» Portland Radio

High Fidelity AM Stereo

(112 posts)
  • Started 10 years ago by the_radio_guy
  • Latest reply from Alfredo_T

  1. the_radio_guy

    I just read about this high fidelity AM Stereo tuner that is now available:

    It's too bad that 1450 KBPS is the only AM station in the area that is still broadcasting C-QUAM Stereo. There are still quite a few AM music stations in Oregon and Washington.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 01:27 AM #
  2. Czarcasm

    And I know where you can get a good deal on a Betamax.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 07:13 AM #
  3. missing_kskd

    Well, I don't know that I would get one of those due do the lack of programming. I've seen them though. Wonder if that station on the east coast is still doing stereo. I can't recall the call letters off hand, but the owner had a stereo rig, and caught the fever, playing oldies in stereo, going as far as to promote it locally. He got good feedback, finding a lot of cars had them. That was true through 2000. I've got one from that era, and it's just an excellent radio, stereo or not.

    KBPS is a treat though. When I'm in range, I always take a listen! What I particularly like is the combination of the separation, and the AM style processing. Gives many vocal and acoustic pieces a great, in car, presence.

    If you ever get the chance to hear a good talk program done in stereo, on AM stereo, there is nothing like it. Beats the pants off an analog FM, IMHO. Not having as many highs is a clear bonus on that kind of programming.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 07:39 AM #
  4. scowl

    In the late 90's I read of lots of AM stations who were still sending an AM stereo pilot tone but are not broadcasting in stereo. They claimed it was not worth broadcasting it to a handful of receivers that can decode it and it reduced their coverage for some reason, something about C-QUAM limiting their modulation making them sound quieter than other stations which was unacceptable.

    Back then there was a report every week of yet another AM stereo station suddenly with no stereo, often leaving the pilot tone on or just pulling the plug on it altogether. Inquiries to the station were usually polite but some C.E.'s just laughed at the suggestion that they continue AM stereo.

    Despite the decline of AM stereo, there have been lots of sites over the years selling AM stereo decoders. I've noticed that like the one above, they've added a new HD Radio station section to describe all of AM HD's faults while ignoring AM stereo's faults, usually with sweeping statements like this site's "noise-free high definition sound is virtually indistinguishable from FM stereo broadcasts" claim. I don't know where people are receiving AM stereo but I have never received a "noise-free" AM stereo broadcast (especially here at work) and I would never confuse them with an FM stereo broadcast.

    I would also never confuse an AM HD broadcast with an FM broadcast either. They all have distinctive sounds.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 09:03 AM #
  5. Alfredo_T

    A lack of stereo programming should not deter one from picking up an AMAX compliant receiver because it will provide good reception of local stations whether they are broadcasting in mono or stereo. Just keep in mind that these high fidelity radios are not for nighttime DX reception (unless they have selectable bandwidths).

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 10:30 AM #
  6. missing_kskd

    That's a great point Alfredo. What I've noticed is a lot of stations went to the brick wall 5khz filter along with the HD trend. That does not treat the sounds well :( Even with that, higher bandwidth radio still sound considerably better.

    For those stations that didn't do that, the extra fidelity is a nice plus!

    Frankly, a GE Super Radio is a good way to check out what AM really sounds like these days. I use mine regularly, on both AM and FM. It's not a stereo radio however.

    If you are listening on a newer car radio, chances are you are getting very ugly AM sound.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 11:08 AM #
  7. scowl

    Are there any local AM stations broadcasting wideband? If not, I don't see the point of an AMAX compliant receiver.

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 11:11 AM #
  8. jr_tech

    At the other end of the scale...a really nice AM stereo tuner with selectable bandwidth:

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 11:17 AM #
  9. Alfredo_T

    The only stations around here that are not transmitting the full 10 kHz audio bandwidth are KPOJ, KEX, KKPZ, and KDZR. Sometimes, KEX flips to a backup non-HD transmitter, and when they do, they broadcast 15+ kHz audio!

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 11:58 AM #
  10. jr_tech

    "they broadcast 15+ kHz audio!"

    8O Are you sure about this? or do you mean RF bandwidth?

    Posted on June 15, 2010 - 12:19 PM #