eHam

eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: W2MV on January 28, 2011, 06:30:49 AM



Title: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W2MV on January 28, 2011, 06:30:49 AM
There are microphones, audio frequency response tailoring devices, and many comments in posts related to having "great" or "broadcast quality" transmitted audio. What am I missing? The most  effective audio characteristic when working other stations, especially DX, is to have a relatively limited audio bandwidth, possibly using compression as well. I just don't understand the 20 Hz-20000 KHz mentality; the audio circuitry in ham rigs will restrict the frequency response anyway so who cares? Is it that some hams like to pretend that they are "broadcasting" to the world?
Why isn't the emphasis on the type of audio which will "get through" most effectively?
Yes, I know that some hams like AM and I can understand that, but those are not whom I'm talking about.
What is the interest for hams in microphones with a "DC to daylight" (in the audio sense) frequency responses, and transmit "audio equalizers", especially given that many modern rigs do have the ability to tailor transmitted frequency response?


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: AA4PB on January 28, 2011, 06:44:58 AM
The IF filter in a modern SSB transmitter will intentionally limit the audio frequency response to about 300 - 3000 Hz. The filter response however is not perfect and the edges reduce the signal level gradually. Some use an equalizer to greatly increase the frequencies a little outside that range to the point that it makes it through the filter and broadens the bandwidth of the transmitted signal. If not taken to extreme it does make the signal sound a little more "hi fi" but like you say, that is usually not good for getting the message through under noisy conditions. To each his own, I guess. I think most of the people doing it are not doing it to break DX pile ups.

HF digital voice, while it has its issues, creates some really great sounding audio in my opinion. Maybe some of the "hi fi" guys should give that a try.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KH6AQ on January 28, 2011, 07:02:08 AM
The next step is to enroll in radio announcer school and have a "golden voice" like Ted Williams.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KI4SDY on January 28, 2011, 07:06:29 AM
I call it the Rush Limbaugh Syndrome. It is a compulsion, like many others we see that manifest in ham radio. However, sometimes these driven hobbyist invent advancements that are useful to the ham radio community as a whole. Voice processing is not all bad, within the parameters that produce improved intelligibility at the receiving end. Many manufacturers are now including such features in ham transceivers.  ;)

At the far end of this obsession, we see photos of high fidelity wizards with rows of Heil gold studio microphones and sound boards that dwarf the area taken by actual ham radio equipment. What these amateur "broadcasters" don't realize is that their efforts may be limiting their range and at the end of their now shorter coverage area, they still sound like static. Their money would have been better spent installing an improved antenna system!  ::)  



Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KE3WD on January 28, 2011, 07:40:41 AM
So maybe their goals are not DX oriented. 

This is a *hobby* and as such, there are many paths that different individuals may desire to take in the pursuit of happiness. 

As long as it does not violate the rules and regs, I don't see a problem here, matter of fact there might even be something new and desirable come of it someday, something that conceivably could become the standard in future offshelf rigs and such. 

I cannot understand the inflexibility some exhibit over such trivial matters as this one.

Have FUN and 73


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8IUR on January 28, 2011, 08:38:00 AM
HF digital voice, while it has its issues, creates some really great sounding audio in my opinion. Maybe some of the "hi fi" guys should give that a try.


The demo audio of the AOR HF DV unit is really striking. It definitely piqued my interest.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K2OWK on January 28, 2011, 02:36:53 PM
The only requirement in ham radio audio is a clear easy to understand, with a maximum of 100% modulation. If your microphone and transmitter audio circuit meet these requirements you have no problem wheather you use AM, FM, SSB. The only time you might want to have HI FI audio is if you plan to use your Ham station to transmitt illeagle music. I use a 60 year old D-104 microphone with the original cartridge and amplified base with my modern Yaesu FT-450AT transceiver. I receive excellent audio reports on all modes of operation with this set up. I hear Hams asking for audio reports all the time. When I tell them there audio is fine they ask but how good is it. I hear you load and clear what else do you want to hear. This is Ham Radio not a commercial broadcast station and good clear audio is all you need.

73s
K2OWK


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W7ETA on January 28, 2011, 03:10:54 PM
Because it is there.
And they have FUN doing it.

A couple of decades ago, I stopped telling ops with the characteristic "High Fi" audio that something was wrong with their audio.

Best from Tucson
Bob


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: WB2WIK on January 28, 2011, 04:00:56 PM
The IF filter in a modern SSB transmitter will intentionally limit the audio frequency response to about 300 - 3000 Hz. The filter response however is not perfect and the edges reduce the signal level gradually.


That doesn't really apply to rigs that do all their modulation/demodulation using DSP, as many rigs do today.

I can set my upper and lower TX bandwidth limits, and overall bandwidth (resulting from that), to almost anything I want them to be and when they roll off, it's like throwing a switch.

I usually set "low" to 300 Hz, and "high" to 2700 Hz or 3000 Hz and have a resulting BW of 2.4 to 2.7 kHz.  But if I switch to AM and we have a clear frequency, I'll set "high" to 3900 Hz and have resulting 3.6 kHz BW.  It sounds way better.  But if the band's all jammed up with QRM, nobody will appreciate that. ;)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: NO2A on January 28, 2011, 04:20:29 PM
Well,would you rather sound like a broadcast station or an airline pilot? ......................... ;)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K2OWK on January 28, 2011, 09:33:19 PM
On the ham bands. An airline pilot. Good clear audio.

