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Bowser and Intermountain Loksound

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  • Member since
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Bowser and Intermountain Loksound
Posted by NdeM6400 on Sunday, October 13, 2013 6:14 PM

Just found out Bowser is changing their C430s and C636s to Loksound decoders. I'm hearing that Loksound doesn't play nicely with Tsunami/Sountraxx, and need to know if this will be a problem. My plans are to mix them with the rest of the fleet. Trying to decide about more intermountain ES44ACs, because the plan is to run those in DPU with my Athearn and Intermountain units.

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  • From: Northeast OH
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Posted by tstage on Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:00 PM

NdeM6400
I'm hearing that Loksound doesn't play nicely with Tsunami/Sountraxx

It'll be much easier to speed-match the Loksound decoders to the Tsunamis rather than the other way around.  The Loksound low-speed is superior to the Tsunami - no comparison.  The new Loksound sound files are terrific, too.  So, you shouldn't have any worries.

I'm glad Bowser switched to Loksound.  The Loksound Select in my Stewart VO-660 is amazing.

Tom

My web site: http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:26 PM

 Yup, just get the Tsunami ones running the best you cna, then match the Loksounds to them. Much easier, no messing with speed tables because Loksound supposrt CV2, 5, and 6.

                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:51 PM

Hi, NdeM

I'm not sure what you mean by "play nicely" with Tsunami. I have seven Loksound engines on my layout and maybe two dozen Tsunami's along with quite a few QSIs and Paragon2s to boot. The Loksounds don't require anything special as far as programming or MU-ing. I just had to learn a few different function numbers and Loksound has a handy chart you can download from the manual.

http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/instruction-manuals/digital-decoders/

As Randy and Tom point out motor control is superior and speed matching is pretty straight forward.

I had a pair of BLI Blueline F-7s that were giving me headaches so I decided to try the (then) new Loksound Selects. Easy swap. I was extremely pleased with the sound and performance of the Loksound decoder!

I've since installed a pair in (newer Walthers) P2K Alco PA-1s and they are FANTASTIC! and I recently picked up a pair of Bowser C-630 chassis with Loksound that were clearanced at MB Klein for... really cheapBig Smile. Funny thing though, the photos show two speakers installed and these only came with one? Still, a great deal and they run and sound great. I just wish there was room for bigger speakers in the C-630.

As time and money permit I will be installing more Loksound decoders... I'm sold! For all the hype and anticipation over the Tsunamis, for me anyway, they were a big disappointment for many reasons.

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Take care, ED

Tags: LOKSOUND , Bowser
  • Member since
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Posted by tstage on Monday, October 14, 2013 6:58 AM

gmpullman

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Ed,

I'm going to guess that a majority of modelers are more into the sound aspect of the hobby rather than speed control.  While the older Loksound decoder sounds were decent, their speed control has always been excellent.  Now Loksound has begun catching up to (and surpassing) Soundtraxx in sound file quality.  The one Soundtraxx decoder I had was disappointing on both counts.  Low-speed control was fair and the horn was anemic, at best.

That's not to say that all Soundtraxx decoders are that way.  I've heard some Tsunamis that sounded terrific.  I've also read here on the forum that, with some considerable CV tweaking, you can improve the speed control of the Tsunamis.  I, personally, have yet to see one that comes close to the speed control of the Loksound decoders - with little or no tweaking required.  They are the best of both worlds, IMO.

Tom

My web site: http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by Train Modeler on Monday, October 14, 2013 8:31 AM

gmpullman

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Take care, ED

Branding helps answer that and for good reason with their good sound.   But, the Soundtraxx install vs Loksound install has been different by the OEMs.  The baffling and speakers has been better with the newer Loksound installs.   My Soundtraxx installs(using 2 HB speakers) sounds better than Loksound, due to baffling/speakers.    I replaced a speaker in one of my MP15AC genesis and the sound is many times better than original--the Athearn original install does Soundtraxx and buyers a disservice.    Maybe Loksound has seen to it that their product is installed better??

