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Old vs. New: BLI Paragon K4s models

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  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Lancaster city
  • 289 posts
Old vs. New: BLI Paragon K4s models
Posted by cats think well of me on Monday, October 29, 2012 1:25 PM

Hi all,

I'm thinking of acquiring a BLI K4 as I'm definitely interested in die-cast construction and how much detail the model has, and I've enjoyed much BLI's steam engine models. 

The 2012 run interests me because of they'll offer and undecorated and unnumbered variant, (I'd label it for 1361) plus smoke (which I do find entertaining) and the Paragon 2 sound system (though Soundtraxx is better). Plus it will be new, and under the BLI warranty (though not having to fix it will be real nice). 

The 2005 run interests me because I noticed they made some without sound and numbered for #1361, which I'd rather dig as I can choose my own sound decoder when I want to go that way. Plus the price may be significantly lower.

Either model will be running on a loop of easy track on the floor off of an MRC power pack and maybe BLI side-kick or whatever simple device to play some sounds if I have a model with sound. On the other hand, it may be hard to find such a piece, and though I've not had bad luck with used models my preference is usually new. 

Any thoughts, opinions? My thanks in advance.

Alvie

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 19,794 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, October 29, 2012 2:37 PM

You might get some disagreement that the Paragon sound is inferior to the Tsunami.   I would rate it equally good, personally, if the Hybrid series are anything to go by, of which I have two different production examples, the Union Pacific 2-10-2 and the Pennsy Q2.    However, it is always subjective, so if the Tsunami is your choice, and you can get a DCC-ready model, then by all means....

You might want to investigate the new QSI Titan series.  I recently had two of them installed in two different steamers, a N&W A Class 2-6-6-4 and a Heavy Mountain from Bachmann Spectrum.  I think they are wonderful and have excellent clear sounds.

To directly address your question, I think you will like either K4s, but you might not be aware that the first run, in the Platinum Series, had a QSI of a much earlier version.  During that time, QSI, Lionel, and MTH were before the courts.  QSI elected to disable their BEMF low-speed control at the time to protect themselves from any further liability.  All Paragon Series locos were affected at that time, with the K4s being among them.  I upgraded the main chip in the decoder about 14 months later when QSI and MTH had settled and QSI were able to offer improved sounds and restored BEMF.  It made a world of difference in my opinion.  So, you will get a limited version of the first QSI's if you elect to purchase one of the first runs of this Pacific class locomotives from BLI.

Crandell

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Lancaster city
  • 289 posts
Posted by cats think well of me on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:45 AM

Crandell,

Thank you for your excellent response. I to have a BLI Q2 and do actually like the sound it makes quite a bit too. Maybe not as much as Tsunami though again, that's a personal thing. I think I may go with the newer one as the Paragon2 sound is quite acceptable and it'll have the smoke unit. As BLI isn't offering one numbered 1361, yet, I'll aim for an undecorated version that I can add decals, and of course extra details, too. A couple Preiser figures are sitting in a box waiting for that moment, plus Kadee 58 couplers. 

Alvie

  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • 6,203 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:06 PM
I would suggest you join the PRR-Modeling group on Yahoo. You will find people who own several models of K4 BLI engines who can answer your question in detail.

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