Athearn SD70ACe's released! Who's got one?!

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


wongsing

Member
So the BNSF ACe's are released now! I am really surprised that many hobby shops have had them in stock (my favorite LHS sold them all in less than 12 hours!!!) or have them in stock. No reviews? I have heard a nasty rumor that the sound equipped engines are not very loud due to just one speaker being installed! I hope this is not true! Anyone have one of these beauties yet that would like to share with the group? I am so excited to get mine, but looks like I have a few days before my hobby shop gets them...:( Oh well! Thanks in advance!

-Rich
 

wongsing

Member
Well, that was cool of that guy to do a direct comparison of the two engines. I personally have an Athearn on order myself and I hope its everything I thought it would be. Knowing that its an Athearn Genesis I'm sure it will be. I agree about sound and tractive effort for sure, but I have heard from several people that their MTH engines are "too loud" and they had to turn them down to sound pretty good. The one that I saw at the LHS was very impressive! Yes, it did weigh a lot too, but I don't know of any Genesis engines that can't pull though...Even so, you could always add extra moldable weight under the shell. Also, although I haven't seen the Athearn's yet in real life, from what I hear the detail on them is the best most of us have seen in a plastic locomotive ever. Again, I have to give it up to the gentleman on youtube giving us a comparison, but seemed just alittle biased? Maybe its just me. Anyone else care to share their thoughts of speculation vs. fact?

-Rich
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
I would urge the person viewing such video essays to take them with a large chunk of salt. I am a psychologist, and am well-versed in both human conflict and in internal biases. I couldn't honestly say I know all there is to know about human behavior, but I think I have a pretty solid handle on what we take for understanding it these days.

Without formal criteria and blind estimating or measurements by people outside of the interest area, such 'studies' are most often hampered by presumed biases. A proper comparison would, for example, have been presented to the viewer by directly weighing each model, and then testing their pulling power over several voltage settings using the same consist and over the very same length of track. Only that way would be all be able to accept that one engine is a better puller than the other.

Sound appreciation is highly subjective. Some people can't stand HO scale sound and refuse to buy locomotives with sound systems installed. Others, like myself, won't purchase an engine without sound, or we know that we will have a decoder and speaker installed. All my sound-equipped engines are much too loud when I first power them up to do all the CV tweaking. I usually settle for about half of the master volume range, or if that is a bit weak at maximum, I back off some of the individual sounds and leave the Master Volume up high.

Again, for a direct comparison, a scope would have to have a baseline profile of frequencies for the individual sounds showing what the real items sound like, and then the two model's scope profiles would have to be overlaid to show the variance. I am pretty sure some sounds would be better in one while on the other model, it would have some sounds that were more accurate. Without this substantial undertaking, we are to take this gentleman's assessment? :rolleyes:

Crandell
 

NYSW F45

Active Member
im watching the video now. Is it possible that he just got a unit with poor sound? I've never heard a tsunami thats quiet. They always seem way to loud to me.
 

Motley

Active Member
im watching the video now. Is it possible that he just got a unit with poor sound? I've never heard a tsunami thats quiet. They always seem way to loud to me.
I don't think it's the decoder, it's the fact that Athearn only has one speaker, and the MTH has two speakers. That's what I gathered from his review. I have the MTH and can confirm they have two speakers and the bass sounds really good.
 

bigB

Active Member
I saw that video, but anyone who has already received theirs, can you please post some detailed pictures??? Thanks!
 

julienjj

Noodle is good
I saw the video, and his criteria are quite funny, he gave point to the mth because it has more sound feature :D (crash sound is so important... :D:D:D)

Before any comparison of the drive is to be done, the athearn should be broke-in for a few hours
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
It is Ahh-thurn, I'm sure. Aye-thurn and Atheran are wrong. :p

Report on the Atlas forum says a guy's LHS found all the speakers on their locos improperly sealed in their sound chambers/baffles. When they sealed them with a sealant, the sound improved drastically.

Crandell
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
I saw the video, and his criteria are quite funny, he gave point to the mth because it has more sound feature :D (crash sound is so important... :D:D:D)
My MTH SD70ACe doesn't have the crash sound ... unfortunately; my wife would love it. Wished my MTH Challenger did as they originally reported.

What's important as criteria to owners is as varied as the number of individuals enjoying this hobby ;)
 

Coy

Member
I have two on order, both without sound, as I plan to install my own anyway. I posted the information on the video about the poor sealing of the speaker, but he hasn't reponded yet. I think it is garbage that you have to do anything to a DCC/Sound equipped locomotive (outside of CV programming) to make it work correctly. Hopefully Athearn does something about it in the next release, or repairs what is out already.
 

Motley

Active Member
Oh wow, if that's true, that is a major mess up on Athearn's part. Ohhh, here we go again with the quality control issues coming out of China.

It's like a daily thing now.
 

julienjj

Noodle is good
I just noticed that the guy who made the video, is an active poster on MTH facebook page. Bias ?
Hopefully, MRH will make a nice review/comparison
 

wongsing

Member
It is Ahh-thurn, I'm sure. Aye-thurn and Atheran are wrong. :p

Report on the Atlas forum says a guy's LHS found all the speakers on their locos improperly sealed in their sound chambers/baffles. When they sealed them with a sealant, the sound improved drastically.

