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Low audio and to much bass




 
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Author Topic: Low audio and to much bass  (Read 2612 times)
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ki4nr
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« on: July 27, 2020, 11:39:11 PM »

I have been listening on 75 AM for a few weeks or so and I have to say majority of the stations (that I can hear ) have way to much bass in their audio and modulation is way to low. There average audio can't be more that 50 percent and absolutely no high end articulation. I live in Florida and I do get stations with ok signals but the low audio and heavy bass/ no highs make what should be an easy copy very difficult and annoying.

They have decent signals but crummy modulation. Doesn't anyone use a Compressor and EQ and know about pre emphasis curves??  I'm using high end DSP and analog radios with Polk bookshelf speakers to listen on in all bandwidths. I know there are some stations with great audio but really far and few. Now I don't want to stir up a hornets nest here, but my friends running ESSB around 3.5 khz bandwidth have superior audio in all ways to this AM mud that I'm hearing.

I'm thinking about getting on AM and setting up a quality station. Is this what I'll be dealing with or maybe I should not even bother with AM if I have to listen to this majority of the time ??

john
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 11:47:13 PM »

Consider listening on a web SDR to the AM stations up in the North East?
K3KEF has such a site - it comes up automatically on 3885... there are others too,
some have better hardware/software than Mike's FEF set up, and even better audio as a result.

See what you think?

Usually too much bass is people running transceivers with limited bandwidth - not always
but often.

Also, what are you listening with, rig and speaker?
That makes a difference too...

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ki4nr
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 12:03:42 AM »

I'm listening on a bunch of radios.

Modified Yaesu FT-1000mp with motorola sync & envelope detector and assortment of switchable filters out to 15khz, TS-940 modified for ESSB and wide AM,  Icom 746Pro DSP detection and finally the king of audio, kenwood TS-870 DSP that radio has a AM receiver response of  50hz to 14 khz variable & ruler flat. Speakers are polk audio 5jr with crossover modified for voice optimization.
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 01:22:24 AM »

Obviously, not all amateurs running AM desire to be Hi-Fi sounding. My receiver bandwidth is never set to more then 6 KHz. When I'm working AM stations on 20, 15, or 10 meters, I have yet to find anyone complaining about poor audio response, lack of highs, too much bass, or other Hi-Fi anomalies. Amateur radio is communication; it doesn't mean you have to have "wall-to-wall" Hi-Fi audio to make a good contact.

ESSB is nothing more then unnecessary wide band SSB to make a contact. Quality and intelligibility are dependent a lot on the receiver's product detector and BFO signal injection. ESSB reception on many older boatanchor receivers sounds totally like crap.

On a positive note, audio accessory manufacturers must love ESSB operators since, from what I've seen and heard, they generally have 4 to 10 different audio-type boxes between the mike and the rig.  Grin And, whenever I tune down to one of the typical ESSB frequencies, I generally hear "how do I sound now", some chatter, "how do I sound now", some chatter, "how do I sound now, etc.

Ah! I  feel better now  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 10:24:17 AM »

Ki3NR,

Again, not knowing what your radios actually sound like or the actual bandwidth they
are capable of, nor what stations are doing in your region it's difficult to know what ur hearing.

When I say "actual bandwidth", many modern receivers - not all - have another filter in the
circuitry that is in addition to the user installed filters. Could limit bandwidth without
knowing it is there.

Anyhow, try the Web SDR thing?

Please report back as to how it compares to what ur hearing at ur QTH?

Also try more local Web SDRs to compare listening to the stations you can hear?

I've listened to "ESSB" stations, and I don't "get it". Using both transceivers and very good
boatanchor receivers, with and without outboard product detectors. Generally the stations
I hear tend to be a bit splattery and the audio is odd sounding.

One reason that may play into it is that there is a rule of thumb in the hifi world
(not that many actually know of it) that one needs to balance the HF extension with
the LF extension. So, a lot of highs and not much low end, that sounds wrong.
Similarly a lot of lows, and not much highs, that sounds wrong.

So, bring back the lows to match rolled off highs, and to balance "hot" highs, bring
up the bass. (this last bit yields what is known as the classic but not so hifi sound
called "boom and sizzle").

See what you find using Web SDR?

