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 Post subject: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 5:11 am 
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Joined: Mar Mon 21, 2016 2:41 pm
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Location: Massachusetts
Hi Folks,

I have a number of restored AM sets that I would really like to be able to listen to old radio shows/music through.

What's your recommendation? I'd be happy with an audio input on at least one of them (namely a philco 60) is this too much of a pain? Should I go with a small transmitter?

-Alex


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 5:19 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario
Two things:
Listen to AM 740 in Ontario, Canada... 10 pm weekdays.
Use a AMT3000 to transmit downloaded vintage radio audio files to any of the several AM radios in the house.
Cheers,
Roger

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Roger Jones,
Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Joined: May Sun 06, 2007 2:52 am
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Location: 03223
There's also a chance you can receive CHML 900 in Hamilton,Ontario.The play OTR every weeknight starting around 10.00pm(maybe earlier?) until 1:00 am.

I can receive both 740 and 900 quite well here in central NH.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Joined: May Wed 04, 2016 5:49 am
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Ahop65 wrote:
Hi Folks,

I have a number of restored AM sets that I would really like to be able to listen to old radio shows/music through.

What's your recommendation? I'd be happy with an audio input on at least one of them (namely a philco 60) is this too much of a pain? Should I go with a small transmitter?

-Alex


I was testing a new detector and found a station at AM 1160 playing Lum and Abner followed by dragnet. The Id was the classic radio network.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Joined: May Sun 06, 2007 2:52 am
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Location: 03223
reset wrote:

I was testing a new detector and found a station at AM 1160 playing Lum and Abner followed by dragnet. The Id was the classic radio network.


Where are you located?Knowing that,and time of day of the broadcast,it won't be too difficult to determine the station you were listening to.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 18, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
Mike C. wrote:
There's also a chance you can receive CHML 900 in Hamilton,Ontario.The play OTR every weeknight starting around 10.00pm(maybe earlier?) until 1:00 am.

I can receive both 740 and 900 quite well here in central NH.



I'd like to listen to 900 and see what they broadcast, but apparently the antenna radiation pattern is NW to SE, so it misses me. I can't even get a whisper. I do get 740 pretty well, so I sometimes listen to the 10:00pm shows.

At home here we use a small transmitter to broadcast stuff that we stream off the web ..... 60's/70's/80's music during the day and OTR at night.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 19, 2018 4:06 am 
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Joined: May Wed 04, 2016 5:49 am
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Mike C. wrote:
reset wrote:

I was testing a new detector and found a station at AM 1160 playing Lum and Abner followed by dragnet. The Id was the classic radio network.


Where are you located?Knowing that,and time of day of the broadcast,it won't be too difficult to determine the station you were listening to.


I'm in Mississippi. I just turned it on. Program in progress started at 8 pm CST.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 19, 2018 4:54 am 
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Location: Milton, FL 32570
Yes 1160 9pm CST is from DFW area (Dallas Fort Worth area). Variety of st George Burns and the Gracie Allen show I hear a lot, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.. most from the 40's
i pickup in NWFL Pensacola area
Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 19, 2018 5:36 am 
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Joined: May Wed 04, 2016 5:49 am
Posts: 44
reset wrote:
Mike C. wrote:
reset wrote:

I was testing a new detector and found a station at AM 1160 playing Lum and Abner followed by dragnet. The Id was the classic radio network.


Where are you located?Knowing that,and time of day of the broadcast,it won't be too difficult to determine the station you were listening to.


I'm in Mississippi. I just turned it on. Program in progress started at 8 pm CST.

Tonight was Fibber Mcgee and Molly, Lone Ranger, The Great Gildersleeve, CBS Radio Workshop.
They don't ID the station. It is USA Network.
http://usaradio.com/show/usa-classic-radio-theater/


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 19, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Location: 03223
reset wrote:

They don't ID the station. It is USA Network.
http://usaradio.com/show/usa-classic-radio-theater/


According to "Radio-Locator" the station you're listening to is KBDT AM-1160.

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/finde ... &x=15&y=11

https://bigdtalk.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 20, 2018 2:28 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2136
Location: Laughlintown, PA
Are there other stations in other parts of the country airing the USA Classic Radios program? I haven't heard it here in Western PA, but would like to. I just listened to an episode online, pretty good.

