Is Sound the "Next Big Thing"?

With Broadway Limited breaking the sound barrier in HO scale locos, and
now Athearn announcing their next steam engine will have sound, can we
now expect a flood?
I see in their ad in the August MR that Broadway Limited is announcing
sound equipped E-7 A & B diesels with sound, which are in addition to
the previously announced GG-1 electric. In the Trainworld ad in the
same issue they are taking advance orders for sound equipped NW2 and SW7
diesel switchers. Now there's something that might interest me! The
huge steamers, while nice, aren't practical for everyone, but the
switcher could possibly be used by more modelers.
I wonder if the other major model manufacturers are now working on
equipping their models with sound? I've read that Bachmann is supposed
to be releasing some of their existing steam engines with sound,
including the 3 truck Shay. I don't recall if these are for DCC
layouts only or not. Making them compatible with DC operations would
seem to be the best way to go.
Cheers,
Bob Boudreau
Canada
Reply to
Railfan
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Sure, providing I can opt out and save some money. I don't want something foistered on me that I have to pay for, be it sound or smoke units, or even DCC for that matter.
-- Cheers Roger T.
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Reply to
Roger T.
BWL took a chance on the market and found it was good. Athearn follows in a "monkey see monkey do" type of coping (and hoping to make money). The market is (as defined by BWL) a decoder installed sound equipped engine, there is no "opting out" per say. All the BWL engines will run on DC and make sounds on DC but that's it as far as "opting out". Not to be mean but if you want DC and no sound they are not marketing to you and don't figure there are enough in that market to warrant it. If you study the pictures on the BWL site you will see the engines are designed around the sound unit, it's not just thrown in!
Reply to
Jon Miller
I believe we can! Model Power has already announced a partnership with SoundTraxx to offer their HO/HOn3 Gallopping Goose with a SoundTraxx decoder pre-installed.
-- The Conductor Digital Railroader LLC snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com
Reply to
Digital Railroader
I don't know if sound is the next big thing or not, but it's obvious we are going to get it anyway. From what I've seen so far of the two Broadway Limited steam locos with factory sound, I would rather they put the money into the drive line. These are mediocre models with cheap running gear and $100 worth of bells and whistles... literally.
I would not be surprised if most manufacturers knuckle under to the hype and begin cramming the already-full guts of model diesels with sound units. I just hope the hype is short-lived. One noisemaker per 1000 square feet of basement is more than enough, so perhaps the novelty will get old pretty quick. In the end, it drives the prices on models up without adding any merit in terms of detail or overall quality, and makes the models that much more difficult to work on.
Andy -----------------------------------------------------------
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
Sound with steam makes some sense. Diesel sound kinda boring after the notch up and get running. Electric engines like the GG1 and sound seem like an oxymoron.
As long as you can turn it on and off, and it is an option, then let the market go for it and see what happens. Smoke too.
Reply to
MrRathburne
Electrics are not as quiet as some people think, although they are no match for a Diesel in a shouting contest.
I thought we had a long thread about sound here last week, did we not? If I am mistaken then let's have one now. I will go on record as being opposed to sound equipped locomotives. I do not like sound on a model railway and will not have it on one that I own. It is an irritant, not an asset. NOW, If you ( the modeler) want sound on your railroad, that is 100% your business. It is none of mine. What IS my business is that I am subsidizing your sound system by paying for something I don't want in my locomotive. Since it is a non-option, the total cost is figured in and amortized over the whole production run of the product. I object very much to this. I feel that if you want sound YOU should bear the cost of it. I do not like sound. I do not want sound AND I certainly do not want to pay for someone else's sound. I know that I am not alone in this and I intend to communicate with Life-Like, Athearn, Broadway Ltd. and others who are, or who might, offer sound as a standard non-optional feature. If sound is available as an extra cost option or post-purchase chip upgrade, that is OK. Just so long as it is user funded and ONLY user funded I have no gripe. What you do with your money is none of my business.
re., smoke:
My experience with smoke is limited to the observation that if you let the smoke out of electrical stuff, the electrical stuff will no longer function. The smoke must be kept inside.
.................F>
Reply to
Froggy
want in my locomotive< Actually you're not because you don't have to buy the loco, free choice. I bought the 4-6-4 not because I wanted the loco (I model a different RR) but because I wanted the sound system and to support the concept.
>I know that I am not alone in this and I intend to communicate
Reply to
Jon Miller
choice.
true...I'm seriously thinking of going for that N&W A class unit, but then I'll need to buy an N&W passenger train to go with it (since I model early 90's ;^)
Reply to
me
Then how about the rather novel concept of just not buying one? That way you won't be subsidizing anyone.
Dave
Reply to
Dave Henk
That is NOT a smart option.
What if they offer an excellent running and detailed HO scale 2-6-0, something that's not on the market right now.
I could do with a batch of those.
What am I supposed to do? Not buy them because they have sound?
That just doesn't make sense. I'm being put into a situation where I either have to buy sound equipped, or go without.as there's no other options available.
