We all need another F7 like a hole in the head, but the F7’s sentimental smiley face is irresistible. If you insist on having one and want sound, the Walthers Proto 2000 version is the best option overall!
With the advent of many highly detailed smooth running sound equipped locomotives in the past 10 years there have been many F7 offerings. The Athearn Genesis, Broadway Ltd, and Intermountains are several of the most prominent. All these have been offered with DC and DCC sound options though each had some drawbacks.
The Athearn Genesis MRC sound decoder has programming limitations due to its inability to reliably read back when programming.
Both the Intermountain and Broadway Ltd units had the speaker mounted without proper baffling, resulting in poor fidelity and volume. We reported this when the locomotives were initially released.
Enter the late comer F7 Walthers Proto 2000 units. It appears they did their home work or at least new the competitions’ shortcomings. As expected, the detail running and pulling are excellent but more importantly, this locomotive was designed for sound. Care has been taken to provide the optimum performance with 2 speakers mounted in the patented QSI design “A” frame.
This design takes full advantage of the fidelity and volume produced by the Quantum sound and power unit.