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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Reasons for why Bachmann sucks?

I hear a lot of complaints about Bachmann's products. Now, my layout is basically all bachmann. I've only had two complaints about them. 1, they have useless couplers installed on their starter sets. 2, some of their engines lack detail. Those are my only complaints.

But maybe you could help me see the dark side of bachmann. And tell me what is next resort. Athearn? Kato? What's your opinion? I'm all ears!
 

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I wouldn't say Bachmann ducks. I think they have good products and they have bad ones but I also believe all manufacturers are that way.

I have two Bachmann Spectrum Dash 8's that do not run the best. The detailing isn't bad on them but even running a decoder with bemf it takes quite a few speed steps to get them moving. Probably if I spent some time and cleaned up the gears and broke them in with some sort of compound it would run easier. I just don't feel either one is worth spending the time on right now.

My coworker just got a Bachmann dcc/sound steam loco. I don't remember the exact model. It was a 2-6-0 setup. It ran quite nice on speed step one and also had nice detailing and the sound was pretty good. I think she said they paid $175 for it. I don't know that I would have spent that much on it but it is probably worth it considering prices for other brands with sound and dcc installed.
 

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Bachmann's downfall's in my eyes!
Cheap couplers, Easy change out to Kadee's
Cheap decoders on 90% of there engines, there are many options for decoders to change to! The reason this is not a full out failure is some of there engines/locos come with Tsunami decoders, while they are not 100% full function decoders they are very good decoders!
There DCC controllers are...Well worthless! Some say they are great starter controllers I just don't see it!
Bachmann Spectrum line is a lot better quaility and they make engines that look and run very well.
As far as engines/locos go, buy a Athern or Kato and you'll experiance the differance, It's night and day over standard Bachmann!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn't say Bachmann sucks. I think they have good products and they have bad ones but I also believe all manufacturers are that way.

I have two Bachmann Spectrum Dash 8's that do not run the best. The detailing isn't bad on them but even running a decoder with bemf it takes quite a few speed steps to get them moving. Probably if I spent some time and cleaned up the gears and broke them in with some sort of compound it would run easier. I just don't feel either one is worth spending the time on right now.

My coworker just got a Bachmann dcc/sound steam loco. I don't remember the exact model. It was a 2-6-0 setup. It ran quite nice on speed step one and also had nice detailing and the sound was pretty good. I think she said they paid $175 for it. I don't know that I would have spent that much on it but it is probably worth it considering prices for other brands with sound and dcc installed.
Yeah ikr. I have a Bachmann EMD DD40AX and a GP35 in cprail paint. The GP has faced disassembly, 2 falls, and even got stepped on!! It still works like new. That's why I don't understand why so many people dislike bachmann.
 

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Bachmann's Spectrum series locomotives are actually pretty respectable.

Their freight cars are a joke.
Have you seen any of their silver series? While not the most detailed, they still roll well, have metal wheel-sets, and some of the cars have good detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you seen any of their silver series? While not the most detailed, they still roll well, have metal wheel-sets, and some of the cars have good detail.
Oh yes! Most of their freight is very detailed. I have two cylindrical hoppers(black CP rail and Rainbow edition CN). They roll beautifully. They sometimes roll away when I put the on a siding! Yes you definatly hit the nail on that note.

They're priced very well too. You can't pass that sometimes
 

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basically, anything that is older Bachmann is close to useless, but that is the same with a lot of the companies unless you go with the high end ones of the day, but that just comes with technology.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
basically, anything that is older Bachmann is close to useless, but that is the same with a lot of the companies unless you go with the high end ones of the day, but that just comes with technology.
Can't forget their set items. The couplers only have plastic strips for springs. Last at least a week.
 

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I had one of there steamers 2-6-2 Prairies. Worked great at first but did not hold up over time, even though it had proper maintenance. The motor started and other drive components started to show wear. I have much older Mantua locomotives that saw much more use (and were already bought used) and out lasted the Bachmann steamers. Note that this was not the pancake motor Bachmann.

As for the Silver Series cars they are hit and miss. Several of them are just the cheaper cars with metal wheels and knuckle couplers. I have a Silver Series gondola and two flats that come from the same molds as their cheaper line.

I have had two Spectrum locomotives. Both are pre-DCC days. One had a grinding noise from day one. Was told to break it in and it would go away. After a few hours of running in a circle it was louder. Had a switcher that the wheels would not stay in gauge on one of the trucks. In both cases Bachman told me it would be $15 to send in and have repaired and shipping was my responsibility. I can understand shipping being my issue but why the charge for warenty repairs? I have not bought Bachmann power since.

Most of my diesel fleet is Athearn Blue Box. With the exception of a few small switchers. My Steamers are Mantua or Riverosi with the exception of an old Revel and an John English. My Electrics are GK1 and Riverosi models.
 