Yes, you can argue that I'm not "forced" but when they may be the only choice, what other logical choice do I have?.
Supposing there was only one manufacturer of four wheel drive vehicles and they supplied then in a convertible, but you don't want a convertible but you need a four wheeled drive. Would that be right?
Not making a very good argument here. Someone else will have to help me out
-- Cheers Roger T.
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Reply to
Roger T.
Is Sound the "Next Big Thing???? Whatever anybody says........DCC ....Sound.......and MORE electronics will be the future........I LOVE IT.....I cant wait for more to come....how many shops are selling vinyl records today????????? ....ask yourself....or are you still driving around with NMRA Horn Hook couplers on your rolling stock?????? Maybe some of you are still asking for a DC3 to fly them around the world....... Cheerio Peter
Reply to
Peter
I agree which is why I think it should be an option. Atlas is now making their locos available with and without decoders installed in HO. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts in terms of numbers to this.
What IS my business is that I am subsidizing your sound system by
Reply to
MrRathburne
Roger T. wrote in message ...
You buy what you want to, you don't buy what you don't want. If it bothers you that much, then it's your tough luck. Hey, I'd rather buy my brass unpainted in certain situations because either I can do a better job, I can't afford the extra $100+ it means, or I want a paint scheme that the brass importer is not doing. Now, it's all pre-painted. Is that fair? No; I shouldn't have to pay for a painted engine if I didn't want one. But you know what? There ain't a darn thing I can do about other than pay for the painted engine, or not to buy at all. I don't hear anybody complaining about that these days, do you?
Last I checked, manufacturers don't have to make what you or I want. If they want to stay in business, they have to make what the majority of people want. And the only way to judge that is to make the stuff and see if it sells. If it sells, expect to see more of it. And Roger, there is always brass 2-6-0's...
Um, scratchbuild? Kitbash? Buy brass? Wait for another manufacturer to make it? Hire a model maker to make you one? Do without?
So, are you saying that every possible combination of model options should be available? I mean, the manufacturers are doing pretty good these days on options, but they aren't that good. For example, New Haven H16-44 (Lowey)'s had the battery boxes over the opposite truck vs. the new Atlas model. Since this is the only high quality, non-brass H16-44 (Lowey) ever made, is it "right" that it is only being offered in the one battery box configuration?
I understand your frustration (really, I do). But these kinds of things have all been said before in the past decades about plastic for a material, couplers of all kinds, semi-scale wheels, DCC pre-installed, can motors, seperate detail parts, etc., etc., etc. It's just an on going theme in MR'ing. Either way, the market will show the way, just like it always has.
Paul A. Cutler III ************** Weather Or No Go New Haven **************
Reply to
Pac Man
I really like Atlas' GP 38 in the GM&O livery. It is beyond the time I model, but I bought a brace of them anyway. I was not happy about the embedded Lenz decoders and straightway removed them and replaced them with Digitrax decoders. That was unnecessary. The Lenz decoders are perfectly fine. On the whole though, I would rather pay extra for a decoder and also for sound. There are still lots of people around who do not use DCC and who are not the least bit interested in using it. I am a DCC addict, but I do not think it is right for the others to subsidize my habit by paying for decoders that they neither want nor need. I feel exactly the same way about sound. If I want it, then I should have to pay for it. If Atlas makes any models that I can use, I will buy the non-decoder versions. My DCC dealer sells basic decoders for US$16. You can't beat that with a stick.
...................F>
Reply to
Froggy
for something I don't want in my locomotive< The following is clipped from another group but just to give an idea of where sound is. While this may not be the norm it's the group the embedded sound manufactures are aiming at.
"about 60 decoder equipped units on my RR, of which 18-20 are Sountraxx decoders"
Reply to
Jon Miller
Can you tell me who it is, so if I ever visit I can remember to bring ear protection?
Andy -----------------------------------------------------------
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
Some Gooney Birds are still doing yeoman service, the ultra-modern SST is not.
Walt
Reply to
OLDFARHT
It's the same boat that those of us are in that prefer lower cost kits rather than overpriced RTR stock. I may desire to build up a fleet of 10,000 gallon tank cars but I have a limited budget. Kits aren't being made available any more, just RTR. Instead of buying 20 kits for $15 each, I'm limited to getting 10 RTR tank cars at $30 each, so I'm subsidizing the people who don't want to take the time to assemble a kit.
Reply to
Rick Jones
Fellas, 'Sound' is not the coming thing, 'Smell' is! The German firm Brawa is making in HO models of Bavarian State Rlys. waggons of the 19th. cent called 'Latrine' waggons, which were fitted with two large wooden tanks and used to carry crap from the station toilets out to the farmers in the country for fertiliser. 'Brawa' is also selling cans of baked beans with each waggon to give the appropriate atmosphere. (and one doesn't need to be DCC fitted to make this work!) Regards, Bill.
Reply to
William Pearce

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