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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 12:25:55 PM »

I've experienced the same muddy audio using a variety of very good AM receivers with a high performance  sync detector.

My sense is that you may be hearing some folks using "broadcast quality audio" with a lot of low frequency energy and a relatively flat audio spectrum.  Sometimes from converted broadcast transmitters, sometimes new construction, sometimes SDR transmitters cranked up to 10 KHz audio bandwidth without much EQ tailored for intelligibility, etc.

Up close, or with fortunate propagation and good signals, the audio from these transmitters can be fabulous and a real pleasure to hear.  Out in the boonies, with signals closer to the noise level, and various ionospheric "playfulness" going on, they get muddy and like you say, have insufficient high-end articulation, sometimes to the point that intelligibility suffers.  You can't fix that at the receiver.  It sounds great locally, and muddy to you.  Of course, there are other reasons this can happen as well. 

If you listen on a web SDR located closer to these stations, for example, the signals will probably sound better than they do in FL if the signals at the SDR are strong enough.  That doesn't help much for a QSO, but it's good for listening to interesting roundtables.

There are times for great fidelity (local/regional roundtables for example), and times for something that has more the characteristics of a Ranger with a D-104.  Both sets of characteristics have their place.  There are plenty of good AM signals of all types on the air.  My personal gold standard for great audio that is also highly intelligible under most any conditions is Don, K4KYV, if you can find him on (I think usually 160/75).
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 04:10:33 PM »

Don's audio is fantastic.

Timtron as well.

Those are the inky two east coast (ish) stations I've heard over hear.  Sometimes I see carriers and pull up a Midwest or east coast sdr and find out who it is, but never could pull audio out on the west coast.

But Don and Tim.....  Almost armchair copy with them!

--Shane
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ki4nr
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 04:56:06 PM »

Yes ... Your right on about Don K4KYV his audio is superb and always has a great signal into FL.  Tom K1JJ, Timtron, and Steve WA1QIX with his class D also have super audio. Interesting thing is even when band conditions are not good to Florida, I can still hear Timtrom and all the others just fine close to the noise.

I think the key is they have high average modulation & compression ( or asymmetrical modulation) and well balanced audio with just enough bass and high end articulation to make it all sound correct regardless of conditions. The other stations I hear are on this heavy bass kick and it's hurts them when they are weak.

We have the same issue with my SSB buddy's and there low bass crap. The insist on transmitting all this bottom end and it sounds like a modulated subcarrier when they are weak. Actually to me it sounds terrible even when they are strong. I'll be setting up an AM station soon.
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 12:18:28 AM »

You're right about those guys.  They all sound great!

Sure wish band conditions were a little better :-)
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K1JJ
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 01:38:19 AM »

Yes ... Your right on about Don K4KYV his audio is superb and always has a great signal into FL.  Tom K1JJ, Timtron, and Steve WA1QIX with his class D also have super audio. Interesting thing is even when band conditions are not good to Florida, I can still hear Timtrom and all the others just fine close to the noise.

Thanks for the nice comments, John. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

I think the AVERAGE man's voice is mid-bassy with infinite variations.  There is a bell curve.  Most of us have average mid-bassy voices, while some have higher pitched voices and a select few (the outliers of the bell curve)  have a powerful voice resonance that we call a "broadcaster's voice."

Each human voice is biological flesh with many variations - all different and it's very difficult to find the  optimum audio processor and EQ tailoring to be the best that we can be.  It's truly a skill; an art taking years to refine.  I made the mistake for years of boosting the deep low end trying to create fake lows. Lows boosting of an already mid-range muddy voice is a disaster and just makes more mud.  That is the most common problem that has been talked about when it comes to hearing stations in poor conditions. Years ago a buddy told me after I axed him for an audio report to "get a larynx transplant."  Another told me if you have no lows in your voice to start - then there's nothing you can do to boost it.   Bottom line is once I stopped trying to make my voice something it was not, the processing monster got easier to tame until I found that the most natural sound is the best sound. (minus the mud, of course)    Some guys need just a little mid cut while others need a lot. None need a lot of deep boost.

I find it amazing that Don, who I've known for 40+ years, many times in person so I know his voice well, has been held up for years as the poster child of great sounding audio. He has an absolutely average voice with no lows to speak of, but he knows how to tailor his rig for optimum performance. The same with the Tron. He has a sixth sense of how to adjust his EQ and processing for the very best out of his many rigs and God-given voice.   Tron has a better than average voice for radio, but still, he knows how to sound like a million bux.

