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Author Topic: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.  (Read 819 times)

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Offline scottmitchell74

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Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« on: May 17, 2017, 07:23:07 pm »
I have my eye on the Graham Farish Class 40 with dcc/sound and I was wondering what everyone's experience in this realm has been.

Thanks!
Spend as little as possible on what you need so you can spend as much as possible on what you want.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 07:52:49 pm »
I have bought three dcc sound equipped engines. Partly because the price was, (I thought), reasonable but mainly because I do not yet feel confident enough to convert an engine myself. Whether my feelings/confidence will alter with time is anybodys guess  :). However, all I can suggest is do a Google/YouTube search and see exactly what is involved - you may well feel confident enough to have a go yourself. There are plenty of knowledgeable people on this 'ere forum, so maybe somebody can give you some proper advice and let you know of any pitfalls with the DIY approach. Good luck with it.  :beers:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 08:16:56 pm »
The answer is if you can fit DCC wired decoders you fill find DCC sound straightforward.

If all you have done is plug in a decoder then you will have a steep learning curve.

The only difference is figuring out where to fit everything and where/how to mount the speaker.

Online longbow

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 10:04:35 pm »
There won't be installation issues with the Farish Class 40 as all models will be either sound-fitted or sound-ready (ie requiring only a plug-in NEXT18 sound decoder with suitable sounds).

So I'd definitely be tempted to go for a sound-fitted model especially at the reduced premium (an extra GBP45 or so above the cost of a normal decoder) that Farish will be charging. There are plenty of YouTube videos illustrating what you can expect.

Offline pauliebanger

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 02:11:39 am »
I have my eye on the Graham Farish Class 40 with dcc/sound and I was wondering what everyone's experience in this realm has been.

Thanks!

To answer your question with regard to the GF Class 40 specifically, provided the sound is to your liking you would be well advised to go with the sound fitted model.

Bachmann are asking only GBP70 more than the DC version. The decoder alone retails at GBP90.

It appears it will be a simple job to plug a sound decoder in yourself, especially as all Class 40 models will be fitted with a speaker, but why bother when it will cost you more overall?

There are only 2 other R-T-R UK outline models currently either available or announced, both from Graham Farish. The Class 108 DMU has been available for some time but many retailers are out of stock and those on eBay are at inflated prices. The GWR Castle Class steam loco has just had positive reviews in the modelling press and will be on sale in the next month or so according to Bachmann predictions.

Both of these would cost more to add a sound decoder to a non-sound fiited model than to buy the R-T-R versions.

Not such a simple choice with other sound fitted models though since you will inevitably be buying a model that someone other than the manufacturer will have converted. I've had to correct many a botched job that newcomers have bought from eBay or at swapmeets in good faith.

The only way to know the quality of the sounds and conversion work is to operate and listen to the model in action. Or do it yourself, you can then at least kow the quality of the installation. There's lots of advice offered online. I have a regular slot for sound fitting features in Hornby Magazine covering 0, 00 and N gauge models.

It's also worth remembering that the decoder is only the platform on which the sound project is played. The sound quality, realism and driveability will be determined by the original recordings obtained and the competence of the person who has created the sound project.

The smallest and therefore often easier to fit sound decoders are from CT and ZIMO. The decoders used in Farish sound fitted models are ZIMO MX658N18, but MX648 and MX649 will usually be more appropriate for DIY installations due to the range of interface types (connectors) that are available on each decoder to suit your model.

However, not all ZIMO sound projects are created equal.

Kind regards,

Paul

Online longbow

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 02:25:52 am »
Buying the ready-fitted version is certainly the way to go if the recording are up to snuff but the sound versions of the 108 and Castle are currently available in only one livery. I don't know what the situation will be with the Class 40, but Farish have told me that they don't plan to offer sound decoders separately as a retrofit item.     

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 02:30:35 am »
As they are using standard Zimo chips and speakers there will soon be offerings from several suppliers and as from all reports I have seen the DC versions can be sound upgraded with two solder joints I don't think its going to be a serious problem.

Offline pauliebanger

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 02:47:37 am »
I'm sure that's correct.

I have my own ProtoDrive sound projects available for all three models now.

As the Class 40s all have speakers fitted, I'd be surprised if there was any soldering to be done at all. If so, they will have missed a trick.

Kind regards,

Paul

Online longbow

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 02:57:22 am »
Paul - if you have fitted sound to the new Castle I'd be interested to hear what speaker you used and whether there were any wrinkles to its installation.

Offline scottmitchell74

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 04:11:02 am »
Thanks for the responses and advice. I've decided to cast my lot with the GF Class 40...and keep my fingers' crossed.
Spend as little as possible on what you need so you can spend as much as possible on what you want.

Offline BobB

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 11:09:14 am »
After reading the posts in this thread I did some price research and I have to agree that buying a factory fitted sound equipped model does make sense economically but there is a very limited choice at the moment. If some existing models had the new dcc socket then maybe we oldies with not so good eyesight and soldering skills would pay the extra to do it ourselves. I must ask Dapol what their plans are !

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 06:27:37 pm »
I must ask Dapol what their plans are !

Please let us know what they say.  :beers:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline davidinyork

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 09:41:49 pm »
How have Farish done the sound in the 108? That's a 6-pin socket model I think? Is the decoder a 6-pin type with the speaker wires soldered to the decoder itself?

Offline pauliebanger

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Re: Buying with sound -vs- putting your own sound in.
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 11:21:54 pm »
How have Farish done the sound in the 108? That's a 6-pin socket model I think? Is the decoder a 6-pin type with the speaker wires soldered to the decoder itself?

The 108 model was launched some time ago with an attempt at allowing for sound, though no factory R_T_R models were made. A fitting for a small round 'conventional' speaker was provided.

The sound fitted version used a ZIMO MX646 (now replaced in the ZIMO range with MX649) 6 pin decoder in the motorised car. A custom sound chamber for a ZIMO 10 x 15 speaker replaced the original fitting in the vestibule. The 6 pin versions of these decoders have speaker wires soldered to them as standard spec

A 2nd, non-sound ZIMO decoder was used in the trailer car to operate the lights.

It received some pretty good reviews when released and sold out quickly in many retailers.

I've got one of these twin car units and I think it's very good indeed.

Longbow,

I don't have a Castle model, not my region.

Kind regards,

Paul

 

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