Intentionally Transmitting Non Flat SSB Audio ?

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KA7NIQ, Apr 3, 2011.

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  1. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see (and hear) some stations transmitting equalized SSB audio. Much of this audio has it's bass response equalized by many DB to 'sound better'. It is almost comical to watch someone adjust his transmit audio to please everyone. I about fell out of my chair the other evening watching grown Men going crazy, trying in vain to make SSB sound like FM, or even AM. They were asking for opinions about how they sounded, so I told a few of them they sounded like Sugar Hotel India Tango, and they did. But I listen sometimes on professional studio monitor speakers that are accurate. I can hear the hyped up bass EQ.
    It is my opinion these guys obsessed with 'high quality audio' might do better to concentrate on transmitting a FLAT audio signal, and let the guy on the OTHER end apply the EQ.
    One never knows what speaker another station is listening to you on, or the acoustics of someones room. To adjust your transmitted audio signal to compensate for the 'shortcomings' in the receiving station will make you sound terrible on receiving stations w/o those 'shortcomings'.
    Think about it ? FM Stations don't as a rule hype up bass and treble to compensate for those listening in automobiles. To do so will make them sound funny to those listening at home, on full range speakers.

    OK, I know it will not be as much fun as " Ok, here is the HEIL Mic, now here is the MC 50 Mic, now here is the Tube Ribbon Mic "

    Those conversations will be replaced by " I gave you a 3db bump at 125k and 2db cut at 2.5K to make your received audio sound better on my TS 850 with a stock speaker"
     
  2. NI7I

    NI7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    BRAVO

    Lee
    NI7I
     
  3. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I swear to God, if my Elmer were still alive, he would do his best to beat my you know what if I operated like some of these Lids do. You KNOW the ones I speak of. The ones who splatter all over the band, and can be heard as clearly on one sideband as the other. OK, with DSP, it is possible to run a little wider transmitted audio bandwidth within the filter slopes, but some Lids carry this to extremes.
    Why not just run the stock SSB bandwidth, and if someone wants you to have more highs and lows, he can adjust HIS equalizer.
    Was not the whole idea of SSB to make it possible for more people to use a given bandwidth ? Now, how can we do that, when some are intentionally widening themselves ?
     
  4. G4LNA

    G4LNA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't see the point of transmitting something that most people can't hear, it's just wasted power as far as I'm concerned.
     
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Like corntesting, dudgital modes, AM, and others, enhanced audio is a subculture of our hobby. They have found something that interests them, and as long as they limit their bandwidth to 3kHz, what's the harm? Like kicking a contester for the ridiculous "5-9 5-9" and then asking for repeats, or the digital schlomos for using macros for most of the QSO, or CW pounders who don't pound, they use a computer. For regular SSB users who don't have a clue about their "Turner +2" audio splattering 4 khz, or their AM signal 12kHz wide, or the "net" that feels entitled to plop 2kHz away from an ongoing QSO because it's THEIR freq. Every group had its foibles because imperfect people are involved with all our individual quirks and "it's all about me" attitude. Just get over it or hit the "off" button.
     
  6. N4MXZ

    N4MXZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    No harm at all, except that ESSB, essentially by definition, is at least 6khz wide.


    I have listened to the ESSB stations and I don't see the point. If there is noise on the band, you know they are there, but you cannot understand them, so forget using ESSB for anything but ideal conditions. Even under ideal conditions, one must 'open' up the receiver passband to get the proper effect, otherwise they sound all low and mushy. Once you opoen up the reciever, you get alot QRM from adjacent stations.
    In the 1990s we did alot of experimenting with audio on 160m; microphones, compressors, EQs, delays etc.
    Some of those guys had incredible audio, and yet it was still within the stock filter passband, usually 2.4 - 3khz
    Of course when a VK, or ZL, or other DX popped on, they could hear and understand them. No ESSB signal I have heard could do that.

    At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon; what's the point?
    I want to sound as good as possible, cause as little interference to adjacent stations, and still be heard and understood. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  7. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish more would read this description of what SSB is ....

