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Author Topic: "Hearing" the DX (or whomever)  (Read 2382 times)
AF3Y
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Posts: 3722




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« on: June 05, 2010, 05:30:34 AM »

Perhaps I should have put this in a different category, but thought I would stick it here, where most of us have similiar interests, as far as the amateur radio hobby goes.  How many of you guys use a speaker (ugh!) instead of headphones to listen to incoming signals?
I guess the reason I ask this is because of a post on eHam that I saw, lauding the quality, etc. of a new speaker. I am sorry, but WHO would want to use a speaker instead of earphones? WHY?
Then again, perhaps, because of age, or lots of years of being trapped in an automobile with rock music at a high level, my ears "aint what they used to be", and headphones just seem to get the signals into my brain better than a speaker can/does.
But..... Perhaps it is a "DXer thing"??  When I used to listen to SSB, I used to hear some ragchewer types bragging/complaining about the sound quality of their speakers, audio mixers, synthesizers, etc.  I personally dont give a rat's a$$ about the bass or trebel or whatever of DX signals. I just want to HEAR those sweet CW signals coming from that rare entity. If I want big bass, or tinny treble tones, I will crank up the audio on my surround sound or in the car. I guess these guys (audiophiles?) who care about how their mixers, etc. on their receivers sounds secretly want to be DJs or radio announcers.  DamnifIknow.. hi.
I personally would not care if my  ProIII even had a speaker! I have seversl sets of headphones, and switch around from time to time. Just my 2C worth. Comments?   Gene
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 07:33:52 AM »

Headphones are great when there's nothing to do but listen to the radio.

But I like to have the radio on while I'm puttering around the house. And a nice, clear speaker is great. I personally like 12" instrument speakers in big wooden boxes.

Many speakers today are tinny crap. We don't need Hi-Fi for communications. But we do need good solid sound from 300-3000 Hz. I don't see why the guys working sideband fuss and tweak over all their EQ settings. I think it has little to do with actual audio quality and everything to do with having an audio processor with 3000 settings to be tweaked.

For me the quality of an audio chain has mostly to do with "easy on the ears". Tinny is very bad. But excessive filtering bothers me too for extended operation. I mean, I appreciate a narrow filter in working a specific station in a contest, but keep that narrow filter on for too long and pretty soon every static crash starts or obnoxious key-click sounding like the DX. Psychoacoustics!
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WX7G
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 08:51:02 AM »

For me headphones are the only way to go at home. Much better than speakers.

When working CW in the car I use the speaker and that works well enough. I'm not after weak DX while mobile.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 06:00:07 PM »

And I'll go one further. Headphones with Active Noise Reduction. I can't tell you the number of Q's I've gotten in the log with the help of ANR that I wouldn't have with traditional headphones--and let alone with a speaker. I've tried a bunch of ANRs and Bose QC-15s are the best I've ever used by a country mile.
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W7ETA
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 06:26:11 PM »

Nice comfortable open headphones.

73
Bob
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K9NW
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 05:17:39 AM »

I use my Proset for virtually everything although I sometimes use a speaker when I'm parked on a 6M frequency waiting for a DX station to pop in.  And sometimes it's fun to listen in on a DX station running a pileup while tending to other things.

I'm surprised at the number of ops that still use the hand mikes that come with most rigs.  I think the one I got with my IC746 over 10 years ago is still in the wrapper!
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WX7G
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 07:53:52 AM »

I'll second W2IRT's active noise reducing head phone suggestion. I use some cheap active noise reduction headphones that completely remove the ALS-600 amplifier fan noise. 
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N3ZC
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 07:57:34 AM »

I have a Quiet Phone Pro Noise Cancelling headset by Heil..works great..

                73'..Tom N3ZC
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AF3Y
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 08:39:40 AM »

I'll second W2IRT's active noise reducing head phone suggestion. I use some cheap active noise reduction headphones that completely remove the ALS-600 amplifier fan noise. 

Hmmm... I would like to own a pair of those Bose headphones, but a bit pricey, IMHO. (Seems like that over the ear headphone would be HOT, and I mean sweaty hot..?)  WX7G, what are you using?   Gene
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AD6KA
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2010, 12:04:14 PM »

I don't see how anyone can be serious about DX (or even ham radio) and
not use a great set of cans. Like another poster said,
I will have the radio on speaker if I am soldering or
working on a project, but that's IT.
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