sound decoders

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by tweet469, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. tweet469

    tweet469 New Member

    I read in an earlier thread about some one using a MRC sound decoder. I read a review of one of these that was less than favorable. I want to install a soundtrax decoder in a loco and maybe install a MRC sound decoder in a unit that will be MU'ed to the soundtrax locomotive. Has anyone tried this? All the MRC decoder would have to do is enhance the soundtrax sound by adding additional prime mover noises. I also have a BLI loco on order since 9/18/04, but it is steam.
  2. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    I too was looking into an MRC sound decoder, and also read some unfavorable reviews, but for the price I don't know if you can beat it. I am still trying to decide if I should go for it, I know that if I get sound for one loco, I will have to get sound for all of them. LOL

    I think that once you put the MRC up against the Soundtrax you will notice a huge difference, and the MRC might degrade the overall hearing experience of the Soundtrax. This is just my opinion though, and I am just going off of the reviews. Until I actually get one I can't really say for sure. Go ahead and try it, and if worse comes to worse then sell it on ebay!

  3. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    I just bought an MRC 1627 Steam sound decoder. I have a couple of Shays that I have ordered Soundtrac Shay sound decoders for, and saw the MRC on the shelf. I bought the MRC figureing to put in my 2-6-0 Mogul. Of course, since the Shay has a readily accessible DCC plug I plugged the decoder into it. With the MRC Prodigy controller you are limited to only 2 whistles. I find whistle #1 is distinguishable as a heavy steam whistle. It is weak and fuzzy sounding. Whistle #2 is not even distinguishable as a whistle. The bell sound is weak and fuzzy also. The steam release sounds and chuff don't sound too bad. I had to place the speaker facing up in the cab to be able to really hear it. Doesn't have much volume. So far, all I can say is that you get what you pay for. The MRC cost me $60. The Soundtrax decoders list for aobut $145.

    Once I recieve the soundtrax decoders, I will be able to give you a comparision.
  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I have several varieties, and think the MRC is a good option to add sound for a modest price.

    My experience with the 3 MRCs I've got (all steam) is definitely not that of Capt. Turk. I have them in the tender, with no "sound holes" or anything, and the sound is clear and certainly loud enough. Mine have 3 whistle options, not two. Option 1 is a heavy steam whistle, option 2 is a light steam whistle and option 3 is a european-sounding whistle. All sound quite good. Chuffing, steam, etc. all sound quite good.

    Yes, the soundtraxx ones I've got are "better" -- but not dramatically so. The sound is perhaps a notch clearer or more precise, but certainly not enough to make one go "wow! what a difference!". Fact of the matter is I won't be too quick to spend the extra $$$ for soundtraxx in the future... Though I've ordered the shay version as there's simply no other option I know of.

    The best one I've got is actually the "Quantum" that came in my BLI K4 - sound is just stunning, and it's the only one synch-ed to actual loco speed rather than throttle setting so it does slow down and speed up as the loco goes up and down grade, for instance. With the others (incl. Soundtraxx) if the throttle stays the same but the loco speeds up/slows down for grades, the chuffs stay the same... It can get particularly disconcerting if you have a heavy loco that really gets some speed going downhill.

    To make a rambling post shorter, I'll summarize. Absolutely in favor of MRC decoders, especially if it's a situation of MRC-or-nothing. I would not MU two different sound decoders together... ANY two different sound decoders. They are always going to sound different and therefore funny.
  5. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    I definitely have to agree with the "MRC or nothing". After running a loco with sound, running one without is just not the same. All my locos are going to have sound after running one with it.

    Only 2 of the whistles are available with the Prodigy controller. The MRC decoder has several other functions that are not available with the Prodigy.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hey capt turk & kchronister, :wave:

    Could you both give us the particulars on your speakers? :cool:

    Maybe that one decoder is just defective, it certainly sounds like
    there are two totally different experiences here!! :eek:

    Thanx from Mississippi,
  7. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    The speaker I'm using is the one that came attached to the decoder. It is 1 1/8" diameter and has a small rounded encloser.
  8. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I use the speaker that comes with the MRC decoder - 1" diameter, I believe. In all 3 cases it's mounted in the tender with no holes or "sound opening". All 3 installs are in Bachmann Spectrum locos - 2 in K4 4-6-2s and one in a light mountain. (plastic tender bodies in all cases).
  9. daboonk

    daboonk Member

    there are two types of mrc sound decoders, the basic one will jump from sound to sound but for an extra 10 dollers you can get a syncronized one which would sound much better, i dont have them but i have read reviews hope this helps

Share This Page