    Since the fidelity of the SSB voice transmission has been altered somewhat through various filters in the process of producing the sideband that is not too wide, usually only the most important portions or characteristics of the voice frequencies needed to communicate are allowed through, and this causes the lack of true AM or FM fidelity to the transmission, but the communication, (understandable), portions of the voice characteristics remain, which is all that is needed in the first place. It is a "communications" mode, not wide band HI FI commercial broadcast FM radio, CD quality mode!
    The information contained in the average human voice needed to understand the voice is contained within about the first 3000hz of the human hearing range. Frequencies of the human voice beyond this range are not needed for communication purposes and are filtered out in the modulation process. So the average bandwidth of a SSB signal is about 3000hz wide with all of the voice characteristics needed within that range to be understandable.
     
  8. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    They've been demonstrating the transmission of carap audio for the last ten years. Are they still in the experimental stages of digital SSB ? I would have thought that in this time they ought to have mastered the process. I think there must be money involved somewhere !
     
  9. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe they should read this ?

    WideFi or Enhanced Audio

    Enhanced SSB audio is a generally bad idea, since it adds and boosts unnecessary lows and highs. Audio response flattening brings levels of unnecessary low and high frequencies up, and this rapidly increases power level in unwanted off-frequency products compared to normal communications audio. The frequency difference between lows and highs is wider, so the "junk" extends further than normal. The level of lows and highs are significantly stronger than levels in normal communications audio, and this makes IM products much stronger. As a matter of fact, energy in IM products does not follow a linear increase as base and treble are increased! Unwanted power on adjacent channels increases at several times the rate of the power increase in base and treble!

    Make no mistake about it, enhanced SSB or Hi-fi SSB audio, even with perfect "brick wall" filtering, is always going to have significantly more unwanted energy on adjacent channels when compared to regular communications audio through the same system.

    Many of the radios popular with the ESSB crowd are among poorer radios for IM performance! My own opinion is Hi-Fi audio is OK on emptier bands, but we should do all we can to discourage enhanced audio on crowded bands or near weak signal areas.
     
  10. AE1PT

    AE1PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's very easy to get caught up in the details and arrangements of voice input. My thinking is that given the fact that the rigs of the past decade or so do not lend themselves to internal tinkering--and much of the peripheral gear is no longer built by the ham but bought off a shelf--audio becomes one more thing to tinker with. Another major area is the computer interfaces.

    When I started in this hobby back in the stone age, it was ordinary to take a Greenlee punch and knock holes in a blank chassis in order to build a modulator for ARC-5 and other WWII surplus gear. Almost every rig could be improved by breaking out the soldering iron and making a few changes in the circuitry. As to wire antennas, you made them. I don't recall being able to buy a dozen different premade varieties. Things to tinker with have changed. And no, diddling about with BGA ICs and miniscule SMT components is not even close or within the reach of the average tech tinkerer.

    I was intrigued and started playing games with this in terms of various mics and preamp configurations. It took nearly a year for the reality to settle in that there was almost nothing that could make an IC-751A sound any better--it already had stellar performance and reports. But it was something to dither about with...
     
  11. KR2C

    KR2C Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Right. At least these guys are experimenting with something to maybe make the hobby better (they also might be going down a dead end road). Let them do their thing and have fun. As Charlie said, as lonk as they keep it to 3Khz.
     
  12. W2IBC

    W2IBC Ham Member QRZ Page

    whats next echo mics?
     
  13. NY3V

    NY3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    What about the Oxygen free Gold plated zero impedance microphone cables? :D
     
  14. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    If they want to make the hobby better they should spend their time experimenting with antennas and stop pretending that ESSB is not a burden on every operator around them. The laws of physics are what they are and you can't put 6 plus KHZ of analog audio in 3KHZ wide envelope.

    And to answer G0GKQ, you bet there is money in it. Just look at all the advertisements for audio accessories aimed at the ESSB crowd. The original poster hit the nail on the head, make the minimum necessary adjustments to the transmit audio and let the receiving station tailor it to suit themselves.
     
