Friday, August 20, 2021

Friday Fun - Scale Sound Systems Speaker

Toward the end of my post on the non-shake down shake down session, I mentioned that I'm actually short on some diesel locos. I have more than enough DL-109s (NH class DER-1) to cover the Shore Line trains, but don't have enough diesel power for my local freights. So allofasudden, my Alco switcher projects moved to the front burner . . .

One of those two projects is to convert a c.2003 undec, non-DCC Proto2000 S-1 into DEY-3 #0967 - the main diesel loco on the Valley Local during my era. I have a Loksound v5 decoder on its way for the "decoderization" and in today's mail - just in time for Friday Fun (and a Weekend Project, if Hurricane Henri doesn't screw us up) - I got the speaker for the "soundification."

Up to this point, I've either accepted a loco's stock OEM speaker or used iPhone4 speakers for my sound installs. But ever since I heard of Scale Sound Systems speakers on my favorite podcast, I've been curious about them - and once I heard that Mike Rose is now using them exclusively in his installs, I decided I had to try one myself.

Now, I'm no audiophile but I know that there's a lot of science that goes into making good sound. And I know what I don't like (e.g. the old MRC sound decoder/speaker in my other Atlas S-2), so I figured the flagship diesel on the Valley Line would be the perfect excuse opportunity to try an admittedly "premium" speaker.

I just ordered the speaker this past Tuesday and - despite a warning on the website that all speakers are made to order and require a 3-14 day lead time - I got it today. If speed of service is any indication of quality of product, I'm sure to be a very happy customer.  Of course, the free lollipop didn't hurt ;^)

I'll post a full review once I get it all installed. For comparisons, the Atlas S-2 I'm working on (which will become DEY-5 #0604) has a Loksound Select decoder and an OEM speaker, as does my Atlas RS-1. My RS-2, as well as all of my DL-109s, have Loksound Selects and iPhone4 speakers. So I'm very interested to see hear what, if any, difference I can discern. 

If it sounds only marginally better to my ear, I'll probably just stick with the iPhone speakers. $17 vs. $2 per speaker is no joke - and the huge price difference is definitely a consideration when equipping a large fleets of locos. But I have a relatively small number of engines to "soundify" - in fact, other than a couple more brass steamers, this P2k S-1 is the only one on the horizon - so an SSS speaker is certainly worth a try.

Have any of you used Scale Sound System speakers yet? If so, let us know your experience in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I added a sound decoder to an S1. I used an ESU v4 and an iPhone speaker. I had to file part of the enclosure and cover the opening with a piece of styrene so it would fit between the weight. I'm wondering how the Scale Sound System speaker fits.

    I also added an orange wire to the bottom motor mount. It was originally routed through the frame. If the frame ever shorted to one of the rails there's a possibility you could blow the decoder. Not quite DCC ready.

    I've shared a link to photos of the install on my Google Drive here: