Wow...!!  So how are Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim these days....  just get out of the hobby...  you’ve obviously had enough.

Possibly one of the worst quotes on this Forum...of all time.

If you and the two people who liked that post want to just sit back and accept sub-standard or misrepresented product from Big Orange, that's your prerogative.

Others simply expect that a premium price bring a premium product.

Hot Water posted:
I remember back in the "Mike Regan  era", Lionel had a "Quality Control Inspector" over there in China.  So,,,,what happened to him, and why wasn't this reported "sound mistake" found by that "Inspector", over in China prior to any models even being packed?”

That was said years ago and not to put too fine a point on it I remember being skeptical. Anyway it does not seem that the effect of what was done was lasting. But I think it has to be borne in mind that Lionel’s product range is pretty vast and although I’d expect the higher range products to get more scrutiny than starter sets, catching every fault is well nigh impossible. In various posts on this Forum over recent years Scott Mann has detailed the practical issues with QC in China and they are daunting. More recently we hear that Chinese factories are not permitting on site inspections, which hardly makes an importer’s life an easy one.

Less charitably, the spec at Lionel’s US end has to be right for the factory to execute it according to its terms. Either this engine was spec’d with articulated sounds or it wasn’t.

Norm Charbonneau posted:

Bottom line, you're stuck with what Lionel decides to put in there. Lionel has a history of unpleasant surprises when it comes to sounds in their high end engines. I have a JLC Allegheny and Legacy Big Boy with whatever random whistle file was available at the time. It's a bit strange when their Lionmaster or Flyer offerings have more correct sound features. They had the edge up until maybe 15 years ago with reliable command control and sounds that had an easy to use interface. The aftermarket at the time picked up the slack with upgrade parts but now they are so far behind the curve. Seems like they just dumbed their stuff down to appeal to boomers and toddlers and no one in between. I was watching a random Loksound vid and the dude was demoing 16 different whistles! 16!”

Years ago when Lionel was first in HO they produced a DCC Veranda Turbine with the most spectacularly realistic sounds I have ever heard from a model engine; I think that they were done by QSI. I’ve never understood why Lionel could not put similar sounds in the O Gauge Veranda Turbine they issued at roughly the same time, which is otherwise one of their finest model diesels ever (IMHO). But judging by what is said above and in particular by GRJ it seems to be a system limitation. Behind the curve indeed.

Berkshire President posted:

So....is the fix just an upgrade to the sound file to include Articulated Sounds....but no change to the position of the drive wheels?

Mine arrived yesterday but I haven't opened it up yet.

Exactly what I was told from Lionel Customer Service (Katie). " Fix sound, do not touch wheels".  Pretty clear to me.  By the way, she said it would take about 48 hours to get the email with label.  4 week turn around at this point.  Still fixing stuff that came in before the move.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Berkshire President posted:
 

Wow...!!  So how are Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim these days....  just get out of the hobby...  you’ve obviously had enough.

Possibly one of the worst quotes on this Forum...of all time.

If you and the two people who liked that post want to just sit back and accept sub-standard or misrepresented product from Big Orange, that's your prerogative.

What’s that Walter Matthau....?!?

I DO expect a premium product!  Especially for the price!!  But I’m not going to continue to subject the members of this forum to continued whining about what’s happened... especially when the fix has been announced.  It’s a hobby... not a life-determining surgical operation.  

Regards,

Byron Hathaway

NPOG Member

 

"Go as far as you can see.  When you get there, you'll be able to see further."

- Thomas Carlyle

Call Lionel and get an RMA.  They will change your sounds.  They won't do anything with the drivers.  I called this morning, got an RMA (will be emailed to me in the next 24 hours), was told it would take 4 weeks and they are still working on work prior to the move.  They will even pay for shipping.  A bit of a hassle, but better than being told "too bad".

Seriously, for what it is worth, I have a high performance Acela set with the add-on car and will offer anyone a fair even trade if they choose not to keep their Challenger.  Email is in my profile.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Byron:  Kudos for the Grumpy Old Men reference....and I do have some Lake Erie walleye for you....but I won't stick it in your car without letting you know first.

FWIW, there is a difference between simply complaining.....and the purchasers of a product voicing their displeasure in said product b/c it didn't meet their expectations.  Expectations, I might add, that are simply based on a prior run from the same manufacturer.

When you have skin in the game, you're not just a complainer.  You're an end user commenting on the product in question.  In this case, it's an expensive product....that we had to wait for and agreed to purchase sight unseen. 

To the extent that I've waited so long for my 3985, my anticipation built over time.   (I even bought a JLC 4014 in the interim.)  When that anticipation is met with less than expected results, disappointment sets in.

