Saw some nice layouts today but was disappointed to not really hear anything coming from any of the modern layouts at Warley. Infact, the Wirral one was almost on stop, I don't know if there were problems in the 10 mins I was there but it actually became boaring due to lack of movement. Shame as it was a nice layout.
Bachmann were "demonstrating " the sound equipped class 20 and 66. I think they have not done the best job with the 66, the tail light switch has been mention elsewhere but for me the big cut out where the roof grill is (or should be) looks terrible, you can see the 20x40 ml speaker easily. I asked why they had done this and the Bachmann rep said you get better sound. I disagreed with him, he was not impressed and asked if I fitted them for a living! I pointed out I have 5 x 66 that all sound allot better than the Bachmann offering. Still, it will help bring sound to the masses, that is those like myself with no inclination about downloading, programming etc.
The sound was most obviously the SWD 66 and the collaboration was confirmed, so all the planned Bachmann sounds will be variations of SWd chips.
The 20 sounded good, but then it would as the SWd 20 has been well received by most I know, though he did not run it much.
I asked to see the Howes 60 run as they had sold out of 60 chips. I was sent to the Digitrax stand and introduced to "Brian" who I was told did the recordings. This I will point out is not the "Brian" I know to be doing recordings. Anyway, I was disappointed at the level of noise, it was hardly audible. I guess it sounded like a 60, though as I said it was very hard to hear. Their 60 is not the most interesting of locos though sound wise for me. I will order one this week as otherwise it means a superb model that will never run!
SWd had the HST on display (plus 47,20,04,steam, 37) and though it was hard to hear clearly again, it was easier to hear than the Howe's 60. There is notching with the HSt and it sounds very good, I would imagine on a tailchaser it will be very impressive, particularly with twin 20x40 speakers (only one fitted today) and a chip in each loco. I don't think I will be ordering till next year when my tailchaser is built.
Simon Kholer made me laugh. I asked when were hornby going into Digital sound and he said they had not thought too much about it yet, they wanted to get 2006 out of the way first. He did however say when they eventually got into sound it would be when they could do sound chips for £20! I just laughed and Simon said, would you not want £20 sound chips? Yes I said if they were ok, but I think it will be a long time before we see that? I applaud his intention to make sound chap and available to all, though I note there was no mention of reducing the price of a class 50 down to £30 or the Britannia to £40!