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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think of your XM?


I am not sure if it is just my setup or if everyone experiences this. The sound quality on some stations is not good. Too much compression. Some are ok but not as good as I hoped.


The programming is a bit out there sometimes. This may grow on me but for now I somtimes have a hard time finding anything to listen to that sounds familiar.

Do you guys feel the same way?

What XM stations do you listen to?
 

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'familiar'...you said it! Can't find much that is familiar like I can on a regular station.


I have the same problem and flip around to much sometimes. I have grown to like the Bone Yard.
 

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I've found that I like Squizz (47 or 48 I believe)... I had a hard time finding a channel that played everything I liked, and even this one has some songs that I've never heard before, but I find that I like most of them...
 

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The sound quality on mine seems to be fine but in my opinion the programming is terrible.


The only thing I have found worth listening to is Bloomberg or MSNBC.
 

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I have the Roady...........XM 150 Comedy and XM 46 Deep Tracks.


Some News and Laugh XM 151 is also good................


As far as quality.........cassette adapter and stock 2002 Radio/speakers.......


Good Enough for me.........


T
NY
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now I'm wondering if the sound quality is an issue with my system
I can see how some wouldn't hear what I am complaining about but I think most would hear it. It sounds like a bad mp3 rip. CD sound quality is significantly better. I need a long trip to get used to the programming.


I expected a lot better. My assumption was that it would be like going from regular over the air broadcast TV to satellite tv. As it stands now I think I enjoy my favorite FM stations better then XM. I do like some of the advantages of XM but for me I don't think its going to be an FM replacement. Hopefully it just requires some adjustment. I wish I knew someone with XM so I could compare the sound quality to mine.
 

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Max - you are right in saying it sounds like a bad MP3 rip. that's how they squeeze all that music onto the sattelite. It's heavily compressed and has a much lower sampling rate than a CD. If you know anything about what a sine wave looks like you will understand what I am about to say.


The 44.1K sampling rate of a CD means that at 20,000HZ (upper limit of human hearing) it is actually a sawtooth instead of a sine wave. The sampling rate of XM has to be somewhere in the 15-20K range, hence the very MP3 sounding and brittle high frequency range. What this means is the practical upper limit of XM is somewhere in the 7000-10000HZ range. Anything above that is garbage. Simply put the sampling rate is how many "points" of data there is and there needs to be at least 2 points of data per cycle to get any audio. If you have only 2 points, then you have a sawtooth wave. To get close to a sine wave you need to have at minimum 4 points of data, which puts XM in the 3500-5000HZ range for "true" audio.


Anyhow I was really getting techie there, bottom line is I think the audio quality of XM stinks. There are many people out there that can't really tell the difference and the fact that there is no "static" in the audio as compared to FM radio, many people think it sounds better. The selection and lack of commercials is awesome. If the audio quality was better I would listen to it all the time...


Anyhow, that's my .02 for the day.


Stefan


www.audiovideoelectronics.com


(see the website and you will understand why I know so much about audio.)


As for the BOSE system, I also think the sound quality sux... that's why it's getting pulled out and in goes a new system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would sacrifice a lot of the selection for better sound quality. I've been doing some reading on XMfan.com I am surprised to see that most do not notice this high compression noise. You and I are about 1 in 1000 from what I can tell. XM needs to get their act together. There are so many advantages to XM but they are all not worth it if the sound quality is no good.


While I agree with you that the Bose sound quality is far from top notch, it is a lot better then other OEM systems I have heard. I think that the bose system and xm clash. In other words the bose system exaggerates the XM compression sound. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't see how so many people are so happy with XM.


I really hope I get used to it and learn to tune it out because I want to enjoy xm.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To clarify, what I am hearing is quite a bit worse then a 128k mp3 rip if that makes sense. Newguy, is that consistant with what you hear?


I can listen to a 128 mp3, although I know it could be a lot better I can tolerate it. I'm not sure if I will be able to tolerate xm or not. It seems maybe 1/2 as good as a 128 mp3.
Some channels are better then others. Channel 20 for example is a lot better then channel 8 or 9.
 

