What brand is your XM receiver? I use the Polk XRT-12 XM tuner. IMO, sounds great.
15 responses Add your response
If you are looking for improved quality, and don't necessarily need XM, Sirius is provided over DSS and is considerably better in quality. I'm not sure if the reciever is better in the DSS boxes, or if the satellite can recieve the signal better. Just a thought. Personally, I'm sticking with XM myself.
8oclock- If you want better sound quality listen to FM (sorry, I couldn't resist that). Both satellite radio services transmit highly compressed PCM data which, when uncompressed, is inferior to CD quality (or FM) sound. If your XM tuner has a digital output you could try an outboard DAC, otherwise youre stuck with what you have (garbage in garbage out).
FM CAN be better than sattelite radio. Unfortunately, here in Houston, it is not. Leaving aside the programming issues (XM is FAR superior), the one classical station here (NPR) must use a compressor/expander because that is what I hear, not to mention the background noise that seems to be inherit in FM. I've tried the yagi/rotator/high-end tuner route. Sorry, no cigars.
The best way to improove XM's sound is to scrap half of the useless channels, and wait they are adding more! great right???? WRONG the more channels the more the signal loss, and untill they change some technology, the more they add may seem good on the surface, but those 75 channels you never listen too and never will, suck the life blood out of all channels
Without being propelled up to XM's satalite with a bagfull of audiophile jewlery and a digital geek or two, the most cost effective way to de-grundge, re-liquify and bore a hole in the soundstage is a "tube buffer" added at the outputs of XM's digit flatulator. If ever there was a calling for the old Musical Fidelity "X" Can's, Satalite radio is it. It is amazing what a couple of small tubes in a beer can will do for modern technology.
Koiman - I was just about to also post about XM Ch.71. The fidelity on that channel is amazing. I mostly listen to XM Pops, Ch.113, because I like that type of music a little better, BUT the sound quality is not as dynamic. I wonder if the difference is because of the quality of the recordings. This is true with XM 70 - "Real Jazz" where some of the recordings sound like Mono (the real old stuff).
As far as adding a DAC, I just purchased an Audio Mirror D2 and will hook that up to my xrt12.
Acually, just about any outboard (audiophile type) device will help the sound of the (self proclaimed) "new standard in Radio". If you have "Direct TV" (not sure about "Cerious") and also own a "Tivo" unit, there is one of those slimy little "optical" outputs that will interface with some Dac's. I happen to have one of the worlds cheapest, oldest and (arguably) worst Dac's around that is fitted with with an "opt. in." (quesses anyone ?), and it still improves the sound of the Satallite radio.
I have a modified Sony DTV box. It came with a toss linc and that was changed to a coax, by Theta.(their digital board) I use an Audiomeca dac. Kicks the crap out of any FM radio station____
I have long been a supporter of Sat. Radio--of any kind. It all started with the cable co's DMX radio. DMX had its own remote /with its readout screen--no tv needed to get your song info. When I switched to Directv I had to spend,big-time,to duplicate DMX Radio's sound quality.----Then they built dmx into the cable box----then they quit the 44.1 in the more recent boxes.
I really have a couple of XM nit-picks. My biggest being their Classic-C&W stations and playlists.Nothing is as good as ch 829 fron D*. The classical selection and AOR selictions are better--Yes,I want my cake___.