Massoth eMotion XLS Sound Decoders - Chuff Quality?

LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Last year I' installed two of these decoders into two diesels, my own LGB 2063 D&RGW #50 Shuttle Diesel, and one into a person's Piko BR218 Diesel. I like the quality of the decoder's diesel sounds. Now I'm installing one into someone's LGB 20881 Uintah Steamer (these are Mallets with 4 pistons). I like the steam sound quality and features of these decoders for all the sounds except the chuff. I've tried all combinations of CV adjustments for CV197 Steam Chuff Fast and CV198 Timebase Steam Chuff and still can't find continuous clear and crisp chuffs through all speed steps. For example, if I set 197 and 198 to 5 and 45, there are very nice crisp chuffs at my Navigator's speeds 1 - 3 but then 4 - 7 the chuffs are kind of muffled until speeds 8 and above high speed. I've also experimented with several different top quality loudspeakers, including using two connected in series, but the decoder's overall chuff quality isn't improved. And I'm using Massoth speakers that I've installed a back baffle cover to ensure the best sound quality. The space inside the Uintah limits speakers to about 2 1/2 inch size. I own four American steam locomotives, including an LGB Uintah, with Phoenix Sound units installed, and they have a higher quality chuff sound than I'm finding in the Massoth sound file for the Uintah.

I'm wondering if it's just the Massoth Uintah sound file that may be an issue, or whether their other American steam sound files have the same issue. I loaded the Massoth Uintah sound file into another Massoth XLS Sound decoder using my Massoth PC Interface Module and am getting the same results on that XLS Sound decoder. So, right now, unless there are other CV adjustments I can make to improve the decoder's chuff sound quality, I'll probably switch the install to a Phoenix PB17 board. What have others on this forum found about the chuff sound quality of these Massoth XLS Sound Decoders?

Addendum: Massoth makes an eMotion Pulse Generator #8242030, a sound axle and magnet ring to synchronize the wheels rotation with the loco sound. Would installation of this unit into the LGB Uintah improve the chuff quality?
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
It does depend on the actual soundfile in the decoder..
The other problem with a Mallet, is there are two sets of cylinders, so which unit do you put the sensor in? - Or do you use two?? :devil::devil:

The sensors help with synchronising chuff, but not with cutoff, which is probably more important in trying to get a 'clean' sound.

I personally think this is probably an old set of sounds, and could do with being re-recorded / mastered?
I do not think the amplifier on the XLS is the best either.


The Phoenix will give a better result. - Their amplifiers are pretty good, and the speakers a lot better than the Massoth units. - Though whether you have the space for it, might be another matter!
You will also pay more for the Phoenix..

YMMV.
PhilP
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
It does depend on the actual soundfile in the decoder..
The other problem with a Mallet, is there are two sets of cylinders, so which unit do you put the sensor in? - Or do you use two?? :devil::devil:

The sensors help with synchronising chuff, but not with cutoff, which is probably more important in trying to get a 'clean' sound.

I personally think this is probably an old set of sounds, and could do with being re-recorded / mastered?
I do not think the amplifier on the XLS is the best either.


The Phoenix will give a better result. - Their amplifiers are pretty good, and the speakers a lot better than the Massoth units. - Though whether you have the space for it, might be another matter!
You will also pay more for the Phoenix..

YMMV.
PhilP

Philp - Appreciate your comments. A Massoth Dealer near me here in the USA has a demo of an LGB Mallet (Sumpter Valley Railroad acquired the two Uintahs) of the pulsed smoke unit. I asked the Dealer why the chuff sound on it is better than my XLS Sound Decoder install and he said because he installed the eMotion Pulsed Generator in it.......makes sense. But I reviewed the Pulse Generator Installation Instructions and you have to remove an existing axle from the loco, remove the plastic gear and and wheels and then reinstall them with the supplied magnet........a lot of work and possible breaking of the plastic gear. So, I'm thinking it's a lot easier to replace the Massoth XLS Sound Decoder with a Massoth XL Loco/Function Decoder and install with it the Phoenix Sound Decoder........I have a brand new PB11 and PB17 in my inventory. I've installed many Phoenix units originally in DC/Analog locos and more recently into DCC/Digital locos. I installed a Phoenix unit with an LGB power decoder into my own LGB Uintah a few years ago and it sounds and operates super.

