who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

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Michaelaface
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who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:30 pm

recently got into DCCsound thanks to hornby's affordable TTS decoder range, which are for the most part good enough, but there's a few sound quality issues that bug me with them, such as being limited to only 2 sounds being played at the same time (i am assuming other decoders can play more here) and also that they seem to mostly have a generic "chuff" sound rather than ones from the actual locos, didn't think this would bother me, but hearing the merchant navy one and thinking, thats not what they sound like, has prompted me to consider investing in more premium decoders,

so does anyone have any opinions/preferences to who to go to for steam sounds? they all seem to use high quality decoders, but at over £100 each its a bit much for me to buy one to test, and there's quite a few available out there

alternatively anyone had any experience with the soundtraxx econami decoders? £70 each but again just generic sounds

I've checked out most on youtube, but it's hard to gauge what they'll sound like in the flesh from there

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Forfarian
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Forfarian » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:43 pm

I have a number of sound locos both steam and diesel, I use YouChoos and find Johns sounds suit me.
There are a number of sound suppliers out there, its down to the individual regarding choice,
I have no connection to Youchoos other than being a satisfied customer.
Tim
aka Forfarian

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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:48 pm

yeah I've been looking at youchoos, bought some of their sugarcube speakers and was very impressed with them

Bigmet
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Bigmet » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:23 pm

Only your ears can decide what satisfies. Going to retailer premises or shows where the goods can be demonstrated would be my suggestion.

hicklingmick
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby hicklingmick » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:44 pm

Digitrains is also 1 of the best sounds about and use active drive on Zimo decoders.

https://www.digitrains.co.uk

Most sounds done by member on here Paul Chetter (username on here Paulibanger)

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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:37 pm

Bigmet wrote:Only your ears can decide what satisfies. Going to retailer premises or shows where the goods can be demonstrated would be my suggestion.


I know i'd just like to know what people would recommend first though to get a better idea of what I'm looking for, and I'm not aware of any retailers I can get to that can demonstrate these things

pauliebanger
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby pauliebanger » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:58 pm

Hi,

Tell us the nearest town to where you live and someone can give you guidance as to which DCC sound retailers are close to you.

Best regards,

Paul


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Peterm
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Peterm » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:24 am

You're just begging to be confused by all the different opinions. :) I use Paul Chatters sounds via Digitrains in Lincoln... nice trip round the M62 if you have transport. Stop off at Ferrybridge for a cuppa if you wish and have a look at and listen to the various sounds, decoders and speakers. They'll give you a demo. Zimo are cheaper than ESU Loksound and in my view better... I did say in my view. I have got a Loksound V4 with Legomanbiffo's sounds on it for a DP2 because I couldn't get a decent file for a Zimo. No complaints about the Loksound, just my opinion. I've also used EM2 speakers in some loco's that have room or where I can make room and they are absolutely fantastic for bringing out the bass range. These can be had from DC Kits, which is where you get Logomanbiffo's sounds.

It all depends on how much you want to spend or can afford and how much you appreciate the sounds.
Pete.

Paul-H
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Paul-H » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:32 am

You should also remember that it's not all down to the decoder and sound file, type of speaker and its placement in the model can make a bigger difference than decoder make and sound file compiler.

The bigger sugacubes are generally much better than the standard (ESU) 20x40 speaker. Plan the installation well and you will be happy with sounds from most of the current supplier.

Personally I have been happy with Youchoos but most if not all the recognised sound sellers offer good sounds and good service if something goes wrong.

Talking of sound suppliers, when I first started fitting sound there were only a one or two suppliers, SWD being one of them, they still advertise but never get mentioned on forums, why is that, what did I miss.

Paul

Bigmet
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Bigmet » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:44 am

Michaelaface wrote:Manchester

I have not the faintest clue of what retailers there are in Manchester, but here's a link to the UK model shops site, Lancashire page. (Obviously you can search in the same way for all other authorities.) http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/county/Lancashire

Manchester has long had a strong model railway club presence, there must be a good annual show, which some of the specialist dealers will attend. You will hear sound on some layouts too and can ask the operators for their opinions.

