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With or Without Sound?

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With or Without Sound?
Posted by BNSFnut57 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 3:57 PM

When buying an expensive locomotive, say a Athearn Genesis, Do you Prefer to purchase with sound, or without models?

Everyone has there own opinion and I am curious to find out what the majority of Modelers think.

Just a Simple With or Without is all I need.

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Posted by floridaflyer on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:19 PM

With

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Posted by locoi1sa on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:22 PM

with

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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Posted by howmus on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:29 PM

Without!

Ray Seneca Lake, Ontario, and Western R.R. (S.L.O.&W.) in HO

We'll get there sooner or later! 

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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:32 PM

WITH, but keep the sound level at a reasonable level or it will be annoying. Take into account what scale you model and the fact you are not at that scale.

Rich

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Posted by Geared Steam on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:43 PM

with

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/

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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:47 PM

Whistling

I'm with Ray,    WITHOUT !!!!

I do this to relax and enjoy,  not to be annoyed  and that is what the sound that I have heard does for me.

Johnboy out................................................and loving the silence of my trains.

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North.. 

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by charlie9 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:02 PM

my personal experience has been that sound equipped dual mode locomotives do not pull as well as straight dc engines do.  this may be because the sound gear takes up space that might otherwise be used for weight.  if you do not need a lot of pulling ability, then it does not really matter.

charlie

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:13 PM

No onboard sound or DCC here. Future plans for some layout based sound effects.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by tatans on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:15 PM

Any of the sounds I've heard from model trains sounds like they were recorded in a 10 foot length of  6'' plastic  pipe,  it's the farthest sound from reality  that could possibly be, with all the technology to this date I'm surprised at the toy like sounds from these engines.  Let's hope some new creativity will bring us a more realistic sound system.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:21 PM

tatans

Any of the sounds I've heard from model trains sounds like they were recorded in a 10 foot length of  6'' plastic  pipe,  it's the farthest sound from reality  that could possibly be, with all the technology to this date I'm surprised at the toy like sounds from these engines.  Let's hope some new creativity will bring us a more realistic sound system.

Don't hold your breath. There are some specific laws of physics at work limiting the sound quality and frequency range that can be reproduced with two 1" speakers. Being a designer of HiFi speakers, I knew right away when this sound thing started what the limits would be. That's why I have no use for onboard sound in scales as small as HO.

Now get up to G scale - that's a different story.

Some people just like the fact that it makes any kind of noise that their imagination can call a locomotive. Others are more sensitive to the sound quality issue. At an adjust cost of about $50 a loco I will pass thank you.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:27 PM

With sound.

All I have to do for silence is push a button and I do that sometimes, but not often. It's nice to have a choice.

BrentCowboy

Brent

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Posted by selector on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:28 PM

Sound is apparently like conversion to DCC from DC for some of the older traingeeks.   As a newer traingeek, I purchased my first HO locomotive precisely because it did have sound.  I liked it.  Those who have operated their trains for donkey's years with just audible clicks and some soft music nearby probably were turned off by the too-loud-as-they-arrive sound equipped locomotives.  The factory settings for speaker volume are at the 'insane' level.

As stated above, I never operate my sound decoders with the Master Volume set above 60%.  They sound horrible out of the box.  No wonder our blood pressure goes up.  It's bad enough when one QSI decoder's injector sound goes off let alone another three or four sitting nearby.  That, steam hiss, and pop-off are the first three to get dialled down.

So, a long way to answer that, yes, for me, it has to be sound.  Just not factory levels...the 'insane' level.  Just as the veteran DCC user learns to adjust six or seven CV's related to motion control if he wants all that a given decoder can do for his locomotive's realistic motion behaviour, so he must fiddle with the sound CV's and tailor the sound to suit both is ears and his sense of reality.

Finally, I agree that HO scale sound leaves a lot to be desired.  However, they are just toys and we have to suspend our disbelief in a myriad of ways when playing with our toys.  Sound is just another one.

