who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

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End2end
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby End2end » Sat May 16, 2020 2:03 pm

Do sound decoders "chuffing" sync to the actual movement of the train / conrods?
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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Sat May 16, 2020 11:39 pm

End2end wrote:Do sound decoders "chuffing" sync to the actual movement of the train / conrods?
Thanks
End2end


TTS - not at all, quite far off tbh and you can't modify them to be in sync either

Youchoos - pretty close

Locoman - yes, one of the first things I noticed was this one was almost exactly in sync straight away

I find these decoders are are very "you get what you pay for"

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Peterm
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Peterm » Sun May 17, 2020 2:29 am

Remember that a speaker and it's installation can make or break the quality of sound from any decoder. The chuff synchronisation on a Zimo decoder can be adjusted for slow speed and for faster. Also a good quality decoder will stop the chuffs and bring on rod clanking, the volume of which can be adjusted individually as can all other volumes. I've settled on all Zimo sound or non sound except for the one ESU for my prototype Deltic. The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.
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Bigglesof266
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sun May 17, 2020 2:42 am

Your experience/opinion. How do Zimo sound decoders compare with Loksound v4 Peterm?

I note the Loksound Select are only available from the USA undoubtedly rendering their price prohibitive here thanks to USPS or worse shipping plus GST & insane petrodollar/Swift/Fed distorted exchange rate.

Also note the Loksound 5 is "made for the North American and Australian markets". Not sure what the difference is, though I note it is DCC only. Superseding v4 or supplementary to with limted or diferrent features for a pricepoint?

Researching v4 vs 5 and Select comparisons now, but most interest in your Zimo Sound experiences.

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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Sun May 17, 2020 4:17 am

Peterm wrote:The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.


ahh never thought this might be an issue, I'll have a look

and I agree that for control and functionality the zimo seems to out perform everything else

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SRman
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby SRman » Sun May 17, 2020 9:38 am

Michaelaface wrote:
End2end wrote:Do sound decoders "chuffing" sync to the actual movement of the train / conrods?
Thanks
End2end


TTS - not at all, quite far off tbh and you can't modify them to be in sync either

Youchoos - pretty close

Locoman - yes, one of the first things I noticed was this one was almost exactly in sync straight away

I find these decoders are are very "you get what you pay for"


Agreeing, but adding to this answer: Zimo and ESU can be adjusted as well.

An example was a YouChoos Zimo one I bought to go into a Hornby 700 class. There are no specific sounds for the 700, but John from YouChoos (always extremely helpful) suggested the T9 or M7 sounds as both are similar Drummond types, but he suggested I would have to experiment a little to adjust the chuffs to synchronise with the smaller driving wheels of the 700. He even told me which CVs to play with, so a short session with the 700 on my rolling road on the programming track soon sorted that out.

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Peterm
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Peterm » Sun May 17, 2020 11:40 pm

Bigglesof266 wrote:Your experience/opinion. How do Zimo sound decoders compare with Loksound v4 Peterm?

I note the Loksound Select are only available from the USA undoubtedly rendering their price prohibitive here thanks to USPS or worse shipping plus GST & insane petrodollar/Swift/Fed distorted exchange rate.

Also note the Loksound 5 is "made for the North American and Australian markets". Not sure what the difference is, though I note it is DCC only. Superseding v4 or supplementary to with limted or diferrent features for a pricepoint?

Researching v4 vs 5 and Select comparisons now, but most interest in your Zimo Sound experiences.


My opinion only. Comparing the Loksound V4 with Zimo, I'd still go for Zimo every time. Some people say that the Zimo manual is confusing and I'll say it's not perfect, but the Loksound is something to make your head spin.