That said, I've found the best way to get a good sounding rig is to first proof it out with tone tests, IMD, sine, triangle tones, etc.., until it looks and sounds perfect.  Then make a series of recordings of your speaking voice on your rig, using your own local SDR and digital recorder. It must be real demodulated RF off the air to cover all aspects...    Forget the on-air opinions and web-based receivers for now.  Play them back into a big stereo and speaker system.  Adjust everything until you sound as natural as possible, minus the mid bass mud.  There is no doubt that cutting the mud frequencies between 100 to 200 Hz or so can help most anyone's voice to add the punch and articulation needed for poor conditions.  The highs above 3 KHz are very important too to make the tongue, breath, mouth and lip sounds useful and transparent.   A touch of low-level peak limiting is a good way to keep the average audio up.

Once you are happy with your own voice on your own local recordings into a dummy load, the last thing is to get one of the audio guys like Tron to give you a critical on-air listen. He can usually fine tune your EQ on the air very quickly. That's it.   Then over time make tiny changes and refine, refine, refine.  Ask an opinion from someone you wish to sound like. He will have similar goals as you. IE, if someone is running 300-3000 Hz audio, he will most likely not be the right guy to seek out for an opinion.

It's really a journey, a search to find what works best for your own voice. If your voice is naturally mid-bassy to start, you have a lot of work to do to get the optimum hi-fi sound. If you have a natural BC quality voice, then most any rig will sound great with minimal effort.

I think another really FB sounding station who has very little deep low end but a magnificent voice and upper mids/highs is Clark, N1BCG.  He proves that you do not need a deep low end to sound fantastic.  

I think that having the rig go down to 15 Hz is fine... it can add some room ambience. But boosting the low end to exceed your own natural voice range by more than a few DB is a mistake.

Rich, K1ETP is another one who has a natural sound. He sounds exactly like that in person. And Joe, WA1IWQ is as natural sounding as it gets. That's the ticket;  a clean, flat rig -  and a natural voice sound, just like you sound in person  MINUS the mud freqs with some presence rise are the keys to a great sounding AM station.   There will always be a handful of guys with the speaker shaking booming broadcast voices, but if you are not one of them, then the best thing is to sound as you are - natural.  

** BTW, stay tuned for my next rig creation with pics.... a single 3-500Z class  A, B or C  amplifier to be used as a driver for the big AM rigs or as a lower power very clean stand-alone linear with 1500V.  It will sport a Baby Blue front panel to break tradition. No name yet.  Metalwork all done - just mounting parts.  I'm a building fool lately...   Grin

T
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ki4nr
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 04:20:21 AM »

Hey Tom

Yep ... You guys all have great audio and the effort has paid off. I'm going to set up my station soon using my FT1000MP which is my favorite radio. I think you have a FT1000D and that is basically the same radio in the modulator and other areas. Yaesu in the early 90's stayed with the same circuits on most of their high end radios.

I do make recording of myself from the preamp output of my radio on my laptop program, then feed it to the EQ and the rest of audio box's on my rig. I listen on my Icom 746pro with either headphones or external speakers. The reason I use my Icom is it's middle of the road receiver on AM.  So it gives me a good average audio that compares to what majority of hams are listening on. I do test at 6 khz and 9 khz bandwidths and EQ for both.

As you know you can't use a monitor detector off the coax. It will make you sound way to good ( actually how you really sound ) and that's not real world. The only way to make it realistic is to put a de emphasize low pass filter on the detector output to simulate the average ham receiver rolloff & speaker system. Then it will work ok , but for me it's just easier to use the Icom.

My audio system is a little unusual, here's the setup. Mic plugs into the front of the 1000MP as normal. I broke the connection in the preamp of the rig ( Just before the balance mod ) and that goes by patch cable out the back of the radio, were it feeds my EQ, Compressor, finally my homemade peak limiter. Out of the limiter goes back into the radio to feed the balance modulator. The preamp stages in the radio are broadbanded out and it works super ...... Zero RF problems and very low noise, no ground loops. I have all my radios set up this way for AM and SSB.  Of course I use the EQ and compressor on SSB, but not the peak limiter so it gets bypassed.