K2OWK


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K7KBN on January 29, 2011, 08:45:01 AM
If I wanted to sound like a broadcast station I'd get a job at a broadcast station.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KD8HMO on January 29, 2011, 11:03:47 AM
I agree with the Rush Limbaugh syndrome. Some people are just facinated with shiny things...

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y127/delta5/microphone.jpg


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K1CJS on January 30, 2011, 08:26:16 AM
Simple and plain, it is that good audio is easier to hear and understand.  The hams that don't go overboard, that is they don't brag about how they have an 'X' microphone, a 'Y' equalizer and a 'Z' hookup, and are just trying to get the best audio out understand this.  The stock microphone made for a rig isn't the hands down best choice for some hams because of their voices, but it is for most hams most of the time.

Hams who, however, have to have 'braggin' rights' and just have to tell the person on the other end how many toys they have do it for just that purpose--to brag about how many toys they have.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W3ML on January 30, 2011, 09:55:17 AM
The IF filter in a modern SSB transmitter will intentionally limit the audio frequency response to about 300 - 3000 Hz. The filter response however is not perfect and the edges reduce the signal level gradually.


That doesn't really apply to rigs that do all their modulation/demodulation using DSP, as many rigs do today.

I can set my upper and lower TX bandwidth limits, and overall bandwidth (resulting from that), to almost anything I want them to be and when they roll off, it's like throwing a switch.

I usually set "low" to 300 Hz, and "high" to 2700 Hz or 3000 Hz and have a resulting BW of 2.4 to 2.7 kHz.  But if I switch to AM and we have a clear frequency, I'll set "high" to 3900 Hz and have resulting 3.6 kHz BW.  It sounds way better.  But if the band's all jammed up with QRM, nobody will appreciate that. ;)

If this true with these units, then why do most guys that use one splatter up and over 5 KHZ each way? 
There was one on 20 meters yesterday that was over 6 Khz and God forbid someone tell him that he is over-modulating.

John, W3ML


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N6PJB on January 30, 2011, 02:22:01 PM
So maybe their goals are not DX oriented. 

This is a *hobby* and as such, there are many paths that different individuals may desire to take in the pursuit of happiness. 

As long as it does not violate the rules and regs, I don't see a problem here, matter of fact there might even be something new and desirable come of it someday, something that conceivably could become the standard in future offshelf rigs and such. 

I cannot understand the inflexibility some exhibit over such trivial matters as this one.

Have FUN and 73


I totally agree. It is a HOBBY! Have fun!  :)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: G3RZP on January 30, 2011, 03:31:13 PM
Airline pilot?

The aeronautical stuff I've listened to sounds like 8 parts distortian and 2 parts abortion. The quality is that which in the days of 2 metre AM, hams would have been ashamed of putting out a signal like that.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KE4JOY on January 30, 2011, 06:17:41 PM
Cmon wheres the AM folks  ;D


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: WB2WIK on January 30, 2011, 06:38:29 PM
If this true with these units, then why do most guys that use one splatter up and over 5 KHZ each way? 
There was one on 20 meters yesterday that was over 6 Khz and God forbid someone tell him that he is over-modulating.

John, W3ML


That could be any number of things.  You can still overdrive an amplifier and cause horrendous IMD.  And of course if signals are strong, a lot of times the receiver in use is just as much at fault (or more so) than the transmitter.  A lot of "splattering" signals on the bands have nothing to do with transmitter bandwidth when run at normal power without overdriving anything, but "all knobs to the right" can cause many problems.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KA5N on January 31, 2011, 03:40:01 AM
I just want the other guy to understand me, so I speak at a moderate rate and don't yell into the mike and speak as distinctly as I can.  Hence most of the time the other op gets my name and QTH without me having to spell them out and I don't have to repeat over and over.
The problem most often faced is "what is the rest of your prefix?" 
Most of the guys with equalizers and such seem to have little else to say except to drone on and on about their "equipment" and how wonderful it is.  I guess those who have little to say
need to sound as good as they can while saying it.
 ::)
Allen  KA5N


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: SWMAN on January 31, 2011, 03:51:58 AM
 I often get great audio comments from other stations and I don't have anything special at all at my small station. I have a Kenwood TS-570 with a Heil HC-5 mic cart. I replaced the Kenwood mic element with the Heil element. Sounds great so they say and no EQ's or anything special at all.
73 Jim. KF5HRN


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 31, 2011, 03:55:12 AM
In my experience, great audio comes more from genetics than generic microphones.
Lets face it guys, most of us just have whiny squeaky voices, and they will only sound
worse with more bandwidth.
If only all hams had voices like James Earl Jones.

73s.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8IUR on January 31, 2011, 05:51:59 AM
I thought a male tenor was desirable to drive SSB? You're saying Johnny Cash is better?


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KI4SDY on January 31, 2011, 06:33:36 AM
It sounds like SWMAN has gone to Heil! :o


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC5AOS on January 31, 2011, 07:12:41 AM
FT-2000 w/the stock mic it came with.  Mic is about 12" from mouth and I am speaking in a normal voice with the mod at about 65%.  I get "GREAT" audio reports and have never heard that I am exceeding + 3kHz.  Why would I need to spend $ on an after market mic??

In contrast, I talked to a ham the other day that had very narrow audio BW (an older Icom rig).  I first told him I thought he needed to get his rig checked because I thought it was off frequency.  When I turned the clarifier, his signal didn't get better leading me to believe he wasn't off freq, rather just not good audio.  

