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First things first. The service from Olivia's trains is on the whole was very good. My first Olivia's trains class 60 arrived in November. I got as far as about 15 mins listening to it on a test chassis then when i did the first tempuary install it cooked.
Still, when i eventually found time to send the damaged chip back, it arrived with Olivia's Friday and was back with me Saturday, on the whole very good service.
I am not a huge fan of the 60 sound wise, it seems a fairly basic affair compared to 37 etc. I even like my 67 and 66 more than the 60!

So to the Olivia's trains class 60sounds.

Well, not quite. As far as I am aware from e-mails with Neil Bishop (shop owner) this is not his project. It is supplied to him perhaps by one of the "secret" dccuk sound group. Not sure who exactly and cant image why they dont want credit for it?

One thing that was missing was an instruction sheet, Given some may not have much experience with sound, I think it can only help to have a list of functions and an explanation of how they need to be operated, (thinking notching here!)

The chip has a base enhanced 20 x 40 speaker at the exhaust end and the bigger and flatter base reflex speaker at the other end, both pointing down. Original volume was set at half (32) which even with the twin speaker was too quiet for me, so i adjusted it to 50 which is about average for most of my chips.

We have F0 =lights as standard.

F1 = start up. and shut down.


Start up is a fairly short affair, i presume the engine may have been warm. You get a warning horn thingy sound, followed by a short start up and then straight into idle.
Shut down is nice, nothing to complain about there either

F2 is a double horn.


No probs there, sounds nice

F3 is single horn, short, sounds like a cut off of the double horn.
Still, with a bit of practice it will allow a bit of alternative horn blowing.

F4 This is the air release, I think! Its a too quiet for my liking, but its there and for me is essential.


It works as a sort of double release sound

F5 is Flange squeal. Again for me this needs to be on every chip. Its OK, there is the sound of something else in the back ground, sounds something like a fan but that is listening to the loco stationary.


When its moving i think the flange squeal will be fine.

F6 - Notch up. A feature i like but it seems most don't? I have not been listening to this long so i cant quite work out if there are 3, 4 or 5 notches up?

This clip


is the notch up going through the full cycle.

First notch, release of air brake then take power for a short while then back to idle. A fairly common driving practice it seems. With out changing any Cv seetings for driving, hitting speed step 1 ( set to 28) sees the air release and power take up but the loco does not move. It wont start rolling until speed step 2, kind of usefull for false starting.

I am however not a big fan of this set up / start procedure (SWD use the same practise) as if there is a big train on (and we are talking class 60 haulage here) then it looks odd if you go say from speed step 0 - 5 as you get a long train moving with just a dab of power, unless your going downhill!
For me it would be nice to have a notch up that's takes you through notch 1 and into notch 2 or 3 fairly / almost instantly, as if the driver is opening the throttle from the off and making the engine work to move its load.

Notch 2 - increase in revs and sounds nice but there is looping.

Notch 3 (?) There is a noticeable jump in the editing between notch 2 and 3 which is a pity. Notch 3 builds nicely to some high rpm work but again there is looping evident at one point before it climbs further into top gear, notch 4?

Notch 4? This is flat out! Top end notch is on a short loop, this is a bit of a shame as its noticeable. The engine is certainly working hard which leads me to think it may have been on a load bank, but thus for a short time at full rpm? Still, its better than not having it.

F7 - Notch down. Starting at the top. and pressing notch down one step at a time. Noticeable notch down to a mid range sound, sounds O.K. though.


Notch down again and the revs drop slightly again and then you can notch down once again it seems.
There is a bit of a jump between mid / low rpm to idle but i don't think this is too bad a job.

This is the loco /chip on a rolling road going up the speed steps, which is as most will drive it? Forgive the dog, he wanted to drive and you may well hear the bumpy ride the rolling road gives at times. Hopefully you get the idea of the sound though.


And this is it coming back down.


It seems that with my dynamis set to momentary, you can notch down one step at a time easier than you can notch up. I find the bachman 37 to be like this too.Thus if your revving harder than you intended or what to you can step down fairly easy.

F8 Sound mute - I don't find a need for this so i remove it.

F9 acceleration on / off - again i don't use it so its gone.

F10 ? This one has got me, it sounds like a piece of wood being hit. Cant work out what it is or what it supposed to be doing.

See clip along with air relaese


F11 -There is no sound!

F12 Aux 2

General.
These sounds have been listened to on a rolling road and static with no background noise and I expect my comments to perhaps change once I get the loco onto our clubs talchaser with a 1400 ton steel train behind it making it work (yes we have a very big layout lol). First impressions are that the only thing that lets the Olivia's class 60 down is editing.
The looping and editing is not as good as the howes perhaps but it may be again on a tailchaser it is less noticeable?
Both looping and editing are quite evident in places and i know that will spoil the sound for some.

Random sounds are very nice, they come on fairy frequently, i think it is set at max for this but i like it as it means it seems more alive when idling away. Heard something like a pump come on now and again, a compressor?
I am quite happy to have it idle away instead of the radio on (lol!) it is good at idle, better than howes.

So, Howes Vs Olivias Vs Hornby.

Opps, that will have to wait.

