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Old 12-05-2003, 05:08 PM   #16
gbjb
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Thank you - I will check it out this weekend. Knowing that this question properly belongs in a different forum, I will ask it nonentheless, so I don't open a new thread just for it:

I have read that the news streams on Sirius compare rather poorly with the ones on XM as far as sound quality goes - is there any substance to this? As far as I am concerned, I just need the BBC stream to be as clear as FM, and I would expect that to be true - am I right? As you write above, I will not be able to get a good idea about the audio quality using the online stream.

Thank you again.
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbjb
I have read that the news streams on Sirius compare rather poorly with the ones on XM as far as sound quality goes - is there any substance to this? As far as I am concerned, I just need the BBC stream to be as clear as FM, and I would expect that to be true - am I right? As you write above, I will not be able to get a good idea about the audio quality using the online stream.
The sound quality on Sirius for news/entertainment streams has improved much since I first started listening in June of this year. It is definitely up to a very listenable quality. If compared to FM directly will sound different. This isn't to say it's better or worse, it's just a difference. One thing for sure, there isn't any static with Sirius. Perhaps an occational dropout due to an overpass but those are usually less than 1 second long

In the past it used to sound like people were talking in an empty room, but that problem has been fixed a long time ago. Many that criticize Sirius talk SQ probably haven't heard it in awhile. Those that have XM have said that XM talk is higher quality, and this is probably true, but I personally don't need CD quality talk and am quite satisfied with the sound quality these days. Give it a listen in a store before you buy
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:27 AM   #18
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gbjb, you sound like a real Classical enthusiast, and I'm not sure we have very many of them to really describe the playlist for you.

If you cannot get any answers, try visiting the homepage for Symphony Hall (or one of the other two Classical streams if that's what you're more interested in) and use the Talk To Us tab to write a request to one of the people working on the channel*. Everyone I've talked to from Sirius has been especially helpful when it comes to answering questions about what they do.

* General Feedback is just the regular customer service, I think, and probably won't know the answers to your music-specific questions.
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:07 AM   #19
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Thanks very much again, everyone. I am about to have a listen to see what the playlist is like, but your answers have assured me a great deal.

Manco - to answer your hardware question, I am most likely to get the Audiovox PnP solution, since I will listen probably about 10 hours a day, and only 2 of those are in the car. My car has the factory-standard speakers, so I am not expecting to be blown away with superb sound quality, and investing in the hardwired solution for the car isn't necessary to me.

I will want to carry the player to my office, which is on the 27th floor in downtown Atlanta - that should be interesting. Thankfully, my window faces south, so I think it might work - we'll see.

I'll update this thread after having a listen this weekend, just so that other classical fans might be able to find an answer to similar questions.
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Old 12-06-2003, 01:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbjb
I will want to carry the player to my office, which is on the 27th floor in downtown Atlanta - that should be interesting. Thankfully, my window faces south, so I think it might work - we'll see.
Sirius Satellites are moving, and there is usually one in the North above Canada and another coming from the South. I've heard that Atlanta has repeaters downtown and have seen others getting signal inside the buildings, so hopefully you will have a similar experience. When you get the PNP2 you can use the antenna aiming feature to figure out where best to locate your antenna.

I look forward to your review of the Classical streams. We need more experts on here to share
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:23 PM   #21
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I have had very little time to listen this weekend, but here is a small sample of what played in Symphony Hall at different times on Saturday.

I was very pleased with the selections, and I have added a few comments comparing these selections to what you might expect to hear on your favourite FM station. In addition, before each piece, the DJ usually gives a little history about the piece, which is very nice indeed, regardless of whether you are a first-time classical listener or an old hand.

Here are a few selections and comments as heard on 6 December:

- Mozart's Symphony No. 38 "Prague" - not one of the top 5 of Mozart's symphonies you'll hear, and this recording by an obscure Italian orchestra (I did not catch their name) was fun to listen to

- Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony - Mackerras and the Orch of the Enlightenment - pretty standard symphonic fare, but always a delight to hear

- Liszt's Mazeppa-symphonic poem - fairly unusual stuff compared to the FM dial, but a good work from a Romantic master done by Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

- JS Bach's Brandenburg No. 6 - run-of-the-mill classical masterpiece by the Baroque master - and No. 6 is heard less frequently than some of the others - Neville Marriner and the St. Martin's in the Field

- Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 by David Zinman and the Baltimore SO (not sure that it was the BSO, I know it was Zinman) - a fine work any time - heard not as often as it should be played

- a symphony in E flat major by JC Bach - fun post-Baroque work by one of the talented sons of JS Bach - nice to hear

- Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 - really unusual to hear any Shostakovich symphony during the day on the FM dial - at night, maybe, but not in the middle of the afternoon - great stuff - Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic here

As I post, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto is playing - possibly the foremost Clarinet concerto out there, and while heard quite often, once doesn't tire of it
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Old 12-07-2003, 07:39 PM   #22
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Good. I thought it was good, but was too much of a crass buffoon to be sure of it.

