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Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

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radioandtventhusiast
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Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by radioandtventhusiast » Sat May 23, 2020 1:48 pm

What do you believe are the worst sounding radio stations of all time? This means any station that has/had very low volume, music that's excessively pitched/sped up, stations with little to no bass/treble, music that sounds like it's played from a tin can, etc.



sfpcc
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by sfpcc » Sat May 23, 2020 3:33 pm

I would assume the first radio stations that sprung up in the circa 1921 sounded pretty rough, so maybe KDKA.



sfpcc
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by sfpcc » Sat May 23, 2020 3:34 pm

[quote=sfpcc post_id=609809 time=1590262418 user_id=4168]
I would assume the first radio stations that sprung up circa 1921 sounded pretty rough, so maybe KDKA.
[/quote]



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Radio Chili
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by Radio Chili » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:32 am

A more modern horror story might well be the radio station in Rockford, MI on 810. Under the original owner and licensee, Jack LePayne it was the most distorted, low-mod, tinny sounding, low-budget thing ever! And that's speaking only of the audio quality! Programming was worse! It was goofy as Hell! He signed on with 500 watts in 1965 and held on to it until 1993 when he sold it off, 'retiring' and in drunken boredom beat his own Mother, whom he lived with. Awful story.



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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by CK-722 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:55 am

WWWS 107.1 Saginaw was the worst sounding FM for the first two or three years it was on the air. It had almost no bass at all. Some said it was double preemphasis. Some said it was the phone line STL which was not properly equalized. HGR1290 and I think Ed Joseph and tvbobn also said this as I recall.

I met Jack Payne once, outside the WJPW studio. I told him the station didn't sound good. He said that they had a capacitor on order that hadn't come in yet. He also said that that WJPW got out farther with 500 watts than WOOD did with 5000 watts. He was right about that, at least when they were at full power.


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matt1
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by matt1 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:26 am

WCHW FM Bay City Central high school (91.3) late 70's through the 90's because it was in MONO.



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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by Lucky615 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:27 am

WGPR late 60’s and through the entire 70’s the sound quality was terrible. They had church service programming on from Saturday evening and throughout Sunday, the sound coming out of the speakers would literally cause an earache and give you a headache it was pure torture.


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ftballfan
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by ftballfan » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:06 am

Any station that's primarily running dead air



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Colonel Flagg
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by Colonel Flagg » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:11 pm

1340 WMTE, after Chuck Hedstrom sold it. Pitiful.


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ChrisWL1980
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by ChrisWL1980 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:09 pm

I haven't heard them lately, but WKYO 1360 in Caro sounded downright awful (audio wise) during its Oldies format, and IIRC during the previous Real Country era as well. I liked the music, but you had to turn the volume all the way up to hear it.


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Art Van Damme
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by Art Van Damme » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:51 am

1090am WCAR Livonia. Waste of electricity and real estate.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:17 pm

Great topic!

Here is my worst sounding list in no particular order:
- AM 1290 Ann Arbor from 2000 to 2001: Tons of distortion & splatter in the sidebands and terrible audio on-frequency, too. Made daytime reception of Talk Radio 1270 WXYT nearly impossible around A2.
- AM 800 CKLW today: Undermodulated audio does next to nothing to mask "noise" that plagues the AM band.
- 107.5 WGPR in the late 90's & early 00's: You could be listening to the station on a $200 bookshelf system and it'd sound like you were listening on a cheap $9.99 clock radio made in China. Nothing but mid bass. Truly awful audio chain.
- 92.9 WLMI in Lansing when it was Classic Hits: thin, whispy & lifeless is the best way to describe this station's audio chain.
- 95.1 WFBE in Flint until recently: undermodulated & lifeless. Zero dynamic range. Sounds much better today.
- 103.9 WRSR in Owosso/Flint until a year or two ago: Super distorted & muddy. Still doesn't sound great but it's at least tolerable now.
- 101.3 WBFX in Grand Rapids: station goes through spurts where engineering issues are ignored for weeks at a time. Last time I was in town, the processing sounded like an aural equivalent of a slinky. :lol
- 96.7 WLXV in Cadillac: sounded terrible in its first year or two as "Hot Country 96.7 The Bull." Extremely loud, bassy and distorted. The last couple times I've heard the station, it sounded much better.
- 96.3 WKLA-FM in Ludington: sounds only modestly better than a narrow band AM station. Ownership seems to not give a rat's ass about the terrible audio quality.


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WOHO
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by WOHO » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:13 am

SuperStation 910 when the HD kicks in will destroy what's left of our DX-impaired hearing.
All of the Sirius-based stations and 1/3 of the XM-based stations.
Half of the satellators that have an FM translator use a $3.99 AM radio to feed the audio to the FM, and that is not a complement.
And yes, whatever happened to CKLW- used to be the king of modulation, now the queen of dilution.
CKWW is sounding puny now.
And stations +/- 30KHz of HD stations like WWJ, WRDT Monroe and 910.



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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:42 am

You reminded me of one I left off my list, WOHO, so thank you!

The FM translator to AM 1240 WJIM in the Lansing area sounds ATROCIOUS. It literally sounds like an AM radio positioned 30 miles away is feeding a faint, static filled signal to the FM translator transmitter. I doubt even 10 people listen to the FM translator on a regular basis.


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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by WC8KCY » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:49 pm

WMQT (Q107), in the mid-eighties, played maybe a third of its programming off-pitch by a full semi-tone. As a musician with perfect pitch, it was akin to fingernails on a blackboard...

WMTE 1340 had a godawful buzz in the audio for its last few of years on the air from Radio Hill. When it was briefly resurrected under STA from another site using a long-wire antenna, it actually sounded pretty good.


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