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| | |-+  The demise of non sound steam
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Author Topic: The demise of non sound steam  (Read 20948 times)
Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 10:10:25 PM »

Yes, I agree. Models without DCC sound are better in my book, though I realize the merits of locos with sound...

Case in point: Athearn's sound-equipped Genesis F7's. A couple years ago, they offered them in an A/B set w/sound lettered for the T&P. However, the $300 price tag was (and still is) way too much for my budget. Guess what? I went without, and later bought some analog Proto 2000 F-units at Trainworld for $30 each, and lettered them using discontinued Champ decals I found on eBay.

I think manufacturers should realize that not everyone wants / can afford the high-end stuff, and, especially in a bum economy, should continue to make the more inexpensive, tried and true products.

Fine, one more case in point:
I wish Athearn would continue to manufacture more of its Blue-Box kits. While techinically they do still make them, they're much harder to find, and less are manufactured. I refuse to pay $13 for an RTR car, when I could easily make an identical car from the once standard $6 kit.
Now, when need rolling stock, I wait and go to a swap meet and get Athearn cars for less than $5 each.

I don't mean to pick on Athearn, but its true of other manufacturers, too.
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rogertra


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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 12:03:14 AM »

I hope you feel better after that rant. You will get over it.

Rich

However Rich, the unarguable fact is, that I'm correct.  Even the "best" sound system sounds like a 1950s transistor radio.  :-)
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2009, 12:15:58 AM »

The 2009 catalog doesn't list the Connie non-sound, but they are still shown on this site.

By the way, I know of two major distributors for model trains in the U.S., Walthers and Horizon Hobby.  Who is the U.S. (North American) distributor for Bachmann trains?

Who knows, there may still be hundreds of Connies in a warehouse somewhere.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 12:22:25 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
moosemose

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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2009, 01:09:59 AM »

"The Cost of Doing Business" doesn't hold water as they already have all the "Tooling", No R&D costs & at this point in time, I think they have just about all the features established that anyone could want, so what else are they up against Huh?   John
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2009, 01:16:14 AM »


I guess the below link is false advertising or maybe not in stock.

http://www.micromark.com/bachmann-on30-locomotives-and-powered-equipment.html

Rich

Rich, do you think it's possible that Micro Mark installed the DCC and sound (or had it installed for them)??

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am another one who is underwhelmed by small scale sound but Soundtraxx's Surroundtraxx may be the answer.   Big bass sound at half a dozen places under the layout, following the trains as they move around, and the small squeeky sounds directly from the locomotives.  Our ears cannot pinpoint the origin of low sounds so six sources should be good for all but the largest layouts.  Our ears are best at pinpointing the high frequency sounds, and our brains can easily be fooled about the origin of mid range sounds once they been pointed at an apparent source by both the high sounds and the visual images.  This approach requires a lot of expensive hardware and I have the nagging feeling that it still may not solve the problem of associating the full bodied sound with a small locomotive.

Jim
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 01:19:37 AM by Jim Banner » Logged

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richG
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« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2009, 11:27:49 AM »

Hi Jim

To the best of my knowledge, Bachmann has the decoders and speakers installed "somewhere" and sell to different on line shops.
Another company is coming out with HO scale Tsunami decoder equipped locos. Cannot say here who it is.

Tony's Trains does their own installs from what I can see. I only see there reps at the Big E show once a year.

Tony's Trains offers Bachmann "loco only" which I figure is DCC ready, power decoder only, LC sound decoder and premium sound decoder. I do not know what the "premium" decoder is. They have pretty good prices.

As far as sound quality goes, I learned many years ago that model railroading is only an analogy of the real thing and all analogies break down somewhere. Think code 100 rail and huge couplers, very tight curves. In our minds, it look prototypical. It is only a hobby, think childern of all ages, playing with trains.

Rich
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 12:10:17 PM by richG » Logged
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2009, 12:12:24 PM »

Sound quality is an interesting thing. I would disagree that the sounds from our locos sound unrealistic. Yes, the sound quality coming from a 1/2" speaker in the tender of an N-scale loco sounds a bit thin. Physics is funny that way, and I'm fairly certain a BOSE wave tender is years off. (It would be a heckuva challenge for 'em, though!) However, Hook any top-end sound system (Phoenix, QSI, etc.) up to a good amp and speakers, and you'll get ground-shaking sound out of them. Case in point, the Colorado Railroad Museum has a diesel "simulator" in one of their locos that's hooked up to a Phoenix (I believe) sound system. That hummer sounds real. Heck, I used a cheap MRC sound control for a stage production once, and it had quite the presence in the theatre.

Now, we can't fit 12" subwoofers in even our 1:20 models, let alone HO or N scale, so there is some degree of compromise. But is it really compromise?