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Tom
"The 21st Century is a nice place to visit - but I sure wouldn't want to live there."


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 20, 2018 2:59 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
TJM70 wrote:
Are there other stations in other parts of the country airing the USA Classic Radios program? I haven't heard it here in Western PA, but would like to. I just listened to an episode online, pretty good.


I am pretty sure that I have heard OTR on WBBM (780), which is normally a news oriented station I think. I don;t listen to it enough to know if it's a regular thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 25, 2018 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sat 22, 2006 10:46 pm
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Location: Waterloo, Iowa
TJM70 wrote:
Are there other stations in other parts of the country airing the USA Classic Radios program? I haven't heard it here in Western PA, but would like to. I just listened to an episode online, pretty good.


Iowa - 1540 KXEL is a 50,000 watt that airs (I think) the USA Classic Radio program on Saturday and Sunday nights.

These run contemporary advertising though, that makes these vintage broadcasts a non-starter to my mind. There are so many 24/7 OTR online streaming services available today without the constant interruptions and editing required, it's just easier to pipe them through a mini-broadcast transmitter.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 25, 2018 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
Ted wrote:
TJM70 wrote:
Are there other stations in other parts of the country airing the USA Classic Radios program? I haven't heard it here in Western PA, but would like to. I just listened to an episode online, pretty good.


Iowa - 1540 KXEL is a 50,000 watt that airs (I think) the USA Classic Radio program on Saturday and Sunday nights.

These run contemporary advertising though, that makes these vintage broadcasts a non-starter to my mind. There are so many 24/7 OTR online streaming services available today without the constant interruptions and editing required, it's just easier to pipe them through a mini-broadcast transmitter.


That is what we do at night, and I have tried several streams. They all have good and bad points with regard to schedule etc, but the one thing that many of them do not have under control is "volume". The good ones monitor and regulate the audio level so that we don;t have to be adjusting the volume at the tablet all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2136
Location: Laughlintown, PA
I was driving in Eastern Ohio Thanksgiving eve, on my way back to PA, and caught some of KXEL's OTR...thought of this thread immediately! It was USA Radio Network offering special for holiday. I enjoy the idea of hearing them OTA for whatever reason...

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Tom
"The 21st Century is a nice place to visit - but I sure wouldn't want to live there."


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 4:16 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 261
The AM Transmitters work well, but one easy way is to get a radio with an RCA Jack (or have one installed) and attach one of the old Sony Walkman's that are large enough to play the standard size CD's.
The CD players can be found cheaply at Thrift Stores and on the Auction sites or you may have one. They are easy to operate and the sound is great (depending on the quality of the CD being played.)
Just hook the Walkman up to the Phono/RCA Jack and you are set. Of course, it will play only 1 hour per side, but who listens more that 1 or 2 hours at a time. Even if you do, a change will only be needed every hour which shouldn't be a problem.

There is a 3 hour radio program called "Hollywood 360" which airs weekly out of Chicago and is available in most parts of the Country. That is the only one I now know of being broadcast in the United States.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Location: Lexington, KY
ZenithStratosphere wrote:
The AM Transmitters work well, but one easy way is to get a radio with an RCA Jack (or have one installed) and attach one of the old Sony Walkman's that are large enough to play the standard size CD's.
The CD players can be found cheaply at Thrift Stores and on the Auction sites or you may have one.....

.....Of course, it will play only 1 hour per side........
Many of the Walkman style CD players are capable of playing MP3 CD's which will extend the listening time by several hours. Two brands I remember using were Philips and RioVolt, both would start back at the exact spot where you stopped playing. But with memory so cheap these days I just put a boatload of OTR on a 32G micro SD memory card and play it on my little Sansa MP3 player. You can listen directly with ear buds or run it to a transmitter or to an RCA jack as mentioned.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 1:31 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 261
I also have one of the little Sansa's and also comparable Sony Walkman's that came after the CD one's. When these radio shows are compressed into hundreds of shows, the sound and tonal quality can be greatly diminished, especially if the source material was poorly restored.

Radio Archives out of Spokane, Washington offers (from my buying experience) the best restorations of the old radio shows from any source I have found. Their restoration work in many ways exceeds the original live broadcasts that were initially aired, of course depending on how well the reception may have been at the time.