As for operation; the Zimo's for some time now have a braking feature with which you can operate the brakes with
F key 2. The V4 doesn't, or if it's there, I can't find it. Starts and stops: I can get the Zimo's to creep in and out of motion incredibly smoothly, not so with the V4. Maybe the V5 has this feature. Last time I looked, the Zimo was cheaper than the V4 and you can also get in touch with the company by email for expert advice. The only way I could find to get advice was by using the English version of a forum. Remember though that I only have the one V4 and it's on a diesel.
Pete.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Bigglesof266 » Mon May 18, 2020 1:00 am

Thanks Pete. Your experience beats mine. :lol:

I still only have a single sound decoder, and it's a Loksound v4 which came preinstalled in my Hornby R3130XS rebuilt Merchant Navy 35023 "Holland-Afrika Line". Only complaint I have had with -or that I noticed as a sound novice back when I bought it, the sound aspect of the decoder at default settings OOTB was "too loud".

I'm not quite sure exactly what you mean by "creep in and out of motion incredibly smoothly" though. i.e. Are you referring to rate of acceleration/deceleration to and from standstill through slow to fast running in terms of electrical and mechanical responsiveness and mechanical smoothness, or the respective paralleling sound responsiveness?

Good to hear of such positive end user experiences with Zimo. Remind me. You use a Lenz DCC system for control don't you?

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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Mon May 18, 2020 1:22 am

Peterm wrote: The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.


worked out my issue, was the speaker placement within the loco, I've now moved the speaker from the smokebox to the cab and the sound is now much better (also added a larger speaker)

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Peterm
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Peterm » Wed May 20, 2020 12:32 am

Bigglesof266 wrote:Thanks Pete. Your experience beats mine. :lol:

I still only have a single sound decoder, and it's a Loksound v4 which came preinstalled in my Hornby R3130XS rebuilt Merchant Navy 35023 "Holland-Afrika Line". Only complaint I have had with -or that I noticed as a sound novice back when I bought it, the sound aspect of the decoder at default settings OOTB was "too loud".

I'm not quite sure exactly what you mean by "creep in and out of motion incredibly smoothly" though. i.e. Are you referring to rate of acceleration/deceleration to and from standstill through slow to fast running in terms of electrical and mechanical responsiveness and mechanical smoothness, or the respective paralleling sound responsiveness?

Good to hear of such positive end user experiences with Zimo. Remind me. You use a Lenz DCC system for control don't you?

I've read about decoders being too loud OOTB. "creep in and out of motion" is starting and stopping without a jerk. Also rate of acceleration can be adjusted to suit any taste. The sound responsiveness is also 'on the ball.'
Yes I use a Lenz system with an LVZ100 and have recently bought/upgraded to LH101 handset.
Pete.

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Peterm
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Peterm » Wed May 20, 2020 12:35 am

Michaelaface wrote:
Peterm wrote: The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.


worked out my issue, was the speaker placement within the loco, I've now moved the speaker from the smokebox to the cab and the sound is now much better (also added a larger speaker)

I'm glad you're pleased with the result.
Pete.

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SRman
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby SRman » Wed May 20, 2020 2:15 am

Michaelaface wrote:
Peterm wrote: The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.


worked out my issue, was the speaker placement within the loco, I've now moved the speaker from the smokebox to the cab and the sound is now much better (also added a larger speaker)


This really illustrates what I have said in other similar topics and at club meetings, that DCC sound is something of a black art rather than a science (there is science involved, though). Each individual installation has so many variables that it comes down to some trial and error with speaker sizes and types and combinations and locations.

In all of these scenarios, though, it is important to seal the speakers in their sound chambers. I use Blu-tack and black-tack (not its commercial name!) but others use PVA glue equally successfully. I have even made a complete sound chamber out of Blu-tack in a Bachmann locomotive using its standard speaker, with a great improvement in the sound quality and volume.

