Railsounds or Railsounds 4.0 or Railsounds 5.0 or Protosounds or Protosounds 2.0

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Railsounds or Railsounds 4.0 or Railsounds 5.0 or Protosounds or Protosounds 2.0
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 03, 2006 7:54 AM
I have been looking at the different offerings from Lionel and MTH with regards to sound produceing locomotives. I see there is a wide offering of sound versions available from both. Sound seems to be the driveing force in price. What is not made clear is the difference between each of the offerings. I know that MTH has Locosounds,Protosound 1.0, and Protosound 2.0. I know Lionel has Trainsounds, Railsounds, Railsounds 4.0, and Railsounds 5.0.

This brings me to the following questions:
Lionel:
1. We all know Trainsounds is the bottom level for sound from Lionel, but is there a substantial sound quality difference between Railsounds, Railsounds 4.0 and Railsounds 5.0? Is the sound qaulity comprable with the difference being feature based, such as number of announcements and so on?

MTH:
1. Locosounds was the earliest offering by MTH. The quality (in my opinion) is much better than enrty level Trainsounds from Lionel. I have a Locosound equipped F3 Pennsy.I am moderately satisfied - especially for the money. I had (before I sold it) a Trainsounds 2-4-0 from Lionel. I was not satisfied.
2. What is the difference between Protosounds 1.0 and Protosounds 2.0 with regards to sound quality? Or, is it primarily rooted in features such as the number of announcements and that sort of thing.

Here comes the "Ford or Chevy" type arguement:
Compairing Apples to Apples, how do each of the above Manufatuers offerings pair off, and, which is the best bang for the buck?

I am writting this because I do not have the money to go buy one of each. I want to be educated by you all before I make buying decisions.

I will say this: I have a Protosound 2-8-0 Pennsy with Protosounds 2.0 Locomotive. The sound and smoke are impressive.I paid $168.00 for it . I have (being shipped to me as I write this) a Lionel NYC GP9 with railsounds. I paid $175.00 for it. I hope I will not be disappointed.

I am posting this for selfish and unselfish reasons. I want to know what I bought and I want others to know more before they by. There are some of you guys out there who are experts and can helps us who are new or relatively new to O guage.

Thank you,





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Posted by thor on Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:00 AM
I, too, could use a good solid primer regarding the various sound systems. Its all very confusing and leaves one wondering if one buys an earlier system does that then limit one to only running that loco per session and so on.
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Posted by spankybird on Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:27 AM
The very big difference between MTH PS1 and PS2 engines is PS2 engines not only have sound, but are full command controlled engines with DCS ! ! [8D]

There are many more sound effects on PS 2 engines, most of which need to be activated thru the DCS command system. But even without DCS, you still have the basic sound system, ProtoSmoke, speed control, etc. [;)]

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Posted by ChiefEagles on Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:38 AM
Tom is right. Big difference in PS1 And PS2 sounds. Railsounds 4.0 is great but 5.0 is even better. I will not get into which one is best. [;)]

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:38 AM
PS-1 was the first sound system used by MTH. It was designed by QS-I. Sounds are digitally stored analog sound recordings. There is no claim made to the accuracy of the sounds relative to the actual locomotive being modeled. Sounds are accessed by using QSI's technology to trigger playback based on voltage shifts and "morse code" bell/whistle presses.

RailSounds is Lionel's flag ship sound system. These are digitally stored digital recordings of real locomotives or as close as they could find at the time. The differences in RS 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, .., 4.x have more to do with board layout, amplifier size, etc. 5.0 is the first major upgrade to RS since it's introduction. There is no difference in the accustic quality of the sounds from any these systems, only a variation of the number/type of sounds and what control you have over them (i.e. trigger mechanisms). Most of Railsounds features require TMCC to fully control/access. In conventional mode you can not trigger all sounds (patent issues).

LocoSounds is MTH's bottom basement sound system. These are digitally synthesized "sounds". They are not recordings at all and do not sound even remotely like the trains they are supposed to be "emulating".

PS-2 is MTH's premier sound system. These are digitally stored digital recordings that are, for the most part resaonably accurate to the prototype. There are generally more sounds available from a PS-2 locomotive than there are from pre RS-5 locomotives. There is still a difference in the sound quality as the speaker choices and enclosure design (if there even is one) is still well below the speakers/enclosures used in Lionel's locomotives. The RS licensee's have a mixed track record on the enclosure issues, and it's more on a specific loco issue.

TrainSounds is Lionels new entry level sound system. Sound pallete is similar to what you have in RailSounds BUT the big difference is how/when sounds are triggered. TS is meant to be used in non command mode and allows access to additional sounds in conventional mode by using licensed QSI technology of voltage shift and combinations of sound activation button pushes. A RailSounds locomotive's full sound set can not be accessed without TMCC command base and CAB-1. There are also limits on what sounds can be played at the same time, i.e. some sounds will cause others to cut out instead of overlaying the sounds the way RS does.

Older MTH and Lionel units used analog synthesized boards to emulate air whistle and bicycle horn/bells. The original Mighty Sound of Steam boards where a white noise generator coupled to a vco trigger to simulate chuffing. It wasn't bad for what it did either.

I've found that if I am running more than one loco of a given type, I turn the sound down or disable motor/chuffing and just leave the horn/whistle active. Three or more of these units going at the same time just sounds like noise.

Almost forgot, Railsounds "sounds" are not just stright recordings for playback, particulalry the horn/whistle. The basic elements of these sounds are recorded and stored and the signal processing chips assemble the sounds on the fly. Variations are based on how long you hold down the button and speed settings and a random number generator. In RS-5 you can actually "play" the horn/whistle.
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Posted by nblum on Saturday, June 03, 2006 3:42 PM
Chuck, that's about the most accurate and concise summary I've ever seen. Nice work.
Neil (not Besougloff or Young) :)
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Posted by ChiefEagles on Saturday, June 03, 2006 10:12 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by chuckn



Almost forgot, Railsounds "sounds" are not just stright recordings for playback, particulalry the horn/whistle. The basic elements of these sounds are recorded and stored and the signal processing chips assemble the sounds on the fly. Variations are based on how long you hold down the button and speed settings and a random number generator. In RS-5 you can actually "play" the horn/whistle.

"I said I did not want to get into this but I will."
I can play a "tune" with the RS 4 and 5 versions with the horn button on my CAB1[speed and etc varies the horn sounds] where, with the PS2 and the DCS remote, you get the same old dying cow sound horn.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 03, 2006 11:08 PM
Chuck,
I have to ask, how do you know all this? I am greatful for your willingness to share this information. It is truely helpful.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 04, 2006 5:18 AM
Information I posted was published on the various vendors web sites and from reviews and articles in publications like Classic Toy Trains as well as backround files from some of the principals involved and some is from the US government Patent Office site.

http://www.trubitt.com/train_sounds.html

http://www.trubitt.com/field_1.html
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Posted by quizshow904 on Friday, April 25, 2014 5:12 PM

I have an MTH RailKing 30-1128-0 steam engine, I have contacted one of the ERR distributors but they say I will get RailSounds, but not RS 4.0. How do I go about getting RS 4.0 and will it work in my engine?

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