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  1. #1

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    Default Anyone else dump FM radio for XM Statellite radio?

    I asked this over at the AudioKarma board, so I thought I would get a response here too:
    ____________________________________

    I once had a very nice FM tuner (vintage Pioneer TX-9500 II).

    Even though I live in a large city, I found the music selection on commercial FM stations somewhat limited. But what really made listening no fun was the constant bombardment of commercials (I guess that's why it's called "Commercial" radio).

    Anyway, I gave the tuner away and got XM Satellite Radio. I have never been any happier. Although I listen to CDs alot, it is very refreshing NOT to have to listen to the constant stuff that is played on commercial FM radio. 25 minutes of talking within every hour of programming can get old real fast. And it seems that they play the same commercials over and over. It's just never ending!

    Additionally, over the air FM commercial radio will never sound as good as digital satellite radio. Not even in the same leauge.

    AM radio? ... Ya, that was good back in the days of transistor radios I guess. Anyway, I am not playing it on a realitively high-end 2 channel audio system. It's even worse than FM.

    Just wondering if many of you have also made the switch?

    Ron,
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  2. #2

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    i had seriously considered getting xm for my car but was severely disappointed after riding in a co-workers car who had xm (or maybe serius).

    why was i disappointed? because there were commercials!!! i don't know if this is still the case or the specifics but there is no way in hell i'm going to PAY for radio and listen to ANY commercials. i want non-stop 24/7, no DJ, no commercials radio.

    plus the fact that i would have to add an extra antenna to my vehicle doesn't make the choice any easier either. maybe someday when i buy another new car it will come standard, but until then, i guess i'm just stuck listening to my CD's.

  3. #3

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    XM has a few commercials on it right now, but they are going commercial-free beginning February 1st. Sirius is already commercial-free. That's just on music channels btw. I would imagine Sirius will lower its subscription fee to counter XM's recent announcement as well.

  4. #4

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    so what's the current rate for each?

    do they have annoying dj's?

  5. #5

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    $9.95 for XM, $12.95 for Sirius

    I don't have either at this point, but I haven't heard any dj's on them.

  6. #6

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    I have switched, and think XM is fantastic. About 5 employees from work also switched after checking it out on my vehicle, and I havn't heard any complaints.

    Wash,DC is the homebase for XM, so the coverage here is solid.

    Polkatese - I remember you asking if I could compare it to a real source, and I just havn't had time. I really think it sounds good, no hiss, very clear...but I have not used it in the house. I may pick up the home kit later on down the road.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 01-21-2004 at 11:29 AM.

  7. #7

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    I have XM in both my car and in the house. I think I actually enjoy satellite radio on my home 2 channel audio system as much, if not more than in the car.

    If I would have been smart, I would have sold that TX-9500 II for a couple of hundred instead of just giving it away .... Oh well
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  8. #8

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    I started with the xm receiver for my Pioneer deck in my car (1 hour commute each way) over a year ago. From there went to a Delphi (with home kit) in the wife's car, got the Delphi boombox for hitting the beach and 4-wheeling/ camping last summer, and about 3 months ago got the xm PCR for my home computer (for $50 this was really a steal). I live in a mountainous area of north Idaho, and rarely lose reception, even on trips to Canada.

    I guess that sums it up I'm sold on the product. The clarity, selection (you really see what variety is actually available and not being played), and lack of DJ blabber sells me. My wife recently had to drive someone else's car, and said FM was painful and realized how much she's used to xm. And like fireshoes said, they're going commercial free in a couple weeks. With additional subscriptions it's only another $6.99 a month.
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  9. #9

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    I picked up a 2004 Maxima today as a loaner car. I noticed that it comes with a satellite radio you just have to activate the service. If the price stays under 10.00 bucks a month for car and home I would consider paying to listen to radio. This is a tough concept for older folks as we are not used to paying for radio. Sort of like when I started paying for cable after years of free tv.
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    Originally posted by reeltrouble1
    Sort of like when I started paying for cable after years of free tv.
    LOL.....I am feelin the same thing about the concept of paying for music in my car. If it was cheaper to receive one or two channels, that would be fine, but the reality is that you're paying to receive a LOT of stuff that you won't ever listen to. For me, my 40 staple CD's that I carry around will get me through any drive I could make.......
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  11. #11

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    do you have to pay a subscription for each receiver (car, home, computer... )?