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But Be Aware...

I have many Bachmann products, and have had very few problems overall. But the technical support is ...

So far I like my Bachmann-Dynamis DCC System. It is a good deal at the $71.00 price.

But Be Aware that this product does not work well with the E-Z Command 5 Amp Power Booster and E-Z Command DCC Automatic Reverse Loop Module. The Dynamis manual uses the words "can be used with" very loosely. The Dynamis was apparently NOT design to be used with these products. The Bachmann/USA forum can NOT be trusted to provide accurate information on the problems or use of Dynamis. User information posted on this forum about problems/issues with Bachmann products (and practically Dynamis) is subject to becoming "either missing or off limits" for reasons that are outside of its "Code of Conduct".

Bob
 

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To me, it seems Bachmann gets more reliable the larger the scale. Their N scale trains are practically worthless (but maybe it's just their steam engines in particular). I don't hear as many issues with their larger scales. I've never had any issues with my G scale steamer, but it doesn't see nearly the track time of my Aristocrafts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Get a new Athearn DDA40X then you'll see the real differance!;)
Actually, I might plan on going with a kato AC4400CW. Hopefully I can see a difference from their. If not, I'll go into a athearn gp35. The DD40AX is too expensive for me.
 

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Actually, I might plan on going with a kato AC4400CW. Hopefully I can see a difference from their. If not, I'll go into a athearn gp35. The DD40AX is too expensive for me.
That will do it also! The Kato's are very nice runners too!
 

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I've actually had a little bit of experience with different brands lately.

1. Had an older Bachmann Spectrum 8-40CW. What a pile of garbage. Sent it back in to Bachmann as it broke along with $25 and they replaced it with a brand new DCC model. Massive improvement from the one I sent in. Much better detail, better runner, lighting, etc. I think their DCC chips stink though - I ended up removing it in favor of the dummy plug and finding it ran much better on DC than with their decoder installed.
2. Bought an Athearn Genesis SD70ACe as a "desk queen" (everyone who works for a railroad has to have at least 1 model on their desk, right?). Quality, details, paint, etc. are all the best I've ever seen. Incredibly impressed at the detail. I almost feel bad that it won't see any run time, but it really is too good looking to not have on display.
3. Received a 2008-ish Athearn genesis SD70M (recently installed sound too - thanks NIMT!). Quality and details are not quite as nice and up to the SD70ACe's details, but still very impressive and way better than Bachmann. Really strong runner too, again - much better than Bachmann.
4. Got an older 2002-ish Kato SD90. Details are good, but falls in the middle of the range in my opinion. Obviously an older model, but great that it has led's installed and is a very solid runner.

So....details, quality, pulling power, etc. my ranking goes:
1. Athearn Genesis
2. Kato
3. Bachmann

Can't speak for Atlas as I've never had one.
 

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Can't speak for Atlas as I've never had one.
here is how an older Atlas pulls




I've had numerous Bachmann's in the past in cluding 2 of the DDA40X those pulled very well however the large gashes front and rear kill the models looks.

any other of the newer Bachmann's i have not had and probably won't.

I've had new Athearn's and BB ones and they are great for pulling on both counts obviously the looks are better above blue box. also stupidly easy to work on.

Atlas, I've had a few the older ones are lacking in detail but the newest ones are nice and are good pullers

Kato I've only had one an SD80MAC very nice detail (you have to add it off of the pieces hiding under the model in the box. for doing it for the first time takes a couple hours and you'll be cussin'.

good puller and the LED's were a plus
 

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here is how an older Atlas pulls




I've had numerous Bachmann's in the past in cluding 2 of the DDA40X those pulled very well however the large gashes front and rear kill the models looks.

any other of the newer Bachmann's i have not had and probably won't.

I've had new Athearn's and BB ones and they are great for pulling on both counts obviously the looks are better above blue box. also stupidly easy to work on.

Atlas, I've had a few the older ones are lacking in detail but the newest ones are nice and are good pullers

Kato I've only had one an SD80MAC very nice detail (you have to add it off of the pieces hiding under the model in the box. for doing it for the first time takes a couple hours and you'll be cussin'.

good puller and the LED's were a plus
That's the biggest thing that bugs me about Athearn - those stupid little bulbs. It really can't be that much more work for Athearn to put in led's, so why continue with bulbs that burn out so quickly??

I like Bachmann rolling stock - the Silver Series stuff is good. I don't think I'll be buying any more Bachmann engines though now that I've experienced Kato and Athearn.
And I actually like a lot of the Model Power rolling stock too - easy enough to swap out metal wheels and couplers, and they look pretty decent too.
 

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ya those bulbs are dumb but then again would you rather have the one large bulb that use to connect to the contact bar across the top of the motor and light up everything but the headlights? LOL
 
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