Plus, I think a wider audio BW can help capture more contacts when calling CQ.  If just rag chewing, sure thing, norrow it down.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N3JBH on January 31, 2011, 07:47:48 AM
I have a Omni 6 + so go ahead and crank the audio up your still going to sound like the tin man to me  ;D


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: NO2A on January 31, 2011, 11:11:25 AM
Simple and plain, it is that good audio is easier to hear and understand.  The hams that don't go overboard, that is they don't brag about how they have an 'X' microphone, a 'Y' equalizer and a 'Z' hookup, and are just trying to get the best audio out understand this.  The stock microphone made for a rig isn't the hands down best choice for some hams because of their voices, but it is for most hams most of the time.

Hams who, however, have to have 'braggin' rights' and just have to tell the person on the other end how many toys they have do it for just that purpose--to brag about how many toys they have.
Thank you,exactly what I was trying to say. It`s not about braggin` rights,it`s about being heard better at the receiving end,hence a good audio attracts more qso`s. I simply meant who wants to sound like an h.t. if you can sound better. That doesn`t mean going over the proper bandwidth,etc.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on January 31, 2011, 06:14:12 PM
...Why isn't the emphasis on the type of audio which will "get through" most effectively?...

I'm with you.  Not many people appreciate that. I think the goal is to have the guy at the other end hear me. I don't get on the air to impress people with my audio.

To that end, I have my audio tailored to that goal, because broadcast audio does NOT accomplish that when I'm not moving the other guy's S-meter. Period.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8OYE on February 02, 2011, 06:28:21 PM
we had a guy on a local 2m repeater that used to intentionally over-modulate his signal by talking very loudly with a VERY deep base voice.  He would frequently be informed of his terrible audio.. and he would always and not very politely explain he does that 'to get out better' (dagnabbit cb'ers coming to ham.. aRRGGH!!)  he ignored several warnings from OO's and finally a hefty fine from the FCC and threats to pull his license stopped him...


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: ZENKI on February 03, 2011, 02:08:04 AM
These days its very easy to tell who is a new ham,,

New Hams typically run

1.  more mic gain that is really needed
2. They uses excessive bass

New hams also seem to love ESSB, must be something to do with cranking knobs or looking like DJ.

The worst audio on the air these days is what people consider "great audio" Great audio generally means excessive bass, consuming  more bandwidth than what is needed and causing a lot of splatter.

This excessive audio craze of trying to fit  12 pounds of audio bandwidth into a 1 pound audio sausage bag needs to be stamped out of ham radio.  Its very simple, you cant defy the laws of physics and just makes the broader ham community look like audiophools.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8OYE on February 03, 2011, 12:08:13 PM
the problem is how do you do that? we are supposed to be self policing.. and when you offer advice to another ham, you are basically told to Fork off.. Most hams seem to regard letters from the O.O's as a joke.. so by the time you get to official complaints to the FCC it makes it look like we are unable to self police.. and that's not good.
at least.. that's about how it goes around here.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N0SYA on February 05, 2011, 08:45:49 AM
I'm not so concerned about my outgoing bandwidth as I am my incoming on ssb. A 2.4KHz width is too narrow for me, I can more easily understand a weak voice sig with a wider bandwidth than with a narrow one. Going from 2.4 to 2.8 width makes a huge difference for me, and makes each voice much more distinct. With a 2.4 filter I can often not tell who is who  when I know each voice. But that is just me I suppose.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on February 05, 2011, 12:20:59 PM
It's been a long time since I operated SSB on 2 meters, but for me, the Collins 2.1 kHz mechanical filter was my favorite. However, sometimes if the transmitting station had wider audio (especially bassy audio), switching to the 2.4 kHz filter on the Drake R-4C was the clear winner.

And on HF with adjacent QRM, the 2.1 really shone! It often made the difference in being able to understand a station on your freq. or not.

Having said that, the filter skirts on today's radios are probably steeper, in which case the 2.4 could certainly be my favorite as well.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K0BG on February 05, 2011, 01:16:33 PM
Quite a few folks noted that amateur radio is a hobby, and indeed it is. However, it is a social hobby, with a lot of intermingling, due in part to our shared media. Unfortunately, the bandwidth of that media is limited below 30 MHz. When someone by accident, or worse on purpose, uses more bandwidth than they should, it affects us all. There are proposals to break up the bands in bandwidth segments, rather than by class. While that is a future option, it doesn't address the issue, here and now! At present, the best way is to let the offender know, with as much tact as we can. It doesn't always work, but I believe it is a step in the right direction.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8OYE on February 05, 2011, 03:42:16 PM
I guess this isn't a problem that applies to 2m FM.. I'm sure bandwidth still is.. but since I use commercial radios, my audio is already significantly narrower then it would be with a ham radio so just about any thing I do to the audio would be for very little gain.

in fact, I spend more time correcting people for HORRIBLE audio then trying to be too perfect.  there's a lot of people around here that thing they have to have their lips glued to the mic to be heard.. which not only over-drives their audio way too much, but it interferes with their enunciation too.

something a ham much wiser then I taught me a long time ago when I was just getting started, was to talk across the mic.. not at it.  this stops a lot of your breathing noises, and that love popping you get on P's and also helps with hissing S's too.



Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KG4YMC on February 05, 2011, 07:07:33 PM
Why not go the other  direction? They could try to sound like the old progressive rock fm stations djs. Like the "king bisquit flower hour or whatever. Had to have a base voice back then, or mabey they were  stoned or the listeners were also..lol... kg4ymc


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on February 14, 2011, 09:03:01 PM
I've waded through 3 pages of 'comments'  waiting for someone to explain this desire for good audio quality.  Everyone seems to dance around the reason(s).

Way back "in the day" audio quality was a sign of equipment quality.  Sure we're talking AM.... for that one here who wonders where the AM guys are.

Most quality transmitters used triode tubes and plate modulation which usually gave high quality or "broadcast quality" audio.  If you had a trashy (translated: something less than broadcast audio) your equipment, rather it be commercial or homebrew, was not considered "quality."  An example of this is comparing low level modulation to high level modulation.  (Look it up)  Especially homebrew.

Then along came SSB and the early SSB signals really sounded bad!  Communications dependability really jumped but there was that old desire to have good sounding audio as well. I've heard many descriptive comments about SSB signals from the AM guys but eventually everyone except the boat anchor guys on 80M switched to SSB. 

After this commercial equipment vendors started to and continues to this day, build gear that has good sounding audio.  Same with audio processors, rather they be microphones or equalization panels.  Good sounding audio is synonymous with quality.  For casual QSOs this is one of the goals.  When working DX then the game changes.  Microphones and other audio processing devices tailor the audio for reliable voice communications and nothing else.

I suppose this whole explanation can e compared to good CW ability.   Sure, you can make contacts using your left foot to key the transmitter but most strive for good sounding CW.


So there you have it boys and girls, one old man's opinion why many hams strive for good sounding signals.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W3LK on February 15, 2011, 08:06:57 AM
I've waded through 3 pages of 'comments'  waiting for someone to explain this desire for good audio quality.  Everyone seems to dance around the reason(s).

Way back "in the day" audio quality was a sign of equipment quality.  Sure we're talking AM.... for that one here who wonders where the AM guys are.

Most quality transmitters used triode tubes and plate modulation which usually gave high quality or "broadcast quality" audio.  If you had a trashy (translated: something less than broadcast audio) your equipment, rather it be commercial or homebrew, was not considered "quality."  An example of this is comparing low level modulation to high level modulation.  (Look it up)  Especially homebrew.

Then along came SSB and the early SSB signals really sounded bad!  Communications dependability really jumped but there was that old desire to have good sounding audio as well. I've heard many descriptive comments about SSB signals from the AM guys but eventually everyone except the boat anchor guys on 80M switched to SSB. 

After this commercial equipment vendors started to and continues to this day, build gear that has good sounding audio.  Same with audio processors, rather they be microphones or equalization panels.  Good sounding audio is synonymous with quality.  For casual QSOs this is one of the goals.  When working DX then the game changes.  Microphones and other audio processing devices tailor the audio for reliable voice communications and nothing else.

I suppose this whole explanation can e compared to good CW ability.   Sure, you can make contacts using your left foot to key the transmitter but most strive for good sounding CW.


So there you have it boys and girls, one old man's opinion why many hams strive for good sounding signals.

Well Said!!!!

FWIW, you do not need to exceed the 300 hz - 3000 hz audio bandwidth to have good sounding audio. It's all in the frequency response curve within that passband. Most crappy audio comes from using the wrong microphone that doesn't match the transmitter's response.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KC8OYE on February 15, 2011, 10:28:58 AM
*shrug* I can't really answer.. as I don't have this affliction :)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on February 22, 2011, 10:48:09 AM
If the eyes are a window into the soul, then your voice is its chimney.
Lots of huffing, puffing and flames.

I propose a new class of licence extension - voice:  mellow, squeaky, whine, and sarcasm.

Each class could come with a bandwidth allowable, except for sarcasm which would get 0Hz.

73s


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on February 22, 2011, 09:02:51 PM
Not understanding isn't an "affliction."  An "affliction" is not understanding without seeking the answer.



Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KB1TXK on February 23, 2011, 08:37:27 AM
I usually frequent a certain local repeater on 2m.

One day I decided to check out the busier state-wide network of repeaters and hopped on the local one. Within 5 seconds of my call going out I was welcomed by two friendly gentleman.  Thats when the third guy showed up and made sure to respond to every single one of my transmissions w/ a gripe about how my audio sounded "a bit off".  I thanked him for the report and explained that I was driving at the moment but would mess w/ some settings when I got home.  I would have gotten further talking to myself...as he continued to run-over those responding to me and continued to whine about my audio.

I haven't been back to that repeater, and I have no intention of ever doing so.

OCD-prone audiophiles really have no place in Ham radio. Thats just me thinking out loud...


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on February 23, 2011, 09:29:12 PM
TXK:  I'm really sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience on that repeater.  I agree with you 100%. 

However, you must understand that you will find this kind of person in any organization, hobby.... whatever.  When you encounter them, it can be stressful and even demoralizing.  In your case, you was welcomed by "two friendly gentlemen" but let one man turn you off.  Sometimes you need to push back.  Thank him for his opinion and then continue with your QSO with the two "gentlemen." 

I had a similar experience with a W2 many years ago when he would call CQ and say "I don't want to talk to any lids, kids or K8s."  A variation of this was, "I don't want to talk to any space cadets."  (Meaning guys using phonetics) As a young ham I found it very upsetting and un-ham like.

But I called the jerk and made him talk to me on more than one occasion.  I found out eventually he really didn't have anything to say to anyone..... he just wanted to be a jerk!  Sounds like you found another.

Move on and enjoy meeting and talking to the thousands of "gentlemen" out there!




Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K1CJS on February 27, 2011, 08:35:23 PM
I've waded through 3 pages of 'comments'  waiting for someone to explain this desire for good audio quality.  Everyone seems to dance around the reason(s).

Way back "in the day" audio quality was a sign of equipment quality.  Sure we're talking AM.... for that one here who wonders where the AM guys are.

Most quality transmitters used triode tubes and plate modulation which usually gave high quality or "broadcast quality" audio.  If you had a trashy (translated: something less than broadcast audio) your equipment, rather it be commercial or homebrew, was not considered "quality."  An example of this is comparing low level modulation to high level modulation.  (Look it up)  Especially homebrew.

Then along came SSB and the early SSB signals really sounded bad!  Communications dependability really jumped but there was that old desire to have good sounding audio as well. I've heard many descriptive comments about SSB signals from the AM guys but eventually everyone except the boat anchor guys on 80M switched to SSB. 

After this commercial equipment vendors started to and continues to this day, build gear that has good sounding audio.  Same with audio processors, rather they be microphones or equalization panels.  Good sounding audio is synonymous with quality.  For casual QSOs this is one of the goals.  When working DX then the game changes.  Microphones and other audio processing devices tailor the audio for reliable voice communications and nothing else.

I suppose this whole explanation can e compared to good CW ability.   Sure, you can make contacts using your left foot to key the transmitter but most strive for good sounding CW.


So there you have it boys and girls, one old man's opinion why many hams strive for good sounding signals.

Which is a fancy way of saying what I said earlier.  The better the audio quality, the better sounding your signal is, and the better reports you get--along with the more ham operators won't mind staying in a conversation with you.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K4KYV on March 03, 2011, 12:25:41 PM
There is nothing in the rules that says ham radio audio has to sound tinny, scratchy and irritating like what you hear coming out of the space shuttle. Anyone who takes pride in his station would value good sounding audio as much as he would a strong signal report.



Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W3LK on March 03, 2011, 01:05:42 PM
There is nothing in the rules that says ham radio audio has to sound tinny, scratchy and irritating like what you hear coming out of the space shuttle. Anyone who takes pride in his station would value good sounding audio as much as he would a strong signal report.

Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

I never cease to be amazed at the number of hams that are either too lazy or too ignorant of their radios to produce quality audio. Instead they complain about those who DO care.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: MAGNUM257 on March 05, 2011, 07:48:41 AM
There are microphones, audio frequency response tailoring devices, and many comments in posts related to having "great" or "broadcast quality" transmitted audio. What am I missing? The most  effective audio characteristic when working other stations, especially DX, is to have a relatively limited audio bandwidth, possibly using compression as well. I just don't understand the 20 Hz-20000 KHz mentality; the audio circuitry in ham rigs will restrict the frequency response anyway so who cares? Is it that some hams like to pretend that they are "broadcasting" to the world?
Why isn't the emphasis on the type of audio which will "get through" most effectively?
Yes, I know that some hams like AM and I can understand that, but those are not whom I'm talking about.
What is the interest for hams in microphones with a "DC to daylight" (in the audio sense) frequency responses, and transmit "audio equalizers", especially given that many modern rigs do have the ability to tailor transmitted frequency response?

I have heard your audio on the air, and you are DEFINATELY not obsessed with great audio  :D

LOL Just kidding!


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N0SYA on March 05, 2011, 10:13:28 AM
^lol that was pretty good right there


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on March 09, 2011, 09:24:34 PM
What I have found over the years is that there is a place for good sounding audio, and a place for tinny audio (for lack of a better expression). When you aren't moving the other guy's s-meter, you need a frequency response that is NOT the best choice when you are 30 over 9. More times than I can count, I've seen people switch from a dynamic mic like a Shure 444 to an Astatic D-104. After they do that, the other station can finally hear them very clearly. :-)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N4KZ on March 13, 2011, 06:30:01 PM
The definition of great audio seems to vary more from ham to ham on HF these days than at other time in the past 40 years. Personally, if you want to make your SSB signal sound like you're on AM, you should run AM. SSB that's wide and has a lot of lows might sound good domestically but for DX, it doesn't sound good. Quite the opposite. In fact, many of those running so-called enhance SSB are transmitting IMD up and down the band -- contributing to unnecessary QRM. I've heard DX stations running enhanced SSB and they are hard to copy -- too mushy and bassy.

73, N4KZ


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on March 13, 2011, 06:44:08 PM
... if you want to make your SSB signal sound like you're on AM, you should run AM. SSB that's wide and has a lot of lows might sound good domestically but for DX, it doesn't sound good. ...

But for DX, they can't hear you, because hi-fi audio isn't any good for weak signal communications.

Why can't people understand that?


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on March 13, 2011, 06:49:31 PM
Prior to buying a Heil microphone element that I wanted to install in my existing boom mic/headphone set, I had to decide if I wanted better sounding audio or a different audio frequency response curve to give better "punch" for DX.  Since I wanted to maximize my efforts to work DX with my linear and beam, I chose the DX element.  

This is one area of audio "enhancement" that doesn't affect IMDs, simply a tailored frequency response within the 3KHz passband.  

I have encountered DX stations that use some kind of audio processing that, as far as I'm concerned, rendered their signal so difficult to tune that I finally gave up and changed frequency.

I personally feel the worst offenders of audio processing are the ones that use too much compression.  

