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Uniquely individual, handmade, fine scale models for around the same price as those mass produced, pre-built, all look alike, Chinese toys. We will sell nothing until it looks so good we want to keep it.

08 Jul '17

TCS Wow Sound V4 Versus SoundTraxx Tsunami2 Review: What’s the Big Deal?

With everything plus the kitchen sink, SoundTraxx rolls out Tsunami Version 2. For model railroaders with ADD, it’s a godsend. A plethora of locomotive whistle choices, bells and sounds beyond belief. It’s as if someone told SoundTraxx that what model railroad enthusiasts really want is ALL the bells and whistles. Happy to oblige, SoundTraxx dumped their entire Tsunami sound library onto one tiny little processor chip. A veritable lifetime of sound programming possibilities. If you like spending all of your very sparse spare time changing cv codes, you’ll love it. If you want a truly realistic locomotive operating experience, forget it. Tsunami2, is just another SoundTraxx decoder in every way.

To be fair, both SoundTraxx and TCS (Train Control Systems) have upgraded their polyphonic sound quality. However, Soundtraxx has done nothing to improve the speaker, nor have they improved their mixer. And, it’s still the same standard SoundTraxx motor controller, so it’s the same standard toy train operating experience. Yes, SoundTraxx has the largest processor in the industry, but it’s a dedicated library. Simply put, you need that much digital heft to run all the sound choices you’ll probably never use, even if you had the time.

While you don’t have a bazillion sound choices with TCS Wow Sound Version 4, you have plenty. Rather than dump every sound on the planet into one decoder, aiming for mass appeal, as SoundTraxx does with Tsunami2, TCS continues to provide unrivaled sound quality with an equal balance of unrivaled operating experience. See our earlier blog post for a great description of this truly realistic operation experience (TCS Wow Steam Sound versus SoundTraxx Tsunami Review: What's the Big Deal?). If you want a toy train experience, buy the Tsunami2. But, if you want to know what it’s like to sit in the engineer’s seat of a real train, get the TCS Wow Sound V4. You’ll have so much more fun running a real train, you won’t need 5,000 whistle sounds.

One final note. Buy the TCS speaker. When mated to a TCS Wow V4 system, the TCS integrated polyphonic speaker is far better than any speaker we have ever tested. The entire TCS speaker line was designed specifically to get the most out of any TCS Wow system. It is worth a few bucks more. We should know, at FineTrains, we’ve installed thousands of DCC systems.

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