Right now I am experimenting with the modulator circuit out of the FT-102. It's a differential circuit and by adjusting the bias I can get asymmetrical waveform easily. The 1000MP use a 455 IF and I modified the 102 circuit to work in the 1000MP. So far it looks perfect on the scope with no distortion at 150 percent positive. The balance modulator in the MP is ok, but you have to adjust everything perfect to not get the carrier inversion ( Wavelets as you guys call them) But it still sounds good, but no where as good as the 102 modulator. I should have everything set up in a few weeks. I need to get my dipole up around 60 feet and I have line on an amp. Possible deal on a Ten Tec Centurion ( pair of 3-500Z )

I been in home audio and car audio since I was a kid and in the car stereo industry, so I'm pretty well versed in it.  I don't want to toot my horn , but when I live in Ft. Lauderdale in the mid 1980's me and a crazy bunch of Hi Fi car & home stereo friends were experimenting with wide SSB & AM back then. I was using a FT-102 one of the few sleeper radios at the time that had 2.8khz SSB bandwidth ( and super AM transmit) and others were use the FT-757 also 2.7khz and modified Kenwood TS-430 with TS-930 filter that were 3 khz wide. We were using radio shack high ball mics with car stereo and home stereo EQ & DBX Compressors !!  People think this ESSB stuff just came around and we we doing it on AM and SSB back in the 1980's LOL... Heck even on 2 meters simplex we all had hi fi audio modified FM radios. I was also experimenting with 6khz SSB in the mid 1990's with collins filters but ended up settling for 3.5 khz on SSB .....  That's were I got my nick name from.

In Florida I am known as " Wideband John "

J

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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 11:20:41 AM »


What am I, "chopped liver"??

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K1JJ
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 12:12:46 PM »

Hey Tom
As you know you can't use a monitor detector off the coax. It will make you sound way to good ( actually how you really sound ) and that's not real world. The only way to make it realistic is to put a de emphasize low pass filter on the detector output to simulate the average ham receiver rolloff & speaker system. Then it will work ok , but for me it's just easier to use the Icom.



Hi John,

Looks like I'm preaching to the choir... :-)   You have been around for a long time playing the hi-fi game.

You make a good point about adding a test receiver de-emphasis to simulate the real world.  I find that my optimum transmit settings usually sounds a little hot... in the monitor it has too much high end boost once Tron fine-tunes my EQ on the air. This is due to the roll off effects from mixed atmospheric noise and receiver hardware on the other end.  I think this is where some go wrong thinking they sound exactly like in their own headphones.

Yes, I use an FT-1000D as an exciter and also use the internal balanced modulator for low powered linear operation. That rig will pass a squarewave at 2 Hz, the flattest and cleanest rig I have. But I prefer to ride a Harley, thus, have three bigger plate modulated tube rigs.

As far as bass enhancement, I tried the "Big Bottom" - remember that?   and sub-harmonic bass generators years ago. Nothing worked. We are what we are.

There are a few ESSB tapes floating around of some incredible 4KHz audio. These guys sound great to me. Yes, some have that funny carrier suppression ringing, but they care deeply about how they sound and go to great lengths. If it were not for AM and the people on it, I would definitely be an ESSBer.

Bear, to be honest, you and I are part of the middle bell curve with average mid-bass peaks in our voices.  Guys like us will never get unsolicited great audio reports unless we go for a natural sound, have a dead quiet background, a BIG signal and a super clean rig.  We are the Janis Ians of the world singing "At Seventeen."  We just blend in with the crowd.  The guys with the big BC voices get all the attention and say they are running flat audio.  When you and I go flat it sounds like we are talking into a paper bag. That's just the way it is.

The day of reckoning for me was when I finally realized that ALL six of my homebrew rigs now used the same EQ and processing settings, IE, I sound the same on all rigs and didn't need to falsely over-boost the lows or highs to tailor the problems or expectations I had for my voice and audio.  Going for the natural sound minus the mud (with the narrowest "reasonable"  bandwidth, like +-  5 to 6 KHz) makes life much easier.

T  


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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed. 

Nothing like a new homebrew rig. Come into the shack, flip on the switches and everything works perfectly.

