Radio World Buyer’s Guide articles are intended to help readers understand why their colleagues chose particular products to solve various technical situations. This month’s articles focus on products for audio processing.
A station acquisition often calls for an audio processor refresh, doubly so if you’re acquiring two and there’s a format change involved.
Such was the case when Great Eastern Radio acquired WXMS 97.9 and WWFK 107.1 in Burlington, Vt.
Chris Verdi, CBNT, CBNE, is chief technology officer for Great Eastern. “The two additions, which brought our total to 19 stations covering greater New England, came with dated processors that just could not make the cutover to a classic rock and hot AC format, respectively,” he said.
Their prior recent processor purchase was a Streamblade, a WheatNet-IP audio appliance for provisioning multiple streams that includes processing designed for nuances of streaming.
“We had heard about the MP-532, an AM/FM/HD multiprocessor that is also made by Wheatstone. We had heard field reports about how it could produce ‘airy and silky highs,’ mids that are ‘warm and mud-free’ and ‘deep, powerful lows.’” He also liked the price and that it includes features like an RDS encoder as standard.
“We started with Classic Rock 107.1 Frank-FM. I installed the MP-532 using the quickstart default preset. I was expecting to have to fiddle to get it close to what we wanted and was surprised what came out instead.”
Everything sounded “cleaner, brighter and louder than anything I’ve heard in a long time.”
The little tweaks they did for the classic rock station worked so well that they decided to run a similar setting on the AC station.
“We have a country station there running a top-of-the-line Wheatstone X3 FM/HD audio processor, and this little MP-532 really holds its own next to the X3 and any other processor in the market. It doesn’t look as pretty in the rack, but it sounds almost as good, if not better in some ways.”
It was a bonus that the MP-532 is a multipurpose processor. He recommends it for a cluster that might need an all-around backup that can stand in as an AM or an FM, or as a streaming processor.