Crandell

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:33 PM

Without. Smile, Wink & Grin


Wayne

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Posted by ChadLRyan on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:36 PM

I never thought I would say this;       WITH

Why, it is too costly to upgrade, & even though I'm good at it, I don't like disassembling a perfectly good loco to experiment with adding sound & wiring..  I have enough 'angry undec's' for that, & believe me, they are all wanting some attention!
DCC without sound, to me, is just not right, go for the gusto, DCC/Sound or DC, that's how I do it.
The cost, time, & effort of a conversion, now weighs heavy on me, as I am working again, & my time is limited...    -I really want to participate in WPF each week, but can't remember the last time I showed someting new, or had something new...! 

I also have many "perfectly good"  DC machines & also know how to F8 -Mute in DCC when I want to hear the beautifull swishing of them on the tracks like Grampa & I did in the 70's!  It's like a calming rain sound & I still enjoy that nice sound when they run smoothly like that over nice rails.!

However, modern times beckon, & it is the way it is, so I'll keep builfing both DCC/Sound & DC as long as I can. 

Chad L Ryan
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:42 PM

Crandell,

In the old days the locomotive mechanisms made noise - we didn't need extra sound!

As someone who operates on a number of "sound equiped" layouts that belong to others, I will agree with you about volume levels, they all need to be turned down out of the box, down as low as they can go and still be heard/make all the sounds.

For me, even suspending the necessary disbelief, the cost of sound is WAY past its point of diminishing return. Now if it cost $15 a loco, did not reqiure DCC, and could be turned on and off on command - maybe.

I do have plans for layout based whistles, horns and bells at approperate locations with high quality speakers.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:44 PM

I have heard my share of full scale locomotives, everything from teakettles to Mallets.  On-board sound in HO compares to that about the way listening to a symphony on your cell phone compares to an evening at Lincoln Center.  Hence, I prefer to opt for silent models rather than something that sounds like a caricature.

Another factor is that my main prototype ran low-backpressure exhausts (the reason for elephant ears on everything, even 2-8-0s.)  At anything over 200 meters (8 feet in HOj scale) they were drowned out by birdsong and the wind in the trees.  That's another area where the laws of physics work against model sound.  Sound attenuation at 8 feet is not the same as sound attenuation at 200 meters.

My locomotives sport Cxx or Dxx numbers (not I-xx or Ro-xx numbers)* but they do run silent and spend much of their time submerged in the netherworld.  So be it.

(For those unfamiliar, Imperial Navy submarines weren't named.  Prefix I, pronounced Ee, was reserved for large, long range craft.  Smaller boats carried Ro designations.)

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:47 PM

Interesting how the "score" is about 50/50 so far.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:17 PM

If money were no object, I'd probably buy most/all loco's that came with sound as an option, although I don't crave sound.  But...  money is an object so I have opted out mostly.  As it has turned out, that has saved me from some grief because all the early Athearn Genesis came with the universally panned MRC sound.  A few years back when I had a bit more disposable income, I purchased a couple of the Atlas GP40-2's with sound and one Proto 2000 F7AB set with sound.  As luck would have it, those are all QSI which, according to the audiophiles isn't much better than MRC.  One of these days I'll pick up a Tsunami just to see what all the fuss is about - I have some tunnel motors - might be nice to try it out some day.

If you have to toss me in the pole, say "without" for me because only 3 of my ~150 engines has sound.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:22 PM

BNSFnut57
When buying an expensive locomotive, say a Athearn Genesis, Do you Prefer to purchase with sound, or without models?

Everyone has there own opinion and I am curious to find out what the majority of Modelers think.

Just a Simple With or Without is all I need.

I think the short answer is "with", but in your specific example of an Athearn Genesis I would first have to consider if the unit is an older one with the MRC decoder.  In which case I would go "without".   If the Genesis has Tsunami then I am in the "with" again.    So the real answer is that it depends on the sound processor in the uint.  And by the way I consider Phoenix to be the "best".   Too bad they are too large to fit in all but the most huge HO locomotives.

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:48 PM

Hope you don't mind me sharing my perspective.

Been a "railfan" fan since age 4, and became a modeler at 13 back in the 1970s.