Which I suppose is another way of saying, for every one that is really concerned about "great sounding audio on SSB," which was the original question on this forum, there are many more who go the other way and deliberately trash their signals trying to get that DX "punch."  They couldn't care less if they create interference with others on the band.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on March 13, 2011, 09:17:52 PM
Microphone is biggest factor here because anything you do starts with mic. The Heil HC4 DX special can be very harsh and unpleasant with some rigs. I have owned one for over 10 years and I find I get unfavorable reports using it with modern rigs unless i digitally modify its bandpass.  As far as compression, if you have a narrow mic and use a lot of compression it can get unpleasant to listen too.  The Heil HC-5 is a good overall performer with a lot of rigs and is still my favorite. 


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W2MV on March 14, 2011, 12:10:29 PM
MAGNUM257: Good one! :)

I've gotten reports that my audio "sounds good"...whether they really mean that it's good for DX, or pleasing to the ear, I don't know. Since nobody has stated "your audio sounds like &*%&*", I'll just leave my settings alone.
I have heard stations with REALLY bad, distorted, audio and I can't stand to listen to them either...if I can even understand what they're saying.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on March 14, 2011, 05:15:26 PM
And when you say something to them about it, it is a crap shoot because you do not know how it will be received....


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K2ID on March 14, 2011, 06:50:34 PM
If I wanted to sound like a broadcast station I'd get a job at a broadcast station.

And if I wanted to talk all over the world I would use the internet or my cell phone. :)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on March 14, 2011, 06:54:48 PM
And if I wanted to talk all over the world I would use the internet or my cell phone. :)

Not me......


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on March 14, 2011, 09:25:57 PM
JX: Me either!  Otherwise, I wouldn't have worked so hard to get my ham ticket!  Ya know, even CB'rs try to modify their audio.  They get power mics, "open up" their modulators..... they for the most part don't know what the hell they're doing but they want better audio or more modge!  :-)

You know boys and girls, this is one of the great things about ham radio.  It is not only accepted but encouraged for hams to build, modify and or improve their gear.  One area that can be changed is the audio quality.  You can go the legal limit in power and that's it.  But you can tinker to your hearts' delight trying to get better audio.

Ain't it fun?


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KI8JD on March 15, 2011, 07:43:37 PM
   I must admit that I used to wonder the same thing. To my credit, however, I never got angry with people who were interested in "good" audio.
   Since then, I have learned that audio which is primarily the mid-range portion of the human voice (i.e. 300 to 2400 Hz.) carries better over long distances. It is frequency-efficient on crowded bands. The downside is that this type of narrow audio is not very enjoyable to listen to in a ragchew.
   The wider audio is much more pleasant to listen to for extended periods, but is not good for contesting, DX chasing, or use on crowded bands.
   Let's say that a ham is running ESSB (50 to 5000 Hz), and his signal strength is very weak into your receiver. You might only be able to hear the bass portion of his voice, in which case you will not be able to understand what he is saying.
   On a related topic, let's compare AM to ESSB for a moment. To start with, not all AM is the same bandwidth, nor is ESSB. For the sake of comparison, let's say that both signals are 6 kHz wide. In this case, the ESSB is more frequency-efficient, because it is utilizing all of the occupied bandwidth. The AM signal is really only utilizing half of the occupied bandwidth, since the 2 sidebands carry identical information.
   In either case, the transmitting station(s) should make certain that they do not interfere with a pre-existing QSO. Also, the use of these wider modes should be avoided in crowded band conditions.
   Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla. Can’t we all just get along?
Jim ki8jd


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on March 15, 2011, 08:55:01 PM
If you think I have a problem with my audio, tell me I want to know but some take offense and I have hit a sore note a few times when trying to tell someone their audio was bad. Heck I even hate to tell some are off frequency or drifting as I just use RIT to track them and stay where I am on transmit. General if someone has real bad audio I tend to avoid them completely.  Old timer hams do not seem to might comments but some of young ones do. Been a Ham for 41 years but I still can make mistakes with my audio and when i do want to know.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K8AXW on March 15, 2011, 09:41:19 PM
JX: Amen!  Back in the day, as I have a tendency to say nowadays....(55 years hamming) when a lot of gear was built the builder WANTED to know what his audio sounded like.  With SSB it was automatically assumed that the audio was terrible.  After many years of this hams started to take steps to improve the sound of SSB signals and have made a great deal of progress to this end.

The April issue of QST has a very nice article on this very subject.  Rather you care about quality audio or not, there is a great deal of information provided in that article that we all need to be aware of.  If nothing else, it could help prevent splatter, broad signals and other problems.  This is part of that "can't we all just get along."  :-)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on March 16, 2011, 04:29:26 PM
And trying to tell someone they are splattering is even more of a crap shoot than just bad audio. Usually it is your receiver and not their transmitter.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KB2CPW on March 18, 2011, 05:24:48 AM

  W2IHY makes a great living selling audio improvement equipment for Amateur radio, so for some of you "naysayers" not everyone shares in your sentiments. If you want to sound like garbage, so be it. If you want to sound good, that's your business as well. Having high quality audio does not walk hand in hand with splatter. But if you own junk, you will RX and TX junk, if you own decent gear you will hear decent signals.

 I've opted to sound good by spending a few bucks improving my station, if you want to operate a tuna can transmitter, go ahead but don't expect to make many contacts sounding like trash. There are radios that sound great with a D104 and some that don't. Heil makes some great mics and some I would toss in the trash, it's a mix and match thing until you get it right. When I hear splatter, it's usually a junk box 6 khz away and not an audiophile. You reap what you sow. Stop hatin!