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Bufferstop
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:03 am

Don't forget to look on the Greater Manchester and Cheshire pages as well. They'll add (amongst others) details of The Locoshed at Besses o'the Barn and Waltons in Altrincham both of which have helpful staff. The Locoshed will even put the kettle on when you walk in! They are closed Mondays and Waltons take Wednesday off.
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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:38 pm

Paul-H wrote:You should also remember that it's not all down to the decoder and sound file, type of speaker and its placement in the model can make a bigger difference than decoder make and sound file compiler.

The bigger sugacubes are generally much better than the standard (ESU) 20x40 speaker. Plan the installation well and you will be happy with sounds from most of the current supplier.

Personally I have been happy with Youchoos but most if not all the recognised sound sellers offer good sounds and good service if something goes wrong.

Talking of sound suppliers, when I first started fitting sound there were only a one or two suppliers, SWD being one of them, they still advertise but never get mentioned on forums, why is that, what did I miss.

Paul


Yeah I’ve noticed that about the speakers already, the sugar cube ones seem to have a great frequency response and due to shape and size will fit in most things, interested to try those megabass speakers though

Bigmet wrote:
Michaelaface wrote:Manchester

I have not the faintest clue of what retailers there are in Manchester, but here's a link to the UK model shops site, Lancashire page. (Obviously you can search in the same way for all other authorities.) http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/county/Lancashire

Manchester has long had a strong model railway club presence, there must be a good annual show, which some of the specialist dealers will attend. You will hear sound on some layouts too and can ask the operators for their opinions.


Most have closed down here sadly, my nearest one is Walton’s which I’m going to try to get to today, hadn’t thought of clubs! So I’ll look into that too

Bufferstop wrote:Don't forget to look on the Greater Manchester and Cheshire pages as well. They'll add (amongst others) details of The Locoshed at Besses o'the Barn and Waltons in Altrincham both of which have helpful staff. The Locoshed will even put the kettle on when you walk in! They are closed Mondays and Waltons take Wednesday off.


Been to Walton’s many times, never the locoshed though, I’ll have to take a trip sometime then

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Allegheny1600
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Allegheny1600 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:32 pm

Hello, Michaela,
Don't forget Arcadia Models in Shaw (closed Tuesday & Sunday)!
I don't know how much in the way of sound decoders Tim sells but carries very good stocks of 'sound fitted' locos and is usually happy to demonstrate them for you.
I have heard some of Charlie Petty's (DC Kits) sound projects and was very impressed. They're not done by Charlie himself but by his associate, can't remember who, sorry.
As for clubs, the Manchester Model Railway Society is welcoming and has some knowledgeable members who would be happy to give advice: http://www.mmrs.co.uk/ - I used to be a member here!
My current club is Leigh MRS https://leighmodelrailwaysociety.wordpress.com/ and a few of us know some stuff about DCC in general but maybe the best club for digital knowledge in the area is the Lancs & Yorks DCC group: http://www.lydcc.org.uk/main.html These guys are all about digital matters!
Hope that helps,
John.

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Michaelaface
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Re: who provides the best DCC steam sounds?

Postby Michaelaface » Fri May 15, 2020 4:38 pm

small update on my quest for DCC steam sounds, in the 2 years since posting this I've twice managed to talk my self into buying an expensive sound decoder, a zimo jinty from youchoos and a D&H black 5 from locoman

so here is my brief opinion on all the sound decoders I've tried

hornby TTS - good for starting out, but aside from unique whistles the chuff sounds seem to be identical on every decoder, and to my brain hearing 2/3 locos going round the layout making the exact same sound annoys me, also the included speakers aren't great, swap those out, was very dissappointed by the TTS A4 sounds, just don't sound anything like an A4 to me

Zimo with youchoos jinty sound - so this was my first foray into a more premium decoder, and immediately I was very impressed as it completely blows away the TTS decoders in every single way, the only thing I'm not entirely sure on is the sound quality here, I got this decoder for my Jinty, so the speaker is quite small (sugarcurve 7) so the sound has lots of treble there isn't much low end to the sound of this one, which I'm assuming is down to it's small size, but I've not compared it with anything yet so I could be wrong

D&H with locoman black 5 sound - coming in about £15 cheaper than the youchoos decoder, this one is incredible, it does have a much bigger speaker though (double sugar cube) but this is by far this best and most realistic sounding decoder I've heard so far, I fully recommend this one


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