View Full Version : Radio stations that care about quality


jhoyt
11-24-2008, 09:38 PM
Could we start a list of radio stations that care about sound quality? It would be helpful for traveling, or for those who have given up on FM...

Reno, NV - KTHX 100.1 - eclectic, largest music library in the west (supposedly)

What else?

pioneernut
11-24-2008, 10:12 PM
In the Chicago area these are a few of the better stations sonicly. There are others I like as well, but the SQ just doesn't bring out the best in tuners.

90.9 WDCB Public Radio. Jazz, plus folk, blues, and various specials late at night. Very eclectic mix after 7pm (edited frequency typo)
93.1 WXRT - Album Oriented Rock
94.7 WLS-FM - Oldies (as suggested by AnalogDigit)
95.5 WNUA - Contemporary Jazz
97.1 WDRV - Classic Rock
98.7 WFMT - Classical

MuZak
11-24-2008, 10:47 PM
I think this is a great idea for a thread!

First off, I dunno how we can tell what their intentions are.. and
if SQ is among them.
Best we can do is tell which stations sound good.

I say this because some of the stations in this area that sound
good, sound good only because they haven't been able to afford
to "upgrade" to digital.
They are low budget stations, whether because they're
owned by schools, or other reasons.
The commercial stations here... and all of them.. have gone
to some sort of formula that includes everything being played
off a hard drive, with low bitrate/very lossy digital
compression... and VERY highly equalized... favoring the
highs, the midbass, and really thinning out the vocal region.
And of course, HUGE dynamic range compression.
They're worried about "punching thru" and crap like that.

The only stations around here (south florida) that sound
good, are:
WLRN 91.3 ...an NPR affil that has great jazz shows at
night.
They made much publicly a few yrs back of how they were
upgrading the whole signal chain for the advent of digital.
Ironically.
It did however, improve the analog signal's SQ.
I dunno what he'd say, if you asked the station manager
how high a priority SQ is.
I do know, that for the commercial stations here, its nil.
They're driven by financial considerations and nothing else.
Unfortunately, unlike when I was a kid... SQ doesn't sell
today. (at least so they think)

The only other station that has good SQ, as opposed to
merely decent
or horrendous.. is:
WKPX 88.5 which is a low power high school... board of ed
actually... that just uses good 'ol fashioned decent equipment
without any of the "modern touches" that the comercial
stations feel are so important.

WDNA 88.9 is very low power and down at the southernmost
tip of the peninsula, making it hard to get in most of its
intended listening area.. heh...
It seems like it may be decent in SQ... great in content,
but I can't really tell since I've never had it come in without
tons of noise, and the filter in the narrow position.

crooner
11-25-2008, 12:29 AM
Southern California:

KJAZZ 88.1 Long Beach. Despite HD subcarrier, it sounds quite decent. Great Jazz music as well!

KPBS 89.5 San Diego. Also carries HD, but the analog is warmish and often sounds great with good classical recordings.

KSON 97.3 San Diego. Best sounding station in San Diego! The country format may not appeal to everyone but do check out their Sunday Bluegrass special (10 PM to midnight).

K-EARTH 101.1 Los Angeles. Powerful signal and great sound to boot! Oldies format. HD doesn't seem to affect the analog signal much.

KGB 101.5 San Diego. Classic rock station. HD subcarrier inserts some hash, but music has lots of punch and dynamics with the right song/recording.

The Walrus 105.7 San Diego. Nice Oldies format with lots of punch.

vinyldavid
11-25-2008, 12:44 AM
St. Louis Area:
99.1 KFUO. Classical. Never once had a problem with their sound...
88.1 KDHX, Community. They play anything and everything, and I love it.....great programming, average sound, unless they are doing a live studio broadcast.....those are AMAZING.

clydeselsor
11-25-2008, 12:47 AM
98.7 WFMT in Chicago. One of the best classical stations in the world!

titanstats
11-25-2008, 03:04 AM
CBC Radio 1 and 2. Great fidelity, broadcast all across the country, diverse programming, and Nooo commercials. :thmbsp: Our neighbors to the south who are near to the border are probably familiar with them. My only real reasons to own a tuner. (Woo! Post #2000)

Mark W.
11-25-2008, 03:19 AM
Well in my neck of the woods (Oregon Northern Willamette Valley) look for:

KINK 101.9 FM mostly classic rock but you can hear all sorts of stuff very goood sound NO HD side channels

KGON 92.3 FM very strong signal Classic rock good sound dispite having a pair of HD's piggy backing. Listen ONLY after 10:00am before it's stupid and stupid mornign show piped up from Southern CA.

KMHD 89.1 FM not a real strong signal at only 7900 watts a college Jazz station

you can do a google on these all stream if you want to hear.

Edit: And the local NPR/Oregon Public Radio is crap just leftwing news and world news no music closest thing is the RED GREEN show on Sat. The sound is great just can't handle the crap they say.

3dbdown
11-25-2008, 06:34 AM
94.7 KTWV Los Angeles.....Jazz

reggaenaut
11-25-2008, 07:18 PM
New York: 96.3 khz great classical station.