And, nothing like an old dog.
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 02:11:20 PM »

Welcome to the party. It's been going on for a while.


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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 04:37:07 PM »


What am I, "chopped liver"??

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ki4nr
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 12:43:38 PM »

Tom

I heard you on the air a while back and your voice sounds just fine for radio, maybe not a big broadcaster voice but better than average. As for me, I have decent voice for radio too, some what like you except I sound young. I turned 60 a month ago and I been told by many people I sound like I'm in my early 40's or younger and are quite surprised at my real age.

Oh yes the Aphex 104 ... Can't stand that thing, nothing like artificial bass to ruin things. It was all the rage around 2000 and many of my friends had them. Drove me nuts with that sound. I use to resort to taking my IF shift or DSP high cut and remove that annoying bass from my receiver. Lucky it seem to be a passing fad and I don't hear much of them anymore.

Yep 4 khz ESSB sounds unreal, the clarity and definition is off the charts. It's really that good when done up right. When I was experimenting with 6 khz  SSB I found that 4 khz was the best overall bandwidth. Just enough for the sound we were looking for  (and wide enough to make the transmitter transparent) and not to much to bother other hams on the band. Also it was easy to listen to on RX with noisy bands.

I'm not sure if you ever listen to 80 hz to 6.1 kHz of flat RX SSB but its very harsh on noisy band like 75 meters. It's really bright and sounds unnatural when listening to band noise with good speakers or headphones. I could only take a little while of it before being fatigued and always grabbing the RF gain control ( wide AM is kind of the same ) But 4 khz on the other hand is perfect. Band noise sounds natural and it's easy to listen to.

I have a Kenwood TS-930 that is moded up with 4 khz Inrad filter in the high IF and 4 khz Collins filter in the 455 IF all audio circuits set up to match the filters and it sounds unreal on receive and transmit at 80 hz to 4.1 khz

Is your 1000D stock ??  have you change the filters out to wider Inrads ??

I have seen pictures of your builds and very very impressive, I wish I had that motivation and enthusiasm. I like to restore the old classic Nipponese boatancher like the Kenwood 940 and 930. I make a few things here and there, but thats about it. I'm really thinking about building a LD Mosfet amp in the future, I want to get totally away from tubes in linears. My big thing is modifying new & old radios and repairing, coming up with all kinds of crazy modifications.

I understand the AM comradery and that's cool. I like AM & SSB and enjoy both. I think the love for AM comes from my CB days. But I have to say there is quite of bit of dislike for ESSB & SSB on this forum ( under the surface ) and on the bands.The term slopbucket and others terms say it all, doesn't bother me ....  but diehard AMers & boatancher enthusiasts seem to be polarized on one mind set of thinking.

J
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 01:54:01 PM »


Polarized?

In phase or out of phase?
Positive modulation or negative modulation?
North or South polar-ized?

The 109th flies out of smAlbany and services the South Pole!
Why from here? Dunno.

Vertical polarization or horizontal?

The issues with SSB are historical, going back to the late 50s when SSB started to
get pushed really hard. (for good reasons)

More recently, in the latter part of the last century there was some pushing and shoving
for both bandwidth and band location between AM and SSB.

All along, including now, there are some who run SSB and are not "sensitive" to
band location or bandwidth differences between AM and SSB. Some tend to run rather
too close to an AM QSO. Others complain incessantly about AM bandwidth while operating
deliberately close or ON frequencies frequented by AM stations, regardless of if they are on
at the time or not.

At the same time I think most on AM also operate a good deal of SSB quite regularly.

Otoh this is a forum FOR AM...
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 04:56:32 PM »

Hi Randy

Your right, this is a AM forum and it's to be expected after all. The Harley Davidson vs Japanese bike age old saga. Still the title of this post was "Low audio and to much bass"  and I've yet to hear with exception to the bunch of excellent & in the know operators mentioned in above threads, that have decent audio. Seems to be the norm , where on SSB anyone using a DSP radio made from 1995 to today always has excellent audio as a default.

Granted back in the old days, SSB did sound like crap and that was only because the manufacture's and mindset in those days was " narrow filters " and all SSB radios were 2.1 khz to 2.4 khz as a standard bandwidth ( with exception to a few sleeper radios in the early 1980's )  but now since 1995 with the DSP radios and the manufactures seeing the light, it has all change.