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on March 19, 2011, 01:01:43 AM
I never got angry with people who were interested in "good" audio.

Neither have I. :-)

Quote
audio which is primarily the mid-range portion of the human voice (i.e. 300 to 2400 Hz.) carries better over long distances. It is frequency-efficient on crowded bands. The downside is that this type of narrow audio is not very enjoyable to listen to in a ragchew.
   The wider audio is much more pleasant to listen to for extended periods, but is not good for contesting, DX chasing, or use on crowded bands.
   Let's say that a ham is running ESSB (50 to 5000 Hz), and his signal strength is very weak into your receiver. You might only be able to hear the bass portion of his voice, in which case you will not be able to understand what he is saying.

Very well said. I have been researching this subject in some books I have here, and your statement would have been a good addition to them.

Have you ever heard a very weak, ordinary SSB signal that sounded very weak when tuned to his frequency, but when you tuned way off frequency where you are hearing the "highs", he sounded much louder? All he has to do is change his audio and you would understand him if you tuned back to his frequency. :-)


I see there's an article here (http://www.eham.net/articles/25501) that advocates making a D-104 bassy-sounding by changing the value of the load impedance. I have experimented as much with that than probably anything else I have ever done. I take exception to his line of reasoning. The technology and logic behind the 100K load impedance is a very firmly established fact. A 2.5 meg load might be fine for live audio, but it has no place in weak-signal SSB radio communications!



On another note, one trick I have used over the years to pull weak SSB signals out of the noise is to null out the received frequency range from about 700 to 1400 Hz. There is often a spectral gap in the human voice there, and nulling out that range simply nulls out QRN but not the portion of the voice necessary to understand what's being said.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W5TTW on April 02, 2011, 10:50:39 PM
I get a kick out of the audio-geeks with the thick Jersey accents.  "How's my awe-de-oh when I tawk at ya's?  :D


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KJ4I on April 04, 2011, 11:19:09 AM
Their is nothing in the world wrong with having good sounding audio and using audio equipment but on the same note it can be overdone and over the top sometimes. Personally I don't like thin sounding dx audio. It's too rough on the ears and annoying to listen to. Their are some great mics out there that sound really good just running straight into the rig. Remember this, not everybody likes the same thing and that's what makes it a great hobby. If you have a problem with the audio folks then that's what your VFO is for, use it. That's what I do.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: N0SYA on April 08, 2011, 07:25:55 AM
"On another note, one trick I have used over the years to pull weak SSB signals out of the noise is to null out the received frequency range from about 700 to 1400 Hz. There is often a spectral gap in the human voice there, and nulling out that range simply nulls out QRN but not the portion of the voice necessary to understand what's being said."

Some ham used to make a filter that did just that, took out the mids, peaked each end. Had a adjustable cf so you could tailor it to your ears or something like that. A simple eq should be able to pull this off, or just some hardwired parts once you know where to notch for your ears. I still find that in most cases a wider rx bandwidth makes it easier for me to understand the tx.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: AD6KA on April 08, 2011, 12:15:22 PM
So some hams really like to do research, spend money on expensive
microphones & EQ's to make their audio the best that it can be.
Big effing deal!

Why should anyone care? I have been on HF for 25 years,
albeit a lot of that on CW, yet I have yet to hear anyone splattering
all over the place due to their enhanced audio.

Come on guys, who are we to trash another ham's
area of interest of expertise that he finds enjoyable and rewarding?
Have we REALLY become THAT cliquish?
What happened to "Live and Let Live?".

If you don't like it, then turn the VFO (big knob in the center!),
breath deeply and repeat: It's only a hobby! It's only a hobby.......

It's been my experience in life that folks who find fault in or criticize the
hobbies/interests of others are either:
1) Jealous themselves.
2) Are themselves boring and insular non thinkers.

Over the years I have spent, and have enough money tied up in, QRP kits
and homebrew projects that I could have easily instead purchased
(another) really nice modern 100w-200w commercial fully featured transceiver.

But I do this because I really enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a
successful "Smoke Test", hearing signals come out of something I put together with my
own two clumsy hands, and even more, hearing someone come back to me
and telling him "Rig here is homebrew" or "Rig here is XXX QRP kit with homebrew amp".


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on April 08, 2011, 04:23:29 PM
There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to sound good.

W8JI has an interesting page on this subject at http://www.w8ji.com/transmitter_splatter.htm


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on April 11, 2011, 04:11:23 AM
Looks like someone took this subject up at http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?291713-Intentionally-Transmitting-Non-Flat-SSB-Audio.

There's an interesting post there saying that the FCC has sent some not-so-friendly letters to hams operating ESSB (see post #27 there):

'Enhanced SSB' Bandwidths 'Extremely Inconsiderate,' FCC Says:
from The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 16 on April 18, 2003

