[AMRadio] 32V-2 speech amp question

Craig Roberts crgrbrts at verizon.net
Mon Jan 23 12:09:03 EST 2006

John Coleman wrote, in part: "This might be a good time for me to inject 
the Woes of HiFI. HIFI is OK for use on ground wave without selective 
fading and of course when the spectrum is void of other QSOs. The 
problem that I have is the QRM/QRN that accompanies cross country QSOs 
when the band is open for that type of propagation...."

I connot deny that John makes some very good points.  What I'm seeking, 
however, is a transmitter that is CAPABLE of high fidelity audio 
transmission when conditions are appropriate.  The audio bandwidth can 
be controlled at the input end by processing -- from sophisticated, 
multi-layer schemes to simple microphone selection (an Astatic D-104 
instead of a Neumann U 87, for instance) and thus tailor the 
transmission for the current propagation and adjacent traffic. But, when 
the band's quiet and we've got an "armchair" QSO going -- which is not 
all that unusual -- I like to transmit (and listen to) mellow, rich, 
high fidelity audio.

I strive for true, high-end "broadcast quality" audio on AM for two 
reasons.  One is  -- admittedly -- vanity.  I'm an old broadcaster 
--need I say more?
The other reason for my quest for hi-fi is to justify -- or rationalize 
-- the use of amplitude modulation. After all,, the digital modes and 
even SSB and CW are far more "robust" than AM and are vastly superior in 
the efficient and reliable exchange of data.  Using AM as a pure, 
clinical communications mode is illogical. 

Most of us, I suspect, employ our AM gear solely for sentimental 
reasons.  Some of us are taking a "busman's holiday" during our 
operating hours.  Others are reliving nostalgia-sweetened memories of 
their early days in amateur radio.  Still others are celebrating the 
romance of old technology.  I'm doing all three and, in the end, that's 
why my largest single fiscal investment in ham gear (ever!) has been in 
my 32V-2 and R-388 combo.  I could sell these beautifully crafted, 
lovingly restored (by Howard Mills) items and "upgrade" to a Ten Tec 
Orion, if I wished.  Logically, that's what I should do.

Somehow, though, it just wouldn't be the same.



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