  15. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't run more than 2.7 kHz TX BW for SSB (I set it wider for AM) but having high quality modulation is very helpful, almost always. Not only is it more pleasurable for others to hear, but it gets through better because it's clearer and less distorted. A very good (which can mean expensive) microphone is an asset to most SSB stations, and there's usually no need for external devices to make them sound better because they can already sound excellent.

    The difference between a very good mike and many cheaper ones is overall clarity, lack of pops and hisses, rejection of background noise and vibration and other distracting things.

    Even when Collins was selling ham gear, mostly very restricted in TX bandwidth, they sold and recommended very high quality microphones to go with it. They were right.

    A lot of "regular guys" on the ham bands -- not eSSBers, just regular folks using a mike plugged into their transmitters -- sound awful. Many of the biggest offenders are those who think they can sit back 12" or more from their microphone, turn up the gain so they still modulate their transmitters, and transmit that way. Unless they're operating from anechoic chambers, this normally sounds terrible.

    Then, I don't have to answer them, so I don't.:)
     
  16. KR2C

    KR2C Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Audio equalization and ESSB are two different things. Sure adding EQ to an ESSB signal is part of what thos guys do but also understand that there is quite a good benefit for EQ on a standard SSB signal also.
     
  17. WS4B

    WS4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    As pretty much a former ESSBer, the tweaking of the audio is for those that can hear the differences. I agree that many that go this route overemphasize the lows, and do not have a shared balance of audio frequencies with their modulation. They give everyone in the ESSB niche a bad name, and hearing them makes me cringe. So I understand your opinion of that aspect.

    That is utterly false!! ESSB encompasses any SSB signal regardless of bandwidth that has taken steps to enhance it's audio quality. While I seldom use SSB anymore, My FT-102 that has a 2.8 Kc SSB bandwidth is truly ESSBed (if that is such a term) due to my audio rack that is in line. I get almost as many audio compliments on that set up as when I run my 950SDX at a larger bandwidth. Again only those that have extended SSB bandwidth filters can tell the difference between the two. An easy example would be someone listening on a SDR.

    As a personal side note, I am surprised that those that really want to improve the quality of their audio don't just take up AM. That's what I did last year, and there is just no going back for me. In addition, most receivers can "hear" the differences that one is doing to improve their audio. Therefore tweaking the sound of your signal that only a low percentage of people can hear is no longer an issue. I am not talking about 10-20 Kc AM signals, just something more in line of 6-8 Kc.

    So if any hard-core ESSBers are reading this thread, come to the other side of great audio in AM! I guarantee you'll love it!!!!
     
  18. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't care in the SLIGHTEST how good my audio sounds. I don't care if it is anywhere NEAR what my real voice sounds like. I have only ONE GOAL:
    That is for the DX station to hear MY CALL over the others calling. He doesn't care either what my voice sounds like. He only wants to know what my callsign is. He doesn't care where I am, what the weather is, what radio I am running or even what my NAME IS!!!! That is all IRRELAVENT!!! The ONLY and I mean ONLY thing important is 6 characters : "W", "A", "6", "M", "H", "Z". He needs NO MORE information than that. He won't comment on how great my audio is. He will say ONLY ONE THING:
    "WA6MHZ FIVE NINE"
    and I will respond "QSL! 73's!!!" which won't be heard as now 100,000 others will be calling over me drowning me out. But if he got my call right, that is the ONLY THING I care about. Any improvements done to the station is ONLY to enhance getting my call through in the Next pileup!
     
  19. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Negative Good Buddy, Mercy Sakes Alive, how about Echo Mikes with a Roger Beep on 20 Meters, 10 -4 ?
     
  20. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only IF pure silver litz wire wire is used that has been cryogenically treated. ALL electrolytic capacitors in the transmit chain signal path should be swapped out for polyproplyne capacitors, and all soldered connections need to be resoldered with silver solder.
     
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