Inspite of the limitations, I absolutely want sound, hands down!  As a teen I was able to spend a great amount of time around prototype locomotives at yards and at the station.  The sounds and horns of turbocharged SDP40fs idling with 15 car Amtrak passenger trains, the hard chugging of U36Bs hauling phosphate trains at notch 8 were "etched" into my memory. I saw loads of SW8s, 9s, GP40s, U18Bs, Baldwin and Alco switchers.  I even tape recorded the Chessie steamer 614 Grienbrier back in 1981.  Music from my youth!  Almost always I had the good fortune of talking with friendly train crews and got some cab rides!

Although greatly scaled down..........when I hear a LokSound or Tsunami equipped EMD or GEmodel locomotive with properly baffled sound, I break out into a big smile.  What the onboard sound lacks in dynamic lows, my "mind" fills in the gaps.  With the accurate sounds that I'm hearing today, the gaps aren't big.

I prefer to purchase a unit and have DCC/Sound installed. I'm fortunate that a close friend of mine is also a DCC expert, so I will be learning from him (and the literature I already have) on how to install my own sound.

I've had small switching layouts back in the 80s and I often wished that my locomotives could blow horns and idle.

Being in my late 40s, I guess my big appreciation for today's sound might come off as goofy for the younger generation. But for me, when I run a sound equipped unit at a club layout.....the pleasant memories and a relaxing feeling kick in.




"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Isambard on Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:49 PM

With sound (at muted level), provided at little additional cost, factory installed, and can be switched off. Of the Grizzly Northern's 13 steam loco's only one 2-8-0 and one 2-6-6-2 have sound, the gas-electric (now "dieselized") doodlebug makes its own diesel like sound without the benefit of high-falooting electronics.

Isambard

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Posted by jacon12 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 9:30 PM

WITH..

I also believe most owners have their sound volumes waaaaayy too high.  I have mine at about 30 to 40 percent.

It is a bit.... hmmmmm, how should I put this... unrealistic to expect great sound from the small speakers found in HO scale models.  Also, thinking about some of my older sound engines, especially those with a more  or less generic sound from QSI, I really don't blame others for opting out of the sound feature.  But then along comes Soundtraxx with their, to my ear at least, much more superior sound .. now I'll buy those.

You mentioned Athearn's Genesis and I just happen to own their SD 70 m2 with Tsunami sound and love it.  No you're not going to get the deep rumble of the prototype but Soundtraxx does a remarkable job with what technology currently permits.

Sound brings life to an otherwise quite as a graveyard layout.  But only when I want it to.

Jarrell

There are times when I don't want any sound from the locos in my trainroom.  That's what the function 8 key is for on my remotes.

Silence.

 HO Scale DCC Modeler of 1950, give or take 30 years.
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Posted by UncBob on Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:19 PM

With

51% share holder in the ME&O ( Wife owns the other 49% )

ME&O

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Posted by MR_Paul on Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:26 PM

WITHOUT.

 

 I have 3 t.N-scale F-M C-liners with MRC sound boards in them, and can barely hear them even with my hearing aids in!!!  Yep.  Laws of physics at work, again!!!

Regards, Paul
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Posted by Grampys Trains on Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:53 PM

My vote is with, sometimes I like em loud. DJ.

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:58 PM

With sound.  Of course mine are the larger S scale models and have a premium sound decoder - Tsunami.

Enjoy

Paul

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Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, April 05, 2012 11:02 PM

Absolutely with sound - unless something comes out I have to have that doesn't have sound.

To me, sound adds a whole new dimension to the running of trains.  Of course you can have too much sound, so a careful tailoring of the CVs is pretty much a must do.

Gotta say, the "whoooo, whoooo, woo, woooooooo" of the grade crossing whistle/horn signals makes me smile.

 

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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Posted by galaxy on Friday, April 06, 2012 4:03 AM

WITHOUT.

It gets annoying after a short while. You can "turn it off", but then, what's the sense of having it?

Also many locos with sound running at the same time is a NOISE SYMPHONY that is only good if it is meant to drive vermin and varments away!

Geeked

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Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 06, 2012 5:45 AM

With, yes, definitively with, but sensibly applied.

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