What think ye of Music for Lawyers, aka Stream 82, Vista?
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:26 PM   #23
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Based on the mere minutes I have spent listening to Vista or Classical Voices, they are also very good (heard a Haydn String Quartet and a Schumann Piano Trio the other night). To be honest, however, I can't pull myself off the Symphony Hall channel for too long - the programming there really is top-notch, with plenty of the standard greats, and just the right mix of unusual and neglected stuff.

Today is Sibelius day on Channel 80, and right now Symphony No. 3 is on - always a pleasure to hear. I am very impressed so far - if I ever get over to the other 2 channels for any length of time, I will attempt to give my impression. By the way, I am listening to the web stream, and the sound quality isn't bad - and I understand that the web stream is worse than the real thing - great!

[added at 3:15pm] Someone tell me to stop if I seem like I am raving, but I just heard Ralph Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 6! I do not recall EVER hearing this symphony on the FM dial - and I can't recall the last time I heard a RVW symphony, period, outside of a concert broadcast. If I needed any convincing to sign up, the programming here on Channel 80 would do it - keep it up Sirius!
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:12 AM   #24
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I just read the Symphony Hall page on the Sirius website, and would like to point anyone interested to 2 programming tips for the next few days:

Today, Thursday, is Berlioz Day, meaning Symphony Hall, as well as the other classical streams, will focus on his works. Included is a 2pm performance of his Symphonie fantastique - well worth a good listen.

On the 15th, Monday, we will be able to hear something that a FM station simply cannot do (at least I have never heard it done): Symphony Hall will play all of Beethoven's symphonies and piano concerti in chronological order. Given that there are 9 symphonies and 5 piano concerti, this provides at least 9 hours of wall-to-wall Beethoven.

Vista will have chamber works all day, while Voices will feature his vocal works, including his opera Fidelio.

I challenge anyone even remotely interested in classical music to give it 10 minutes of your time on Monday - you will not regret it!
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:27 AM   #25
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Default Re: Berlioz and Beethoven

gbjb, just curious. Have you bought a Sirius unit as yet?

JWJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbjb
I just read the Symphony Hall page on the Sirius website, and would like to point anyone interested to 2 programming tips for the next few days:

Today, Thursday, is Berlioz Day, meaning Symphony Hall, as well as the other classical streams, will focus on his works. Included is a 2pm performance of his Symphonie fantastique - well worth a good listen.

On the 15th, Monday, we will be able to hear something that a FM station simply cannot do (at least I have never heard it done): Symphony Hall will play all of Beethoven's symphonies and piano converti in chronological order. Given that there are 9 symphonies and 5 piano concerti, this provides at least 11 hours of wall-to-wall Beethoven.

Vista will have chamber works all day, while Voices will feature his vocal works, including his opera Fidelio.

I challenge anyone even remotely interested in classical music to give it 10 minutes of your time on Monday - you will not regret it!
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:33 AM   #26
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No, I haven't - I think there is a pretty decent chance that I will find a tuner etc. under the Christmas tree, and I do not want to disappoint the gift giver by getting one ahead of time.

At the moment, I am listening to the web streams only, but you can count on me getting one on the 26th of this month if Santa kept the unit that was meant for me

BTW, it will be the Audiovox PnP that I will be getting, one way or another.
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:32 PM   #27
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If you DO get it for Christmas, PLEASE activate before the end of the year! All the better for the financials!
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:58 PM   #28
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Thanks for the raves gbjb Love to hear someone as knowledgeable about classical to post here.

If you are happy with the web streams you will definitely like the broadcast sound.

Enjoy when you get it
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:24 PM   #29
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I will be activating before year-end, since I will go out and get a unit if I don't find one under the tree.

The Symphony Hall stream is extraordinary - I would recommend it to any classical enthusiast (and the same goes for the chamber music and classical voice streams). I have been surfing the web for a couple of years now, trying to find a station with good sound quality and a decent program, and it has been tough going.

What really distinguishes Stream 80 is the fact that these lengthy works (often over 30 minutes, sometimes over 60 minutes) are always played in their entirety, most often with a very nice and knowledgable intro, giving some background on the piece and/or composer.

And the composer focus days on the composer's birthdays are wild! An entire day devoted to Beethoven - the only way you'll hear a composer's catalogue of works together like that is of you own the box sets, and then you'll be stuck with a single interpretation.

Enough said - I could not be more happy with what I have heard so far. I have used the "Talk to Us" feature on the web site to let the folks at Symphony Hall know - hopefully they realize that their work is very much appreciated!
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