The video of the Massoth Dealer's Mallet Smoke and Sound Demo is on his Website: AllAboutLGB: A Factory authorized Massoth Electronics USA dealer
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Seems to be a mixing of qualities that are being lumped into "better"

re-reading this I get 3 distinct things:
  1. quality of chuff
  2. synchronization of chuff
  3. chuff duration as a function of speed (smearing chuffs together at speed)
So, I can see how using a chuff sensor could help #2, but have a hard time believing an big effect on #1 (although subjective) and #3.

#3 should be controlled by the CV's you mentioned earlier.

By the way, hard to beat the chuff of a Phoenix! (but it does not handle #3 well at all)

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,481
165
Tamworth, Staffs.
Greg,
IMHO, #1 is dealt with by the 'better' quality of the sound samples in the Phoenix, and the 'better' fidelity of the amplifier and speaker combination.

If the OP is familiar, and already has, Phoenix in his inventory, it is a no-brainer. - Unless... I believe there is now a Phoenix available with a motor decoder onboard?
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

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24 Oct 2009
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N W Leicestershire
If the OP is familiar, and already has, Phoenix in his inventory, it is a no-brainer. - Unless... I believe there is now a Phoenix available with a motor decoder onboard?
Yes, Phoenix list an SM 18 designed to plug into a Bachmann socket. I believe it has a rather limited power output to the motor(s)
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Yeah, no specs on the site, 3 amp max and no reviews I can find, and street price is $40 more than the Zimo with twice the features and power handling.

Well, Phoenix has always been an expensive product.

Greg
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Seems to be a mixing of qualities that are being lumped into "better"

re-reading this I get 3 distinct things:
  1. quality of chuff
  2. synchronization of chuff
  3. chuff duration as a function of speed (smearing chuffs together at speed)
So, I can see how using a chuff sensor could help #2, but have a hard time believing an big effect on #1 (although subjective) and #3.

#3 should be controlled by the CV's you mentioned earlier.

By the way, hard to beat the chuff of a Phoenix! (but it does not handle #3 well at all)

Greg
Greg - Quality of the chuff is markedly improved with installation of a Pulsed Magnet Unit the axle. Check out the video posted of an LGB Sumpter Valley Mallet on the Home Page of AllAboutLGB.......I asked Mohammed why the chuff quality is so much better than my Massoth XLS Sound Decoder. He installed the Massoth Pulsed Magnet Unit in that locomotive. The chuff really hammers down! I've ordered one of the kits for installation onto the LGB Uintah Mallet's axle.......just hope I don't break the plastic axle gear trying to remove and reinstall it.....this will be my first attempt to do so.
Demo of Massoth XLS Sound Decoder's "chuff" quality and pulsed smoke unit: AllAboutLGB: A Factory authorized Massoth Electronics USA dealer
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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I have a hard time believing that if the only change is from autochuff to a trigger it makes ANY difference in the chuff sound.

My guess is there are a lot of other settings changed. I won't comment further about this particular dealer online, but let's just say I know what I'm saying.

Greg
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
I have a hard time believing that if the only change is from autochuff to a trigger it makes ANY difference in the chuff sound.

My guess is there are a lot of other settings changed. I won't comment further about this particular dealer online, but let's just say I know what I'm saying.

Greg

Greg - I'll let you know. about the magnetic pulsed sensor use. I've ordered a Massoth Pulsed Sensor Kit and will install it into the Uintah........I'll let you know if there's markedly improved chuffs or not! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I've also ordered a couple replacement axle gears so I can install a new one on the Massoth axle instead of trying to remove the old one from the existing Uintah axle and possibly damaging it.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,481
165
Tamworth, Staffs.
I'll also be very interested in what CV's you change.
The is no rhyme, or reason, to the 'chuff' CV settings..

You can do two similar loco's, and the same CV values will give markedly different results between the two. - Go figure, it beats me! :(:banghead::banghead:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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That has been my frustration, had a friend's decoder for several weeks and could never turn autochuff off.... could turn on and off the chuff input trigger.

Gave up in frustration, and I don't normally give up when programming.

Greg