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Re: [ARSCLIST] Internet audio: What do you expect of it ?
Bob Olhsson wrote:
I think AM radio in the '50s and '60s was much higher quality than most
people realize, very possibly better and certainly less distorted than
today's shredded FM and CDs. FM could be superb but usually wasn't. While I
was briefly in college in western Michigan during the mid '60s I could pick
up Chicago's WFMT which was by far the best broadcast audio quality I've
ever heard but that station was very much the exception.
I was born in 1965, and consequently was not old enough to judge the
relative merits of *any* radio audio I heard as a child :) However, I
once had a reel of Irish brand tape that had been very clearly used to
record broadcast audio from an FM station, probably early 60s, which was
stunning in its breadth. I would venture a guess that your average
classical music FM station today still does as little compression as
possible; I live in Chicago and can tell you that even today WFMT has
excellent dynamic range.
I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana where we had a classical FM station
and a little one-lung MOR AM station; I don't recall any unpleasantness
to the sound of either station. Today is a different story; pop music FM
stations, at least in Chicago, are so overcompressed that they are
painful to listen to even when it's just the jockeys talking. AM talk
radio today also seems to be compressed to within an inch of its life,
an affliction that, curiously, I don't really notice on "newsradio"
stations. If I were to pick an AM station to judge as a benchmark of
quality today, I think it would be WGN, which seems (to my ears anyway)
to have a wide dynamic range even as its own bandwidth is probably much
more tightly restricted now than it would have been 30 years ago, when
clear-channel stations had much more room to breathe.
(Apologies to Sam Brylawski, et al, if this is getting way off ARSC's