Author Topic: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?  (Read 1258 times)

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Rossford Yard

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »
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I am currently running only my newish IM SD40-2 with sound.  Tried to convince myself I didn't like it to save some money, to no avail. Happy with it as it comes out of the box, but will look into lowering volume a bit, and raising horn volume. After reading this, I tend to agree.  In ten years time, I may turn them back up but turn down a hearing aid, who knows.

And, while I have  nearly 200 locomotives, most with DCC, I think I will buy a few more as models I like are coming out with sound (Atlas C630 in MN Commercial, IHB GP38-2).  Since I no longer have the large mainline layout (IHB of Texas for those who want to dig through threads) and now have an 8 x 17 switching layout, I think three or four locos will suffice.  If IM ever gets the GP10's out in sound, so much the better, I won't be able to resist.

I am not electrically inclined enough to retro fit old locos to new sound decoders, but that is an option, too. I have a few great runners that I would like to use, but I tried them after sound, and didn't like it.
 
Lastly, while I don't begrudge anyone their personal tastes, the limited poll sample shows over 2/3 have or want sound.  I know sound makes the grand kids want to come over and see the layout more. I have read the mfgs think more tech is the next big wave to keep sales going, and these limited snippets suggest they are correct. While sales will determine it, I get the feeling that as time goes on, sound only will be the only option to get for new locos.  Never in the history of the world or world of model railroading have things stood still tech wise, to appease the few old timers (like me!) who prefer things the way they are.  I doubt a new trend will start now, but as always, I could be wrong.

pdx1955

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2018, 04:00:02 PM »
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For myself, I've been rather ambivalent about sound in which I could go either way. I did buy a Atlas S2 and personally, I do love toodling around the yard switching and it does enhance the operation. Since then, I reserved a set of BLI F's,and I plan to add sound to to a number of my SD7's and 9's following the tips on this forum. I'm going to be strategic - putting them into locomotives that I get the most use out of. I also plan to get some of the ambient stationary Ngineering boards like the SW-1 just so I can have that EMD "burble" in the engine terminal. 
Peter

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narrowminded

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2018, 07:22:41 PM »
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I didn't think I would like sound.  It struck me that it would be really corny. :| 

Then I got a BLI Alco set and an M1b.  Well, after turning the master volume WAY down, I find I do like it.  Volume CV is set 10 or under (from 150 factory?) and my hearing isn't that special, but as a light background sound I actually find I miss it when the non sound stuff is running.  I won't be panicking to equip a fleet but may play around with some installs at some point. 8)

At the cost and the highly variable sound quality, perceived or real, it seems that the option to add sound would be the best approach for manufacturers rather than the default position that it's included.  Be able to buy it included or just sound ready would not seem to be such a problem for production, either.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 07:45:37 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

mu26aeh

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2018, 08:35:22 PM »
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A O scale friend of mine recently made the comment after an ops session at another friends HO layout that while he was working his jobs, he didn't even notice the fact that engines did not have sound in them.  He has a mix of ESU, WowSound, Tsumani, and soundtraxx in his O scale engines ( I'm not certain of what % but he is in midst of swapping all out for ESU) so when he has open house events, he has his sound turned on for visitors.  He didn't notice anything about sound at the ops session until after he had completed his work and was watching me finish up swapping out loads for empties at the power plant job I was on.  My consist had a sound equipped loco on it.

Rossford Yard

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2018, 09:09:39 AM »
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A O scale friend of mine recently made the comment after an ops session at another friends HO layout that while he was working his jobs, he didn't even notice the fact that engines did not have sound in them.  He has a mix of ESU, WowSound, Tsumani, and soundtraxx in his O scale engines ( I'm not certain of what % but he is in midst of swapping all out for ESU) so when he has open house events, he has his sound turned on for visitors.  He didn't notice anything about sound at the ops session until after he had completed his work and was watching me finish up swapping out loads for empties at the power plant job I was on.  My consist had a sound equipped loco on it.

When I was prepping for hosting an Op Session, Coaldriver noted that at his sessions, which are serious, but fun, no one notices lack of scenery, scenes only 6" deep, and a lot of other things.  You really do focus on your train and task.  I guess sound is no different, unless the host specifies you ring the bell, sound the horn, etc. as part of your task, and then you notice!  At our local sessions, we are instructed to give the flagman or crew enough time to jump off and throw the switch, then jump back on, etc. Some operators even add a jog in place motion to simulate it.  (No, not an April Fools post, but could be!) 

Of course, the delay in movement on the SD40-2 as the prime mover revs up helps the illusion, too, and adds a bit of time to every task (on most undersized layouts, always a good thing)  I started typing to say I agreed with mu26, but changed my mind as I did........

Billg

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2018, 11:47:16 PM »
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I've had 37 years on the RR, 25 as an engineer and the rest as an officer.  I'm pretty sure I know what engines sound like.  The 1st time I heard sound in an N scale loco I laughed.  It sounded like it was on Helium!  Then came LOKSOUND.  The first time I heard the IM 40-2 crank and start I got goosebumps!  I cut my teeth on those locomotives.  As a matter of fact I pulled a train off the IHB with 10 brand spankin' new ones right off the assembly line.  I don't run the sound all the time but when I do, it's music to my ears especially with the drive/hold feature!  You can actually simulate running a train if you know how to use it! 
Thank you Loksound!

Bill
Bill W.

John

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2018, 04:25:51 AM »
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I've had 37 years on the RR, 25 as an engineer and the rest as an officer.  I'm pretty sure I know what engines sound like.  The 1st time I heard sound in an N scale loco I laughed.  It sounded like it was on Helium!  Then came LOKSOUND.  The first time I heard the IM 40-2 crank and start I got goosebumps!  I cut my teeth on those locomotives.  As a matter of fact I pulled a train off the IHB with 10 brand spankin' new ones right off the assembly line.  I don't run the sound all the time but when I do, it's music to my ears especially with the drive/hold feature!  You can actually simulate running a train if you know how to use it! 
Thank you Loksound!

Bill

Interesting observation ... I don't own an ESU, but I've tinkered enough to realize the speaker enclosure makes a big difference in the quality .. I'm certainly learning a lot in this thread.

peteski

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Re: Sound Decoders - Do you have them? How (often) are they used?
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2018, 04:53:37 AM »
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Interesting observation ... I don't own an ESU, but I've tinkered enough to realize the speaker enclosure makes a big difference in the quality .. I'm certainly learning a lot in this thread.

That is true - the type of speaker and enclosure makes a huge difference in sound quality.
The decoder which Billg  said sounded like it was on helium would likely sound acceptable with a good speaker in a good enclosure.  The decoder's electronics and the quality of the sound file recordings also make a difference of course.
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