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My DAB experience

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Ikki, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Ikki

    Ikki
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    About a year and a half ago I wanted a DAB radio for the kitchen. Looking around, I came across a Roberts DAB/FM radio - the Gemini 3 for £136. Ask most people and they will say that Roberts is a very good make of radio.

    I was less than impressed with my purchase.

    The sound was muddy, max volume low and the case resonated at certain audio frequencies. I fitted external active speakers to the line out which improved things a lot.

    The reception was poor, I put this down to the reception in the area. I fitted an active aerial to get around this problem.

    About a week ago, the radio just died. An internal fuse was blowing and since it is all based on a densley populated circuit board repair would be difficult. As the radio was outside the 1 year guarantee, Roberts were happy to repair it (i.e. replace the board) for the sum of £47. Not surprisingly I didn't want to pay that for such a poor radio.

    I bought a Pure Evoke-1XT from Comet with a 10% discount for handing in an analogue radio for £80.

    It has excellent reception with the standard telescopic aerial and the sound is strong and clear.

    So the moral of this story is don't be swayed by a brand name. The Pure Evoke-1XT gets a big thumbs up :thumbsup: , the Roberts Gemini 3 (RD3) a big thumbs down. :thumbsdow
     
  2. ad47uk

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    Pure is a good brand name and their radios are good, it is not their equipment that is the problem, it is the DAB system.

    As for Roberts, I am shocked that you had problems, maybe their quality have gone down hill, but I have got a Roberts FM/AM radio, which I use outside, it must be around 10 years old now and it is still going fine, great sound, well it is for the size of it.
     
  3. Ikki

    Ikki
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    It's a kitchen radio. DAB is used because I can can get Planet Rock and some others that just aren't available on FM. The sound quality is fine for this use. :)
     
  4. kbfern

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    I have a Pure Bug radio which I bought from currys.They had a range of dab radio's running from around £50-£150 the bug cost £120.I am very pleased with the bug,to me it had the best sound of the 10-15 radio's that currys had on display.

    Its fair to say that dab sound quality is not up to the standard of an fm radio but this is due to the stations broadcasting at a lower quality than they are able to(64kb in some cases).

    The main reason I decided on the bug apart from the sound quality is the ability with a 512mb sd card (purchased seperately) to record hours and hours of programme's and play them back at my convenience, so its a bit like my tivo but for the bedroom.Also the software is upgradable via usb.
     
  5. Ikki

    Ikki
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    Yes, the software on the Evoke-1XT is also upgradeable by software. :)
     
  6. Nick_UK

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    I bought a Goodmans DAB portable for my bathroom from Focus DIY. An apt purchase, because (although the DAB website says I should receive DAB), the sound "quality" is like listening to the radio in an aquarium, with attendent bubbling noises. On top of that, the expensive D-cell batteries only last 8 weeks, even using Duracells. Nowhere to plug in a better aerial. It now sits there tuned to FM, where the quality is better, and the batteries last marginally longer.

    DAB ? Pahhhh :thumbsdow :(
     
  7. ad47uk

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    I think using DAB as a portable radio, have got a long way to go. As people have found out, the life of batteries is not that great, signal is a major problem and I know it do not matter in some cases, sound can be a bit dodgy.
    It is a shame really as DAB could be a good thing, I like listening to Radio 7, and I either got to use sky or my freeview box to listen to it and I can not take them out in the garden.

    I can not see DAB ever getting any better, in fact it will get worse, just like Digital Tv, because more and more staions will be squeezed into the same space. Typacle of this country, we never get anything right. It amazes me that we want to take on hosting the Olympics, we will be a laughing stock.
     
  8. Dr Diversity

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    Can you transfer the files for listening to on, say, a PC or CDROM?
     
  9. kbfern

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    I belive you can transfer to a pc but the files are stored as mp2's not mp3.
     
  10. KoThreads

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    Didn't What HI-FI (not their biggest fan) say some years ago that DAB looked doomed to failure and that good quality FM would always better it? I was seriously looking into getting one but after reading various threads have already decided to just stick with my receiver and Sky box as it looks like DAB is going to end up being pushed into lower quality.
     
