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Silver Specials | Industry Firsts | Accolades | SoundTraxx in the News

Industry Firsts

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we are proud of the number of “firsts” we’ve racked up over the past 25 years. Here are some of our products and features that we developed to make your model railroading experience more fun and realistic!


Tsunami SoundCar Digital Sound Decoder
  • First 16-bit DCC decoder specifically for rolling stock.
  • First decoder to feature Intelligent Consisting, a patent-pending method for quickly adding and removing models in a consist without tricky programming.


TSU-AT1000 for Cummins QSK19 x 3 (GenSet): First DCC Digital Sound Decoder with separate sound channels for the three prime movers used by NRE GenSet locomotives.


SurroundTraxx: First DCC layout-based multi-train surround sound system.


Tsunami Digital Sound Decoders for Diesel
  • First Digital Sound Decoder to include a function (F4) to simulate dynamic braking, which adjusts the prime mover sounds prototypically while activating the dynamic brake fans.
  • First Digital Sound Decoder to feature recordings of eight individual notches.


Tsunami® Digital Sound Decoder for Steam
  • First 16-bit Digital Sound Decoder.
  • First Digital Sound Decoder to use the back-EMF to enhance DDE to adjust the tone and volume of the exhaust chuff with changes in the engine load.
  • First Digital Sound Decoder to include an adjustable 7-band equalizer to optimize speaker performance.

  • First Digital Sound Decoder to feature a functioning brake effect synchronized with the brake squeal sound effect, allowing users to press the F11 function key to slow the train to a stop without adjusting the throttle.


DSD-150 Digital Sound Decoder for Diesel: First Digital Sound Decoder to feature manual notching.

Sierra Large-Scale Sound System

  • First large-scale sound system with realistic lighting effects built-in.
  • First sound system to incorporate a coupler-activated sound effect.


DSD-2408 Digital Sound Decoder for Steam
  • First DCC decoder to be integrated with motor, sound and lighting functions.
  • First DCC decoder that allowed “polyphonic” sound (no longer did the playing of one sound interrupt another).
  • First DCC decoder to feature Dynamic Digital Exhaust™ (DDE), a method of adjusting the sound volume and “cutoff” of steam exhaust chuff automatically.


S220-IR Steam Sound System: The first wireless digital sound system to offer “playable” whistles (ability to blow the whistle with the press of a key).


D220-IR Diesel Sound System: The first sound and throttle system to incorporate infrared wireless control.


Hyperlight™: The first lighting system to use a microprocessor to provide user-selectable lighting effects for model trains and also allowed for multiple effects to be used at the same time.

Sound References