Howes Vs Olivias?

Its close to call a winner, if there is one? Both are good and for me the let down of sound chips is not quality of small speakers, we will always have that problem but repetitive sounds.
I will have about 8 class 60 when the fleet is in and the one thing that would spoil it or any other class for that is them all sounding the same. As long as the sound chip is comparable to others of the same class i think mixing projects from various suppliers is the best option.

If I could only have one class 60 chip today, it would just about be the Howes I think, but i reserve the right to change me choice once the Olivia's chip has been heard under layout conditions, or i have heard the Hornby one? No, I am not that optamistic.

If I could have two class 60 chips, i would have one Howes and an Olivia's.

PS. any click-click- clicking you can hear as i am testing sounds is me mouse, must be its feeding time
 

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Thanks for that, Piemanlarger. I'll be interested to hear how the Hornby one stacks up against these, as I do eventually want to get a sound 60 (either a new one fitted already or a decoder for my existing Mainline 60).

As you say, sound in our models will always be compromised to a degree with the small speakers necessitated by the severely limited space we have available, plus the limited storage space on the decoders themselves. However, it can also be very enjoyable, giving us the atmosphere of driving the real thing or sitting at the lineside watching and feeling the rumble as they go past.

So far, I have been very happy with the Howes range of sounds and their "drivability", less so with the Bachmann proprietary ones, mostly on the grounds that while they sound good (classes 24 and 37, anyway) they are less responsive for "driving". As yet, I haven't tried SWD or Olivias efforts, so reviews like this can go a long way to helping me (and others) in making decisions as to how our hard-earned cash is to be spent.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (SRman @ 27 Dec 2008, 00:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So far, I have been very happy with the Howes range of sounds and their "drivability", less so with the Bachmann proprietary ones, mostly on the grounds that while they sound good (classes 24 and 37, anyway) they are less responsive for "driving". As yet, I haven't tried SWD or Olivias efforts, so reviews like this can go a long way to helping me (and others) in making decisions as to how our hard-earned cash is to be spent.



Howes are set up diffrent, more for tailchaser use i find with the 60,66 an 37 i have from them. My depot layout is only 8 foot and you dont get a full range of sounds from howes really in that space.
 

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I have a bit of both on my layout; the main lines are a tailchaser double track while the branch is an end-to-end set up, with some through running possible if desired. The branch is approximately 25' from end to end but the Bachmann 24, for example, is only just getting to full revs when I have to slow again for the junctions and crossovers before stopping in the platforms. The Howes ones are at least able to get a bit of "full throttle" running in that length. The Bachmann ones are definitely better suited to the continuous run, although the class 66 in original form wasn't too bad for this - I still had it reblown by Howes to reduce the dreaded "yinging".

As an aside, I have deliberately avoided the Bachmann class 20 as all of the video clips have shown it to be particularly irritating.

I believe (and you probably already know this but it is worth putting in print for other modellers' benefit) that both Howes and SWD can tweak settings, on request, to suit small layouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (SRman @ 28 Dec 2008, 01:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have a bit of both on my layout; the main lines are a tailchaser double track while the branch is an end-to-end set up, with some through running possible if desired. The branch is approximately 25' from end to end but the Bachmann 24, for example, is only just getting to full revs when I have to slow again for the junctions and crossovers before stopping in the platforms. The Howes ones are at least able to get a bit of "full throttle" running in that length. The Bachmann ones are definitely better suited to the continuous run, although the class 66 in original form wasn't too bad for this - I still had it reblown by Howes to reduce the dreaded "yinging".

As an aside, I have deliberately avoided the Bachmann class 20 as all of the video clips have shown it to be particularly irritating.

I believe (and you probably already know this but it is worth putting in print for other modellers' benefit) that both Howes and SWD can tweak settings, on request, to suit small layouts.

You layout sounds like one that needs the notching to be active. On my depot layout i am finding since turning the notching on in projects such as SWd cl 37 i can play more with the sounds.

Why did you find the swd 66 "yingyingying" annoying? It is very accurate of the 66 at idle and the only real problem with swwd 66 was the editing on the mk 1 version between power notches, which was greatly improved on the mk 2.
 

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The "yinging" at idle wasn't so bad, it was the near constant "yinging" at higher speeds that was annoying, partly, I guess, because of the lower responsiveness of the sounds to changes of the controller speed settings - at full throttle or powering up the Bachmann one sounded quite good to me. but I don't want to run some of my goods trains at full speed all the time. The Howes sounds do still have some "yinging" but the engine sounds are more prominent at mid-range and higher speeds, and there is also a rather nice turbocharger whistle when throttling down again.

It is much harder to have a train running at speed with the engines idling with the Bachmann set up, compared to the Howes set up. The 37s have notching up and down on functions 5 and 6, and that works moderately well at lower speeds, but the 24, which also has the F5 and F6 notching is distinctly unresponsive at anything over about speed step 9 (on 28 step setting) - at least, this applies to my class 24.

It comes back to personal preference, I suppose. Just as the Bachmann class 20 sounds do reflect the whistling of the real ones, I still find the sound too penetrating when exposed to it for any length of time.
 
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