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> -----Original Message-----
> From Tom Fine: ...what happened to modern AM
> sound? Is it the broadcast itself
> or modern AM radios?

Both!

AM bandwidth used to be restricted only by interference with other
broadcasters. The commonly cited 5k bandwidth specification was only the
minimum bandwidth that the FCC required. Response to 13kHz. was not uncommon
for many of the larger stations although not all radios had the bandwidth
switches that were required to avoid noise problems picking up more crowded
stations. On top of that the signal wasn't crushed by signal processing and
there were signal to noise and distortion mandates stations were required to
meet. "Broadcast quality audio" was considered a high compliment during the
1950s!

Unfortunately a bandwidth mandate was put in place in 1989 that reduced
maximum bandwidth to 10kHz. Today most FM radio sounds worse than AM radio
did during the '60s. I'm often left wondering if the broadcast and consumer
electronics industries don't have some kind of a death wish.

Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com    http://www.thewombforums.com