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Best sound quality for Radio3

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Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby ef37a » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:00 am

Best here methinks?

One day, before I get too feeble in mind, body and ears, I intend to buy a pair of really good monitors (Result 6 is top of list at the moment) and settle down to some serious listening.

My problem is, what is the best signal source for R3? I Have essentially 3 options.

1) FM radio. Will buy a decent tuner/receiver if needs be.
2) Feed from the website via computer and AI.
3) Feed from optical out from Freeview broadcast.
Then there is DAB but I am not sure it is any better quality than any of the above and I do not at present have a DAB receiver of any kind.

Although I shall not be "retiring" (again!) anytime soon if I knew the best source I could start arranging to record some of it.

Ghaaagh! Pressed the submit button and SOS gave a blank page except "There was an error, try again later". I backtracked and was relieved to find my post had in fact arrived. Don't DO that! On heart meds you know?

Dave.
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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:36 am

First question is 'how good is the FM signal where you are?'
Where I used to live I got such a bad FM signal from the BBC channels that I sold my tuner. But before then I used to get beautifully clear broadcast.
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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby ef37a » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:51 am

blinddrew wrote:First question is 'how good is the FM signal where you are?'
Where I used to live I got such a bad FM signal from the BBC channels that I sold my tuner. But before then I used to get beautifully clear broadcast.

WTGR Drew the FIRST question is. "Is FM the best quality IF I get a pristine signal?"

I don't have an FM setup rigged at the moment and being a lazy B have just relied on 'puters and Freeview but if FM is the best option I shall get a tuner/receiver and get an aerial rigged if necessary. (I used to get very good results with a loft aerial but things have been built since so I don't know now)

Mind you, I will be on the Easter Ave N repeater. Have they improved the digital links in the last 20 years?

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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:11 am

I suspect it will be via FM tuner - although Hugh will confirm (or not!) :lol:

All the digital delivery mechanisms use various forms of digital compression a la MP3.

Back in pre-digital days it was stated in the sensible hi-fi community that the best/most accurate signal you'd get out of your speakers would be a live R3 concert via FM.
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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby ef37a » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:13 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:I suspect it will be via FM tuner - although Hugh will confirm (or not!) :lol:

All the digital delivery mechanisms use various forms of digital compression a la MP3.

Back in pre-digital days it was stated in the sensible hi-fi community that the best/most accurate signal you'd get out of your speakers would be a live R3 concert via FM.

Indeed Mike that is my feeling too. Back in the days of Angus McKenzie and the fabulous Revox tuner, the system was said to have less than 1% THD at full deviation and close to a -70dB S/N. Numbers beyond tape and we won't even mention vinyl!

But! If I have no choice but to get a re transmission from a digital link? Digital is easier and means I don't have to buy owt! (not in the Revox class anyway!)

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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:41 pm

Radio 3 is pretty good quality across all of the current outlets and is notably better than all other BBC channels.

The nostalgia option would be FM, of course, but it would involve the expense of a decent FM tuner and aerial installation, there's no guarantee how long the national FM networks will survive, and there is some multi-band signal processing involved.

The most convenient option for you is probably Freeview channel 703. It's broadcast as mpeg1 layer 2 (mp2) in joint-stereo mode at a fixed bitrate of 192kbps. DAB uses the same codec format but the bitrate varies between 160-192kbps at different times of day.

The best quality option is probably the online BBC radio iPlayer which uses a more modern and more advanced codec (HLS AAC) in joint stereo at a fixed 320kbps.

Although I have a decent FM tuner and aerial, I tend to isten to BBC r3 over DAB mostly...or via freeview...and find both perfectly acceptable.
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Re: Best sound quality for Radio3

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:31 am

Thank you Hugh, Freeview it shall be!
That saves me quite a bit of money and inconvenience going FM and also simplifies recording.
One more question if I may? The Freeview recorder I shall use has 4 levels of recording quality. The SP level is as good as off air for video. LP almost as good and is used for 90% of recordings but is the sound channel reduced in quality in the same way as video?

My hope is not since the bandwidth required is tiny compared to video.

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