Are analog, non-compressed, FM stations a thing of the past?


For many years I have enjoyed the best FM broadcasts I could receive.  Usually from stations playing great Jazz and classical music. 

I have been lucky from the start having, in their day, the best FM tuners from Yamaha and Sansui.  Over the last 10+ years my tuners of choice have been the best from Magnum Dynalab.   

My question/concern is if broadcasts worth listening to, sound wise, will still continue to be available?  I realize there are limitations on the audio signals modulated on FM as to the audio spectrum covered.  However it seems the days of quality FM broadcasts my continue to dwindle and a decent FM tuner/receiver may be all that the broadcasts justify?  When, living in Madison, Wi., I had a MD-108 and Etude and the two local public broadcast stations did have signals that a very good tuner could make the best of, including a wonderful Jazz program hosted by one of the best percussionists in the Madison area.   

Sorry, perhaps just an old guy lamenting the quest of generations past for....as some magazine called it...the absolute sound. 

Perhaps the best thing about great FM stations signals and music broadcast was the ability to hear some music that I might choose to own the LP/CD/SACD etc. 









whatjd
I can't answer your question but I'm interested in the answer as I enjoy good broadcast radio as well. 

Of course most folks are listening to 'radio' over the internet now.

If you do not mind I would also like to add a question regarding a good FM antenna. (If you do mind let me know and I'll delete). There is a lot of junk out there with ridiculous claims and appearance. I would appreciate any experience or expertise you or anyone else might have for maximizing signal quality.


In my prime listening time I had a directional outdoor antenna from Winegard with a rotor.  While living in Madison, Wi. I was able to get Milwaukee stations and on occasion stations from Chicago...but not very often.  
I have used indoor antennas from Winegard (when made), Finco (not sure they are still in business) And indoor ones from Goodar(not great at all) and actually some of the best results I have had were with a set of rabbit ears that the elements could be lengthened or compacted.  

If you have any used shops you could look into for an old set of rabbit ears that can be adjusted, that might be a good start for indoor reception.  For an outdoor, Magnum has one and a Google search for them may turn up others. 

I wish you success and hope that your area maintains some stations with high quality signals. 

Jim
It seems like the only FM stations that play classical and jazz are NPR affiliates and college radio (which are sometimes NPR affiliates).
IME, the stations in major markets have excellent SQ with a low noise floor and detailed, extended highs. Even though they broadcast an analogue signal, to my knowledge all sources are stored on servers with an occasional CD being spun.
It sounds like they are not using compression in studio, but all broadcast stations are required to use compression in the transmission of the signal.
For the home, a good outdoor FM antenna is recommended.

These are stations on the FM band but also have live streaming. Usually they offer other internet channels which have prerecorded programming such as concerts.

I listen to FM classical everyday in my car and hope it continues. I still find it a very worthwhile source of new music and the old standards.

As far as rock and talk radio stations go, they have been disappearing. It's very hard for over the air commercial stations to make money with dwindling ad sales. CBS has been selling off their stations which I believe are over 100. It wasn't very long ago that they were buying up stations in every market, standard practice for large conglomerates.

These are they stations we have always complained about due to their limited playlists, too many commercials, and overly compressed music and voice.
 
We have a very good classical station out of Davidson University, WDAV. They don't seem to be affiliated with NPR but they do fundraisers twice a year. Almost no talk and very few ads other than various programs "brought to you by.....". The DJs are excellent and quite knowledgeable.

I'm about 30 miles away and the signal is good but sometimes falters. I need to get an outdoor antenna. Are FM antennas directional?

As mentioned by lowrider57, even near a large metropolitan area the rock radio scene is poor and tend towards classic rock with a short list of songs in the rotation and never anything new. There is one decent station but it is low signal and I can barely get it. An outdoor antenna might help with that as well.

My concern with new rock music is that most of it is already super compressed in production and then additional compression by the station can't help that already ugly situation.
You know, most good stations are available via Internet Radio and some sound really great. KCSM, KDFC, and Toronto's Jazz FM 91,

They may also be a good way to find local stations.

Some FM antennas are directional. I had Radio Shack's largest combo FM/TV antenna on a rotating motor and it was superb when pointed the right way.

Check out Fanfare among others.

Best,
E
Maybe it's a nostalgia thing, but tuning in an FM station on a home stereo was such a delight.

There's a lot of good radio on the Bluesound Node. I even get the local classical/jazz station here in Philly.

Thanks again for the interest and for your time.  

lowrider57

I am not familiar with Bluesound Node, can you fill me in?
@whatjd : It is a dedicated music streamer. In other words it receives music over the internet (Apple Music, and other services, etc) and plugs into your hi-fi system and also allows you to play music in other rooms wirelessly if you have the proper speakers to pair with it. It does this in 'cleaner' fashion than a typical PC/pad/cell phone. You can get a very wide variety of 'radio' stations broadcast over the internet.
Thanks.  I am looking into the Bluesound.  
You can do this with your computer or cell phone and get different levels of sound quality depending on how you configure things. If you have iTunes just go to 'Music' then  'Radio' in the menu bar and browse the many radio stations available.
People have asked as to what the ____ does Whatjd stand for.  In the Firesign Theater cut, Nick Danger, Third Eye, a reoccurring joke is the main female being named Nancy (what)...it was re-created in the Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein, where each time someone said the part played by Cloris Leachman: "Frau Blucher" a horse would neigh.  
..or as Cloris said to Johnny Carson once on the Tonight Show, her friends as a youth would tease by calling her Clorox Bleachman. 
90% of the time I enjoy listening to music from FM radio, especially two stations in southern California, virtually playing commercial free music 24 hours - FM 88.1 KJAZZ and FM 91.5 KUSC (classical music). The signal strength is excellent with help of an (indoor) active antenna named "iBlast" and the sound quality out of this system with an Antique Sound Lab tube integrated amp and a pair of M80 Axiom speakers is superb. I got this FM tuner, Marantz ST-50 off craigslist for $20. I never tried any other FM tuners to compare with but I like the sound quality from this unit. I even sleep with music on. I may never need a DAC and paying for streaming music. I'm sure that its SQ is not as good as those hi-rez/DSD/MQA (anything else) via Tidal/Roon or CD/SACD... but that doesn't matter at all because I do like it a lot. And very very simple operation of all... just turn the amp on and you get this amazing non-stop uninterrupted music 24/7. Simply blessing!