xm (and to a lesser extent pandora) completely ruined fm for me--except for a couple of hard-to-get, sporadically good college stations, fm is a complete abyss in my town. that said, the audio quality of xm has always disappointed--it's not nearly as good as advertised--and on the rare occssions i do hear fm i'm surprised at how much better it sounds.
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Even though I have a high quality CD player and turntable, probably 80% of my listening is to FM radio- exclusively to the two local NPR stations,which have not only an compelling section of classical, jazz, folk, contemporary, classic rock and alternative music but also broadcast in fidelity that is deserving of a primary musical source. I have a highly regarded tuner (well maybe not *that* highly regarded in the fmtunerinfo site) that has been somewhat modified and is fed by a 17 element FM antenna.
Here for example is a sample, fed directly into an external CD-recorder (no preamp in the path). Listen to it on your main systems-although it sounds perfectly fine on desktop speakers it is quite stunning on my main rig-as it should be on yours. The people who I have played this for who are unaware of its provenance, look in disbelief when the announcers voice enters after the track ends. Judge for yourselves.
FM Tuner sample
Agreed Rontoolsie. BUT, if you don't have that kind of FM stations that come in that well then you are lost in FM land. It's the same as when you can get high definition tv over the air. It's fantastic but the rub is that you sure don't get much!
To me it is the amazing choice offered over internet radio that seals the deal in my area. When I can get all the BBC stations, Classic FM from Britain, contemporary music from Brazil, amazing jazz from Paris, etc, etc, etc. quite frankly I don't have near enough time to listen to all of it. I LOVE the way I can listen anywhere in the world now.
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