don't. Of course the ideal would be great music, AND great sound
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post #19 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 04:55 AM
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I did help out our local public broadcasting FM station with some Gold DCC disks and stereo SACD disks for a recent late night trial. The in-station FM analog feed from their monitor sounded more accurate than the FM HD-1 feed. This station does not use signal processing on the music side, outside of a limiter required to avoid overmodulation. The HD-1 feed sounded like a fair to high quality MP3 source.
Does that answer the question?

Richard.
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post #20 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 05:57 AM
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No it freakin' doesn't "answer the question". If analog fm stereo sounded better than HDC at 96kbps, then the source material didn't have very much high end (which would have resulted in a WAY less bright/clear sound on analog due to pre-emphasis), or the material didn't have very much dynamic range, or you would have heard MUCH more noise on the analog fm stereo...because at best it's 30 db or more noisier.

And then there's the matter of distortion...HD, when properly engineered, doesn't have just half, or a quarter the distortion, but perhaps one hundredth the distortion of analog fm stereo. And less important (because the ear hears "full" stereo on anything above about 30db) HD has separation of perhaps 80-90db in the real world, vs. perhaps 30-40db (at best, usually MUCH less) for analog fm stereo.

The only question you've answered is whether you have a bias in favor of analog. The answer..."yep". Curious, as you were using digital source material for your comparison!

AT MOST you showed that at ONE STATION in ONE PLACE, with ONE MONITORING SYSTEM you preferred the analog fm stereo. The only question THAT answers is "which technology does Feirstein think sounds better?" I'll grant you, you answered THAT question!

Those of us who don't have to VISIT radio stations, but actually have worked in them for decades know the compromises necessary in ANY analog fm stereo signal!
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post #21 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 06:03 AM
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By the way, I LIKE DCC Gold CDs. Their version of Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" is among my favorites. But let's be clear...the original was probably mastered (in the mid-70s) on a reel to reel recorder with solid state electronics. Playing it back on their special, tubed unit isn't being more faithful to the original source...it's adding a (perhaps very pleasant, euphonic) coloration to the sound. Well if accuracy is the goal, then "better" is beside the point. What comes out of the speakers in your home should sound like what came out of the speakers when the recording was mastered...not "better".

If you switch between source, and off-air analog fm stereo in a control room and can't hear the softened high frequencies, then I'm sorry to play audiologist, but you have SUBSTANTIAL hearing loss. The digital signal, if properly engineered, should sound much more like the direct feed from the board. Who gives a crap if it sounds "better", or "worse"? If it sounds LIKE THE ORIGINAL, that's high fidelity, Baby!
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post #22 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 06:57 AM
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Mike, it doesn't matter if you've worked for radio stations for centuries . . . you can't argue with the ears, man.

If the station is running 48 kbps or less, there are objectionable artifacts that make it difficult for some of us to listen to, regardless of the measured frequency response or dynamic range.

The limitations of FM broadcasting, which we DO understand, believe it or not, do not affect the sound quality as negatively as the HD artifacts.

That has nothing to do with digital or analog . . . at 48 kbps, HD just sounds bad. It would sound bad whether they were playing CDs, original master tapes or scratchy 78s.

It probably doesn't bug the general public, but if you really have the audio expertise you claim, and still can't hear it, then it isn't Feirstein who needs his hearing checked.

And if you have a reference for those HD distortion and separation figures you quoted, I sure wish you'd post it. I have my doubts . . .
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post #23 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 07:29 AM
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THIS is a 48kbps stream. IT DOES NOT SOUND BAD! I know, you'll automatically say it does to "win" the argument. But to a reasonable person, this makes the point.

http://www.theproductionroom.net/shuffle.wma

As for a "reference", there is NOTHING in the HDC codec that limits separation, so it's the same as PCM. So is THD. And being 16 bit, the figure for dynamic range is six db per bit...16 x 6= 96.