Newark: 98.3 khz great jazz station.

AnalogDigit
11-25-2008, 10:51 PM
In the Chicago area these are a few of the better stations sonicly. There are others I like as well, but the SQ just doesn't bring out the best in tuners.

90.0 WDCB Public Radio. Jazz, plus folk, blues, and various specials late at night. Very eclectic mix after 7pm
93.1 WXRT - Album Oriented Rock
95.5 WNUA - Contemporary Jazz
97.1 WDRV - Classic Rock
98.7 WFMT - Classical

Great choices! May I add:

94.7 WLS-FM - Oldies

voicecoil
11-25-2008, 11:32 PM
KING FM 98.1 Seattle WA. Classical
streams on the net also.



-------------------------------------------------------------------
Marantz 150 Sony ST-75

ponderbear
11-25-2008, 11:47 PM
It's easy to find the local NPR affiliate in the Columbia/Jeff City MO area- KBIA 91.3, nice strong signal. A little more elusive but worth looking for:

89.5 KOPN community radio, Columbia, very eclectic
88.9 KJLU voice of Lincoln University, Jefferson City. Smooth Jazz primarily, some hip hop at night, but excellent Jazz and Blues shows on the weekends.
88.5 KCOU Unofficial voice of the University of Missouri. Your basic college/indie rock station but there are a few interesting DJs still working there. For now, at least; it seems to be on the decline. Not a slam- they're just undersupported and underfunded, the usual problems.

ekmanning5
11-26-2008, 12:08 AM
In the Chicago area these are a few of the better stations sonicly. There are others I like as well, but the SQ just doesn't bring out the best in tuners.

90.0 WDCB Public Radio. Jazz, plus folk, blues, and various specials late at night. Very eclectic mix after 7pm


Just a small correction; WDCB is actually 90.9 on your FM dial.
And it is probably the best station around these parts IMNSHO :yes:.

Cadillac Kid
11-26-2008, 12:33 AM
KPEN AND K101 in San Francisco were very serious about quality. Here is a cool link, even though it has funky RealAudio files. http://168.144.187.8/gabbert.htm

Current favorite is KVMR-FM 89.5

slow_jazz
11-26-2008, 12:52 AM
the local public station 101.9 here in detroit...

electronjohn
11-26-2008, 10:06 AM
89.3 "The Current" in the Twin Cities area. It's MPR's "alternative" format...the playlist is a mile wide and a mile deep. Minimal processing on the signal. Of course, the stations Holst and I work for are strictly state-of-the-art. Ultra-clean sound.

ScramMan2
11-26-2008, 12:22 PM
93.1 WXRT - Album Oriented Rock



I'd have a tuner again if I could get XRT. Nothing up here in central WI or the Milwaukee area. ZMF was the best station Milwaukee ever had and they have been gone a long time.

2chanman
11-26-2008, 12:26 PM
In southwest Connecticut: WPKN, 89.5mhz: listener sponsored, weird programming, but the best analog FM audio I've ever heard(no processing). Also, from NYC, WQXR, 96.3mhz, the classical music station of the New York Times. The commercials are annoying, but the analog FM audio is excellent. Also with excellent audio is WNYC, 93.9mhz, listener sponsored NPR, but with more obnoxious self promoting plugs than most commercial stations.

reggaenaut
11-29-2008, 06:26 PM
Also, from NYC, WQXR, 96.3mhz, the classical music station of the New York Times. The commercials are annoying, but the analog FM audio is excellent. Also with excellent audio is WNYC, 93.9mhz,

These stations are probably ran by audio enthusiasts. The audio is astounding.

pioneernut
11-29-2008, 09:17 PM
Great choices! May I add:

94.7 WLS-FM - Oldies

Ironicly, I debated that one for a bit when I originally posted it, but I agree with you, its a really good station. Ended up editing my post... Anyway, I was so glad somebody in town changed CD94.7's format to oldies after JackFM replaced WJMK.

jcmusic
12-03-2008, 01:19 PM
Here in New Orleans we have a couple.
89.9 Classical
90.7 Jazz
91.5 Local College

Jay

jlc76
12-07-2008, 02:52 AM
In Houston, TX KTRU 91.7 (Rice Univ.), lots of eclectic punk, and indie rock shows during the week and a great 20th century classical show on Sat and great jazz on Sun. This station use to be 50k watts but is now much lower. 90.1 KPFT use to have some pretty decent shows, including blues, but sometimes extreme leftist politics dominates (and I say that as a more left-leaning person).

In Austin 90.5 KUT (Univ. of Texas) is one of the best in the city. NPR programming and great music in between. The HD-3 station is all jazz. 91.7 KVRX/KOOP (UT students/community) the student part can be hit or miss but there are some great genre shows on KOOP but the same as applies to KPFT in Houston but even more radical politics (anti-car, pro-illegal immigrant, etc.).

Those are what I listen to 90% of the time.