Fortunately, Big Orange appears to be making this right....or at least giving one the option of going down that path.  I feel that, eventually, I'll have the locomotive that I wanted when I ordered it.  I may have to send it back for a sound upgrade and then manually change the position of the front drivers....but I'll have my VL UP 3985 without smoke deflectors....that I can run with my first Legacy version 844 and JLC Big Boy.

Here's my input on the topic.

I personally haven't bought one of the Vision Challengers, so keep in mind my view is from the outside looking in.

Technically speaking, assuming all of the Challengers came with the two sets of drivers in sync, then the sound would be prototypical. If they were to come with the drivers in sync, but with the sounds out of sync, that would not be prototypical. For those who are arguing that in-sync drivers on an articulated wouldn't stay in sync for long (because of wheelslip, vibrations, etc), then to model the physical drivers going out of sync on these engines, you are asking for something that simply isn't easily do-able on a model train with traction tires.

I'm certain that as soon as folks who sent their engines in get them back, some will be whining about the fact that they didn't rotate one of the driver sets to match the sound set. Like Bryant said above, Lionel will not touch the wheels. My suggestion is, if you want articulated sounds so badly, and also want the drivers out of sync, take the risk and send the engine into Lionel and get the new sound set, and then (carefully) adjust the drivers yourself, although you will void the warranty by doing this. There's a tutorial on YouTube!

I hate bashing on manufacturers and on other forum members, and it appears that this is exactly what this thread has devolved into. There is no such thing as perfection. Many people in this hobby worry too much.

Now go run some trains.

Nick

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

“It’s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.” - W. Graham Claytor, Jr.

TrainMan1225 posted:

Here's my input on the topic.

I personally haven't bought one of the Vision Challengers, so keep in mind my view is from the outside looking in.

Technically speaking, assuming all of the Challengers came with the two sets of drivers in sync, then the sound would be prototypical. If they were to come with the drivers in sync, but with the sounds out of sync, that would not be prototypical. For those who are arguing that in-sync drivers on an articulated wouldn't stay in sync for long (because of wheelslip, vibrations, etc), then to model the physical drivers going out of sync on these engines, you are asking for something that simply isn't easily do-able on a model train with traction tires.

I'm certain that as soon as folks who sent their engines in get them back, some will be whining about the fact that they didn't rotate one of the driver sets to match the sound set. Like Bryant said above, Lionel will not touch the wheels. My suggestion is, if you want articulated sounds so badly, and also want the drivers out of sync, take the risk and send the engine into Lionel and get the new sound set, and then (carefully) adjust the drivers yourself, although you will void the warranty by doing this. There's a tutorial on YouTube!

I hate bashing on manufacturers and on other forum members, and it appears that this is exactly what this thread has devolved into. There is no such thing as perfection. Many people in this hobby worry too much.

Now go run some trains.

Whether the driver are in sync are not the lack of syncopated chuff is not prototypical. I am not sure why people keep alluding to this even if they are in sync on the real thing there will still be a syncopated chuff due to the design of the simple articulated locomotive and it has nothing due with wheel slip that it happens. Drivers appearing out of sync is due to wheel slippage but can be in sync as well.  

Shawn Chronister

Nick:  Your argument misses two major points.....and like you said, you don't have any skin in this game.

There is nothing unreasonable about expecting the 2019 VL Challengers to sound and function like the 2010 VL Challengers....and almost every other articulated that the Company has issued.  That is NOT complaining or bashing in my book.  (Now, if you wish to purchase via BTO and have no reasonable product expectations when doing so, that's up to you.)

Second, it's important (to me, at least) that my 3985 sound more like my 4014 and not like my 844.  It doesn't matter where the drivers are or whether they are in or out of sync.  I want an articulated to sound different than a regular steam engine.  I want the variety and the locomotive sound differentiation.  As delivered from the Factory, this will not happen.  Ergo, my initial disappointment.

Norm Charbonneau posted:

So...nobody re-phases their articulated drivers anymore? That was always the first thing you did when you got a new one. Is it against the law now?

Norm I do not have a problem with the driver being synced my problems is people thinking that if they are synced there is no syncopated chuff.

Shawn Chronister

Whether the driver are in sync are not the lack of syncopated chuff is not prototypical. I am not sure why people keep alluding to this even if they are in sync on the real thing there will still be a syncopated chuff

I don't think that is true, if by "syncopated chuff" you mean the double chuff that can be heard at low speeds and certain angular mismatches between engines.  At several angles the chuff from a simple articulated sounds a lot like a two cylinder locomotive would.  It of course depends on the length of the exhaust stacks, so you may actually get double chuffs when both engines match.  Remember, there will be four angles, at 90 degrees from each other, that will produce single chuff.