Static distortion, noise, and separation measurements don't begin to tax a lossy codec like HDC...a few distinct tones are "no sweat" for even mp3 (a much older, less efficient codec) at low bitrates. It's complex signals like music, with hundreds of frequencies, some harmonically related...others not, that taxes a lossy codec Under THOSE conditions, artifacts will occasionally be audible at low bitrates...but just at the threshold of audibility, if you're straining to hear them (and if a station is using proper pre-processing to avoid artifacts, you're far less likely to hear them). With analog fm stereo, artifacts such as noise, distortion, and limited high frequency extension under real modulation conditions are ALWAYS audible. With an a/b comparison between the signal straight off the board, and that having been received off-air, the difference is IMMEDIATELY noticable. One has to strain to hear a difference with HDC, even at 48kbps. First, the frequency balance doesn't suffer as it ALWAYS does with analog fm stereo...the air-feed is just as bright and clear. Second, there is NO noise. Check out the background on this recording when the announcer speaks on WDAV in Davidson NC...there is ZERO background nosie. You could hear a mouse passing gas three studios away http://www.theproductionroom.net/hd.wma

By the way, that's a 96kbps stream...NO multicasting (WDAV). That last recording was made in January, by the way. EVERY station presented in this sample sounds better now. If you can hear things that you never could before, because many layers of noise and crap have been removed, then it is by-God BETTER! It is "higher fidelity". Lots of folks prefer lps to cds. They're freakin' crazy, too! You can have your noise and hiss from analog fm stereo, your inner-groove distortion and steadily reduced ability to reproduce dynamic peaks, plus steadily rolled-off highs as the stylus tracks toward the center of the disc using lps (as the linear velocity steadily collapses). Enjoy it? Good for you. It's your money. As for me, I'll take BETTER...higher fidelity...every damn time!
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post #24 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 08:44 AM
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Yep, that's the 48 kbps I know and love. Same harsh, crunchy highs, very noticeable in the vocals, while not so much in the intros. It sounds a lot like groove wear on a styrene 45. It is one of the better sounding 48 kbps streams I've heard, though.

The odd thing is that the artifacts are even more obvious on your WDAV sample. The violins are terribly artifacty: fuzzy and harsh. They don't sound anything like violins. I did not have an HD Radio in January, so if this was the best they could do at the time, I have to agree that there's been a huge improvement. KUSC in LA sounds MUCH better than that.

The WTQR and LITE 102.9 samples (in the 2nd file, after WDAV) are just dreadful. I've heard pleasanter highs from a blown tweeter. I couldn't tolerate listening to them if they were playing my favorite song. If you can't hear the overpowering fuzz on that Abba track at the end, then you really do need your hearing checked. Strain to hear a difference? Please.

Why are you bringing up LPs? The topic is "does HD Radio sound better than analog." The answer is: at 96 kbps, yes, usually. At 48 kbps, probably not. I urge everyone to listen to the samples and judge for yourself.
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post #25 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 09:07 AM
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I'm bringing up lps because "analog is better" idiots (and no I'm not calling you one) invariably get around to that. OF COURSE you say it "sounds terrible". Dude, THAT IS WHAT AUDIO SOUNDS LIKE STRAIGHT OFF THE BOARD IN A STUDIO!

I am a musician. REAL violins in REAL SPACE have an edige. They don't make the sweet, syrupy sound that audiophiles think they do. Going to a freakin' concert once in a while might be a good idea! Live music has much more of an "edge" than most recordings would have us believe. Anybody who could listen to WDAV as it switches from analog to HD and say that analog sounds better has spent ZERO time in a real studio, hearing what the actual sound of recordings is straight off the board, and they certainly have no idea what live acoustic music sounds like.

As for the "Shuffle Channel" they do have "heavy compression artifacts", I'll admit. AUDIO COMPRESSION AND LIMITING, not DATA COMPRESSION! They are VERY heavily processed by clipping the peaks, and bringing up the overall level. I deliberately linked to that knowing there was something "wrong" with it, but wanting to see if you could define what it was. As expected, you couldn't. THOSE ARE ARTIFACTS FROM PEAK LIMITING AND DYNAMIC RANGE COMPRESSION! NOT encoding with the HDC codec.

