FM Exciters

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Thread: FM Exciters

  1. #1

    FM Exciters

    I know this topic can be answered in many ways including objective and subjective however I am interested in a general consensus as to which FM exciter does not color the sound. This should be very difficult to determine since there are so many different receiver designs out their. The transfer function has to be different if one were to compare all detector vs modulator designs. I'm looking for a common denominator (if it exists).

    We know bass is better with dual-loop phase lock loop modulators due to the lower pole of the 2nd lock. What about the pure digital exciters? The specs look great however are their dynamic distortions (similar to SID and TIM) that may make some exciter sound worse than others?

    I'm an analog guy that still feels analog can be as good or better than digital in some cases. Digital processors have done a great job of constraining the dynamic range of the program material...does the exciter also make a difference in the perceived sound by the listener?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The hill country
    Posts
    1,785

    Re: FM Exciters

    The Continental 820D and D1 are about as clean and quiet as it gets. The FX 60 series BE is also. I've not played with the Nautel produict, but it gets good comments from folks whose opinions I trust.
    Ogonowski modified some BE FX30 boxes to the point they sounded excellent, but the mod slowed the AFC loop down to the point it took forever to lock. We ran ours on a UPS to overcome this. If he still offers that service, it would be a very cost effective way to get really nice spund.

  3. #3

    Re: FM Exciters

    I've been working on an upgrade for a local LPFM. The plan is to go completely digital (they actually have a budget). We are upgrading to digital consoles and Omnia processing. The problem that I am finding is that there are only a few exciters/transmitters that are LPFM certified. I'm in search of an LPFM transmitter/exciter which is transparent as possible. I've compared Bext against BW and the BW (to my ears) won. I really don't need the built in processing/stereo generator in the BW.

    In the spirit of this thread, I'm also in search of the best sounding exciter that is certified for LPFM in accordance with Section 73.1660(a)(2)
    Island Classic Hits
    http://islandclassichits.com

  4. #4

    Re: FM Exciters

    My guess is BW would be the winner for your LPFM. It's too bad the FCC in their infinite stupidity came up with such a strict certification rule for LPFM while the rest of us just have to use stuff that's compliant. It makes no sense at all... (sort of like their new "Broadband Plan"!) RF is RF, unless the FCC bureaucrats are involved.

  5. #5

    Re: FM Exciters

    In case it's not clear or apparent - BW Broadcast transmitters are FCC certified for LPFM.

    I'm looking forward to seeing some of you at NAB. We are at booth C3034. Our customers are also welcome to attend our cocktail party. www.bwbroadcast.com/nabparty

    Regards
    Scott

  6. #6

    Re: FM Exciters

    I am using a Norcom exciter on WLRE which is an LPFM. Norcom was produced by Leo Ashcraft and was LPFM certified. I tried three different exciters and the Norcom along with my Orban 8100a had the best sound. The Nicom exciters are basicly the same make as Norcom and are still being produced.

  7. #7

    Re: FM Exciters

    I've heard some horror stories about some of the more modern Nicom exciter stuff. I have one of their amps that seems to work perfectly OK, but I'd be pretty leery of their exciters based on word-of-mouth from others...

  8. #8

    Re: FM Exciters

    For about what something like the Nicom would cost you can get a good used BE FX-50, or, with some looking around, a Continental 802B.

    On one station I have an FX-50 paired with a Nautel transmitter. Just inherited a site with an ECO-4 and an Energy-Onix (e.g.--an RVR) exciter. A rebuilt 802B is going in there shortly, with an 802A as a back-up.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Somewhere In Selma Alabama
    Posts
    1,995
    Looking for my first exciter ever. Want it to be LPFM compliant. Already have a 250 watt transmitter donated. The donor will send it, just before I sign on. (That's his stipulation) (Gotta be 99.9% built before I can claim this gift) Once I get the exciter, then I can start building out my new LPFM radio station and get the transmitter. If you or know of anyone that has one they want to get rid of or donate, let me know. This is Dan from WPJB-LP Selma Alabama and I approve this message.

    Dan <><
    Last edited by R.D.P.; 11-14-2016 at 12:03 AM.
    WPJB-LP
    93.3 FM
    Jesus Radio
    Selma Alabama
    Selma's Christian Music Leader
    A Broadcast Ministry Of People For Jesus Radio Broadcasting Company, Inc., of Selma Alabama
    Now On The Air!

  10. #10
    Beyond coloring the audio; I'd stay away from BE FX-30 and Continental 802 (A or B) exciters. Their filters are pretty bad and the Continental 802's in particular, have poor signal to noise and prone to micro-phonics.

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