XM commander - FM modulation question

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Richard C, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Richard C

    Richard C Extra

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    I can get an XM commander at a really good price, so I'm considering putting XM into my 2003 Dodge Ram pickup. The stereo in the truck is the OEM AM/FM/CD only unit. My understanding is that the commander uses FM transmission to get the XM programming to my stereo.

    How much does that impact the sound? Will it be basically standard FM quality? Since I would have to install myself, I don't have the truck's service manual and I'm really not looking to tear my dash apart as a great experiment, I'm doubting that any type of line in to the back of the stereo is an option. Unless of course, somebody in here has done it themselves and can convince me it's worth the (minimal) effort.
     
  2. Van Patton

    Van Patton Second Unit

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    I just got the XM Commander installed in my 2000 Toyota Tundra. All the stuff is OEM so it is FM Modulated. It's much better than FM but not as good as CD. The music is louder than the voices so, at times, it is hard to hear well. But I would totally recommended it! It is so cool to have over 100 channels at the flip of a button. The stuff they play on the classic rock is more than just five songs too! So far my favorite stations are Deep Cuts, Top Tracks, Bluegrass Junction, and Soul Street. The only thing Sirius has that XM doesn't is a jamband channel. I would really like a station that airs that kinda music. The jamband channel on sirius plays full LivePhish CD's!
     
  3. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    I have the SkiFi unit in my Mazda Protege with an FM modulator and the sound is better than FM but not CD level.

    Please post back after you get the Commander installed. I was thinking of switching to it.

    Also;
    try and have the instal done by Feb 1 when XM goes commercial free and ads/subtracts some channels.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Ronald Epstein
    Some will be happy with FM modulation, some
    will not.

    Those who want satellite radio purely for the
    entertainment it provides will be very satisfied
    with FM modulation.

    Anyone who is an audiophile and demands the very
    best sound from their car system will not be happy
    with FM modulation.

    I fall in the latter group. A year ago I bought
    XM that was modulated to my car radio. A day later
    I ripped it out, bought a new head unit and had it
    all hardwired. The difference was night and day.

    This is important to remember....

    You will never get CD quality audio with satellite
    radio no matter how you hook it up or how much you
    upgrade your speakers or subwoofer. It is sooo close,
    but falls short of the dynamics of compact disc audio.
     
  5. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    [tangent]If you want audiophile sound in a car, check the 2004 Acura TL with DVD-Audio. I sat in one at the dealership and listened to the demo disc: all I could think was "Damn, this has to be the most amazing sound experience I've ever had." It's really that good. [/tangent]
     
  6. David.Kaiser

    David.Kaiser Auditioning

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    I've had direct connect and FM modulation. I found FM modulation to be slightly worse than good local FM. For me it wasn't acceptable buy YMMV.
     

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