Kato ACS-64 Electric and Sound Box Pros? Cons?

Grey One Nov 2, 2019

  1. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do you have any experience with the Kato 'Sound Box' and / or 'ACS-64' Electric loco?
    The Kato videos of them make it seem really cool but they are about 4 years old. I'm sure the 10yo will like the horn.
    DCC: Yes, I know there are a lot of wonderful sound cards for DCC units but I do not have the visual accuity to retrofit my fleet.
    So? Feedback?
    Any info on how they run with the Kato ACS-64 or FEF 4-8-4

    Notes:
    ACS-64s run past my window on the PVD, (Boston to Providence), line. I'd love to add them to my bullet train layout. Sound would just be a bonus.
    I have the Kato FEF 4-8-4. Adding sound would be wondrous.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I am a huge fan of the Kato Sound Box. I have owned as many as four of them at one time, connected through a cheap Amazon sound mixer feeding two sets of computer speakers with subwoofers (rectangular shelf layout with four loops of Unitrack). Kato's ad copy really doesn't do justice to them. In addition to the prototype sound, they also add momentum/braking effects to the trains. Both starting voltage and sound synchronization are adjustable with simple knobs. I have the FEF card (and the Kato FEF and GS4's) and the steam sound is great. All of the sound cards I have allow selection of multiple horns/whistles to match particular locomotives. The early EMD card is great for my E5 units, with the correct single horn available. I've coupled one with Kato's new smart phone app wireless power supply, forming a true "poor man's" wireless, sound equipped alternative to DCC. Recent life downsizing has left me with no permanent layout. I do have the ability to quickly set up a large double track loop (now with wireless throttle and sound) to run trains. It's not ideal, but extremely flexible. I think I still have an excess Kato Sound Box and Kato Power Pack to list in our for sale section. I'll try to let you know when I do if you're interested.
    At risk of starting a debate, I will also add that bass sounds using the Sound Box feeding larger speakers is far superior to anything DCC I have heard. As most folks know, bass sound is non-directional so having it come from a sub-woofer in the corner versus a tiny speaker in a locomotive in no way detracts from any perceived sense of "where the sound is coming from."
     
    Grey One likes this.
  3. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks! Please do send a note. I will be getting one for Christmas but two wouldl not be a bad thing.
    I also intend to try recording sounds out my window and playing those over computer and cell phone speakers.
     
  4. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I sent you a PM.
     

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