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Radio3 Fm versus Streaming

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bjork67, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Why does the FM stream come across louder than the 320kbs stream , would it be just the strength of the fm is stronger.
  2. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Outputs are likely different?
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    No. It's just that there are two very different methods for deriving the analogue signal going into your preamp/volume control from the FM and streaming sources. Each inherently has its own "gain" decided by the designer. There is no standard to ensure the levels match.

    Unless explicitly matched (not easy to achieve) there will be a different volume control setting for each which equalizes the volume. So although FM is louder for you, streaming may be louder for someone else.
  4. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Lever compression IS applied to R3 FM. This is because FM can't cope with the same dynamic range as the 320k aac stream. The amount of compression tends to be greater during the daytime. But even in the evenings it will be compressed compared with iPlayer. The difference is measurable.
    paulfromcamden and Nic Robinson like this.
  5. Minio

    Minio ... take a walk on the mild side...

    I find streaming Radio 3 to be quieter than streaming Radio 2.
    The loudest Internet stations seem to have the worst sound by far. Try Jazz FM (i/n) or even worse Coolradio jazz.

  6. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    I listen to Jazz FM via DAB and it sounds very good, occasionally I listen to it in my phone/ear buds when I'm out with the dog, so internet, and it sounds decent then too IMO.

    As an aside I've just discovered Jazz Radio Spain via Volumio and it really is excellent with great music and very little interruptions or adverts.
  7. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Simply that Radio 2 is compressed and then has its level raised, to make it 'louder' but the music will have no dynamic range left. Most (actually almost all!) stations do it - Classic FM too.
  8. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    The broadcasters work on the basis that many of the listeners are in noisy environments, eg driving and if the dynamic range is too wide they don't hear the quiet bits without making the loud bits too loud.
  9. Minio

    Minio ... take a walk on the mild side...

    I can listen to it and enjoy it but R3 is noticeably better at 320kbps and with less lever compression.
    S*ds Law I'm just checking it out on my Streamagic and it has disappeared so I'll have to reload it on the database.
  10. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    I think the strength of the fm is definitely stronger. I can feel it :cool:
  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    FM stream? Whatever happened to good old R3 (and the others) acquired from the rooftop aerial? I've been with FM stereo radio since 1970 (?) and hear no reason to seek out other sources (not that I could, though, I s'pose !).

    R3 via aerial has a considerably lower output than the others, but of course sounds better, albeit at higher volume on the pre.
    the caretaker likes this.
  12. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Alright I typed it incorrectly :rolleyes: fm signal, fm thingy fm sommat .
  13. Minio

    Minio ... take a walk on the mild side...


    MikeMA likes this.
  14. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    What happened was an amount of automated level compression which has gradually become more pervasive over the years. IIRC it started in the 1980s to be applied to R3 FM at 'drive times' and was then increased in scope, etc. It is to a much lesser degree than other stations, though. And not used so much during evenings.

    The reality is FM stereo has, at best, a noise floor that it about 20 - 30 dB higher than the aac stream can provide. But the real effect is down to concern for listeners who mostly *don't* have a superb tuner and sit down to listen and give full attention in a quiet room.
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    You say that, Jim, but when I sold my newly serviced 01 + p/supply, I was prepared to relegate radio as a decent s.q. source. Bought a cheap as chips NAD from Ebay, and was amazed; have been listening to radio a heck of a lot more since. you do need a decent aerial though; for any tuner, i.m.o. Maybe my 6 element/12' mast on tall chimney 9 crow's miles from transmitter wasn't man enough for my 01? Debatable.
  16. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    It really ought to do it!

    Where we live it's the rather distant Wrotham and an external aerial has never been a possibility. Therefore I'm a huge convert to streaming through Volumio/Pi which is a godsend. I've had to change all the URLs of late (and I think I'll start a thread for this).

    Have to say the 320 stream of R3 is very good.
    trick cyclist and Del monaco like this.
  17. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    I have always found BBC FM broadcasts to be excellent but I entirely agree on the quality of the latest AAC 320 kbit/s streams. BBC broadcasts of live recordings via that stream are my reference for excellence in source quality. Especially from concert halls I know. I insist that kit I buy reproduces them well before anything else.

    The BBC R&D White Paper WHP384 from May 2018 describes a subjective listening test which concludes:

    "This paper presented a subjective listening test to determine whether there is likely to be a perceptible difference between lossless (FLAC) and AAC 320 kbps compression. ...

    The analysis showed that there was no statistically significant difference in quality between the uncompressed signals and AAC-LC 320 kbps compression, which means participants did not perceive difference between two formats. ..."

    The Promenade Concerts FLAC streaming test a few years ago is not likely to be repeated; but it seem likely that may not really matter.
  18. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I’m down to two remaining tunas- MD102 and a TL3 /TdeP decoder for which I’ve just ordered a new antiference 5 element to replace the old one on the roof. That system will remain analogue, while the other using a Devialet 440 which digitises everything anyway, will rely on internet radio including the ‘R3 HD’ stream from a Melco device. Besides it’s in a location that seems to be tricky for FM reception
  19. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    As I don't stream and to be honest know very little about streaming and digital etc, can't offer much in this post.
    I was blown away though a couple of Saturdays ago on Radio 3 one morning.
    I was listening on my elderly A @R Cambridge T21 on FM and they where playing alot of piano music and it sounded incredible,there was real weight in the piano sound,hammers hitting strings.
    Voice free simbilants with the host of the show,very,very nice.Weather it was a digital recording broadcast on FM I haven't a clue but it did leave a Wow ! memory.
  20. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Radio three on fm sounds better to me..if you have the right set up, I think fm is the best..I did a comparison with my denon tuner v Internet ( both radio three ) fm had a bit of hiss but apart from that? It blew the Internet away! How? Because fm has a authenticity about three through streamer sounds too clean..I like a radio to sound like a radio!
    Ptah and Miss Ariel like this.

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