Thanks for starting this list. It is indeed a plus for modelers that
someone at QSI feels the consumer input of value.
Sound was my main reason for going DCC. I realized DCC improved
operation, but sound improved realism, much like weathering and good
scenery. So I went with an NCE Power Pro R. I'm luvvin it!
I don't have a large fleet of locos, by most standards, but I have
several brass C&O steam locos that I plan to equip with sound. I
also have some early diesels which will get sound along the way. I
have installed Soundtraxx decoders in a few of the steam locos and
three diesels. Overall I am happy with the Soundtraxx units.
I purchased my first BLI loco this fall, a C&O E7, and so far I am
pleased with it. I have heard and operated the BLI steam locos at
the club I belong to. For the most part they are impressive.
IMHO both lines, Soundtraxx and QSI, can improve. My complaints
would seem minor, except that modelers pay a pretty hefty price for
these neat little toys.
I think Soundtraxx has better sound over all. Their sampling seems
better and more accurate. Soundtraxx captures little things like the
transition of the first generation EMD diesels, but the BLI E7 lacks
this feature. I also like the notching effect of the Soundtraxx over
the BLI engine.
I can't compare the Soundtraxx LC series decoders to BLI since they
have yet to enter the after-market with a generic type decoder, but
the LC series is of value to those wanting to equip engines with
sound, at a reasonable price, and have some variety in horns or
On the down side, Soundtraxx lacks the really neat sound features of
the BLI, QSI equipped locos. I like the generator, airpump and I
really like the brake squeal when a BLI engine comes to a stop. Most
of all, I like the volume control the QSI equipped locos offer. In a
crowded room, such as during a club open house, the BLI/QSI engines
steal the show. And QSI did capture the sound of an N&W whistle dead
on; wow that engine sounds good!
BLI with QSI seems like a model railroading marriage made in heaven.
I am looking forward to the C&O 2-10-4 this fall. If it looks and
sounds as good as BLI's N&W and NYC locos I will be a happy boy. I
am also hoping QSI will enter the consumer sound-decoder market in
the near future. Like most buyers, I like having a choice.
Thanks again for giving us a voice at QSI. I look forward to your
upcoming products. This is a great time to be a model railroader.
St. Albans C & O Modelers