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The shop that installed my CB sells satellite radio as well. The installer asked me if I had ever noticed how some of the XM stations didn't sound quite as "crisp". I remembered at one time listening to the Disney channel (10 year old daughter!) & thinking that the sound wasn't very good. Wonder if certain XM channels use more bandwidth than others for better quality sound. I've only noticed it in the truck with my Roady & FM modulator, never with my Skyfi in the house. But I'm certainly no audio expert either.
The two comedy channels, Top Tracks, & Deep Tracks are probably my favorite channels, but I've caught myself listening to Hank's Place & Bluegrass Junction alot lately too. About the only time I listen to FM anymore is when I listen to the Bob & Tom show in the morning.
 

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I listen to 46, 150, 144, Boneyard, Nashville.


I would say that the sound quality is the same in my truck on CD or XM. Better than FM in either case. I wonder if your antenna has anything to do with it? Tuner maybe. I've got a 900 I could send you for testing purposes that sounded as good as my 910.


Too bad we don't live closer! I bet we could get this sorted out over a couple of Rum and Cokes.
 

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I must be spending too much time in the welding shop and can't hear anymore. The sound quality in both of my cars is excellent! I would go frickin crazy without it. Channel 7 and 46 are my main stations.
 

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Heck I couldnt tell the difference between cassette tapes and CDs. XM sounds fine to me, but the antenna sucks. Parking garages, valleys, etc. all affect reception.


As far as the programming goes I'm happy as a lark. No commercials, no djs that think they are funny. I am into older 70s and 80s non mainstream music. I am hearing stuff that you can not find in stores anymore. What I cant say is that its worth me forking over the cash for.
 

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I live in North Dakota right now. So the XM rocks.


Sounds a little fuzzy at times but most of the time it is great. I have not had to listen to these babbling idiots here in Minot North Dakota for over a month now and it is GREAT!


I listen to all the country stations mostly. and the news
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Everyone says its so good that really makes me think there is something wrong with my system.


The thing is I can't really notice it on some stations at some times but then others are really bad. I am certain they are using more compression on certain stations.


Trippin, did you pay any attention to the sound quality of the PIE adapter? I wish I had a 903 with FM modulator so I could eliminate problems. Does XM let you easily change tuner ID's?
 

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My wifes new GTP Comp-G came with XM and I can't tell a diff between it an the local stations I listen to. Free trial just lapsed, not sure if I'm going to renew, probably not just because we don't ever leave town with it. Trips are always in my truck. I may try it when/if I upgrade my head unit though...
 

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Max,


I'm using a XM Commander with the FM Modulator. I'm no audio expert, but the quality seems to be as good as or better than Broadcast FM. I can hear the difference between 64k and 128k mp3 rips. I don’t know how it compares to my CD play as I haven’t loaded a disk since the XM install.
I do plan on bypassing the modulator one day, just haven’t bought a switch unit yet. I’d love to wire it internal to the cassette. I doubt I’ll ever use it.





Channels? 46 7 6 8 150 40 45 9 144 23 Depends on the mood!


Edited by: Professor
 

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Max - there is nothing wrong with your radio.


There is different bandwidths reserved for different stations. Ones that are more popular tend to get higher bandwith.


The plain and simple fact is that like some people that are color blind, some are not as sensitive to audio. Max, you and I are some of the "lucky" ones that can really be critical listeners, and I don't mean this in a degrading way to anyone else here.


No XM for me...
it's like torture to listen to for me... I'd rather listen to AM than XM. less of the compression and digital garble.
 

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I also have problems with the sound quality of my XM. I was able to get a 3 month free trial period courtisy of GM a few months back. I was dissapointed in the sound. First of all, it seemed very tinny to me, I guess that is how you describe it. You could hear it fade in and out depending on the song. Also higher pitched sounds, like laughter on the comedy station sounded echo'y or garbled, or symbal (sp) hits on a drum not sounding clear. I like rock, so you heard this quite a bit.


I figured it was me being picky as I was told it was cd quality, or it was the radio being a cheap stock unit. There is a difference between cd and xm on my factory bose unit, as well as a difference between fm and xm, laughter and other high pitches sounds, sound normal and clear on fm. I periodically check in on the preview stations that are going that day, and within a few minutes, I can hear this echo chamber or garble type noise. Thankfully I have a 6 disk cd player, but it would be nice to use the xm...



Bob
 

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4x4man - what you are describing as garbly/tinny/echo'y is the fact that it has a low sampling rate. It is just plain not good audio from a purist standpoint.


As stated earlier many people won't be able to tell the difference, however there are those of us that will hear it.
 
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