Consider how we view our trains. When we operate our trains, we typically view them from two, three or more feet away. In large scale, you're typically 5, 6 up to 20 to 30 or more feet away. Now, let's scale that. If you're 4' away from an HO scale train, you're nearly 350' away. Stand 350' away from the prototype, and it's going to sound a lot different than it would sound if you were 10' away from it. Yet, the common perception for many modelers is that even from a scale 1000' away, we need to hear the sounds as if we're on board. Change that paradigm, and sound systems--even in N scale--take on a very realistic tone. Even a tiny speaker (such as those in our earbuds) sound very full-bodied when close enough to our ears.

I'm not a fan of blarlingly loud sound systems. I want to hear the train approaching as it comes into view. I want to hear it fade away after it passes. As such, I turn the volume down as low as it can possibly go and still be audible. Maybe I lose some of the subtle nuances, but I can't remember the last time I heard the fireman shoveling the coal when I was standing 1000' away. That's fine with me.

Sure, if you want your trains to always sound as if you were riding in the locomotive, even the best sound systems and speakers come up short. To me, that's as unrealistic as not having sound in the first place. If we let the sound ebb and flow as it travels, let it be distant and thin when away from us, vibrant when closer in, then I think you get a much more rewarding experience.

Later,

K
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James Thomas

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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2009, 12:23:16 PM »

Rich,

The locos listed with sound are the old locos that have been out for a while.  It's the NEW locos:  both 4-4-0's, the upcoming 4-6-0, the rail bus, that are not listed with sound.  The first 4-4-0 has been around for over a year -- still no sound.

Just doesn't seem consistant.  Seems as though sound has been dropped in On30, and non-sound has been dropped in HO.

-JRT
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richG
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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2009, 01:09:45 PM »

The first 4-4-0s with no sound came ready for sound. I bought the first one. They now come with sound.  Most of the sound locos in on line shops are the latest releases of sound and no sound.
If it says Tsunmai technology, it is fairly recent.

Bachmann is not known to keep up with their on line catalogs.

The ebay shops will no doubt have older stock, though a year now a days can be considered old stork.

Please go and click on the Micro Mark link I provided earlier and read All the entries.

There are a number of on line shops who sell Spectrums and the stock can change almost daily.

Rich
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boomertom
Clinchfield/C&O modeler


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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2009, 03:20:33 PM »

Hi Jim

To the best of my knowledge, Bachmann has the decoders and speakers installed "somewhere" and sell to different on line shops.
Another company is coming out with HO scale Tsunami decoder equipped locos. Cannot say here who it is.

In my e-mail today, this other company seems to be none other than Athearn - interesting as they already have had sound equipped locomotives for several years. Supposedly it will also cover some Roundhouse locos.

As a side note, several years ago when I was first debating DCC it was suggested to me that for a small layout that sound could become overpowering hence somewhat distracting.

Tom
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Tom Blair (TJBJRVT68)
James Thomas

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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2009, 03:32:32 PM »

Rich,

I guess I'm either stupid or blind -- I see no 4-4-0 listed at Micro-Mark with sound.  I have asked the Bach Man before about sound and his reply was that there was no sound at this time in the 4-4-0 (first version.)

Please prove me wrong so I can buy one.

-JRT
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richG
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2009, 05:22:32 PM »

http://www.micromark.com/bachmann-ho-scale.html

Click on the above link and scroll all the way down. The two bottom ones are 4-4-0.

Rich
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richG
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2009, 05:42:50 PM »

Hi boomertom

Yes, sound can be distracting if too loud. Anyone figure out 1/87th sound level for HO scale?
Some modelers using sound are like kids with their first train set. Maximum speed!!!

On my own layout, I use near minimum sound.

I was in a railroad  yard one time with two steam locomotives operating. It can get quite loud. Prototype yards must have been very noisy as a lot of yards could have many locomotives operating, coming in, leaving, shunting rolling stock, etc. I have seen photos of yards with maybe a couple dozen steamers under steam.

Rich

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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2009, 08:44:59 PM »

Well, just my opinion, but sound in the small scales is unrealistic for a number of reasons, no matter how low you turn it down. Poor sound quality, poor dynamic range just to start.

I'm glad I have most all the locomotives I need or want since I don't want DCC or sound.

But, Bachmann's current trend excepted, Proto, Atlas, Athearn, Intermountain and others show no signs of discontinuing the production of non sound DC locomotives.

These manufacturers seem to realize they can kill two birds with one stone. Or maybe it is four birds with two stones. By offering both DCC/sound and DC/no sound versions that are DCC ready, they allow those who want out of the box DCC and/or sound to pay the high price. While allowing everyone else to tailor the product to their own needs.

Some will add basic decoders, some will add their favorite high end sound decoder, others will run them DC.

All market needs met!

Bachmann has provided DCC with no sound at such a low price it is like a DC version, especially with the "jumpers" for removing the decoder (that's what I do).

But I buy BLI Blue Line stuff and take out the sound too.

Sheldon
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adari

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« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2009, 09:06:06 PM »

Lately ive been buying only sound equipped engines but i still love the ones without sound. If i had to to get a engine ive always wanted  would get in dcc (or dc). my first engine had no sound.I didnt even know that sound equipped engines existed until 07. well in o scale yes
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