Is pirate radio helping DAB?

BBC Radio 4 FM on a portable radio around here is spoilt by breakthrough from a pirate which I think is called Riddim Radio. RR appears to be spilling out everywhere and it sounds somewhat overmodulated. I complained by the BBC website expecting an email or a call in response but basically nothing than the standard reply stating I might not get a reply.

I know this is a bit conspiracy theory like, but pirate radio must be pushing more people to DAB. So it makes sense that the BBC or whoever is now responsible – is it OFCOM? – don’t bother to shut down the pirates.

Didn’t work with me; I bought a internet radio, a lovely Squeezebox Radio, which was installed in minutes. It gives me access to Radio 4 via iPlayer at a decent bit rate – 128kbps AAC – access to Radio Paradise and other great internet radio stations and all my stored music.

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Squeezebox Touch – a week later

What an interesting beast this is. The lispy addition to voices that I was complaining about in my original post has gone. The sound quality is really rather good using the digital out. I prefer the optical output to the coax into the Naim DAC. The optical has a more refined presentation and just sounds right, the coax a little courser.

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Initial thoughts on the Squeezebox Touch

Anyway it’s arrived and very nice it is too. It’s been running overnight using the standard supplied PS and I’ve recently changed over to the Maplin linear PS as much for my piece of mind as any sonic reason. There is a small difference but not enough to rush to the shops.

What does it sound like? OK, I suppose, is all I can report so far. I’ve only tried the optical and coaxial digital outputs running into a Naim DAC with 555 PS. It has an edge to the sound that sneaks its way on to every song. It’s a slight hard lispiness to vocals that accentuates the lips and teeth sounds. Coax digital sounds substantially different from Optical – surprisingly different in fact.

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My sentiments entirely

Very interested to read on Amarra’s website and I paraphrase ‘it’s easy to make music sound good on a computer but hard to make it sound fabulous’. I think they have been listening to my conversations.

Next week I’m in Munich for the High End show and by coincidence will be sharing a booth (or to be more exact one of my clients Thorens is sharing a booth themed Sources of the future as it’s vinyl and streaming with Higoto who are Germany’s streaming experts.

The demos will be of Thoren’s new Tri-Balance turntable, the Logitech Transporter and a Macbook running iTunes with the Amarra software into a Weiss DAC.

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