It's pretty long, but a good read.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: G0CVL on April 13, 2011, 01:32:33 AM
I guess, I'm one of the "unfortunates" that HAVE to alter their audio !!
For quite a few years, I constantly got very average reports on my audio,( bassy, muffled etc) to the extent, that I sometimes changed a radio !!
Then one day, I happened to be on a 160m net, and a very good friend called in.
AH !, he happily told everyone, that they were all wrong, because if they ever met me, my voice sounded EXACTLY like it did on the radio !!
Talk about blow me over with a feather !!
Result?
I DON'T use the Heil HC5 cart anymore, or any other dynamic cart (not even my Neumann U87 I tried in desperation once from my pro recording studio !!) as they simply are TO REAL !!
I use a Heil proset IC, with some tweaking on the internal eq on the 7700, and BINGO !!
Great to fantastic audio reports, using abnormal frequency shaping where I DON'T EVEN SOUND LIKE ME hi hi !
So, you might THINK James Earl Jones would have it cracked, but don't be to sure !!!
Oh, and the reason I didn't want to start using outboard gear in the shack to "correct" my voice, was that I do it for a living, and don't want to be staring at gear 24/7 !! I also believe in the KISS system regards rf etc, so with an amp running, all the sophisticated outboard stuff WOULD be hammered ( I know, because it's bad enough keeping the studio "quiet"), let alone it sitting 3 feet away from large glowing devices.
Some of you whiny voiced hams are sooooooooooooo lucky !!

73

Spike - G0CVL (boomer to his friends !!!)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KM9R on April 13, 2011, 01:38:08 PM
Silly phone ops and their feelings of envy with respect to their neighbor's "voodoo" audio. Yet one more reason why cw ops are superior to phone ops.  8)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on April 13, 2011, 01:57:12 PM
Yet one more reason why cw ops are superior to phone ops. 

I would not be so bold. I have heard some CW OP's with very poor fists or are equally unskilled with electronic keyers. Neither mode is more immune that the other to bad practices and its quality depends on the skills, knowledge, abilities and practices of operator controlling it.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KI4SDY on April 15, 2011, 05:14:23 PM
If CW was an best way to communicate, there would be no mikes on ham radios. That would kill the hobby for sure!  :'(
It has its place in poor conditions when the signal needs to get through or for introverts that do not want to hear another human voice.  :-X


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on April 15, 2011, 05:46:39 PM
It has its place in poor conditions when the signal needs to get through or for introverts that do not want to hear another human voice.  :-X

Or maybe for those that like the challenge of it too...  There was a time when you had to know at least 13 WPM code to talk on HF. I still think removing code requirement was a mistake.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KQ9J on April 17, 2011, 07:04:16 AM
Nothing worse than listening to the tinny scrunched-up audio that a lot of people seem to think is the way it is supposed to be. I have a naturally deep voice, use no equalization, and have some people tell me that the audio is too "bassy". What's happening is the rig is faithfully reproducing my voice, limited only by the transmit filter. Fortunately most operators tell me they love my audio.

A lot of people think narrow and tinny sounds good.  Yecch.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W8JX on April 17, 2011, 07:11:40 AM
Narrow is not good most of time but bassy/HiFi audio while it can sound good to many under Q5 conditions is far from ideal under more marginal conditions and can be hard to copy. I will avoid weaker signals that are bassy because of this.   


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: W0BTU on May 16, 2011, 07:42:31 PM
I just uploaded a rough draft of an article on this subject to http://www.w0btu.com/ssb_audio-weak_signal.html. Some of it is from this thread, but you may find the reference material and graphs there helpful.


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: K9FON on May 22, 2011, 10:42:04 AM
I have hears some ops that have so much crap hooked in line that they sound terrible! A few times ive wanted to tell the op he sounds like S*** but im a nice guy on the air! :-)


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: KB0OXD on May 23, 2011, 01:06:09 AM
I call it the Rush Limbaugh Syndrome. It is a compulsion, like many others we see that manifest in ham radio. However, sometimes these driven hobbyist invent advancements that are useful to the ham radio community as a whole. Voice processing is not all bad, within the parameters that produce improved intelligibility at the receiving end. Many manufacturers are now including such features in ham transceivers.  ;)
How is that related to The Mother Of All Politically Conservative Talkers?  Sorry, but even though I'm a registered Democrat & religiously watch MSNBC, I fail to see the connection
Quote
What these amateur "broadcasters" don't realize is that their efforts may be limiting their range and at the end of their now shorter coverage area, they still sound like static. Their money would have been better spent installing an improved antenna system!  ::)
What drives that is the mental thinking that an HT sending a signal out to a repeater will somehow get its owners voice out to the world in crystal clear audio REGARDLESS OF THE SURROUNDINGS & TERRAIN & that's just simply not true.  Even D-STAR users can't make claims to the contrary (Though ya gotta give 'em credit for trying)

Cheers & 73 :D

Pat Cook, KB0OXD
Englewood, CO
WEBSITE (http://www.qsl.net/kb0oxd/) | TWITTER ME (http://twitter.com/kb0oxd) |

LIVE STREAMING WEBCAM (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kb0oxd-cybershack)


CLICK HERE FOR OTHER HAMS WITH LIVE STREAMING WEBCAMS (http://www.hamsoncams.com/)

--

You actually HIT the repeater??  NO WONDER THE THING IS ALWAYS DOWN WHENEVER I WANNA USE IT!!! 

Ohh...I get it now.  When you say you Hit the repeater, you mean you are Talking To Other Hams Through

It
!!!  *DOH!*


Title: RE: What is the obsession with "great audio" when transmitting?
Post by: WU0R on May 24, 2011, 06:04:53 AM
Don't really care about the "experimenters" out there, just ask they keep the bandwidth of the signal legal and not hog up the QSOs on either side of theirs when the other QSOs are many khz away, getting swamped with excessively wide audio. 

I don't much care for that scenario any more then some lid running an amp with the mic gain and compressor way out of kilt.

Keep it clean and keep it legal.  Period.