A Question for Serious Modlers

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by glenn railey, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. glenn railey

    glenn railey Member

    How would you guys rate the Bachman Spectrum line as opposed to other manufacturers. Would like input from you guys.
  2. Secret Weapon

    Secret Weapon Member

    :mad: :curse: :sleeping:

    Don't waste your money.
  3. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    What he said...
  4. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    I don't know about the looks as I don't compare doors or measure my engines to see if they are accurate for length, height etc. Going by my standards I think the Bachmann Spectrums look good and run real good. I about 12 Spectrum diesels and the ones I have run almost as good as my Atlas and Kato diesels and will out pull them. That said, no way would I pay Kato or Atlas prices for Bachmann.

    Thats just my opinion, but I'm just a guy that can be satisfied watching a train run around a loop of track.
  5. Casey Jones

    Casey Jones New Member

    Again, don't waste your money as ANYTHING is better than Botchman!!!!!!


    I was actually trying to be nice when I referred to botchman!
    After over 50 years in this hobby, 30 of which spent in either management or customer service in a model RR hobby shop, we normally refer to this crap as just what it is, JUNK!!!!! Of this crap that we would sell, over 70% would be returned defective. And over half of that was DOA right out of the box!
    And if it would run out of the box, the motors would burn up within 6 months or less! We would do our best to talk the customer into something, anything of better quality. It's been said many times. "You get what you pay for."
    It's also been said many times "Anybody can sell on price, but it takes a little more effort to sell the quality. Myself, I would rather explain the price rather than apoligize for the quality!
    I was just agreeing to what had already been said about this crap!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    I have several Spectrum and Bachmann Plus locomotives. I have no complaints about them. They have been steady runners for me. They may not be perfect in looks but then again they are not as expensive as some of the high end locomotives. My experience has been with their HO and Large Scale products.

    Years ago many of their locomotives were very problem prone and annoying to own. In recent years they seemed to have worked on and resolved many of these problems. On the rare occasion when I had to contact them they have been very helpful and forthcoming. I can’t say that about many of the other manufacturers.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I do believe that there is a thread here praising Bachmann, not only because their newer products are superior to what they've been in the past, but how they treated this guy when he delt with them over a problem. I'll try to find the thread so that people can be reminded, things change...
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Ahh, found the thread. It was Jim Marksberry and he was totally delighted with Bachmann and their products. There is a second thread, here's the first: click here, :thumb:

    and here's the follow up, click here.:thumb:

    So you might want to rethink Bachmann...:wave::wave:

    Oh yeah, since this thread is addressed to "serious modelers", I gotta say that Jim is one of the most serious modelers we know.:D:D
  9. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hi Guys,

    I have two Bachman 2-8-0s and they both run very well and great pullers. I also ordered two of there mountains but at the time they had serious problems with traction so I had to return them. I think the problem was taken care of but don't know for sure.

    Ron :thumb: :wave:
  10. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Casey,the correct spelling is Bachmann not Botchman.If you don't like the company say so but layoff the name calling.

    If you don't like this then don't post in this forum.
  11. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I have to agree with Don (EZ)...Bachmann gets a bad rap because of their "entry level" train gear (train sets, etc.), but I have three Broadway Limited's... and one Bachmann Spectrum (a 4-6-0), and after installing a sound decoder, it is the show stopper of my layout. I think as long as it is a "Spectrum" you'll have a pretty decent lokey.


    I'll let you know as soon as I get my next one (a Spectrum 2-8-0...).

  12. skipgear

    skipgear Member

    As far as Bachmann, I own quite a few and except for a bum 2-6-6-2 that Bachmann replaced, no questions asked, I have had zero problems. I don't own any diesels, it's all steam and mostly Spectrum.

    Spectrum -
    2-8-0 Consolidation - Will out pull anything I own, including the 2-6-6-2 and runs smooth as a top, hands down the best running steam engine I own. Ran out of track on my test loop with 40 cars behind it and still didn't struggle.

    4-8-2 Mountain - Doesn't pull as well as the Connie but a very smooth an detailed engine.

    2-6-6-2 (x2) - Beautiful detail. The first one had issues with the front gearbox. Bachmann replaced it for me with one that runs perfect. They even agreed to send me the other road number because in the meantime while waiting for the replacement, I picked up a second engine that was the same road number as the unit that was in for repair. My only complaint is that it could pull a little harder. About 20 hoppers is the max.

    Not Spectrum
    0-6-0 and 2-6-2 - Inexpensive little engines that are quite reliable. Not nearly as smooth as the Spectrum but at a selling price of around $40 new you can't beat them. Both will pull about 10-15 cars on level track. The 2-6-2 has a pretty cheap front axle setup on it. I am probably going to convert it to another 0-6-0. Each come with a different style tender so it will add some variety. The latest versions also have a similar style tender pickup to the Spectrum loco's, even though it only uses one truck instead of both trucks of the tender.

    2-8-2 Mikado - It is an older engine, a little noisy and pulls decent. Nothing outstanding about this engine in detail or performance.

