DCC Sound- puzzled by price

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George Stein
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:47 am

DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby George Stein » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:15 am

Don't really expect a definitive answer, but I'm puzzled by the seeming price gap between DCC sound in the USA and equivalent in UK. Yes, even in the USA LokSound and ESU tend to price higher than most USA systems. Is the differential primarily because UK seems to depend on Zimo & ESU firmware? Is it because the demand/price breakpoint is higher in UK? (i.e., lower demand) When I can get a Soundtraxx Econami UK steam decoder for +/- $70 { UK 53} and, just as an example, a Youchoos for same locomotive (Bachmann Prairie) is over {UK 100}, something seems out of balance in the globalized economy. Again, don't expect "THE" answer, but as a USA modeller who does UK OO and wants UK sound, this is frustrating.

George
North Carolina

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Bufferstop
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:52 am

At one time many US companies seemed to work on the basis of $/£ parity the nice round number xx.99 seeming to matter more than the currency it was in. I remember Bill Gates tying himself in knots trying to explain why UK versions which had no translation and very little localisation costs, were priced higher than other European language versions. Should have left it to his minions, he could always have fired them for goofing up.
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Bigmet
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby Bigmet » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:37 pm

George Stein wrote:... Is it because the demand/price breakpoint is higher in UK? (i.e., lower demand) ...

That's where most of it lies. The recordings are unique to this small market, and do we have variety to cover too. The recordings come at 'developed economy' pricing, hire of loco, crew and location, expert recording engineer and gear, editing. It all costs and has to be recovered over whatever the sales volume might be. I would imagine that the cash cows - a few diesel classes and perhaps a dozen popular (mostly larger) steamers - are 'farmed' mercilessly to enable broader coverage by subsidy.

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6C
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby 6C » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:55 am

The UK is very very beautiful and we are justifiably proud of it - but out Government takes advantage of us - by crucifying us with direct and stealth taxation.

Consumer goods, petrol, food, clothes and models are all significantly more expensive in the UK.

Pete - (a Brit but also formerly of Wilmington Delaware and San Diego)
Pete

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Suzie
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby Suzie » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:27 pm

Sound decoders from Zimo and ESU tend to be considered better than the competition so that UK and European sound developers have tended to concentrate on producing sounds for these decoders which are a little more expensive than some of the American decoders. There is also a difference in that Americans on the whole are quite happy to have a generic sound, whereas in the UK everyone expects the sound to be very specifically of the loco depicted so the sounds have to be specifically loaded.

I am sure that with the improved tax arrangements in the USA it should be possible to obtain Zimo decoders for something more like the dollar equivalent of £70 rather than the £90+ that we have to pay here. Many sounds are available for free to download and install (you can do it yourself with the right kit) but most of the better ones have to be paid for and are about £10 or so extra. The large prairie from YouChoos comes in to that category.

Don't forget that when overseas buyers buy from outside Europe there is no VAT to pay so you get a good reduction on the advertised price we pay here.

Suzie x

Paul-H
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby Paul-H » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:35 pm

Just getting back into model rail after a few years layoff, most of my old setup was DCC sound fitted and all had ESU decoders or a variant of AS I decoders as in the ones Bachmann fitted, price then was about £100 a decoder, although buying a Bachmann with sound was only about £50 dearer than their none sound versions.

Today I see more options and smaller decoders making even n gauge sound a reality but priced have gone up a little, but a new kid on the block are the Hornby sound decoders which sell for a fraction of the ESU etc. What's the story behind them, are they any good, for the price they do look to my old yo be true.

Paul

Bigmet
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby Bigmet » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:23 am

You will find a fair amount of online commentary from Hornby TTS owners, likely to be some in the Hornby and DCC sections on this site. Comes with a smaller feature set and will only take the TTS sound files, cannot be reblown to take a third party sound project at present to the best of my knowledge. (This situation may well change as people 'find their way in'.)

George Stein
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Re: DCC Sound- puzzled by price

Postby George Stein » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:21 am

It is my understanding, correct me if I'm in error, that but the biggest "problem" or complaint with the Hornby TTS decoders is there is no way to synchronize the driver wheels rotation with the preloaded "chuff" rate. The chuff rate increases with speed, but not in synchronization with the drivers. And, of course, "generic" sounds.

George
North Carolina

PS - Thinking about a YouChoos Zimo system for my Hornby "King James II." Any comments or experience?


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