MTH Ho Trains

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malletman

Alcohaulic
Ok, its the mechanic's turn. While on principle I refuse to own anything made by MTH, due to the owners attitude. I had the pleasure, if you can call it that, of meeting Mr Mike Wolf years ago at the huge York train show. While I cannot and will not repeat my true thoughts as they are not appropiate in a public forum, he isnt interested in your satisfaction with his products. Just how thick his wallet is. He is right up there with the Chinese way of doing business. They say its nothing personal, just business. They make it as cheap as they can. We are already seeing zinkpest in some of the O gauge pieces, blistering of the finish on boilers, trucks and couplers on rolling stock turning to dust. No clear pattern, but it is starting to show up. Obvoiusly a result of cost cutting moves at the factory in China. Has this happened to the HO line, time will only tell. Try taking appart a MTH, BLI or other newer steamer, talk about a total bitch. Give me a brass engine to repair/service any day. I will give them the fact thier engines are a work of art when they do run well, lighted class and marker lights, lighted number boards, working mars lights ect. And detail of a brass engine of just a few years ago, but in a mix of diecast and plastic. Unfortunatly the quality control is all over the place, just like anything else made in China. Its NOT just this brand, Athearn, BLI, MTH and many others suffer similar quality control issues. Now those isssues were present in the older Mantua, Athearn blue box ect, but those being a much more simple engine are easier for the average modeler to take care of. Mantuas are prone to burrs on side rod bolt holes, motors with to much play in the armature shaft or underpowered, Athearns had that horrible metal strip from the trucks to the motor that would rust, motors that would get dislodged in shipping ect. Problems but simple ones that were easy to fix. Most of us are not electrical engineers that can trouble shoot circuit boards. Thats a mini pentium computer in those engines. I will stick to my older brass, that once I spend some enjoyable time tuning up, swapping in a can motor, sometimes newer trucks to eliminate gear noise and a sound decoder for good measure. If that decoder craps out, I just chuck it in the trash and wire in a new one. But the basic model is solid, no worries of zink pest with the models I use. If MTH went bankrupt today, I wouldnt loose a moments sleep over it. Mike
 

Motley

Active Member
Now tell us how you really feel Malletman. LOL

Yes the quality control and cheap manufacturing from China is a constant issue.
 

malletman

Alcohaulic
Its very scary to see zink pest in modern model trains. I have seen mint in the box O scale rolling stock removed from its box to find whole trucks have turned to dust or couplers that fall off as soon as you touch them. A buddy had several of his larger Premier steamers start blistering the paint, he redid them to look good and sold them all off quickly. With Chinese built quality and thier way of business, who knows. Japanese brass only disappeared as thier costs got to where it was to expensive to produce there, add to that limited runs of less than 100 or even less than 10 of one road name and the price goes into outer space. Being the mechanic for 2 different hobby shops, I get to see the good, the bad and the ugly of model trains. Really opens ones eyes to how far quality control as slipped compared to just a few years ago. Mike
 

Motley

Active Member
Ya you'd think that these companies are "saving money" by manufacturing in China, and always trying to "cut costs".

But in reality, its killing the hobby slowly.

We as consumers have very little discretionary money to spend on model trains. And when you buy a $400 locomotive, and it breaks within 10 minutes of use. We get a little jaded every time that happens. And next time we have that extra $400 to spend, some people (like me) may spend that money on a different hobby, or other things. I could buy a new set of golf clubs.

These companies MUST see that we are tired of buying crap products from China. I know I've been spending my money on the hobby very wisley now. And my spending has dropped drastically. Only because I've been burned one too many times.
 

hemiram

New Member
This kind of thread could apply to just about any hobby involving machinery or electronics. Model trains now go into both categories. I am a handgun collector, and have had some real dogs come new out of the box. Totally non functional, or one shot jammers. Send it to the manufacturer, and it comes back scratched up and not fixed, or, even worse. I had a huge string of new lemons about 30 years ago. New gun after new gun, from "junk" makers to names like Colt and S&W, just junk. Some went off and came back 100% fixed, others were just ignored and sent back in the same condition they went in at, or worse. I had one gun with a totally messed up bore, and Taurus got it back twice with a note saying, "The barrel is DEFECTIVE!", and twice it was sent back saying no problem found. Having to pound hunks of lead out after a couple of shots IS a problem! Off it went to some guy who knew it had issues, and I didn't lose a lot of money on it. Just a lot of aggravation.

Same thing happens in ham radio, and RC planes and cars. Expensive hobbies with a certain amount of frustration built in.

Back to trains now, everything I have now is used or old stock and so far, on a friend's layout, has been ok, a couple of cars had the gauge set too wide or narrow, but all the locos, from old Athearn BB specials to P2K FA's have run fine, no problems. The worst problems have been missing detail parts and on a NOS E unit, amissing truck frame that I found on Ebay in five minutes of looking. No steamers yet, and to be honest, I'm kind of scared of them, as friends have had difficulties with a lot of them.
 
This kind of thread could apply to just about any hobby involving machinery or electronics. Model trains now go into both categories. I am a handgun collector, and have had some real dogs come new out of the box. Totally non functional, or one shot jammers. Send it to the manufacturer, and it comes back scratched up and not fixed, or, even worse. I had a huge string of new lemons about 30 years ago. New gun after new gun, from "junk" makers to names like Colt and S&W, just junk. Some went off and came back 100% fixed, others were just ignored and sent back in the same condition they went in at, or worse. I had one gun with a totally messed up bore, and Taurus got it back twice with a note saying, "The barrel is DEFECTIVE!", and twice it was sent back saying no problem found. Having to pound hunks of lead out after a couple of shots IS a problem! Off it went to some guy who knew it had issues, and I didn't lose a lot of money on it. Just a lot of aggravation.

Same thing happens in ham radio, and RC planes and cars. Expensive hobbies with a certain amount of frustration built in.

Back to trains now, everything I have now is used or old stock and so far, on a friend's layout, has been ok, a couple of cars had the gauge set too wide or narrow, but all the locos, from old Athearn BB specials to P2K FA's have run fine, no problems. The worst problems have been missing detail parts and on a NOS E unit, amissing truck frame that I found on Ebay in five minutes of looking. No steamers yet, and to be honest, I'm kind of scared of them, as friends have had difficulties with a lot of them.
Oh man, doesnt that just burn you up when you send something in to get repaired and they send it back saying, "its fine dude, you must not know what you are talking about". Why would they think people would waste their precious time sending away one of their possessions if nothing is wrong with it? I could maybe see if the person was wanting a new replacement and they are wanting to cover themselves against scammers, but if you are just wanting something repaired, come on!
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I would never do business with MTH simply because of the aggressive nature they have had in the industry.
I've heard that from a lot of folks, including a number of O Scalers that did business with a friend of mine who was a MTH dealer.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member

yelrow

New Member
Hi, can i ask a question. I have a protosound 3 loco, which plays all sounds, but refuses to move. Any suggestions, would be most welcome. thanks. john
 




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