I listened to shows on records, audio cassettes and other mediums over the years which had no restoration at all, and they were very difficult to hear and understand. But I listened to them because I just like old radio shows from the Golden Age of Radio. :)

Eventually, the restoration work began by several people or companies around the Country, but (and I say this as customer) the Radio Shows offered through Radio Archives far exceeds any of the supposedly restored radio shows I have ever heard. They must be using the best restoration equipment available today and are willing to spend the money and time to get the best restorations possible, as many of these older radio shows were in pretty rough condition. The difference in their restoration work is truly astounding. If for some reason the original transcription disks were of such poor quality only minimal upgrades could be achieved, the Radio Archives staff make that notation in the radio shows they offer from their listings.

I have purchased many of the restored shows from Radio Archives and have only purchased the individual Volumes and they all come in the "standard CD speed" and never use the compressed disc method. They feel it makes a difference, and from my listening experience, I know it does. One disc has 1 hour of listening time on it as opposed to the compressed discs, but I don't listen to them continuously for hours, so this method, although more expensive offers a better listening experience. These small Sansa's and so forth can be loaded up with the normal CD speed, just that it won't hold as much material as the compressed discs will do.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 15, 2018 7:49 pm 
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ZenithStratosphere wrote:
.....When these radio shows are compressed into hundreds of shows, the sound and tonal quality can be greatly diminished, especially if the source material was poorly restored......
A poor quality program will sound bad whether it is compressed or not.

OTR is fairly low fidelity and lends itself well to be compressed into MP3 format. Granted, there are a lot of very poor sounding OTR MP3's out there, but it isn't because of the compression, it's because of the poor source material or it was compressed multiple times into too low of a bit rate.
ZenithStratosphere wrote:
.....Radio Archives out of Spokane, Washington offers (from my buying experience) the best restorations of the old radio shows from any source I have found. Their restoration work in many ways exceeds the original live broadcasts that were initially aired, of course depending on how well the reception may have been at the time.....
At the price they sell for I'd hope they would have superior sound. I have more OTR shows downloaded than I'll ever have time to listen, and when I find a better sounding version I replace the previous. I'm sure mine don't sound as good as those from Radio Archives, but I have so many when a bad sounding one comes on I just hit next. If I bought all my shows from Radio Archives I'd have thousands of dollars invested. But I do very much appreciate the recommendation and I might buy a few of my favorite episodes from them just to see how much better they sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for Listening to Old Radio Shows?
PostPosted: Dec Sun 16, 2018 12:40 am 
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Radio Archives will have occasional sales throughout the year where all they offer what is sold for half price. These sales are also available on certain sets throughout the year on one or two volumes they sell. Get on their mailing list, and you can follow when these sales occur. Also, you can follow Ebay as on occasion a person will sell their collection from Radio Archives at very low prices (depending on how the bidding goes) and in good condition, many probably only played once.

To my knowledge, Radio Archives does not use the compressed discs on any of the CD's they sell. Also, they do offer direct downloads at greatly reduced prices over what they charge for the CD Sets they sell. I have purchased the entire offerings they have of William Conrad in "Gunsmoke" as the quality was exceptional. They now have their latest Volume from "Gunsmoke" on sale in both the CD and the direct download available.

I have listened to OTR shows for years, ever since some of them were on records and later on cassettes. Then I went to the compressed discs. Many of these programs were barely "listenable" as they probably were taken from the original transcription discs or taped over versions which were terribly scratched and damaged with no restoration at all. I listened to them though as I enjoy the old radio shows and realized this was the best possible recordings of these shows I could find. I don't think any of them (or certainly few) were restored at all. Some of these programs are in such bad condition, even the restoration techniques Radio Archives employs could not help them. If such is the case Radio Archives will let the buyer know the particular program is not of the best quality.

I ended up initially first buying the 5 Volume set of "The Big Show" (including the shows first 26 episodes of a total of 57) from Radio Archives and was amazed at the sound quality, as the shows (on CD's and in the slow speed) sounded as if they were being broadcast LIVE, and probably better than when initially broadcast depending on how well the reception was at the time.

Radio Archives actually does not have a a huge listing of radio shows, but what they do offer is of exceptional restoration quality and many from the original transcription discs they were able to obtain over the years. They seem to do their best work if they can obtain the original transcription discs and work in restoration from the original sources. They use a special process I think called CEDAR which from my experience is the best restoration of these old radio shows I have ever heard.


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