Athearn 4-6-6-4 Challanger

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Wiredup, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I picked up this beast of locomotive yesterday and have been running it on my bachmann EZtrack/EZcommand test setup while my full layout is undergoing planning/construction. All I can say is wow...what a loco, it's so finley detailed, and operates amazingly well at all speeds, very smooth, and just breathtaking in it's operation. On 11 radius curves it still looks pretty awesome and not very toylike (not as much overhang as I thought there would be) I was grinning like I was when I got my first train set almost 20 years ago! I love this thing

    Or at least I would love this thing if I could hear it!

    After programing the loco and setting the sound volume to its max setting I could still barely hear the loco's FX over it's own motor. When running on the 11" outer track and my Bachmann on the 9 3/4" inner track on my loop you can't even hear the thing. I'm very disapointed.

    When I can hear it (and I gotta be within a foot of the thing to actually hear it!) it sounds amazing, and I'm very impressed with the tone those little speakers make... but what good is it if I can't hear the thing chuffing and whistling?

    anyone else with this loco have the same issue? or is mine abnormally quiet? Litteraly, I fear a pindrop would probably drown out it's sound. I just got my ears flushed out, and a hearing test done last week and I got perfect hearing according to the doc.... so years of playing guitar haven't hurt me yet!
  2. dannparks

    dannparks New Member

    Plenty loud

    My wife got me a Challenger for my birthday and I have to agree that it is an amazing piece of engineering. However mine is plenty loud -- I would not want it any louder.

    I'm certainly not an expert in N-scale sound, but I have 4 locos with sound -- the Challenger and 3 with MRC decoders. One decoder in a Kato 4400 is perfect, Another 4400 is very quiet and sometimes doesn't make sound at all, and the other in a P42 is too loud (even when set to the lowest setting) and has the annoying high-pitch whine that makes my ears ring if I am with it too long. In short my experience with sound has been mixed.

    Your's should be better. I would return it for a replacement. There seems to be a lot of "issues" with n-sound (for me, anyway), but that's not a reason to not give it a try. Just hold the manufacturer accountable.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I have one as well and it is plenty loud. In fact, during the late evening hours, I turn it down (or simply don't use it) because I fear it will wake the rest of my family. Are you sure you have it on the loudest setting?
  4. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    theres off, low, mid, and high settings. low I can barley hear it. I gotta put my ear right up against the thing. mid, I can only hear it when it's idle, and only if it's REALLY quiet. High, well thats what I'm talking about in the forum.

    I wonder if my power pack isn't putting out enough juice?
  5. mcbane666

    mcbane666 Member

    More likly a bad speaker, try taping it to see it its stuck or a speck of dirt lodged in it
  6. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I hooked up an older powerpack upto the track (not my EZcommand) and was able to get more volume out of it. It's still not to the volume I thought it would produce, but it's audible and sounds great. the store I bought it from has an undecorated Clinchfield one instock so I may go down and see if they can run it in store to check out the difference in tone. If it's noticeble I'll send mine to Athearn to get checked over I think. I love the Greyhound look of the 3799.

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