  11. kbfern

    kbfern
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    If you accept the slight downgraded quality (as opposed to fm) and want the extra digital only channels and the easy record/pause and rewind that the bug dab can do and don't want to have the tv on to use the digital radio the bug is a good product.

    It's obviously not that great for music but I mainly listen to local radio,BBC radio 4&5,talksport and radio7 which are mainly speech based and for this its ideal.
     
  12. DEANO-B

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    After reading these posts why does anyone buy DAB? Are there any good points??
     
  13. Ikki

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    Deano-B, don't be put off, the sound is perfectly acceptable for general listening. I for one, don't sit down and listen to the radio in the lounge and examine every tiny aspect of it's sound quality expecting extreme high fidelity. There is too much made of the supposed poor sound quality.

    From the kitchen radio, which is where I use DAB, there is no noticeable difference in sound quality, it's perfectly acceptable on either. What it does give me is a much wider range of stations that I can't get on FM. The only way for me to get stations like Planet Rock would be to stream Internet radio to something like a Roku Soundbridge in the kitchen, and it's not worth the hassle and cost, and I wouldn't even contemplate getting SKY.

    As for signal being a major problem, it depends on where you are (like Freeview) and the radio that you have, some are obviously much better than others (in my house the Pure Evoke-XT works extremely well from the telescopic, the Roberts Gemini 3 was very poor and needed an active aerial).

    I would thoroughly recommend DAB for this use. :thumbsup:
     
  14. mobily

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    I think some people on here are being very harsh to DAB radio. I listen to a lot of radio and if you have a decent reception the sound quality is more than acceptable. I much prefer listening to the radio rather than having to switch my freeview box on, even though channels are streamed in a higher bit rate on freeview (apparently) :)

    I haven't got a bug and I am sorely tempted to get one in the future as there is a definite shortage of DAB's where you can record programmes. I guess if you have a freeview box you can record to the hard disk at the touch of a button but maybe someone can confirm that? However, remember you cannot receive your local stations on freeview.
     
  15. KoThreads

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    But Ikki I thought the whole point about digital radio was meant to be it's HI-FI sound quality. If people believe the adds for it, Planet Rocks are quite typical, it's being marketed and sold as a high quality sound source, not "it's better than mw or lw".
     
  16. CJROSS

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    Guys get a Freeview STB with a digital output and route Freeview Digital radio towards a DAC or your AV amps for better than DAB sound.

    Go on, trust me it does work.

    Digital radio can sound quite hifi IMHO. & Digital TV too as a bonus, OK you lose some local stuff, but with devices like the Humax 8000T with 40 hour recording, I cant see the attraction of a DAB unit these days on its own.

    IMHO of course.
     
  17. Ikki

    Ikki
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    Idoexist, it's true that one of the benefits being pushed is 'great sound' whatever that means, but they also push other benefits:

    From the 'Get DAB radio' web site.
    Whle I don't agree with everything on the list, benefits 3 to 6 are certainly true. As I said before, the sound is fine, and you can't get stations like Oneword on FM. At the end of the day it does what I want and having got a decent radio now I am happy.

    CJROSS I hear what you are saying but a Freeview box is a bit impractical in most locations in the house and hardly portable. For me, it also doesn't cover all the stations that I listen to.
     
  18. Nick_UK

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    Pity that the BBC ads for BBC7 show a guy using a portable radio. Maybe they should show the radio mast in his back yard :rotfl:
     
  19. AMc

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    Killer feature for me is DAB is interference free. My place is plagued with pirate radio and it kills my favourite station XFM. DAB eliminates that issue so I have DAB in the lounge and the kitchen and at the office - I can get DAB in Regent Street, FM is just unlistenable due to the location/construction of the building.
    It can sound a bit crunchy but a lot of the problem is sometimes station related not necessarily 'technology' dependant. XFM isn't available on freeview and I'm not getting Sky in the kitchen ;)
     
  20. Kenny Glasgow

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    :thumbsup: I've got the DAB module in my TAG AV32R and is superb. Beats the quality of satelliet radio on my Sky+ hands down. Get to listen to local stations too
     
  21. ComfortablyNumb

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    Hi

    I have had a Pure 701ES since 2002 an absolutely love it, the quality is superb, we also have a Phillips DAB CD Portable in the office, the big difference being the sound is only as good as the portable its coming out of, usually a small platic or wooden box with crap speakers, whereas the seperate Tuner running through a good seperates set up will blow you away :)
     
  22. RMCF

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    As someone who has yet to venture into DAB, I am shocked to hear the views here.

