Who's listening online? And with what?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by satkinsn, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    All -

    Let me take a shot at blending the wonderful "Who's listening to f.m. tonight?" concept with the more generic thread of a few weeks ago over in general audio discussion.

    This isn't "what internet radio/service/whatever do you like/favor/support?" This is "what are you listening to now?"

    And how are you doing it? In the f.m. thread you can make an educated guess about sound quality based on the tuner and antenna. The equivalent here, I would think, would be the source component, whether you come out as analog or run through a dac first and what kind of speaker, assuming you're using a component system as opposed to an all in one.

    (I'm especially interested in whether people have decided to listen to online services with different, more forgiving speakers.)

    This is all predicated on my belief that online is radio by other means, and belongs here. If I'm wrong, perhaps Punker would be kind enough to move it to the appropriate spot.

    Also, I think Sirius/XM fits here, whether you're getting it as a stream or satellite service.

    Ok?

    Let me start: Shoutcast offers a set of "public domain" stations apparently operated out of Switzerland. They play only music that is is in the public domain in Switzerland. So far, I've heard Dexter Gordon, Benny Goodman, Errol Garner, Fletcher Henderson, Dinah Washington and Jimmie Lunceford.

    Sound? Very decent. According to the group's wiki, they run like this: 64 kbit/s 44.1 kHz AAC+, 128 kbit/s 44.1 kHz MP3.

    I'm streaming off a Squeezebox Classic connected by wifi, amped with one of those ebay 'Sure' t amps, (the 2024 that comes with the backlit dial), generic speaker cable to a set of PSB Alpha B-1s.

    s.
     
  2. reggaenaut

    reggaenaut Addicted Member

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    Sat, while I understand your sentiments and I would very much like to increase my knowledge re computer hifi interface, I believe this forum should be reserved for standard tuners.
     
  3. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Perhaps so.

    My thinking on putting it here was that the same folks who listen to radio extensively would be likely to listen online. But the forum is called "tuners" and not "radio," so I get your point.

    tks,

    s.
     
  4. spartanmanor

    spartanmanor Lunatic Member

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    Pandora and Last.fm solely at work. run through a Sansui 8080 speakers AR7's
     
  5. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    What's your source? You play off computer or Squeezebox type device? How do you cable to the Sansui? Lastly, how's it sound through the AR 7s?

    s.
     
  6. trhee

    trhee ㅇtㅈyㅅr

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    Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Last.fm, Radiotime

    I use a Squeezebox (SB3) in wi-fi mode going into a Musical Fidelity A3CR DAC as part of my main system.

    While the sound quality is nowhere near that of playing AIFF files thru the Squeezebox, it's quite listenable at low to moderate playing levels. About on par with 128k MP3 files. What lacks in ultimate sound quality is more than made up for by the ability to listen to new music for free and the convenience of being able to quickly listen to a various genres of music without having to bother with making playlists on my computer.
     
  7. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    So what are you listening to on the various channels today?

    Fr'instance, I let my Slacker sub lapse, but still like the classic jazz (non-vocal) channel and play it often, most recently last night.

    Does your dac make a big difference? Which of the services gets you the best sound?

    (I'm running analog outs from my SBC at the moment and am reasonably satisfied, though I think I'm going to throw my dac on it soon.)

    s.
     
  8. spartanmanor

    spartanmanor Lunatic Member

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    Directly from the Mac to the Sansui. IMO it sounds pretty good. Not high end but not bad for work music. The AR7's are pretty amazing little speakers. Lots of sound from a small box.
     
  9. trhee

    trhee ㅇtㅈyㅅr

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    I usually listen to Adult Alternative, Classic Pop, Classic Rock, 70's, 80's, 90's, Jazz, Smooth Jazz, and various Classical channels. Then there are specific channels like Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones, etc...

    The DAC in the SB3 is actually pretty good, a 24 bit Burr Brown, so unless you have a really good DAC, it might be pointless. I've done extensive comparisons with my MF A324 DAC and the difference is quite noticeable in favor of the MF. Without going into all the details, it's as if a veil has been lifted, everything is much clearer, precise, airier, tighter bass, better soundstage and imaging.