All radios are now 2.8 khz to 4 khz bandwidth with built in EQ on most radios and as you know or will admit , sound beautiful and way better than the average AM station.  So it looks like most AM op's need to catch up and I'm sure they will !!  

J
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 05:27:19 PM »


More recently, in the latter part of the last century there was some pushing and shoving
for both bandwidth and band location between AM and SSB.

All along, including now, there are some who run SSB and are not "sensitive" to
band location or bandwidth differences between AM and SSB. Some tend to run rather
too close to an AM QSO. Others complain incessantly about AM bandwidth while operating
deliberately close or ON frequencies frequented by AM stations, regardless of if they are on
at the time or not.

At the same time I think most on AM also operate a good deal of SSB quite regularly.

Otoh this is a forum FOR AM...

Obviously, we all know about bandwidth differences between AM and SSB, but in your text above, you refer to band location. What's "band location" have to do with anything.

With many of the SSB operators running modern rigs with fantastic brick wall filters, they have better control in how close they can get to active adjacent frequencies. If you're running a boatanchor receiver, you generally don't have that luxury. With many active digital modes, including digital voice, now appearing on the bands, it's going to be even more difficult to determine if what you're hearing is interference or an actual valid transmission.

We can tolerate a lot of variation of topics here on AMfone. If your particular topic doesn't fit into any of the existing topics, you can just put it in QSO. The link below should be read by everyone. It helps to define the scope of AMfone. It's our Rules and Regulations
http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?board=41.0
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 09:20:53 AM »

Hi Randy
Who is that? ---> bear, WBear2GCR<---    Cheesy

Quote
Your right, this is a AM forum and it's to be expected after all. The Harley Davidson vs Japanese bike age old saga. Still the title of this post was "Low audio and to much bass"  and I've yet to hear with exception to the bunch of excellent & in the know operators mentioned in above threads, that have decent audio. Seems to be the norm , where on SSB anyone using a DSP radio made from 1995 to today always has excellent audio as a default.

I think you are mistaken, or have some issues on the receive side.
I invited you to listen to the typical NE "AM sound" using a websdr.
Many, many have excellent audio. Not just the louder ones you mentioned.

Using DSP did not and does not guarantee excellent audio.
There is a good chance, except in the case of one SDR transceiver that came
through with deliberately restricted HF rolled off, that one may be able to adjust
it for "good sounding AM".

Quote
Granted back in the old days, SSB did sound like crap and that was only because the manufacture's and mindset in those days was " narrow filters " and all SSB radios were 2.1 khz to 2.4 khz as a standard bandwidth ( with exception to a few sleeper radios in the early 1980's )  but now since 1995 with the DSP radios and the manufactures seeing the light, it has all change.

All radios are now 2.8 khz to 4 khz bandwidth with built in EQ on most radios and as you know or will admit , sound beautiful and way better than the average AM station.

Again, I really think you are mistaken.
4kHz may sound good on SSB, but it is marginal on AM.
2.8 is way too narrow on AM. Way.

Most of the SSB stations that I hear running "EQ" are poorly adjusted and are trying
to "stuff 10 pounds into a 5 pound sack." Now that does not mean that this applies to
everyone trying to do wider SSB with EQ.

Still sounds like SSB, which perhaps, maybe will sound nearly as natural and clean
as AM does without any special effort, on the receive side. SSB detection is not all
the same, and not all equal. Tuning, of course, changes pitch...


Quote
So it looks like most AM op's need to catch up and I'm sure they will !!  

Ummm... no. IF you are listening to AM with a max bandwidth on your receiver of +/-4kHz,
(and are your sure it is 8kHz total?), and/or with an internal or "stock" (aka "matching") speaker for
a transceiver, you're not "hearing AM". Imho one needs a minimum of 8kHz bandwidth, or
more, and a speaker that will reproduce some semblance of the range from ~50Hz to
~6kHz reasonably flat.

So, I don't have a clue what you've been hearing or listening to, but it sure as heck doesn't
sound that way up here in the epicenter of 75m Amplitude Modulation!

                 _-_-bear WBear2GeneralCoverageReceiver

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« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2020, 11:59:41 AM »


Is your 1000D stock ??  have you change the filters out to wider Inrads ??



