LL FA-2 Sound Recommendations

Pie39 Sep 12, 2022

  1. Pie39

    Pie39 TrainBoard Member

    251
    265
    15
    Hey all. I have two Ann Arbor FA-2s which my friend skillfully installed DCC in, and they run great as a pair. This weekend, I got a good deal on a third that the seller says will not run, so my thinking is to pull the motor and put in a DCC decoder. These are the old run with a plastic frame and big metal weights, what would be a good sound decoder/speaker to choose for this? I have almost 0 experience, but I love the idea and it would be a good challenge…and I may well go back to that friend for more help! A0A1BAF9-9B03-4467-A912-69E40D46044D.jpeg
     
    BNSF FAN, tehachapifan and eposte12 like this.
  2. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

    531
    498
    29
    I don't have a recommendation, but those both look very cool!
     
    BNSF FAN, tehachapifan and Hardcoaler like this.
  3. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

    994
    378
    26
    Since weight (for traction) isn't going to be an issue, with the weights and the motor removed you'll have room for just about any combo you want. If it was me, I'd go with a decoder from whoever made the decoders in the 2 powered units, but since you don't need to worry about any "matching" you could also just go with something that has great sound. I've only done a couple ( actually 6 but in only 2 different models of locos) and they had the speaker on the board, so I'm not too up on speakers.
     
    BNSF FAN, tehachapifan and Sumner like this.
  4. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    1,851
    2,678
    47
    I've only put in one sound decoder to this point ( HERE ) and it was aninexpnsive one. Didn't know if I was going to like sound or not. I'm happy with it but after liking sound decided to move up to ESU for sound as they have a tremendous amount of accurate sound files for specific engines, not kind of generic ones. So have 3 more decoders to install when I find the time.

    You might look/listen to their demo soiund files ( HERE ) .... sounds like there might be some differences...

    "Although there are slight differences, this sound file could also be used in the following locomotives:

    FA-1, FB-1, FA-2, FB-2, FPA-2, FPB-2
    "

    They have excellent decoders. Maybe a little more than some you might find but I think worth it. Also SBC, a supporter here has good prices on them and will download the sound file of your choice before shipping to you. You might check and see which decoder they recommend. I'm using the ESU 58923 LokSound 5 Nano NMRA DCC Sound Decoder as it is about the smallest one you can get. You don't necessarily need the smallest but if you used it you'd be familiar with it if you wanted to put it in a powered loco down the road.

    Go with the biggest speaker you can fit and make sure it is in a sealed enclosure. I'd use at least a 9 x 16mm. Again SBC has good info on speakers and the parts.

    Have fun with the install and post results,

    Sumner
     
    BNSF FAN, tehachapifan and DeaconKC like this.
  5. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    1,791
    606
    44
    I'll second the recommendation to go with ESU. As mentioned, there are a number of files suitable for the FA-2 and ESU sound quality is unsurpassed IMHO. They don't have a sound-only decoder (I don't think), so you'll end up paying for capabilities you don't need. There are sound-only decoders out there, but I have limited experience with those.

    In addition, let me reiterate an important point made by Sumner that is very often overlooked....

    THERE MUST BE AN AIRTIGHT ENCLOSURE ATTACHED AND SEALED TO ONE SIDE OF THE SPEAKER!

    In case the people in the back missed that...

    THERE MUST BE AN AIRTIGHT ENCLOSURE ATTACHED AND SEALED TO ONE SIDE OF THE SPEAKER!

    Do not make the common mistake of thinking it will be fine without one. The difference is night and day in terms of sound quality.

    Also, it is also very common to think sound egress holes need to be drilled somewhere in the shell to "let the sound out". This is absolutely unnecessary.

    BTW, those units are gorgeous in that paint scheme!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    5,685
    2,736
    98
    There is the ESU 58210 function only sound decoder. No motor drivers, but sound and light/Aux outputs. Wouldn’t normally recommend for N scale, but in a hollowed out FA-2, should be plenty of room for it. In stock at SBS
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  7. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    1,791
    606
    44
    Ok, so there IS an ESU function and sound only decoder! I thought I remembered seeing one a while back, but for the life of me couldn't find it when responding to this thread. Yes, that might be the best option in this application.
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.

Share This Page