New to tuner for 91.7FM UW Madison WI

I mostly grab my new music from following the record labels I like and bands for their new releases in order to download or buy, but there are very few radio stations that caught my musical tastes so far which is 91.7FM.

Now questions to the crowd:

If there anyone listening to this radio station in Madison WI?
What equipment do you use to listen to it? What is the benefit of analogue or digital tuner over the listening through the live internet stream?

Please also share experiences if you had a chance to compare both internet stream vs. tuner on any other radio station you love.
OK, I thought this would be a great new find...NOT.
The first song I just listened to sounded like an acordian being used for a rave.

Next I got a mix of really depressing hillbilly music? harmonica and all.

Now I've got really harsh electronic junk that will get me kicked out of the office.

What am I missing.

Back to KJazz 88.1
Elevick, It's not what you're missing. It's something that I miss. I have a decent Kenwood 4x75Wpc, 2x 400wpc for sub stereo set up in my car to listen radio. At home I run live stream from the computer --> homemade headphone amp and Senn EH350 headphones. What would I gain if I get an FM digital or analogue tuner? I'd like to keep it compact for the office just probably like you.

There are two big variables with your question, one we (those of us out here in Audiogonland) can't possibly know and one we can at least guess at. Broadcast vs. streaming for any station will depend on the quality of the broadcast signal at your location and the quality of the stream the station provides.

If you can get a great signal where your rig resides, then with a great antenna and a great tuner you'll get a very high quality listening experience. Same with streaming; if you get a high bit rate stream with a great DAC, it will sound great.

Conversely, if the broadcast signal is lousy/noisy/compressed/multipathed/whatever, no matter how good your antenna or tuner, it will sound lousy. And a low bit rate strram will sound bad through even the best of DACs.

My experience is that with a good signal/antenna/tuner (I have good signal for 2 out of the 3 stations here) then the broadcast source will be better unless the streaming rate is great than 128k. One of the stations with good signal (KLCC) streams at 80k MP3, so the broadcast signal is demonstrably better. The other (KWAX) streams at 256K AAC, so no contest, the stream is better even though the broadcast signal sounds great.

The third station is a push, as the broadcast signal is only so-so, but they also only stream at 64K AAC+. On a good day, the broadcast signal is better. Other days, I listen to the stream.

Your WUSM has 3 different streaming options. 24k MP3 is horrible. 128k MP3 is pretty good, and will be better than broadcast with a lousy signal but probably not quite as good as broadcast with a great signal. 128k OggVorbis is the wild card; I listened to it and it sounds pretty amazing. It may be better than any broadcast signal, as the OggVorbis codec is really good.

Bottom line is my experience says there's no simple answer. I listen to both broadcast and stream and have for years; it just depends on what I'm listening to and what's available. There are lots of great Internet only stations that I listen to on a regular basis, but I listen to broadcast signals every day.

By the way, all the usual analog vs. digital caveats/arguments apply. Did the "analog" broadcast signal you're hearing pass through an ADC somewhere in the signal chain? That's a discussion for another thread.

Marakanetz, my office system is actually fairly absurd. If you look at my system, I downsized by using a receiver but everyone stops by my office to check out 5 foot tall 5" wide computer speakers:-).

I'm glad to find out that there is a better stream quality. I'll try it. I do know that most stations have abandoned quality and transmit as much as possible in compressed formats. What a waste to save a little bandwidth.