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Re: [ARSCLIST] FM reception way back when

Hi Folks,

New to the list here. I've been a recording and radio engineer for more than forty years. Speaking as the latter, I can tell you that FM Stereo takes about ten times as much signal as Mono. When I was with Vermont Public Radio, we would turn off the stereo pilot whenever we broadcast news shows to increase the reach of the stations. When I first started at WHA in Madison, in the early '70s, we would turn the pilot off for mono music recordings.

The problem lies with the multiplex system that we use. When FM went STEREO, the FCC didn't want to obsolete all the mono receivers, as they had when the band changed frequency. Thus we broadcast L+R (mono), and L-R, which are combined to make stereo. It doesn't exactly make for a robust stereo signal, but it is compatible.

I know what you mean about WFMT. When I lived thirty miles South of Madison, I ran stacked ten element yagi antennas aimed south so that I could listen to Studs Terkel over breakfast. I also remember listening to Jean Shepherd and others out of the city when I was kid living in Syracuse.

Don't get me started, I'll go all night!

Bob Cham

Mono FM is STILL better in most places. Even with the best tuners, stereo only works if the signal is strong and uninterrupted. The only way any FM is listenable in my fringe area is in mono. Since all I listen to over-air is NPR talk-heavy stuff, this is just fine.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Olhsson" <olh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] FM reception way back when

Some of the most stunningly beautiful audio I ever heard was Chicago's WFMT
picked up in mono around 1965 from my college dorm room in Olivet Michigan.
(Top notch mono hi fi gear was available really cheap at that time.) I had
no idea what FM was capable of before I heard that station.

Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com    http://www.thewombforums.com

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