    10 bucks a month for radio in all areas where i want it seems reasonable

    10 bucks for each receiver seems a little much to me.

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by PhantomOG
    10 bucks for each receiver seems a little much to me.
    It all depends on useage. I listen to xm 2 hours with commuting, and another hour each night through the computer. Plus many hours of background music on weekends or with the boombox. The money I spend on the 3 subscriptions is a no-brainer for me as much as I enjoy it. I agree it seems like a lot at first, but it's very 'addictive' to have the variety and quality in as many places as you can. For the price of 1 1/2 CD's a month, it works for me.
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

  13. #13

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    XM is soooo much better than FM. Heck, I don't even have FM in my car, so XM was my only choice. I got the Delphi Roady unit and it fits right in.

    I'll take better pics later, but here's the unit

    http://imagehost.peanutbuttermonkeyb...XMRoadySm1.jpg

    and I put the antenna under my clock in the dash. Only drop signal in RARE cases.
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  14. #14

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    We chose Sirius.....gotta love Sirius
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    I'd be curious to see the other pics of that Steve to see how that aesthetically 'fits' into the dash in place of any other normal looking deck. My monitor here at work is horrible, but it looks like a big gaping hole that the unit is sitting in the middle of........
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  16. #16

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    don't think he has it in the dash where the normal deck sits.

    it looks like its at the bottom of the dash where the cigarette lighter is, suspended above the coin/trash receptacle thingy.

    am i right steve? what deck do you have in there? i've still got the crappy stock one.

    did david install that Roady unit or did you? looks pretty clean for how difficult of a location its in.

  17. #17

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    There's an ashtray and cig lighter down there, so it's not useful to me. I used to put my change in there, but now I choose to put XM, it's not just a hole ;)

    I installed it myself actually, not too shabby, eh? And it's removable so I can use it at home (when I get the FREE car kit!).

    I'll snap some pics later tonight for the haters :p

    Plus, you can change the backlight to 7 different colors. One being Pink :) STi pink Brian! hahahaha

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  18. #18

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    so what's the damage? total cost for everything?

    what stereo do you have in the car? i'm assuming my stock 6-disc changer wouldn't have any inputs that would work with an xm unit like that right?

  19. #19

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    It was 119, then a rebate for the home kit. 9.95 a month for the service. I then bought a Radio Shack line-out cable and routed it to the back of my stereo.

    I have an Empeg, or RioCar. I'll post pics later tonight.

    Naw, stock deck wouldn't have inputs. The unit comes with a cassette adapter though.

    You're welcome to check it out Brian
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  20. #20

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    tgey have anounced changeing fm to a hi def fm with quality of satalite and not have monthley carge. i will not pay 10-12 a month to listen to what i can get free
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  21. #21

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    I am sure they will slowly, over the course of ten years do that very thing Ganzo, on the few major stations that will end up footing the bill, have fun waiting to be cheap.

    The pleasure of no knob fiddling, no searching for a clear crappy station, no being stuck listening to country music for 120 miles....priceless. ONE trip would make all that pain go away.

    I have been on that one trip allready, and it was worth every penny.

  22. #22

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    Gonzo, there will still be advertisements on the "Hi Def FM", maybe even more to foot the bills! Plus, I hear songs on XM that they would NEVER play on FM radio, stuff that I like to hear! Not just pop crap or top 40. Austin doesn't have much of a choice in radio unfortunately.

    Here's the pic I promised, don't laugh at the haggard-ness. It's getting fixed real soon.

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  23. #23

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    EEEEEGAD Steve........shoulda just stopped with the first one....lol.

    I actually can see (from home) that the unit is near the ashtray and cig lighter. I don't know why, but all pics show up pretty dark on the puter that I have in the office. Oh well, it's not mine, so I don't care.
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  24. #24

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    I'm still (patiently) waiting for some nice "home" XM tuners to come on board...then I'll be on it like a cheap suit.

