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  1. #1
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Talking HD Radio anyone?

    Hi Guys,

    Just hooked my little Cambridge Soundworks HD radio in my amp and son-of-a-gun, I don't hate the sound! It started with me listening to it with my good cans, and with the HD signal the quality was at least as good as the laptop's output, certainly a lot better than the streaming internet stations, so I thought it might not be a bad idea to hook it up to the tube amp. Hot damn!! Now it's got me thinking; The radio has an optical digital out, so I wonder if I can stream the signal into an outboard DAC and get even better sound? Anyone here try something like this?
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  2. #2
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    yes you can hook up a D/A

    and it WILL sound much better. my friend had a cable box with digital out and the tv and cable radio stations sounded fantastic in comparison.

    IF my older sangean hd had digital out, i would be using it.
    ...regards...tr

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    The sony HD radio got rave reviews, I'm thinking about getting one for christmas. I wish I had my 840c to use as a DAC for it. I might see if Frank Van Alstine will modify my VA DAC and add a second digital input.
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  4. #4
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    go to a'gon

    there are numerous inexpensive DACs in digitial, click on digital then dacs. could be a quick fix.
    ...regards...tr

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    The sony HD radio got rave reviews, I'm thinking about getting one for christmas. I wish I had my 840c to use as a DAC for it. I might see if Frank Van Alstine will modify my VA DAC and add a second digital input.
    The Sony XDRF1HD lacks a digital output. The Sangean HDT-1X does have it. Tests have shown the analog audio section in the Sangean isn't up to he quality of the Sony though. In "HD" my Sangean sounds great using the D-A section in my Pioneer AV receiver. Only problem is, around DFW anyway there is just more of the same old rubbish on the HD sub channels.

  6. #6
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    When the Cambridge first was out and I saw the digital out I was excited to see it and the first thing I thought was running it into a DAC. A dealer told me that wouldn't work. I forget now what the reason was. I asked him then why would they bother putting a digital out on one. He must have thought that was a rettorical question. Any way if these HD radios are using a typical digital out let me know. I guess if it worked in the A/V receiver it should work in any DAC though, right?

    Yeah, I thought new stations, surely they wouldn't play the same crap as the regular station. Some even play worse. We do have a couple stations worth the price though, one plays "deep tracks" and one calls their self playing "free forum Rock". The one station, Free Forum, still plays some of what you hear on commercial Classic rock stations but mixes it with other stuff, some of which should stay in it's cover but the Deep Tracks does pretty well. We did have an HD station that played New Age which I listened to occasionally but they changed it to more of a Adult Alternative thing which sucks.

    People criticized HD Radio for it's sound and rightly so when you advertise yourself as "near CD quality", I guess "near" is open to interpretation, but you can hear when a station goes from HD to analog and the HD is a nice improvement.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    People criticized HD Radio for it's sound and rightly so when you advertise yourself as "near CD quality", I guess "near" is open to interpretation, but you can hear when a station goes from HD to analog and the HD is a nice improvement.
    That seems to vary with the station too. A few stations here there is a definite difference toward the better when the tuner switches to "HD"; extended highs and bass, more dymamic range, then there a few others the analog actually sounds better, one in particular sounds line they have the highs rolled off above 6 or 7kHz on the HD, awful sounding, which is why I like having the forced analog mode of the Sangean, and there are a couple that have the audio matched up very close where I can't hear any difference when it switches.

  8. #8
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_in_Tx
    That seems to vary with the station too. A few stations here there is a definite difference toward the better when the tuner switches to "HD"; extended highs and bass, more dymamic range, then there a few others the analog actually sounds better, one in particular sounds line they have the highs rolled off above 6 or 7kHz on the HD, awful sounding, which is why I like having the forced analog mode of the Sangean, and there are a couple that have the audio matched up very close where I can't hear any difference when it switches.
    I think the stations can decide by themselves how they want the digital HD bandwidth allocated. This would determine the absolute value of how good the signal is. However, the real problem I think is that even with a true HD signal at full bandwidth, most stations are still going to process the signal through a limiter. The only station in my market that I'm sure broadcasts uncompressed music in HD-Radio is WQXR, a classical station. Quality is quite good from them, but all the HD signals are easily heard to be better in quality than the analog signal when played through the main system, if not so easily heard through the radio.
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    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Garbage in, garbage out. The signal is only as good as what's coming off the mixing board, and nowadays radio stations are primarily using remote digital servers as their source signals. Couple that with the compression that they already use in their transmissions, and HD Radio's not that big an improvement soundwise.

    I've always felt that the benefit to HD radio is the multicasting function. You already see many commercial stations broadcasting alternate formats on their HD carriers, and the broadcasters love this feature because it basically quadruples the number of streams that they can broadcast on a single frequency.

    The main problem is that FM radio has become so devalued on the hardware side, that manufacturers are reluctant to add the extra DSP chips onto their equipment. The adoption for HD radio IMO will hinge on how quickly HD radio can get added to OEM units with new cars.
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  10. #10
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    Wooch, we talked about this on an earlier thread a long time ago. What amazes me is HD Radio hasn't made much progress, or inroads, since that last thread. Seems most of the auto lines are tied in with satelite radio.

  11. #11
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    There is one station in my area, WQXR, that broadcasts uncompressed music. It's strictly classical, but the quality is quite good.
    Audio;
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    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
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    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  12. #12
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Errrr...

    Can someone, succinctly and quietly tell me the difference between HD radio and regular radio? Is it worth it? Should I care? Is it a gimmick soon to be gone like AM Stereo?

    Da Worfster

  13. #13
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    Can someone, succinctly and quietly tell me the difference between HD radio and regular radio? Is it worth it? Should I care? Is it a gimmick soon to be gone like AM Stereo?

    Da Worfster
    Quoted from Wikipedia;

    HD Radio technology is a system used by AM and FM radio stations to transmit audio and data via a digital signal in conjunction with their analog signals. As of May 2009, there were more stations in the world on the air with HD Radio technology than any other digital radio technology. More than 1,900 stations covering approximately 84% of the United States are broadcasting with this technology, and more than 1,000 HD2/3 multicast channels are on the air.

    The FM hybrid digital/analog mode offers four options which can carry approximately 100, 112, 125, or 150 kbit/s of lossy data depending upon the Station Manager's power budget and/or desired range of signal. The HD Radio also provides several pure digital modes with up to 300 kbit/s bitrate, and enabling extra features like surround sound. Like AM, pure digital FM provides a "fall back" condition where it reverts to a more-robust 25 kbit/s signal.

    Where the digital signal fails, the analog signal is used as a fallback for the main digital channel (normally HD1), requiring synchronization of the two. Current FCC rules require that one channel be a simulcast of the analog signal.

    Promotion for HD Radio does not always make clear that some of its capabilities are mutually incompatible with other of its capabilities. For example, the FM system has been described as "CD quality;" however, the FM system also allows multiplexing the data stream between two or more separate programs. A program utilizing one half or less of the data stream does not attain the higher audio quality of a single program allowed the full data stream. The FCC has declared "one free over-the-air digital stream [must be] of equal or greater quality than the stationís existing analog signal". (If the FCC discontinues analog simulcasting, each station will have over 300 kbit/s bandwidth available, allowing for CD or even Surround Sound-quality audio together with multiple sub-channels.)
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

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