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've got my steamers down to about a half mile per hour using Soundtraxx.   How slow do you have to go?.  To me, a bigger problem today for true scale modeling seems to be getting them to go fast enough, for example a P42 that can't get up over 80 or so SMPH.   That's not a decoder, but motor/gearing problem of course.    With their new US service location I will likely use some Loksound decoders vs avoided them before.

Speed matching with JMRI is very simple and makes matching different decoders simple.   I open the files for the "standard" loco and another file for the one I'm trying to change.  Run them around a speed matching loop and dial them in with a stop watch.       I use a different "standard" loco depending on whether passenger, steam or freight, etc.

Richard

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Posted by Mark R. on Monday, October 14, 2013 3:48 PM

gmpullman

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Take care, ED

The thing you don't see in that equasion is that MB Klein apparently bought considerably more of the Loksound version in comparison to the Tsunami.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, October 14, 2013 8:27 PM

These are all very valid points, gentlemen.

Some time ago, I resigned myself to the conclusion that there is NO single sound decoder out there that can qualify as the "holy grail" of sound decoders. Presently, for MY tastes, Loksound has satisfied nearly every criteria for what I would consider an "ideal" decoder.

As Richard points out, the speaker is a major part of the equation. The Loksound Select that I installed in the roomy PA-1 is married to a hi bass speaker in a nice sized enclosure that takes up about 20% of the carbody. Lovely sound indeed! By contrast, the aforementioned C-620 installation by Bowser has a single mini oval speaker— maybe .625 x 1— in a very shallow enclosure. Obviously a compromise that must be considered.

I remember the first Tsunami heavy steam decoder that I installed in an N&W P2K Y-3- (what? 6 or 7 years ago?) and I was immediately blown away at the quality of the sound eminating from that engine!

So I was expecting the same for the Tsunami Diesel, even more so considering the long delays to production, but I was more than moderately disappointed when it did finally appear.

You're spot-on about the top speeds of some engines, Richard. I was hoping Walthers would speed up the most recent release of the RDCs but, alas, no. Best I can get is about 50 MPH (they were geared for 85.) Their newest gearing of E-7s & 8s is pitiful as well. All my old Life-Like stock will scorch the ballastCool

I had considered purchasing the Kato P42 so that's why I was checking them out at MB Klein. The sound ones were released later since, I guess, an outfit named Kobo was doing the installs. Seems to me that they started out with about 20 of each sound model and it looked like the Tsunami's were moving a bit quicker... just an observation.

Maybe the OP will chime in here and let us know what his specific concerns are?

Happy Railroading! Ed

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Posted by RogerThat on Monday, October 14, 2013 9:40 PM

Mark R.

gmpullman

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Take care, ED

The thing you don't see in that equasion is that MB Klein apparently bought considerably more of the Loksound version in comparison to the Tsunami.

Mark.

Or, is it possible that people are not ordering Loksounds from MBKlein because they do not know how to specify which sound set to have preloaded in the decoder. This was one of the reasons I started this thread. The sites that were recommended to me for ordering  all have  a place on the order form to specify the sound set to be preinstalled.

Roger

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Posted by Mark R. on Monday, October 14, 2013 9:53 PM

RogerThat

Mark R.

gmpullman

One curious thing I've noticed looking at the newest Kato Amtrak P-42s is that the Tsunami's have all sold out at MB Klein but the Loksounds aren't selling. I guess there are lots of modelers who still prefer the Tsunamis?

Take care, ED

The thing you don't see in that equasion is that MB Klein apparently bought considerably more of the Loksound version in comparison to the Tsunami.

Mark.

Or, is it possible that people are not ordering Loksounds from MBKlein because they do not know how to specify which sound set to have preloaded in the decoder. This was one of the reasons I started this thread. The sites that were recommended to me for ordering  all have  a place on the order form to specify the sound set to be preinstalled.

Roger

These engines with Loksound decoders are pre-loaded by Kobo (a division of Kato). There's no possibility of getting the wrong sound file in them.

Mark. 

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by RogerThat on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:48 AM

Oops, sorry, I thought I was reading my Loksound decoder question thread, and that you were talking about the Loksound decoders at MBKlein and not the Kato Amtrak P-42s with Loksound decoders.

Roger

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