Originally Posted by rwagoner
KDIS sounds better in HD than they ever did as analog. Far better. And I've followed them since they were KRLA in stereo.
I've played HD KDIS and analog KIIS-FM in a "blind" test and no one I have tried it with can tell the difference (when they are playing similar music, at least ... sometimes the music gives it away immediately).
KIIS-FM, with its two streams and overprocessed audio, isn't much of a reference signal. It's a perfect example of an FM with HD audio noticeably inferior to the analog. But I'm still certain I can ace your blind test, at least using KISS's main stream. The -2 sounds very much like KDIS, IE horrible.
A comparison between my old aircheck and the sound from my HDT-1 and KD-HDR1 reveals that the HD signal is noticeably quieter (of course) in the quiet passages, and has significantly better frequency response, in that the 10 kHz cutoff of the NRSC mask is quite obvious on the aircheck. HD also has better and more stable separation, and does a fabulous job of reproducing phone calls.
The problem is those artifacts! I won't try to describe them yet again because enough is enough, and if you can't hear them, then you are much luckier than I am and shouldn't go searching for them. I find them obnoxious and distracting, and try as I might, I cannot get past them to enjoy the music. They add alien noises to the original sound that subconsciously make me want to find the problem and fix it. They detract from the music in the same way a blown tweeter, a damaged needle, or interference from the vacuum cleaner upstairs detracts from the music. They're not stashed in the extreme high frequencies, and they're not the relatively musical wateriness (I can't believe I just said that) you find with MP3s. They're a glaring harshness, right smack in a frequency range where it's most irritating.
I just don't get how they don't bother you! I guess if I knocked the treble control down to nothing . . . . .