    In regards to sound quality between Pandora, Rhapsody and Slacker.... my ranking is:

    1. Pandora
    2. Rhapsody
    3. Slacker

    I should mention that I don't pay for their premium services, which I think in Rhapsody's case might get you a higher stream rate.

     
  10. Raynald

    Raynald AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Right now I am listening to CBC French service, Radio-Canada Espace Musique, through a Squeezebox Duet hooked up to my Yamaha RXV-850 and a pair of PSB 800. It sounds really good, much to my surprise. I just got set up a couple of weeks ago. I have a Touch in a better system, a Boom that will make its way into the Kitchen and I will add a few more. I am really impressed with SB overall. It has put a stop to my looking to add to my tuner collection.

    The real story is what it has done for my CD listening, but that was not the original question!
     
  11. Sovereign

    Sovereign LOL INTERNETS

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  12. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Took a quick look at CNET's archives and see that your receiver runs in 'pure direct' mode if you wish: with something as compromised as net radio, do you use pure direct or do you use some of the Yammy's processing options?

    More important, how is the CBC French radio service, both in terms of content and sound? I confess I don't speak the language, even though I live in the far northern end of New York state.

    s.

    edit - Meanwhile, my Squeezebox stays on Shoutcast------->Jazz--------->Public Domain jazz for the night. First, whatever they're doing in terms of sound processing works. It sounds great, and if all these recordings are in the public domain, then...you could listen here happily for a long time. I've heard Stan Getz, Charlie Ventura, Glenn Miller, Clarence Williams over the last 20 minutes. More, please.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  13. michaelhigh

    michaelhigh mind's eye music

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    somafm-"Illinois Street Lounge"...exotica
     
  14. Raynald

    Raynald AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I run the 850 in Stereo mode. It was before the Pure Direct option was incorporated so I just have the processing off and the tonce controls on defeat. Still sounds surprisingly nice, perfect for its present use.

    Radio Canada has about the best sound quality of any station I know of over the air and seems to be very good on the net also. Excellent content, I mainly listen to the Jazz programs but there are other styles as well. You don't have to understand French to enjoy good music so give it a try!
     
  15. clydeselsor

    clydeselsor Lunatic Member

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    I subscribe to Slacker. I have been listening to a progressive rock station that I created. I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop with an HRT Musicstreamer USB DAC. I have that running into my Onkyo TX-8522 receiver, with Klipsch F-1 loudspeakers. Using the USB DAC makes a big improvement in sound quality...
     
  16. HiFiCanada

    HiFiCanada Caregiver Subscriber

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    Whats a good classical music link? I'd give it a try.
     
  17. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    And how are the F-1s? I would worry that horn type speakers would emphasize the compression - that the 'whooshing' you can get with streaming audio woiuld be even more noticeable.

    s.
     
  18. Old_Tech

    Old_Tech Yer-isn't!

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    At work I stream the digital format on my iPhone but at home it's broadcast FM tuners only.
     
  19. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    As noted elsewhere in this thread, I'm experimenting with the Swiss 'Public Domain Jazz' station.

    They have a 'Public Domain Classical' station as well, and I listened to it at length Wednesday night. The sound quality is quite good, and I heard decent recordings of Bruckner, Beethoven and a few others.

    (Unlike PDJ, however, the recording artists weren't listed, which is a liability.)

    I listen through Shoutcast. You can find direct links here.

    s.
     
  20. tdat7192

    tdat7192 Well-Known Member

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    In keeping with the OP's questions, at the moment I do use much different gear to listen to online radio and than my normal gear.

    I do have speakers, Sony-somethingorother, hooked directly to the computer. The set up is in my home office, which I share with my wife. Therefore listening is seldom through the speakers and is more often through my headphones, Sennheiser HD 25 II. Signal path Computer usb to m-audio to headphones.

    Right now I don't even have headphone listening capability in my main system.
    (Hope to fix that in the coming year.)

    I tend to listen to either online radio stations or traditional stations broadcasting online. I don't listen to rhapsody and such.

    However, I would like to connect something into my system that allows listening to online radio on my standard stereo set up. However, I am not quite sure what path I will be taking to accomplish that.

    So at this point, my listening to online and traditional radio is different with respect to gear and surroundings, but hope to change that in the next year or so.
     

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