    Saying that it is not as good as FM !! All the sales blurbs tell you that it is a step up from FM, with crystal clear, no-hiss, CD quality sound.

    Again it sound similar to digial satellite TV. If it is done properly it would be much better, but cramming too many stations into the availabke space defeats the whole purpose.
     
  23. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    SOK

    It may be hiss free but how can it be CD Quality when most stations are running 128kbps or LESS :eek: Radio 3 I believe runs at a higher rate but most of the sport and talk stations are in mono at 64kbps :eek: :eek:

    You can get good results however from a decent tuner/ariel, but then again you can get great FM from a decent tuner/ariel
     
  24. Nick_UK

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    Yes, it's rather like 200 channel Sky. "Never mind the quality, feel the width" :rotfl:
     
  25. AMc

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    SOK - I have a TEAC 250 in the kitchen with Mission 700 speakers. DAB quality is on a par with FM from the supplied wire aerials. It's not as good as CD quality but there is no interference, hiss or crackle. If your signal quality/strength is low then you can get a bubbling sound as the radio tries to compensate for the missing data.

    In the front room I have an Acoustic Solutions SP111 (£99) which has DAB and FM - connected by an optical cable to my Denon AV2105 amp. It runs off a rooftop FM aerial and there is no audible difference between FM and DAB. If I don't have the display on I can't tell you which it's set to.

    At work I have a Psion Wavefinder and it beats the hell out of the internet radio streams I was using before.

    If you already have a decent FM setup and you're happy with the current choice of stations then I would leave DAB until it becomes as cheap as FM. If you fancy a few more stations then the increased choice of DAB with easy tuning is good. I have DAB because of FM interference on XFM. I doubt you would regret a DAB purchase but it won't be better than a decent FM tuner at the moment.
     
  26. stanleyntl

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    Just got a Denon M35 DAB unit. DAB still is unpalatable to my ears, sounds like cheap FM from a boombox - listener fatigue rapid!!! :(

    If rigged up to a vertically polarised TV aerial (elements vertical, not flat), all those BBC channels + a few extras become available - about 27 stations.
    Use Denon supplied T ribbon - 7 channels + garbage - equivalent to portable reception. (T Ribbons are more suitable for FM anyway.) :lesson:


    Why haven't they developed NICAM radio - hmmm? Some of us do have quality sensitive ears - those ears should be shrivelling up in the BBC ad surely? :rotfl:
    Even NICAM output can put FM to shame.
     
  27. Ikki

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    stanleyntl
    Do you have some sort of superior physiology to the rest of us :confused:
     
  28. Rezillo

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    Just going back to the original post, my experience mirrors his almost exactly. The Gemini 3 sounds like it has a sock stuffed in the loudspeaker and its sensitivity is very poor - there's really only one room in the house where the reception is anywhere near ok. On the other hand, an Evoke 1 bought in a sale works anywhere in the house with no problems and doesn't even need the aerial fully extended.

    I have recently bought a PocketDAB 1000. This does not perform anywhere near as well as the Evoke in terms of sensitivity and has been quite a disappointment.

    John
     
  29. Nick_UK

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    Yes, my DAB radio does that. It's in the bathroom - very apt :thumbsdow
     
  30. ad47uk

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    That was what people was told at the start of DAB, hi-fi quality sound, in fact I think they said CD quality sound. Now they have dropped the words Hi-fi and CD.

    Some people do like good quality, it do not matter if it is the Radio, Cd, casstte or any other music source. I use my minidisk player for portable use, but I would not use it in te home, because the quality is not there.

    When I listen to the radio, I like to listen to it, not just hear it, there is a difference. DAB is fine for listening to the radio before you got to sleep, but they are a bit expensive for clock radios and they are also fine for a kitchen radio.


    The problem is, people will accept poor quality, that is why we got the digital T.v system we have got, because no one complains, they will just watch it.


    I don't know who said about local radio stations, but our local staions are not on DAB.
     

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