Crandell
Hmmm....Really? You made a good point BTW as well. And I for one DO take product reviews and video test comparisons with a grain of salt as well. We all have different preferences ya know...? Well put!

-Rich
 

diburning

AlcoHaulic
Ok, I've been holding off on this as I did not want to start or add to a flame war, but I decided to remove this post because of the way I worded it. I may repost later with a "nicer" critique of his video.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wongsing

Member
For those that didn't get to read diburning's post before he removed it, I don't think it was offensive, but perhaps someone would have thought of it this way. I feel he was just posting his opinion and feels strongly about it... This is a forum, right? Guys, I don't want to start a flame war either and I'd like this thread to help anyone curious about how these two locos compare to eachother. Not sure about most of you fellow modelers, but $289.00 is a lot of money and I want to make sure my money goes to the right place, ya know? I still haven't got my loco yet, but I don't think I will be disappointed at all. I originally wanted an MTH... Still wouldn't mind having one, but my preference (due to all of my past experiences) would go to the Athearn. Even their RTR stuff is MUCH better than it used to be. Very prototypical as compared to their earlier run-of-the-mill offerings. I do have to admit, I wish Athearn would go to some really pretty and durable metal handrails like those found on the Tower 55 locos and MTH's. Diburning and the gentleman on the video also made mention of paint quality. That is hard to make a good comparison due to sunlight reflecting on the prototype loco the company takes a picture of for example. Some of the fallen flag railroads don't have good pictures to go off of anymore and so its virtually impossible to get the shade correct for everyone's eye. To me, as long as its not THAT bad, its okay with me. A particular company (whom I won't mention; this isn't a bash someone's effort's thread) painted some of their Chessie System locos bright yellow, deep red and bright blue! Caused a big ruckus in the forums due to its inaccuracies amongst Chessie fans, but its always fixable with some basic paint fading, complete repaints, or just realizing that it is just a model. However, I do have to agree it was MUCH more off than any other manufacturer previously offered. I know these locos aren't the ones in question and this is just an example. As far as customer service goes, I can't specifially say how exactly Athearn has done well with their customer service, but they have always been very good to me. Soundtraxx also answered their phone when I had a problem with one of their decoders. I am sure MTH is great too...Just haven't ever owned one and have subsequently never had to deal with them. I have heard great things though. All in all, from what I have seen (still haven't seen the Athearn yet) both of these locos are great in their own ways. I really don't care for the MTH DCS system though. To me it seems like a big drawback though and much bigger over having sound that's too quiet. At any rate guys, this thread is getting interesting. I'd like to hear more opinions if anyone has them, biased or not. Please no flamewars though...This is good for those of us who want to make educated decisions about where our hard earned money should go. Thanks!

-Rich
 
For those that didn't get to read diburning's post before he removed it, I don't think it was offensive, but perhaps someone would have thought of it this way. I feel he was just posting his opinion and feels strongly about it... This is a forum, right? Guys, I don't want to start a flame war either and I'd like this thread to help anyone curious about how these two locos compare to eachother. Not sure about most of you fellow modelers, but $289.00 is a lot of money and I want to make sure my money goes to the right place, ya know? I still haven't got my loco yet, but I don't think I will be disappointed at all. I originally wanted an MTH... Still wouldn't mind having one, but my preference (due to all of my past experiences) would go to the Athearn. Even their RTR stuff is MUCH better than it used to be. Very prototypical as compared to their earlier run-of-the-mill offerings. I do have to admit, I wish Athearn would go to some really pretty and durable metal handrails like those found on the Tower 55 locos and MTH's. Diburning and the gentleman on the video also made mention of paint quality. That is hard to make a good comparison due to sunlight reflecting on the prototype loco the company takes a picture of for example. Some of the fallen flag railroads don't have good pictures to go off of anymore and so its virtually impossible to get the shade correct for everyone's eye. To me, as long as its not THAT bad, its okay with me. A particular company (whom I won't mention; this isn't a bash someone's effort's thread) painted some of their Chessie System locos bright yellow, deep red and bright blue! Caused a big ruckus in the forums due to its inaccuracies amongst Chessie fans, but its always fixable with some basic paint fading, complete repaints, or just realizing that it is just a model. However, I do have to agree it was MUCH more off than any other manufacturer previously offered. I know these locos aren't the ones in question and this is just an example. As far as customer service goes, I can't specifially say how exactly Athearn has done well with their customer service, but they have always been very good to me. Soundtraxx also answered their phone when I had a problem with one of their decoders. I am sure MTH is great too...Just haven't ever owned one and have subsequently never had to deal with them. I have heard great things though. All in all, from what I have seen (still haven't seen the Athearn yet) both of these locos are great in their own ways. I really don't care for the MTH DCS system though. To me it seems like a big drawback though and much bigger over having sound that's too quiet. At any rate guys, this thread is getting interesting. I'd like to hear more opinions if anyone has them, biased or not. Please no flamewars though...This is good for those of us who want to make educated decisions about where our hard earned money should go. Thanks!

-Rich
If he removed an offensive post. Why debate over it? The post doesnt exist any longer and at this point, it would just be splitting hairs over something that no body can debate over in the first place. Time to move on to the subject at hand here and not worry about something someone said and removed.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top