Again, a prime example of an inexperienced listener (as opposed to a pro) not knowing what to listen for, the Lite 102.9 HD2 sample which you describe as "dreadful" is probably more faithful to the dynamics of the original recording than anything presented here, as it was done at a time before WLYT had received their processing unit for the HD2 stream. There is almost no audio processing on the stream, which is why it is much "quieter". Again, you might want to spend some time learning what to listen for, exactly what digital processing artifacts (from lossy codecs) sound like. Hint: lossy codecs REMOVE high frequency detail, and as such are far more likely to temporarily soften highs, rather than make them sound "edgier". The REAL artifacts caused by lossy codecs usually take the form of "swishy, swirly" effects on the midrange and highs, caused by the rapidly changing comb-filter characteristics of encoding.

If you find the sound of HD "edgy" compared with analog fm stereo, then what you are describing is your impression of full high frequency extension, vs. a treble rolloff above about of several db per octave. Many, having never heard a recording medium capable of reproducing highs at the same volume as midrange, found early cds "edgy" (because they were made from masters with highs deliberately boosted to make up for losses in lp manufacture). You're reacting EXACTLY the same as did early critics when presented with much more treble energy...as much as was on the original master tape! THAT IS WHAT REAL INSTRUMENTS SOUND LIKE! Often recording engineers multi-mic classical (and other acoustic) music, placing microphones very close to instruments. STUPID, as the mics will pick up a sound not representative of what ANYONE in the audience heard...as highs fall off rapidly with distance. The CORRECT way to mic classical music, if accuracy is the goal, is with the microphones quite a ways back from the orchestra.
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post #26 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 09:24 AM
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I was going to respond point-by-point, but I think it's best to summarize in two words: horse pucky.

Again, I urge everyone to listen to Mike's samples. Tell us, honestly, what you hear.
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post #27 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

Again, I urge everyone to listen to Mike's samples. Tell us, honestly, what you hear.

I'm not a "professional listener" but what I heard in Mike's early samples (his first posted file) is the type of sound I wanted in my living room in turning on a radio. When I first heard about HD radio, I came to this forum to investigate further. It was actually Mike's samples (comparing them with my analog FM) that caused me to get a better antenna and buy HD radio. And I don't regret it.

It's come to the point where late at night I turn off the TV and put on HD radio while reading a book. I now enjoy the radio being on instead of the TV. Prior to this FM did not interest me because of the background noise. CDs are too much of a hassle when with a click I can change stations and formats immediately while sitting back in a lazyboy.
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post #28 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 11:33 AM
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Sangean is here in LA. Give me a place where I can plug in an HDT-1X with even a $200 receiver and a $200 set of speakers like my system and I assure you, you will know the power of HD Radio sound when compared to analog. Since the HDT-1X has the ability to also turn off the HD portion and hear only the analog it will be quite practical to do an A/B comparison.

It is profound to my ears, but I am young and stupid. Maybe it is the hormones and not my ears.
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post #29 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Feirstein View Post

With just a few exceptions, in my area, most stations have blown it with HD radio. They continue to compress and limit and otherwise over process the sound such that there is not benefit to my ears.

Have you tried emailing them? When I first got my Recepter well over a year ago, I was the first person to email local stations about what I was hearing with it. Many engineers admited that they hadn't gotten much training with the new HD equipment and were setting everything to "safe" values, meaning to sound as much like their FM stereo stations as possible especially with the main channel. I encouraged them to try other settings. They were happy to discover their HD stations were suddenly in full frequency response and dynamic range.

Unfortunately they kept getting set back to the old settings. I emailed them once, they apologized, said a software update had done it, and they fixed it. It sounded great again until a few months later when it got set back to the old settings again. I didn't bother them.

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post #30 of 195 Old 08-03-2007, 01:32 PM
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And about classical HD stations. I'm not a fan of classical music but I listen to it at work because our 96 Kbps classical station (who says will remain 96 Kbps forever) sounds incredible and it does wipe out a lot of the noise around the office with headphones.

The only problem is while the music volume is much more dynamic (I regularly have to turn the volume up when the digital fades in), the announcers' microphones are still at full freakin' blast! Whenever I hear the music end and I hear the announcer inhale, I have to turn the volume down quickly or his first words will make me jump. It's kind of nerve wracking.

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