There are no economical ways to simulate this in a scale model except for maybe slightly different gear ratios between engines and sound cams on each engine.  You could go to a two motor solution, but most of them involve butchering the boiler and rear cylinder block.  Yuk!

just got notice that my Challenger is shipping.  When it arrives I will run it to determine if I am pleased with the sounds.  If I am, I will not send it back.  Otherwise, I will.  Hopefully, everything else about the engine will be ok.  We will see.

Harold

Harold

 

Having the wrong sound file loaded at the factory is annoying but at least it can be remedied.  I am more disappointed that the Challengers do not have the kinematic drawbar for close coupling as they were advertised to have in a product preview video.  I did not pre-order because I am skeptical of anything Lionel catalogs.  I am glad I didn't and I will not be purchasing this engine as I hoped I would.  Frankly I am surprised people aren't more upset about that omission.

T4TT posted:

Having the wrong sound file loaded at the factory is annoying but at least it can be remedied.  I am more disappointed that the Challengers do not have the kinematic drawbar for close coupling as they were advertised to have in a product preview video.  I did not pre-order because I am skeptical of anything Lionel catalogs.  I am glad I didn't and I will not be purchasing this engine as I hoped I would.  Frankly I am surprised people aren't more upset about that omission.

I agree. I was also disappointed in this especially when they advertised it in the Ryan and Dave show.  I was also disappointed in the non articulated sound.  So I cancelled my order. I learned my lesson. No more preorders. I wait and see what it is like before I buy it. 

Guys, the driver issue is pretty easy to fix.  If you don't want them "in sync", just remote the single screw holding the articulated power truck on, slide it forward and rotate the drive shaft link to a new position, slide it back together and put the single screw back in.

The sounds only Lionel can fix, and obviously they're going to do just that for folks that send them back in.  Sure, it would have been nice if they were fixed when they had them all apart, but that ship has sailed.  At least they are going to make it right.

bob2 posted:

Whether the driver are in sync are not the lack of syncopated chuff is not prototypical. I am not sure why people keep alluding to this even if they are in sync on the real thing there will still be a syncopated chuff

I don't think that is true, if by "syncopated chuff" you mean the double chuff that can be heard at low speeds and certain angular mismatches between engines.  At several angles the chuff from a simple articulated sounds a lot like a two cylinder locomotive would.  It of course depends on the length of the exhaust stacks, so you may actually get double chuffs when both engines match.  Remember, there will be four angles, at 90 degrees from each other, that will produce single chuff.

There are no economical ways to simulate this in a scale model except for maybe slightly different gear ratios between engines and sound cams on each engine.  You could go to a two motor solution, but most of them involve butchering the boiler and rear cylinder block.  Yuk!

Lionmaster semiscale and MTH Rail King articulateds have separate motors for each set of drivers but I don't think this mechanical arrangement would 'scale up' for the full scale versions. It's kind of funny that semiscale engines could actually simulate driver phasing better than full scale ones. 

There are some halfway decent YouTube vids of the 3985 where you can clearly hear the exhaust without it getting blown out by the insane amount of whistle yanking you hear in your typical railfan vid. This is a nice example starting around 0:43:

I started this post because I was pleased to hear Lionel would add the articulated sound.   Again, thanks to Lionel.     This thread was and still is, intended to be positive and informative.     Positive that Lionel is correcting the problem and informative to anyone who may want to send theirs to Lionel.    If you want to whine, start your own thread.         

Alabama Joe posted:

I started this post because I was pleased to hear Lionel would add the articulated sound.   Again, thanks to Lionel.     This thread was and still is, intended to be positive and informative.     Positive that Lionel is correcting the problem and informative to anyone who may want to send theirs to Lionel.    If you want to whine, start your own thread.         

Lionel intended there vision line to be the gold standard but it is isn't. So if you do not want the constructive feedback being given to the manufacturer about their practices on your thread.  Do not post how great they are for stepping up to fix something that should have never needed to be fixed. They never announced they were really fixing it outright, everyone has had to go out of their way to get it done.

Shawn Chronister

Laidoffsick posted:

Too late to do anything about it, yet they sat in the warehouse for weeks. They were shipped anyway because Lionel knew most people will just accept them as is. As proof right here, many people have just accepted the mistake of screwing up something that had already been done before!

For the record I was talking about Norm’s comment about Lionel being so far behind in model train technology. 

Rod Miller

Norm Charbonneau posted:

So...nobody re-phases their articulated drivers anymore? That was always the first thing you did when you got a new one. Is it against the law now?

