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Speaker Replacement

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Speaker Replacement
Posted by Woofda on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:08 PM
I have a Athearn Big Boy that I want to upgrade the sound system. I got a Tsunami system which several people reported to like. The Big Boy has 2 speakers in the tender and I guess that the Tsunami uses one HB 1 speaker. Does anyone know if you can or should use the 2 you already have or rip them out and instal the one AHD HB-1 speaker? 
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:40 AM

You can use either 2 or 4 speakers of any appropriate 8 ohm model with the Tsunami..AHD hb-1 or otherwise.  I have Tsunamis having 1, 2 and 4 installed.  There is no doubt that you will improve the sound by driving more speakers.  Just be sure to follow the wiring diagram provided in all Tsunami products and on the Sountraxx website for the proper wiring of the speakers. 

Two speakers may be wired in series to achieve 16 ohms...which will sound better than one but you may want to turn down the volume somewhat as you have halved the impedence in the circuit.

Do not wire them incorrectly to 4 ohms or you will eventually damage the decoder. 

You may wire four 8 ohm speakers in series/parallel to achieve 8 ohms, but probably won't have the space for this in any tender.  I have mine in an experimental "sound car" box car that is connected via miniconnectors to various locos as needed.

BTW, you will not need to purchase a capacitor for the speakers as one is provided, wired into the decoder already.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7:10 PM
 davidmbedard wrote:

You can get away with one nice large oval speaker with a nice baffel.

David B

David is quite right.  This is the simplest solution.....but the definitive word is "large".  If you can get a large oval in, you may not notice any difference between one and two speakers.  However, due to the rectangular shape of the tenders there is not much of a large oval that can be placed in there.  You will easily double the air movement with two matched ovals.  It is a good idea to match them, btw, rather than use two different sized speakers.

With a little care on the sealing of the speaker margins to the floor (or in some cases the "roof" of the tender...or under the coal pile) you will not need a baffle.  In fact, an added baffle takes up room that you could use by maximizing the size of the speaker.  It is common to simply use the entire tender as the baffle.

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  • From: Burlington, Washington
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Posted by PHARMD98233 on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:42 PM

When I first replaced the MRC decoder in my Challenger with a Tsunami, I tried using the original speakers....that was a mistake.  Then I used two large ovals from Tony's Trains with a much better response.  That was an improvement, but the chuff sounded to me like someone rubbing a wire brush inside of a metal garbage can.  Still too tinney for my ear.  Then I picked up a base speaker from Tony's and replaced one of the large ovals.   Still better.   So, I replaced the remaining oval with another base speaker.  Now we are getting a nicer somewhat deeper chuff and whistle.  Also, I pack a little cotton in the tender and this seems to help as well.  I use Tony's enclosures for the speakers.

Adjustments to the Tsunami equalizer settings also contribute to a better overall sound.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:14 AM
 PHARMD98233 wrote:

When I first replaced the MRC decoder in my Challenger with a Tsunami, I tried using the original speakers....

Adjustments to the Tsunami equalizer settings also contribute to a better overall sound.

I am just a little puzzled here.  From where are you getting the Tsunamis with "original speakers" and what are these like?  I have 5 purchased from Litchfield Station and none came with a speaker...allowing me to go straight to some good sized ovals.

Wait a minute...I just got it....you mean original speakers from the MRC install?

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Posted by PHARMD98233 on Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:08 AM
Yep...the original MRC speakers in the tender were a disappointing, just like the original sound decoder.
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Posted by Woofda on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 12:55 PM
Has anyone seen any pictures of this instilation? A wiring digram of the old system would ficilitate the instilation of the new system.
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Posted by betamax on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:33 PM
Since several of you have already done the research, could you tell the rest of us what you found worked well. In terms of speaker sizes and how you mounted them.

The original Athearn speakers will work, but they are a little small, and to get decent bass (that is the proper way to spell that word!) involves rattling the tender, a lot. Almost sounds like some kid in his civic trying to deafen himself in 10 minutes or less. (Loco has to be under power for the thumping... :) )

I'm planning to upgrade the speakers in the tender for a better sound, particularly in the low end. The OEM speakers are a little muddy in that region, and the eq only does so much.

BTW, has anyone worked out a good chuff rate. I'm just not happy with the settings I've tried.
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Posted by UpNorth on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 11:50 PM

I've put the Tsunami and the largest oval speaker and enclosure (from Tony's Trains) into my 2-6-0 IHC moguls and it all fits without much problem. I had to lower the volume. So this should fit into a larger tender.  The auto-chuff rate is close but never perfect. Cam driven would be  the best option.

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