Hi John,

For ssb using the FT-1000D I use the 2.8 KHz Inrad filter set.  But on AM I simply bypass the AM filter slot with a 100 pF capacitor. I also inject audio directly into the balanced modulator input thru a 100 uF coupling cap. At that input point there is a large electrolytic cap that needs to be removed. (C3123)  The result is a 2 Hz squarewave will pass cleanly  -  It's the cleanest, flattest, most transparent rig I have for AM.  No effort at all.   I guess like an SDR at that point.   It is a challenge to get the plate modulated tube rigs anywhere near that fidelity.


I wanted to post an ESSB recording I heard a few years back but can't find it in my docs.  I think it was by a VE7 or W9 or maybe another ESSB enthusiast.  The audio was magnificent for a 4KHz bandwidth. Except for a few artifacts, it sounded just like AM.  Do you remember seeing it or maybe have a copy? I posted it in one of the threads on this BB too.

Right now I'm busy mounting parts on my new single 3-500Z amplifier. Baby Blue panel with viewing window. Once the metalwork is done, it's like building a Heathkit. Watch for some pics soon.

T

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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed. 

Nothing like a new homebrew rig. Come into the shack, flip on the switches and everything works perfectly.

And, nothing like an old dog.
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« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 09:03:28 PM »

Tom,

That was most likely by VE7RF, Jim.  He's huge in the ESSB game.

I have brought him to this board, maybe he will chime in and have something to say?


--Shane
KD6VXI

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ki4nr
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« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2020, 11:50:24 PM »

Bear

By Qrz your call say's randall, so I assumed you go by randy. My apologies.

I am listening on good equipment and few threads above says what I am running. But to refresh, my main radio is a Yaesu FT-1000MP and it has Motorola sync & envelope detector and three receiver IF filter bandwidths of 6 khz ( 3 khz of audio) 9 khz  ( 4.5 khz of audio) 15 khz ( 7.5 khz of audio) the other radio is Kenwood TS-870DSP it has a variable receiver IF bandwidth on AM from 5 khz to 14 khz giving me detectable audio from 2.5 khz all the way out to 7 khz. The speaker are polk audio 5jr with a 6 1/2 woofer and dome tweeter with crossovers adjusted for voice. Plus I have other speakers, radios and good headphones, so I have it all covered.

I have listened on the SDR websites and yes the stations sound much better only because the signals are stronger and signal to noise is way better to the SDR receiver. They do sound pretty good I have to admit, but still with lots of unnecessary bass. But that's the operator choice and his audio signature sound, Ok up close with strong signals, but not in the distance. Now this is with the good stations and operators that know what's going on. The average AM stations either boatancher or rice box sounds crummy, strong or weak for what I have been hearing. The average SSB station running the newer DSP rigs sound much better overall.

As far as 2.8 khz of audio on SSB or AM you be surprised what you can do with that narrow bandwidth on either mode. The guys running  Icom DSP radios on SSB are stuck with the 2.8 khz bandwidth ( 100hz to 2.9 khz) Not sure if you know, but all Icom DSP ssb radios are 2.8 khz wide. It does not matter if you buy the bottom of the line or the top of the line 10 kilo buck radio.  I guess Mr Icom just wants it that way .. LOL

The thing is I have heard these radios sound unbelievably good at those narrow bandwidths on AM and  SSB. With a knowledgeable operator & the proper EQ pre emphasis curve and compression they have fooled me at times. I had to look at the spectrum scope to see how wide they were and I have a good ear. So faking a wider audio bandwidth with an correctly setup EQ can be done with someone who knows about audio. Of course all things being equal ...  Wider AM or SSB is better.... to a point.

Yes, you are right there are many SSB guys that are trying to put 10 pounds into a 5 pound sack, I have heard that many times and it's mostly the Icom operators that are doing that because their stuck with the 2.8 khz audio. I call it  " the canned icom audio " The other radios ( Mostly Yaesu and certain Kenwood are way wider and have lots of high frequency headroom) don't have that issue on AM or SSB.  Personally I run analog filters and audio. I have few DSP icoms rigs and I never use them for transmit, just as receivers for that reason. Well I do use my 746Pro on 2 meters.