And it is so easy to do! I did it.to my Big Boys and Cab Forwards, less than a 5 minute job for each.

O Scale Hauler is back! 

 

Laidoffsick posted:
Norm Charbonneau posted:

So...nobody re-phases their articulated drivers anymore? That was always the first thing you did when you got a new one. Is it against the law now?

And it is so easy to do! I did it.to my Big Boys and Cab Forwards, less than a 5 minute job for each.

Like either you or Norm have really nice layouts with large, scale steam......and you actually know what you're talking about!!!  

Speaking of which, with Norm's permission and Gun Runner's blessing, attached is a link to one of my favorite videos that Norm has posted.  Notice the sound and position of the drivers:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S3KgDBXEOM&t=54s

Norm:  if you don't want this link posted, just let me know.

turbine posted:

My challenger arrives Saturday, Do I need to send it back before I open it, is it really serious. how bad is it out of sync. any videos

If you want the CORRECT articulated sound, yes...send it back. It was a mistake, make them fix it. In sync, out of sync makes no difference, the sound needs to be corrected on an $1800 engine and they will fix it.

O Scale Hauler is back! 

 

Obviously this is a Cab Forward, AC12 articulated Legacy Locomotive. Notice the drivers as it goes by. The 2 different engines are OUT of SYNC. I made that change, it was a 5 minute job. Also note that the sound did NOT change at all whether they were in sync or out of sync. It's articulated, and has articulated sounds. Kind of hard to hear it being doubled headed with the GS4, BUT notice the AC12 is making twice as much sound as the GS4 as they go by 

O Scale Hauler is back! 

 

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AC12GS4
Laidoffsick posted:

If you want the CORRECT articulated sound, yes...send it back. It was a mistake, make them fix it. In sync, out of sync makes no difference, the sound needs to be corrected on an $1800 engine and they will fix it.

This is pretty much the bottom line here.  Send it it in and get it fixed. 

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"I love eating Italian food because of all the pastabilities!"

 

Be nice if dealers would return their unsold inventory of the Challengers to Lionel, have the adjustments made, and then sell them so we don't have to deal with it.

Craignor posted:

Be nice if dealers would return their unsold inventory of the Challengers to Lionel, have the adjustments made, and then sell them so we don't have to deal with it.

Good point. That’s right thing to do. Dealers have power so use it. 

Rod Miller

romiller49 posted:
Craignor posted:

Be nice if dealers would return their unsold inventory of the Challengers to Lionel, have the adjustments made, and then sell them so we don't have to deal with it.

Good point. That’s right thing to do. Dealers have power so use it. 

Well,using a far more serious issue as an example. None of the moguls with defective gearboxes were ever returned.

Lionel decided to gamble and only fix for those who realized or were aware there was an issue.

A far cry from the Mike Reagan days of Lionel where the entire run of turbines was recalled due to a potential waterlogging issue.

Funny how when I called my dealer the other day to cancel preorders.They knew right away it was the big ticket Lionel stuff without me even saying. I was also shocked that the didn't express any disappointment either.

Too much "oops were sorry", "that's good enough", with utter sillyness in between for me to spend thousand of dollars on Lionel any longer.

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

romiller49 posted:
Craignor posted:

Be nice if dealers would return their unsold inventory of the Challengers to Lionel, have the adjustments made, and then sell them so we don't have to deal with it.

Good point. That’s right thing to do. Dealers have power so use it. 

I thought about that as well. I would say though that since this isn't a recall by Lionel, that is out the window. Granted you could probably ask your dealer if they would send yours in, but that is at their discretion.

I think I am with Hot Water here.  "Synchronous" can mean matched at any angle. The only time an articulated is "unsynchronized" is when the drivers slip.

I think you are all talking about engines being "out of phase".  Since any angular disparity would be "locked in," I would say that having both engines in phase is just as likely as having them at, say, 30 degrees forever.

And indeed while I favor Mallets and articulateds, I find the amount of angst over this sound system a bit over the top.  Is there nothing else wrong with this model?  If so, then it is a winner!

I will not be buying one - last count around here was ten Challengers, but no sound.

 

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

One of the guys I talked with on FB is happy with his as is. I told him that it is good as he likes it as it is and that I would be getting the sounds to match the prior VL offering. We both will enjoy our engines the way we want to and that is a good thing.

Well isn't that nice lets put that on every public board we can so Lionel will never have to own there mistakes and can just keep producing substandard products at outrageous prices.

Shawn Chronister

I don't see this as a big deal.  Will check out sounds when engine arrives and make a decision.  Dealer has already checked it for operation and says it runs well.  The plan is to have the Challenger and Big Boy running side by side!

Harold

 

 

 

 

Harold

 

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