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XM commander - FM modulation question

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Richard C

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Posted January 21 2004 - 12:37 AM

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 of 6 OFFLINE   Van Patton

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Posted January 23 2004 - 04:34 AM

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 of 6 OFFLINE   DaveBB


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Posted January 25 2004 - 01:26 PM

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 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 25 2004 - 10:15 PM

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.


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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   DaveBB


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Posted January 26 2004 - 05:12 AM

[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 of 6 OFFLINE   David.Kaiser



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Posted January 27 2004 - 11:26 AM

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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