Fisherdude
12-07-2008, 05:52 AM
In the Chicago area these are a few of the better stations sonicly. There are others I like as well, but the SQ just doesn't bring out the best in tuners.

90.9 WDCB Public Radio. Jazz, plus folk, blues, and various specials late at night. Very eclectic mix after 7pm (edited frequency typo)
93.1 WXRT - Album Oriented Rock
94.7 WLS-FM - Oldies (as suggested by AnalogDigit)
95.5 WNUA - Contemporary Jazz
97.1 WDRV - Classic Rock
98.7 WFMT - Classical

Just a small correction; WDCB is actually 90.9 on your FM dial.
And it is probably the best station around these parts IMNSHO :yes:.

I'd have a tuner again if I could get XRT. Nothing up here in central WI or the Milwaukee area. ZMF was the best station Milwaukee ever had and they have been gone a long time.

Agreed!

For those not in the area, 90.9's name is "All Things Jazz", and they stream on the internet.

90.9 and 93.1 are astonishingly good stations.

similost
12-07-2008, 06:02 AM
Honestly... I don't think they exist... SPIN YOUR OWN!

NYListens
12-07-2008, 08:38 AM
New York: 96.3 khz great classical station.

Newark: 98.3 khz great jazz station.

Isn't that 88.3 from Newark?

zenith2134
12-07-2008, 10:28 AM
98.3 Mhz is a Long Island station here,

reggaenaut
12-07-2008, 08:27 PM
Isn't that 88.3 from Newark?

My error. 88.3 from Newark is correct.

Argyle
12-07-2008, 08:41 PM
this is a great thread. i really enjoy listening to the radio; however as I'm sure most of you will agree, there aren't a ton of stations worth listening to. A friend recommended WXRT which i've been listening to online. Sound quality isn't too hot which sucks, but it's a great station. Also i listen to WERS here in Boston quite a bit.

salred
12-07-2008, 09:48 PM
WPFW 89.3, the local Pacifica outlet.

"Pacifica" should tell you all you need to know about its editorial content -- 'nuff said.

The Saturday afternoon Blues / R&B shows and the Sunday afternoon Jazz programs are *really* good, and the signal is strong and clean out here in the countryside. See: http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/finder?call=wpfw&x=10&y=7&sr=Y&s=C

Steve A.

analog
12-07-2008, 10:50 PM
In the greater Los Angeles area 2 of my favorites are

KCRW 89.9- NPR from Santa Monica College, very eclectic mix, weekday mornings and all weekend.

KSWD 100.3 Fairly new but a great mix of rock from the 60s to today. Promising station...hope they last.

Both are available on the web.

larryderouin
01-06-2009, 02:43 PM
KPEN AND K101 in San Francisco were very serious about quality. Here is a cool link, even though it has funky RealAudio files. http://168.144.187.8/gabbert.htm

Current favorite is KVMR-FM 89.5

In the late 60's thru the mid 70's KIOI had 50,000 watts running. It was supposed to be the highest rated wattage transmitting west of the Miss. Rvr. Jim Gabbert had a program called "Excursions in Stereo" from 9:00 to 11:00 weeknights. Had some of the most offbeat, oddball stuff broadcasting. They'd get recordings of trains, jets, etc. and then tell ya to CRANK IT UP!!! Left to right, right to Left, right down the center....with even a low end system it was great. Even had a transducer recording of an earthquake that went down to 20-25Hz. Then they told you TURN your BASS ALL THE WAY DOWN, or you'll be at ALCO or Pacific Stereo the next day getting new speakers. GREAT STUFF. They also were involved in the DISCRETE 4Channel experiments in 69-70. They simulcasted with another station (for the back 2 channels. Advertised for a week or two before. Then a bunch of us would get together and set up 2 stereo's in the same room, one set to KIOI and the other on the 2nd station. It would literally blow yer mind. After Jim left KIOI it went downhill. I left Bay Area in late 75. Understand now it's Mainstreet New stuff for the younguns.

I've still got a reel 2 reel tape of one night Excursions in Stereo.
PUt the link in my Fav's. Thanks


I now listen mainly to WZBA (The Bay) 100.7 in Baltimore, Classic Rock.

Larry

Sam Cogley
01-06-2009, 05:04 PM
St. Louis Area:
99.1 KFUO. Classical. Never once had a problem with their sound...
88.1 KDHX, Community. They play anything and everything, and I love it.....great programming, average sound, unless they are doing a live studio broadcast.....those are AMAZING.

I haven't lived in St. Louis since '03, and I still miss KFUO.

Mmike
01-06-2009, 05:21 PM
The only one in Florida I can rave about is 88.5 WMNF in Tampa. The rest of the gang are either processed to death or have nasty sounding transmitters nearly putting off spurs. It's such a shame that even our Gainesville Pbs sucks.

-Mike

chathamdad
01-12-2009, 10:27 PM
In the Capital District around Albany, WMHT-FM is a champ. Great, strong signal, and most of their progamming is the classical music feed from Minnesota Public Radio. Sound is wonderful and the signal negotiates the Hudson River and the valley west of the Berkshires very well, which is no small feat.