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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Flashbang » Wed May 20, 2020 11:20 am

I found this video quite interesting testing various speakers with one sound decoder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXaA4KZ9Ss
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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Fri May 22, 2020 3:20 pm

SRman wrote:
Michaelaface wrote:
Peterm wrote: The choice is yours, but if the Jinty sounds tinny, check the speaker fitting and that it's well sealed in it's sugar cube; definitely no air gaps.


worked out my issue, was the speaker placement within the loco, I've now moved the speaker from the smokebox to the cab and the sound is now much better (also added a larger speaker)


This really illustrates what I have said in other similar topics and at club meetings, that DCC sound is something of a black art rather than a science (there is science involved, though). Each individual installation has so many variables that it comes down to some trial and error with speaker sizes and types and combinations and locations.

In all of these scenarios, though, it is important to seal the speakers in their sound chambers. I use Blu-tack and black-tack (not its commercial name!) but others use PVA glue equally successfully. I have even made a complete sound chamber out of Blu-tack in a Bachmann locomotive using its standard speaker, with a great improvement in the sound quality and volume.


with my initial install I was following the directions on the youchoos website, partially the reason I bought the decoder in the first place, found it really interesting how they were able to fit sound into such small locos, and I wanted to give it a go (although thats now nothing considering alterstone has fit sound into his entire n-gauge fleet)

I have a background in music stuff so I was already aware that the shape of the chamber a sound is being projected into would affect the sound, had anticipated the effect would be so drastic simply by putting the speaker in the jinty smokebox, I have a similar speaker in the smokebox of my bachmann A4 and the frequency response is quite good to my ear albeit a TTS decoder

My main gripe with sound decoders at the moment is the "chuff" sounds, so far I can't tell if its the decoder or the sample used, but most seem to lack a "fullness" to their sound, and usually on the starting chuffs I can hear a rather harsh point where the chuff samples are cut short rather than blended into one another, not quite sure I'm explaining this point clearly and feel I'll have to make some sort of video explaining what I mean

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SRman
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby SRman » Sat May 23, 2020 2:43 am

I think I know what you mean, Michaela. I think part of it is that we simply cannot get sufficient bass into the available space in our steam locos (more achievable in diesels and electrics) to produce those initial deep "woofs" of a steam locomotive. The clipping that occurs at higher speeds seems more noticeable in three and four cylinder locomotives, and may be a combination of the sound bytes themselves and the way the decoders handle them. We are hamstrung by the usually tight spaces within steam locos to fit decoders and speakers, often having to fit them in tenders or cabs.

In ones I have done, I was limited to a 20mm round speaker (100 ohm, so no sugar cubes available) behind the smokebox door on a Hornby "unrebuilt" West Country, a reasonable sized sugar cube protruding through a rectangular hole in the coal space on a Drummond 700, and the tightest of all, a hard-wired decoder with a curved top sugar cube speaker sandwiched together in the front of the boiler in a Bachmann E4 0-6-2T. Three others I have done had larger tenders so everything went into those: a Bachmann Standard 5MT with BR1B tender, a Standard 4MT with BR1B tender, and a Q1 0-6-0.

You could probably get a more definitive answer from the producers of the sounds, the likes of legomanbiffo and Paul Chetter amongst others.

I have found John from YouChoos to be extremely helpful and informative, but even so, one has to find ones own way with these things too. Having the musical background, you probably realise that there is only so much that can be done to enhance bass when the size of the speakers (sub-woofers?) available are severel restricted. Enhancements to the bass side are being made all the time, but most that I have seen from the various suppliers are still too big to fit into our steam models.

As an aside, I have just fitted larger, bass enhanced or bass reflex speakers into my Hornby HST with the twin TTS decoders I bought recently. TTS is good for the price but does have limitations. The steam ones cannot be synchronised to the wheel rotations, but the diesel ones are good as they don't have to synchronise in that sense. Still, for the HST I bought the two decoders with their original speakers for around two-thirds to three-quarters of the cost of a single high quality sound decoder from ESU or Zimo. As such, Hornby can be forgiven the shortcomings, in my opinion. :)


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