MTH vs. Lionel - the nitty gritty

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by dwight77, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    Explict language...Oh my. FKM if they can't take a joke I say. A bunch of blowhard experts who know very little. You'll fit in at the Model Train Journal.

    Command control and sounds can get pretty pricey. I get tired of hearing digital sounds after awhile and shut em off anyway. I can get realistic Alco sounds by eating a $1.00 can of chili and for EMD sounds, a Mc Donalds chocolate shake.
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    To date, MTH has been unwilling to license out their Protosounds technology, much less open it up for modification. Nor has MTH made any Protosounds decoders available for separate sale. I don't see this changing because Mike Wolf appears to favor the "you should buy all your trains from one supplier so compatibility isn't an issue" business model that Lionel had in the postwar era. Without cooperation on any standards among the manufacturers, the ability to run any 3 rail O trains with any make of controller is rapidly disappearing.

    Right now there are apparently 3 sets of control "standards", with a few oddballs thrown in to make things worse.

    - There is the postwar, variable voltage sine wave AC system. Not all modern production works well with postwar transformers.

    - There is Lionel TMCC in various versions. Lionel has licensed TMCC to others, notably Atlas.

    - And there is MTH Protosounds 2. Protosounds controllers can do some controlling of TMCC equipment, but the reverse is not true.

    Contrast this mess with the cooperative DC and DCC standards in HO and N.

    my thoughts, your choices
  3. Illus

    Illus Member

    Plus you can send any train you want to TA Studios and have them upgrade it to TMCC. A friend did it to a Standard gauge Steam Locomotive for his father for X-mas, turned out fantastic. Also did it to an Amtrak Diesel he wanted to upgrade, thats lights and sound also.
  4. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    Pretty much the reason I stay away from MTH. I want compatability and aftermarket upgrades. Neither of which you can get with DCS.

    Most of my stuff is postwar but I do buy scale engines and rolling stock by Atlas and Lionel now and then. I do miss the Lionel from Mt Clemens as they kept the old school technology. They stocked just about every part to every train. Plus they were here in the US.
  5. tracman165

    tracman165 New Member

    Hey guys, hope you don't get mad with me, but we are "are own worst enemies"
    when it comes to Lionel. Those of us that have been in the hobby since the 50's.
    what was the first train set you got? Would you buy anything other than Lionel?
    Not until the 90's did I start buying other brands, all because of the quality and
    the name, and of course no one could compete with Lionel. I started looking at
    Williams, K-Line and just about anything else mainly because of the price. I
    really don't want to say I couldn't afford Lionel, but found the companies now
    were making quality stuff, for a lower price.
    Secondly, I read an article sometime back about collecting and it boils down to
    "what you're are willing to pay for an item dictates the price"
    Finally, I didn't know that Lionel or the other company no longer does out of
    warranty work. That is, I think very sad for the hobby as a whole. I've only
    known this hobby to be nothing less than friendly and helpful. Just like this
    "Gauge" site, I have read article after article and everyone is eager to help
    each other out, no matter what the guage or the products that they run.
    Glad I discovered this place!

Share This Page