I'm a newby when it comes to dcc and sound decoders. I'm looking at new locomotives and see that some of them come with build in sound decoders such as the Soundtraxx Sound Value decoders. What is the difference between these and the regular Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders?
Usually less sound features. The CV documents for both are at the SoundTraxx site.
Some figure Bachmann is cheating them but the Bachmann adds spell out what sounds that are in their locos including the Tsunami on board which are a different series compared to the sound value ones.
Some people make incorrect “assumptions” on what the loco sounds are. From what I have heard, the horn sound for the EM-1 is incorrect.
You might pat attention to the Bachmann site. Many are not aware of the site and forums with Bachmann reps there.
The biggest difference is the sound value decoders do NOT have the equaliser or reverb features. There are also a couple of sounds missing. Go to Soundtraxx and click on manuals. There should be one for factory installed. There should be a list for Bachmann. Compare the CV's listed for Bachmann and Athearn or Bowser. If you don't mind a "value" decoder equipped loco, Bachmann is the way to go.Note though that the Bachmann standard line of locos are not detailed very much. Joe
I've looked at the Bachmann list and don't see the equilizer or reverb CV's. I would think not having those would have a big effect on the sound quality. So maybe the preinstalled decoder is not a good solution either?
Depends on what you call a "Good Solution".
For some, the sound value is a good solution. I have been watching the Bachmann forums for some time and there are happy users.
I see the sound value line for the general modeler who is concerned with cost and would like sound.
I am seeing about $100 to maybe $120 for a sound loco with a decent sound decoder.
A few years ago, I remember getting a Athearn/Roundhouse HO 4-4-0 with MRC sound decoder. Not a good solution. I put in a Micro Tsunami.
I would have to say, this line is Not for Rivet Counters or people who just like to complain.
I have the Tsunami I installed myself and the Spectrum line, not sound value line, that come with on board Tsunami.
I have 3 diesels with the Tsunami regular decoders installed. 1 was factory(Bowser) the other 2 are my instalations. I have not needed to use the reverb or equaliser feature on any of them. I plan on getting either the Bachmann F7A or F7B unit with the sound value decoder and see how they sound. Micro Mark has good prices on the Bachmann diesels with the sound value decoders in them. Joe
The reverb really helps the weak horn sounds on the Tsunami.
Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's
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I can't speak for the diesels, but I've got a Bachmann steamer with one of these decoders and I love it. For the price, it's probably the best value of any of my locomotives. I don't have to fill a cavernous hall with sound, so the Soundtraxx decoder does an outstanding job of bringing the engine to life. Really, the only thing I miss is the coupler clank, and I really don't use that all that much anyway. It's not a switcher, after all.
It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse.
Rich got it right. It depends on what you call "good sound".
For the BEST sound, you WILL pay $100-$120 extra and probably self install the sound-decoder regardless of brand.
Other than for Blackstone models, the decoder you get included with your loco will be driven by price point and marketing concerns and not by BEST sound considerations. However many MRs do find such sound inclusive loco sounds "nice", "suitable" or "acceptable"........Until they hear what a $100.00 + sound decoder produces, regardless of who makes it.
If I can't fix it, I can fix it so it can't be fixed
Bachmann Spectrum has had steam engines available for several years now with a stripped-down version of the Soundtraxx Tsunami - same basic sounds (whistle and bell choices, brake squeal, etc.) but no reverb or "Fireman Fred" sounds. I suspect the new Sound Value decoders are an even more stripped-down Tsunami...3 whistle / horn choices instead of 17, no break squeal, etc.
Absolutely agree with the weak horn sound help on the Tsunami (EMD Dual Prime Mover)