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VHF/FM radio ...

Discussion in 'audio' started by George J, May 2, 2019.

  1. Nick_G

    Nick_G pfm Member

    How about a 9-element beam? This is what I use for my set-up, and I bought mine in 2014, so the 2019 version may be slightly different. I assume they will still ship to the UK:
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  2. nicetone

    nicetone pfm Member

    'Aerials and TV' in Sheffield do 6 and 3 element FM antennas :
    TheDecameron likes this.
  3. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Nick, who supplies them?
  4. Nick_G

    Nick_G pfm Member

    Antennenland in Germany.

    Sorry. I meant to include the link, and obviously didn't. Fixed now.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  5. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Jim,

    I have done a bit of an experiment, with rough comparisons between the BBC internet sends and the Troughline on some live concerts which engaged me less musically.

    My conclusions are not scientific, though to my ears the differences were enough to justify noting.

    The digital stream definitively has a more substantial bass extension compared to the Troughline on FM from Sutton Coldfield - when there is a pipe organ with the orchestra, it is more prominent with digital for example. On the whole sibilants on spoken and sung voices were more natural [and proportionate] on VHF. With the ear against the ESL on the digital stream, then there is a seeming absolute silence in the background, but with the Troughline tuned properly there is a tiny hiss that is audible from a couple of inches of the speaker - insignificant in normal listening. On the whole, the string-tone quality is finer on the Troughline, and is possessed of that hard to conjure combination of solidity and airiness that is often encountered in the concert hall. When this is well managed in a broadcast the difference between gentle and more formidable playing is clearly marked not only by dynamic, but also between the silky and the rosiny quality that every stringed instrument player will know not only as real, but aimed for in playing.

    Now comes something where I may be forgiven a degree of admitted subjective preference - dynamic compression. I actually prefer a small degree of skilfully manipulated compression in recordings and broadcasts. This would be justified by the simple fact that my listening is done in a domestic setting where the normal domestic back ground noises themselves - cars on the road, the fridge, neighbours moving about and so on - would be considerably greater than what is present in most good concert halls. So if I don't want the loud parts louder than realistic [and I do not], then the slightly louder than real presentation of the long stretches of quieter music compete better than it would have to in a concert hall setting. Thus I find artistically managed dynamic compression is a blessing. On the whole the digital side of my replay is actually slightly more dynamic than the Troughline for a start, and if there is dynamic compression being done - as I believe that there is on VHF - then it is being done so artfully as to be not obvious in actually listening to music at least on live Radio Three.

    To my mind, home replay of music involves a series of compromises which vary from set-up to set-up. If you live in a nice isolated farmhouse, far from any major roads, and out of earshot of neighbours, then it is easier to live with less compressed or completely uncompressed replay dynamically. I think that is an explanation for not finding well done dynamic compression to be a problem, so long as it is not taken to an obviously excessive degree.

    As someone noted in another post earlier in this thread, if is were about the most perfect measuring replay, the LP would have disappeared by now. It is possible to enjoy the older style of less perfect replay, and even to prefer it for what it does do so well at its best. I was never a particular enthusiast for LPs, but retain my enthusiasm for what is good about VHF FM.

    I also take the point Jez makes about the Japanese radios from the 1970s and 1980s. I cannot quite agree that the Trroughline is comparatively "crap," as though it probably measures worse, it still performs the magic trick of allowing the suspension of disbelief for the duration of a concert. A friend of mine recently got a Rotel 850 tuner on my recommendation. I once owned one, and knew it is a lovely radio. I know that the Rotel is bringing nice smiles to my friends when listening to live radio relays on the BBC!

    Last December running up the Christmas, I decided to get a Rotel for myself, and only the fact that there were no good clean examples for sale at that precise moment stopped me. I scratched my head and let my heart lead. That is when I went on the madcap course of buying and getting serviced the Troughline. It has given a great deal of pleasure since its return from the rebuild. That is fine enough for me! I love great design and making from any time ...

    Thanks to everyone on this thread, who have all posted in good humour and with much useful information as well.

    Best wishes from George
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    GML likes this.
  6. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Just think - if they had thought of swapping the wallpaper and flooring round they could well have invented Tetris.
  7. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    That's nice. Reminds me of a cross between an Antiference 8 element I had as a student and the R.S. Galaxie I had more recently. Compared to the Galaxies, that looks to be good v.f.m.
  9. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    The rise in gain per element tends to fade away after about 3 or 4 elements. So it might be as well or better to stack a couple of 4 element antennas if you *really* need more than a 4- or 5-element can give you.
  10. Linnovice

    Linnovice pfm Member

    I may be a bit late for this thread but have been reading with interest. I also favour a Leak Troughline Stereo among my tuners. It’s been completely serviced with new valves, caps and resistors. To my ears it’s sounds glorious and although I occasionally migrate to others including a Stereofetic, Sansui and Linn I still come back to the Troughline.
    One point I’d like to make though. We have a lot of discussions regarding background noise, in its many forms. But, it makes me wonder, how many of us have actually visited and listened to a live orchestra? I ask because last year I was fortunate enough to visit the Royal Albert Hall on a few occasions. I attended both classical and folk/rock concerts. In both genres I was struck by the amount of background noise there actually is. The ever present hum of the air conditioning, the murmur of the audience, the coughs and sneezes, etc, etc. At one particular concert where a Classical guitarist was playing an un-amplified set he could hardly be heard over the ambient noise.

    All in all it makes me realise two things. 1. How lucky we are to be able to sit back and enjoy our music in comfort and relative silence and 2. How the BBC should be complimented in their ability to extract and distribute the superb concerts that they do. We moan, groan and criticise various makes/models of equipment that we use but, sometimes, loose sight of the wonderful music we listen to. In the real world no musical concert is performed in clinical silence.
    Snufkin likes this.
  11. martin dawson

    martin dawson pfm Member

    I listen to BBC radio 4 through a Nat 101 / Snaps, Grad 1 TPX2, Witch Hat moonlight monos, DMS Isobariks. I don’t have the fabled Galaxy aerial as my chimney couldn’t support it. However I do have I think a 9 element aerial on a rotor been there since 1986 and still working.
    The sound from radio 4 is superb especially speech background silent.


    Hove 100 likes this.
  12. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Hi George,
    There is something very special about FM. I use an old Yammy CT1010 for Radio 3 broadcasts. Though I do occasionally listen to the BBC stream, it doesn’t have the warmth, soundstage or bloom of the Yammy. It’s non-fatiguing quality is lovely for Saturday morning Record Review, Through the Night or their exalted concert series.
    Hove 100 likes this.

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