For me, I don't bother with those narrow bandwidths, I like to be at 3.5 khz to 4 khz max on SSB for headroom and a bit more fidelity and around 8 khz ( 4 khz of audio ) of RF bandwidth on AM. By my experiments you really don't need any more than 4 khz of audio in any voice mode to sound super good. Anything more adds very little, unless your playing music. The normal male voice has very little energy around 5 to 6 khz and you can easily pre emphasis EQ the 4 khz audio bandwidth to sound like 6 khz if you want, plus you will have more SSB friends on the band and less complaints from them and yes the number one complaint about AM operators is being to wide on the band. Of course the rest of the radio chain has to be up for the task with low IMD too.

J
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2020, 09:46:42 PM »

No prob...

Not sure what ur "beef" is?

FB that you've got a good receive set up... the Polk speakers might be lying on the bottom end.
It's possible... anyhow I do not run speakers that are "flat" below 100Hz for ham radio, usually. Some
response below, but not "hifi" speakers. And, I have really spectacular hifi speakers available, if I so
desired.

Fwiw, the best SSB product detectors I have heard here are the tube type copper chassis (forget the
mfr for the moment) that were add-ons to the 75A-2 receivers! Fantastically sweet to listen to. I've got
SDR receivers of high quality, Kenwood 440S with a modified on the board ceramic IF filter (VG on AM),
A Sherwood SE-3, the TMC MSR-4, and another MC1493 based solid state product detector. Take ur pick?

Anyhow, the "regulars" who have been doing AM for a while and many of the newcomers up here in the NE
have FB audio, period. Of course we tend to welcome in anyone who tries out AM, and that includes folks barefoot
with transceivers or with amps... some of course, just are unable to do positive modulation no matter what.

This includes people who either just have "communications quality audio" or even some who prefer to operate
that way.

As far as being heard far away? That's going to be antenna, propagation, and to some degree the characteristic of
one's voice + EQ/mic. Don't think it is fair to criticize stations audio from out in DX land. These days we can all
pretty much cheat with Web SDRs, and given that the bands are in the bottom of the smelly dumpster, I'm afraid
that's sometimes a realistic option...

Back when there was still propagation it was quite common to work QSOs regularly out into 8/9 land as well as down
a ways into 4 land...

So, with the exception of a few who seem to want to impress with "super BA" bass, and a few who are a bit "sock in the mouth"
as HLR likes to call it. The average AM op up here sounds pretty darn good! Cheesy

Run whatcha brung!!

                   _-_-bear
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2020, 11:33:09 PM »

KI4NR,

I use a Hallicrafters S-108, a Mohawk RX-1, and an Icom-7200 and I have never heard excessive bass from any AM operator. Can you identify the call letters of these supposed "high bass" operators.

My speakers are various speakers with most of them being 8" to 12" wide range GP speakers with no crossovers. No, no bass problems.

The AM operators with which I have had QSO's all have  a natural sound with no excessive highs or lows and full modulation (high modulation percentages) resulting in good audio levels.

KI4NR
Quote
...They do sound pretty good I have to admit, but still with lots of unnecessary bass. But that's the operator choice and his audio signature sound, Ok up close with strong signals, but not in the distance. Now this is with the good stations and operators that know what's going on. The average AM stations either boatancher or rice box sounds crummy, strong or weak for what I have been hearing. The average SSB station running the newer DSP rigs sound much better overall....

I still do not know where you're coming up with the phrase, "unnecessary bass." Have you had your hearing checked by a degreed Audiologist? I had my hearing checked two weeks ago with the resulting curve plotted and I hear no emphasized or "unnecessary bass" from AM operators.

KI4NR:
Quote
The average SSB station running the newer DSP rigs sound much better overall....

No they don't. I have heard rare exceptions, but 99.5% of the SSB operators use questionable mikes, they use equalizers in which they know nothing about as to how to set them up properly (splattering up and down the band), and they incessantly talk over each other.

When attempting to cram an extended audio bandwidth into a DSP that is programmed for a bandwidth of ~ 3kHz with sharp rolloff filter programming, the result is restricted audio that sounds like it's coming from a Disney studio.

I do hope you find the problem in your equipment that is causing this alleged emphasized bass because it appears none of us are having or are hearing this problem.


Phil - AC0OB



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