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  25. #25

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    I have XM in both vehicles... Love it... Too me worth every penny! My fm antenna is built into the rear window and sux - so xm fills the gap great.. Wish I had XM in the home too..but both are fixed units.

    btw...had XM for almost 2 yrs now..
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  26. #26

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    Originally posted by dorokusai

    Polkatese - I remember you asking if I could compare it to a real source, and I just havn't had time. I really think it sounds good, no hiss, very clear...but I have not used it in the house. I may pick up the home kit later on down the road.
    this one snook up on me, sorry, doro...

    yeah, I was wondering the quality of xm/sirius on a home audio setup (as opposed to Hertz rental that I get.) and compared to FM and redbook. I believe Paul (pjdami) has one (home kit).
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  27. #27

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    Polkatese,

    Yes I do have the Sirius home unit. Its the Kenwood "here 2 anywhere" unit that had substantial rebates when I bought it a little over a month ago. After rebates, I paid like $120 for the portable receiver, home docking kit, car kit, and FM modulator. I haven't tried it in the vehicle yet, only in the two channel rig at the house.

    This week, my brother TonyPTX, has graciously accepted a one week swap with me. He has the XM satellite radio in his truck and bought the Delphi unit for the home. I currently have his Delphi unit and I can easily compare it to the Kenwood unit (which is on loaner to him).

    Both units and services sound about the same. Not as good as redbook cd but better than regular FM radio. Somewhere in between. Even though I have maxed out the output gain on both of these receivers, the output just doesn't match cd redbook play. For example, on my B&K preamp, I can usually listen to cds at -30db on the volume whereas with the Kenwood (Sirius) I have to listen at -20 db to get the same db. With the Delphi, I have to play back at -16 db to get the same output.

    Both have the same sound quality. Doesn't sound as dynamic as redbook playback (difference between the softest and the loudest passages at the same volume). Very clear, but appear a tad "muffled" or "rolled" off at the same time. Very apparent as I was listening to a Jazz station and a Chris Botti song came on and I happened to have that on the cd player at the same time and could switch back and forth... and I took advantage of the rare moment.

    I live about 20 miles outside of New Orleans. I find that the Sirius service is very variable in signal strength. I am using the stock satellite antenna that came with the home unit. They also make outdoor antennas but I haven't tried one of those yet. The Sirius can go from full strength to no signal all in the same hour. I believe the Sirius satellites move around and are dynamic whereas with the Delphi XM unit I got a 3 / 4 signal strength at all times and I just placed the stock satellite antenna in the window sill nothing special here. Both antennas look very similar but I believe the difference must be in the satellites moving. The XM satellites are stationary and that seems to be an advantage at least where I live. With Sirius, I can lose signal about 5 minutes every hour whereas with the XM I have 3 / 4 on the signal strength at all times so far.

    Is satellite radio worth it? Sure it is. For $10 a month its better than FM but not quite as good as redbook cd playback. The choice of stations now available as well as the relative commercial free music available is quite good. The DJs do come on from time to time but they are pretty quick, describe a song that was played, and the music starts again.

    Right now I wish I would have gone the XM route. Better signal strength where I live and my antenna isn't even facing a south window.. it is to the west.

    Paul

  28. #28

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    Got my "XM" on this weekend...I LOVE IT. My poor amp was running for about 16hrs straight yesterday. I was able to turn off my furnace!

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  29. #29

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    Default Re: Anyone else dump FM radio for XM Statellite radio?

    Originally posted by Turbota
    I asked this over at the AudioKarma board, so I thought I would get a response here too:
    ____________________________________

    I once had a very nice FM tuner (vintage Pioneer TX-9500 II).

    Anyway, I gave the tuner away and got XM Satellite Radio. Ron,
    Ron, if you're ever in the giving mood again with any other vintage gear.. think of me first before you do. I would have love to buy the Pioneer tuner from ya. :p

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  30. #30

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    Just wanted to update some things. After spending a week with both tuners I found the programming slightly more to my taste with Sirius. The XM seemed to have better reception (didn't have dropouts). In the next few days I will experiment with adding an amplified extension cord so that I can place the Sirius antenna in a north window in my house (the Sirius satellite antennas one should point north whereas the XM antenna should point south). The window I was using pointed west and the XM Delphi unit didn't have any problems.

    There is also an outdoor Terk Sirius antenna that can be purchased that runs about 60 bucks. That will be the next step I take if the extension cable doesn't work (probably will need extension cable anyway with the outdoor antenna).

    Paul

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