    As a reference, I also own Model Power, Rivarossi, and some older Atlas/Rivarossi and ConCor to compare too. I have not had experience with the Kato steam yet although one is on my wish list. Also debating on picking up one of the LifeLike Berkshires. For N scale steam, I think Bachmann as the best bang for the buck by far right now.
  13. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I highly recommend Bachmann Spectrum, in N, HO and G 1:20.3. My friends & I have owned around 15 pieces over the years and have had only a bit of trouble with 1 of them.... You always get that one engine out of 50 that was built on a monday morning or a Friday afternoon.

    Every manufacturer can't be perfect in every piece they build... And like most businesses, you never hear the 2000 good things they do, you hear about the one thing that someone has a problem with....

    I have had contact with Bachmann's support & Repair department numerous times about simple things and they are always great and they have always gone above what i needed.. I highly recommend them to anyone.....

    ...... And casey, even if I wasn't the Admin of the Gauge, I would still agree with Catt's Post .... any questions or comments - PM me.. :)
  14. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Another :thumb: for Bachmann, as I just took the plunge and bought my first steam loco, the 2-8-0 Consolidation. I haven't tested the 'max number of cars' on it, but it runs like a top, is quiet, and the detail is far superior to anything in my diesel fleet (LL, Atlas). I'm very happy, except now I need to buy some steam era rolling stock for it! :eek:
  15. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member


    I'm certainly not an "experienced modeler" but may I add my two cents...

    I recently bought three Spectrum N-scale engines from Bachmann and found all three to run well, but take more "relative" power to make them move from a dead stop - pulling a load or not. They are also louder running around the tracks than any other engine I own. But then again, they stay on the tracks no matter what and almost never derail (despite the earthquakes caused by my two year old bumping the train table). The Kato engines I have are better detailed and run much quieter and smoother - but cost twice as much (unless you buy them on sale). I like the Bachmann but I also recognize that they are not built with the same attention to detail as the Kato's. The LifeLike's and Atlas engines I have are good, but IMHO, not much better running than my Bachmanns. I'd still buy a Spectrum if I find them at good price...but now that I have other brands (Kato, InterMountain, LifeLike) I'd rather spend a bit more and buy one that looks and runs better. The InterMountain FT A/B units I just purchased have to be the most detailed and quietest running engines I've seen. They are extremely detailed in every way and worth the money. (Incidently, for those looking for these engines, my LHS here in Charlotte is selling the InterMountain FT's for under $100. If anyone is interested...I can pass along the contact information).
  16. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  17. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Well, our club picked up one of the 2-8-0 Steamers at a recent show (Barrie in Feb. 2005).

    It ran all day pulling about 20 box cars and a caboose. Did the same for a day at Midland in May, as well as all day at our own show just two weeks ago.

    Meanwhile we had to switch out some Atlas and Kato deisels as they seemed sluggish and were getting hot. The only locomotive that was able to run with the Bachmann was an old Minitrix 2-10-0.

    It is our experience, that in N Scale, Atlas and Kato seem to be running on reputation, not quality.
  18. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    I have several Bachmann twin motor 44 + 70 ton diesels. I had a problem with one, rang Bachmann service dept. here in UK and discovered an immediate cure. It would run fine in one direction and dragged its bogie going the other way. The cure was a very gentle tap on the worm to move it along the shaft slightly, which meant that it meshed properly both ways.
    I took several to an exhibition, and was switching with a 44 tonner. One of the guys watching was running another layout, and couldn't believe my switching speed. He asked just how slowly it would run. I took a brand new one out of the box, put it on a straight piece of track and switched on my PWM DC controller. 5.5" in 6 minutes - I got a convert to US outline then and there. Bachmann are fine, and they have a no-quibble replacement guarantee - which I haven't had to use in 7 years
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the highlands
  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Those of us who go back to the "dark days" of model railroading, can underdstand the "bad rap" that both Bachmann, and Life Like, have had to deal with.
    The Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 ( HO, and N ), set the industry on its ear! The Life Like Proto 2000 line, the Rivarossi Allegheny, and the improved Rivarossi line, the Athearn Genesis locos, and the overall improvement of all running and detail quality, exist today, because Bachmann raised the bar with the Spectrum 2-8-0.
    I have many of each manufacturers steam locos......OK.....
    Bachmann: 4/ 3 truck shays (one with sound); 3/ 2-8-0 (one in N scale) 1/ light mountain; 1/ heavy mountain 1/ 2-6-6-2; 2/ On30 shays; 1/ On30 climax; 3/ On30 moguls.
    Life Like: 4/ 2-8-8-2 (two with sound one in N ); 1/ berkshire; 1/ 0-8-0.
    Rivarossi: 2/ Alleghenys; 1/ Challenger.
    Athearn: 3/ Genesis 2-8-2 ( one converted to On30 ); 2/ Genesis challengers.

    Of all of these I've had a problem with the 2-6-6-2. Bachmann said "send in we'll replace it", but it took less time to fix the problem than it would have taken to find a box to pack it in for shipment! Everything else has run very dependably.
  20. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    When I was in N Scale during the 80's I had 6 Bachmann GP40s and 2 F7's..These units along with 4 AHM RSD15's and a Trix FM switcher served me well from '79-88.
    I did buy some Atlas/Kato RS3s and found these units would stall on my Atlas switch frogs where my so called "junkers" would not..Go figure.

    PS..Bachmann was the first to introduce the split frame drive for diesels.My GP 40's and F7's had split frames and I had these units long before I bought the Atlas RS3's.

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