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Thread: Radio 3 FM Quality.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2014

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 59
    I'm Michael.

    Default Radio 3 FM Quality.

    Has any one noticed that Radio 3 sound quality on FM is distorted? The analogy being similar to a cartridge mistracking.
    Radio 4 is fine, Radio 2 suffers a little bit. Online is fine, so is Classic FM on FM. Local radio (Radio WM) is okay on FM.
    Listening on headphones really shows it up. My transmitter is Sutton Coldfield which has “no reported problems” according to the BBC transmitter checker.
    I have complained to the BBC about it, but as yet i haven’t had a reply.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 991
    I'm Dennis.

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    I don't listen to R3, but it is notorious for being at an averagely low level compared with the other BBC stations, and this does present SQ problems. (Used to listen to Late Junction before it was run by fans of smart arses with samplers.)

    Optimod is something to consider, it adds artefacts.

    Personally, as an ex BBC engineer, I am of the view that they are not bothered about SQ, and I'm not even sure that they have the staff able to produce good sound anyway. I remember just how good it was in the early 70s.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,368
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    I don't listen to R3, but it is notorious for being at an averagely low level compared with the other BBC stations, and this does present SQ problems. (Used to listen to Late Junction before it was run by fans of smart arses with samplers.)

    Optimod is something to consider, it adds artefacts.

    Personally, as an ex BBC engineer, I am of the view that they are not bothered about SQ, and I'm not even sure that they have the staff able to produce good sound anyway. I remember just how good it was in the early 70s.
    Perhaps ask the BBC if they have any motivation toward forming a consultative group. A national broadcaster always needs community direction with what it does,
    and this suggests as a very good example.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Cheshire UK

    Posts: 843
    I'm Martin.

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    Dab is a pup...a disgrace! I have abandoned it for the freeview transmission but I would prefer to listen to FM

    We now have a situation where they seem to have been tinkering with the sound quality of FM for a long time.

    Its a mess...a whitewash for their own twisted reasoning

    I like the guy that sent this to ofcom

    https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/asse...8036/waugh.pdf
    " Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"

    'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.'.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 991
    I'm Dennis.

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    "Perhaps ask the BBC if they have any motivation toward forming a consultative group. A national broadcaster always needs community direction with what it does, and this suggests as a very good example. "

    Yes Chris, I am actually going to write an extensive and in depth analysis of the BBC's deterioration in performance, which I consider to have occurred in most areas, later this year when my own life is back on its tracks. I will slaughter them.

    Their failings extend well beyond just the technical quality of FM, and their inept use of Optimod, the settings of which are kept locked away in a safe I understand.

    Where are the equivalents of John Peel's Top Gear, Mike Sparrow's Breakthrough, and Steve something's Sounds Interesting, the Late Junction was at least investigative of new music, that is, until the smart arses with samplers brigade took over from world music.

    It was on R4 that a member of the public phoned in and complained that the BBC was having a 'big party', and I agree, and we are paying for it, and obliged to listen to their self indulgent crap patronisingly spoken, the equivalemnt of sending a picture to people of a meal one is about to consume.

    Once they get a licence renewal go-ahead from the government, they are insulated from public criticism, and become unaware of just how much contempt so many have for the now usurped organisation, run by a liberal elite of mediocre graduates, who are self promoting overpaid and talentless, waiting for the next broadcasting opportunity to earn even more money to come along when they have been 'talent spotted'.

    They are promoting DAB, and failing, I have several friends who had adopted it to then eschew it and return to FM, and yes it is outdated by DAB+.

    Martins link states valid points, but there is so much more - just listen to the audio quality on R4, a speech channel whose function is to communicate intelligence, it is abysmal.

    I also remember that in the mid 70s I was going to complain to them about their wrong usage of intonation, my going to suggest that they had a room entitled "Bizarre Intonation Dept", this being a function of journalism and English, and I did phone them up and complain about their poor tape edits. Rant ended, for now.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2014

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 59
    I'm Michael.

    Default

    There was a problem with the Sutton Coldfield transmitter which the BBC eventually admitted after I pressed them on the issue.
    If you flag a sound issue up with BBC they usually deny it, then a while later the issue is fixed!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,363
    I'm Phil.

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    well done , i had to take down my huge galaxie aeriel this week which faces sutton coldfield . had to take it down before the neighbours builders poked their eyes out as they are building a wall 7 cm from it !! i shall miss it a lot. Rather confess i like classic Fm rather than radio 3 which is even worse quality
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs /, /rotel cd/ bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]arcam a75 marantz sa8005 jolida modwright dac and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 20,882
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    These days I rarely listen to R3. Even during this year's Proms season, I have listened mostly to channel 703 (the Freeview channel for R3) on the TV, via a Quad 520 amplifier feeding B&W DM2a speakers. I would like to think the BBC take extra care when relaying the Proms, but I have my doubts given what Dennis has said above.

    I used to be an avid fan of 'Late Junction' on R3, listened to on a Quad FM4 tuner (using a modest 3-element Yagi), via Quad 57 speakers. No problems there, apart from having to stay up until midnight.

    Nowadays I mostly listen to R4 for plays, discussion programmes, news and analysis, and the 6:30 comedy slot (and of course 'The Archers'! ). Again no real complaints concerning vocal intelligibility and tonal balance, but I do find the sound of the continuity announcer's voice to be far too 'chesty'.
    Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 991
    I'm Dennis.

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    R3 announcements on LJ are often poor, but his is IMO more to do with a cultural decline, universal, speech having deteriorated, and emotional gesticulation taking over from clear and grammatical expression. (Arm waving on TV).

    LJ was good until they made it later, I seem to remember that it used to start at 2200, and it becoming 'anything goes' to fill up air time. This correlates with our (IMO) cultural decline.

    My interest in 'serious music', really was ruined by being forced in childhood to listen to all the classics, it being promulgated as the only valid form, and intellectual.

    I do however disagree with your opinion of R4 speech, often on news it is so poor that there is a complete loss of the presence range, so important for intelligibility, and nothing is coming from my tweeters.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 1,593
    I'm Edward.

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    Occasionally I listen to R3 in the car via FM. Just about ok, what with road noise and transmitter switching.

    More often listen to R3 via online streaming. They stream currently at 48kHz 322Kkps AAC. Ok (ish) but the FLAC streaming trial BBC did a couple of years ago was far far superior.

    @Dennis, did you know James Redmond when you worked at the BBC? He was more on the TV side of things.
    Main: Tidal/Roon > MiniITX > Metrum Hex > LDR > either Radford STA25 V or Trilogy 968 > Tannoy (Eaton or Berkeley).
    2nd: Tidal/Roon > Roopio on Pi > Chevron Paradox > Firebottle Buffer > Sugden Masterclass IA-4 > Kudos Cardea


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