Author Topic: Holy war time: best sound decoders  (Read 1079 times)

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peteski

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2018, 04:32:55 PM »
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Thanks, Peteski! ;) Yeah, I sometimes forget the V4 Manual has a lot of extra info in it. Also, that passage you mentioned on the Loksound Direct Micro packaging is a lot clearer than what I've seen or at least recall previously. That 1.5W output at 4 Ohms load gives you something more solid to work with in just one sentence, even if you still need to figure out how to calculate changes if using, say, an 8 Ohm speaker instead. However, the 4 Watt output example is a bit more confusing to me. Ohms rating aside for a moment, If a decoder has 4 Watt amp output rating and I'm using a speaker with a .7W(1W max) rating, wouldn't that mean I should only be able to set the master(?) volume somewhere around 20-25% of max? I know higher settings are often possible, but wouldn't that be somewhere around the mathematical(?) max? Then there's trying to account for an Ohms rating when only a range is given, like 4-16, or not even given at all like in your other example. Since decoder-damaging errors can seemingly occur, I really wish some of the documentation was more detailed, all together in one section and written with your more average hobbyist in mind. ;)

Audio amplifiers and acoustics is a while new subject!  While it is good for a DCC -sound installers to have some basic knowledge, I dodn't think any in-depth knowledge is required.  I'm not an expert on either, but I know enough to be dangerous.  :)

A quick and dirty explanation: Audio amplifiers have internal power supply. It has a certain voltage and current rating (current and voltage is wattage).  An amplifier is designed to safely utilize all that wattage using a speaker of a certain impedance.  That is the optimal (and the lowest in most cases) speaker impedance.  That is usually how audio amps are rated.  If you hook up a speaker with lower impedance and crank the volume high enough, you will overload the amplifier, either seriously distorting the sound, ot actually damaging the amplifier.  But if you hook up a speaker which is higher impedance than the recommended value, even at the maximum volume, the amplifier will not be producing the maximum wattage.   It might still distort the sound , but the amplifier will not be overloaded.  That is a quick and dirty explanation. 

It is easy to remember that using a speaker with impedance double of the amp's specs (if amp specs show 4 ohms and you use 8 ohm speker) then the power delivered to the speaker will only reach half of the amps rated maximum power.  If you use a speaker rated half of the amps lowers specified speaker impedance, the power delivered to the speaker would be double of the value in the ampls' specs. But since the amp will likely not be abel to deliver that power, something can get damaged.

If the speaker's impedance is greatly larger than the amp's specified range then the audio might also be distorted (and much lower maximum volume and power). Mane amps are designed to work properly with a certain load on their output stage - if the load is too small, the output stage will distort the signal.

As far as the volume setting goes, it is not very clear cut. Volume control does not set an an absolute limit (or cutoff voltage). It is simply an attenuator of the input signal being fed to the amplifier.  If you are worried about damaging your speakers, start of will lower volume then increase it, but not high enough to distort the sound.
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Mike C

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2018, 06:21:53 PM »
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What you can do with the Tsunami 2 with things like cut-off is absolutely great,

Marc

Marc , by cutoff , do you mean the DDE settings ?  I also really like the T2 decoders , but I also only run steam ......Mike

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2018, 07:51:44 PM »
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Ok, how about the TCS WOW decoders mentioned here?  Small enough to fit in N scale models?

Yes. I have a WOW 101 in an N scale brass Hallmark tender.
The decoder is .66" wide, but the ATSF had big (and 10'-9" wide) tenders😎
Otto K.

nscaler711

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2018, 10:56:47 PM »
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Yes. I have a WOW 101 in an N scale brass Hallmark tender.
The decoder is .66" wide, but the ATSF had big (and 10'-9" wide) tenders😎
Otto K.

does that by any chance, have the Audio Assist programming?
Science isn't about why, it's about why not. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much? In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired! Not you, test subject, you're doing fine.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2018, 04:02:24 PM »
+1
Yes.

wmcbride

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2018, 08:56:08 AM »
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Atlas did a great job on the SD35 speakers, unlike Scale Trains' Tier 4's, and I am speaking specifically about the one sound that really can make or break the sound experience: the horn.

ESU has wonderful horn sounds and when I first heard their horn in a Bowser HO C430, I was flabbergasted. It was so different from the reedy, weak air horns in Tsunami decoders at the time.

The key, as John Colombo has demonstrated early on for N, is the speaker and enclosure to take advantage of those ESU sound files in N.

Both Intermountain and Scale Trains failed in their initial factory speaker and its installation. I was pleasantly surprised with Atlas's speaker design. It doesn't require a rework and does a good job of replicating scale sound in an N scale diesel.
Bill McBride

jdcolombo

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2018, 10:30:29 AM »
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Atlas did a great job on the SD35 speakers, unlike Scale Trains' Tier 4's, and I am speaking specifically about the one sound that really can make or break the sound experience: the horn.

ESU has wonderful horn sounds and when I first heard their horn in a Bowser HO C430, I was flabbergasted. It was so different from the reedy, weak air horns in Tsunami decoders at the time.

The key, as John Colombo has demonstrated early on for N, is the speaker and enclosure to take advantage of those ESU sound files in N.

Both Intermountain and Scale Trains failed in their initial factory speaker and its installation. I was pleasantly surprised with Atlas's speaker design. It doesn't require a rework and does a good job of replicating scale sound in an N scale diesel.

Sigh.  I guess I'm going to have to buy one of these and check it out.  The photos I've seen of the speaker and enclosure look promising, but it's time I heard one in person.  I do think that the manufacturers have more or less gotten the "speaker plus sealed enclosure of appropriate size = better sound" message, though.  Now it's just a matter of incorporating that message into something that can actually be mass-produced and assembled efficiently.  I'm glad Atlas seems to have found the solution.

John C.

nstars

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2018, 01:01:00 PM »
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Marc , by cutoff , do you mean the DDE settings ?  I also really like the T2 decoders , but I also only run steam ......Mike

It has nothing to do with DDE. With cut-off I mean something specific to steam engines, the relation between the valves and the piston. To reduce fuel consumption the valves are closed earlier at higher speeds and this results in a distinctively different sound of the chuffs. Just try F5 or F6 when running at constant speed.

Marc

wmcbride

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2018, 02:23:44 PM »
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Sigh.  I guess I'm going to have to buy one of these and check it out.  The photos I've seen of the speaker and enclosure look promising, but it's time I heard one in person.  I do think that the manufacturers have more or less gotten the "speaker plus sealed enclosure of appropriate size = better sound" message, though.  Now it's just a matter of incorporating that message into something that can actually be mass-produced and assembled efficiently.  I'm glad Atlas seems to have found the solution.

John C.

Ha ha!

Yes, John, you need an NKP SD35, or, I guess a Norfolk & Western unit. You might become "modernized" before you know it!

Bill McBride

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2018, 02:29:51 PM »
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How about the best speakers?
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Steveruger45

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Re: Holy war time: best sound decoders
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2018, 07:32:49 PM »
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How about the best speakers?

Yes, good idea but I’m thinking the opinions may be very subjective, so many variables
Steve
Atascocita, Texas