Athearn Genesis K3LA Horn on Santa Fe GP7u
Decision process - Y&MV GP7 201. The Athearn Genesis GP7u ATSF 2233 which I purchased has a very nice looking (in my opinion, anyway) K3LA horn. The model was purchased without sound for the purpose of installing LokSound because the horn sounds on the Tsunami decoders just make me angry that they do not sound better. LokSound has some excellent horn files and just stepped up their game with their latest P5 release (though on the GE 7FDL-16 Modern Soundfile which does not apply to former Southern Railway locomotives).
There is not an exceptional K3LA horn file on any decoder that I am aware of. The K3LA became the Santa Fe Railway's standard replacement horn in the late 1970's. Quite possibly there are more modelers of the Santa Fe than any other railroad. This void in sound should be high on the to-do list for sound decoder manufacturers.
I will reach out to LokSound to see if any timeline information is available for the release of a K3LA sound. As my good friend Dan Munson has pointed out to me several times, the horn models on the NTO 1065 and the TGN 3149 are NOT Nathan P3 horns, though I have the sound set for a P3. He noticed this on the YouTube videos posted.
That being said I need to be more faithful to matching the horn sound with the horn replica used on the models. Though, in all fairness to me, the NTO 1065 and TGN 3149 were completed years before the awesome LokSound P3 came out and gained my interest. As soon as those models make it back to the home shop, the horns will be replaced.
So the choices I have are:
1 - Remove the Athearn Genesis K3LA and replace it with a model of a horn that does have a good sound file.
2 - Leave the K3LA and have a mis-matched sound file.
3 - Delay the project for release of a suitable K3LA sound decoder file.
The appeal of the K3LA on this model (and, spoiler alert, a second Athearn Genesis GP7u currently in transit to become Y&MV 200) is that it showcases the model's Santa Fe Heritage.
Here are a couple of photos of the model of the K3LA on this unit:
The buttons below will take you to writeups on horns used by the Santa Fe as well as a closer look at the Nathan K3LA :
TCS Decoder Nathan air horn demonstration - Per Arthur Bradley's comment below I have added a button to the TCS video demonstration of their to-be released Nathan air horn sounds. Impressive!
The Nathan K3LA is at 1:23 in the video.