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Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

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ashworth_rich's picture
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Joined: 28 May 2008
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I spent a day recently listening mostly to my Denon TU1800DAB which I really like, but OMG how compressed is normal DAB (sorry if this has been done to death on here!)

I dont get too many stations with the supplied mini-aerial but Radio 1 and 2 sound pretty awful at 120kbps, for anything other than background music. I mainly listen to Absolute (formerly Virgin) which is 160kbps and is passable but still seems to have some dynamic range compression like many stations. Classic is ok too (I forget the compression rate), kind of the middle ground in quality.

Then I put on Radio3, finally we were getting somewhere (190kbps, I think). They were doing a Beethoven day and personally I dont ever listen to classical music but this was excellent. The dynamic range was huge and the music really showed this off. I'm converted Smile

I've read a few internet pages about the issues with DAB compression and lack of bandwidth/too many stations and I dont see things improving soon.

Maybe i'll but a decent FM aerial instead?

ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

not a very popular forum this one....

Smile

fatboyslimfast's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

I use DAB only in the car, where the background noise tends to mask any compression issues. At home though, I find it annoying. I used to use a Sky box for radio, but now use my Virgin V+.

Freeview boxes can also be surprisingly capable for radio...higher bitrates again...

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ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

I may try my V+ box then, but its in the wrong room for music....

chebby's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Second the Freeview suggestion.

Optical connection from my DVD recorder to my DAC. Much better bitrates on the whole.

Radio 3 was dropped to 160kbps (DAB) back in 2006 but was raised again to 192kbps (wherever it is practical or possible to do so).

On Freeview it has always been 192kbps (48khz)

However Radio 3 is a 'special case' and you will find Freeview bit rates generally higher than the same station on DAB.

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/dab/digital_radio_bit_rates.htm

And there is internet Radio of course...

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/2009/02/bbc_test_aac+_streams_overtake_dab_quality.php

 

 

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ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Thanks.

Still its not practical for me to use Freeview as my music room does not have a TV in it.

ianr23gp's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

I've also just got a Denon TU-1800 DAB as I love the idea of DAB but didn't realise how frustrating it can be! Do you have an external DAB aerial? I guess that would help improve the range of stations and also the quality of some which aren't being picked up properly from the mini aerial.

Sorry to hi-jack your thread but... I'm trying to connect my Denon to our Sky satellite point. I've been told I need a coax plug to F male cable. As they're not exactly in great demand it's difficult to know where to look and what sort of cable quality to go for. How have you got your radio connected up? From the pictures in 'Your System' I couldn't tell.

chebby's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!
ianr23gp:
. I'm trying to connect my Denon to our Sky satellite point. I've been told I need a coax plug to F male cable. As they're not exactly in great demand it's difficult to know where to look..

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=29523&doy=11m3&C=SO&U=strat15

If thats not it, dont worry Maplin have plenty of other variants.

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ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

hijack-away!
This thread needs some more action Smile

I'm using the supplied aerial which is not ideal, i only have a TV point there which allows me to get a further 3 channels - which in fairness I could proabably receive with just the aerial cable dangling round the back.

So are the options only to buy a roof aerial or can you get decent "set-top" DAB aerials??

ianr23gp's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Chebby - Thanks for the Maplin link. Using that adapter I could just buy a standard coax cable to connect to our Sky aerial. Job done!!

From reading these forums it would appear that the normal recommendation from Andy / Andrew et al is to invest in an external FM / DAB aerial. As I live in a block of flats, installing even an earial in the loft space requires permission. Apparently, we don't own the loft space!

Luckily, we had a communal satellite dish installed, including FM / DAB which means that I can use the spare radio coax socket on our Sky HD aerial to connect to the Denon tuner. Very happy as just saved about £220 plus VAT getting a DAB / FM aerial installed.

FYI - I recently got a quote for installing a DAB / FM aerial which was in line with the £200 others users had been advised. It broke down as (all plus VAT) £130 DAB, £105 FM and £190 for both at the same time.

Are you thinking of getting a DAB aerial installed? What about FM, can you get the stations you want?

One trick with DAB that worked for me is to set up the tuner next to a window in the highest point of your home. Then carry out an autotune to scan for all the DAB channels. Even when I moved it back to its normal position it managed to 'remember' a handful of stations which it hadn't previously picked up. I got this tip from a UK DAB website...

UK Digital Radio - top tips

Perhaps try it out yourself and hopefully it might save on the cost of an external aerial

chebby's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Pleased to help.

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ianr23gp's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Bump - ashworth_rich... are you on holiday???

ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

I wish!
Sorry must have missed the questions there!

Not really looking at an external aerial just yet, but i know I need one. Reception is patchy on both FM and DAB, though of course DAB fares better.

Joined: 12 Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

DAB is a bit of a lost cause in my humble, for the forseeable future for a couplr of reasons.


Until DAB+ with it's better compression ratio, plus the removal of analogue frequencies comes into play, the current setup will be pretty rubbish.  


 

Joined: 12 Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

Until DAB+ gets introduced and analogue gets switched off, DAB will always be a poor relation. God knows when it will get sorted though!

ashworth_rich's picture
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Re: Bitrates/sound quality and Radio 3!

I find 192kbps ok for general listening (Absolute Radio and Radio 3). All other stations make me wonder why I bought a DAB radio!