As it turned out it was going to be the first ever digital sound in an LGB loco. And your Famous Klaus would be the one to record it. Here is how:
Wolfgang Richter had been in Alaska and had recorded White Pass sound in the roundhouse in Skagway. But it turned out not to be usable at all. This is what Mr. Massoth Sr. told Klaus when they met at the booth/stand of LGB at the 1991 International Toy Fair in Nuremberg. Klaus was listening carefully. Klaus had since established a very tight and well working relationship with LGB and Mr. Massoth Sr. and knew how to do it right. Right then and there he went to talk to Wolfgang Richter and suggested he himself would fly to Alaska and do the sound recordings. This time versions that could be utilized.
In April of 1991 Klaus flew via Toronto and Seattle to Juneau. From there a single-engine airplane (Skagway Airways) took him to Skagway, AK. The then president of the White Pass Railway, Paul Taylor, was already expecting him and welcomed Klaus to the WP&Y RR.
Klaus operated a brand new, latest technology digital Sony tape recorder as well as a state of the art SONY video camera. The recordings were made with the 90 series loco because she has the same engine as the 100' series and it was the only engine operable and not winterized at the WP&Y RR. The season would only start in May and the 100 series was still in winter storage.
|The 93 of the WP&Y RR|
Klaus stayed at the Golden North Hotel
|Golden North Hotel,Skagway -- Courtesy of the National Park Service|
Back in Germany Klaus found out that the engine sound recordings worked very well but the whistle sound revealed an echo. The whistle sound though Wolfgang Richter had recorded was fine. And so the sound engineers went to work and created the first ever digital LGB sound. It was a big step for LGB to go into the digital age and it seemed even more fitting to do so with an American loco.
|LGB 21552 with first ever digital sound for an LGB loco -|
photo courtesy of Only Trains
The LGB 21552 was revealed in the 1993/1994 catalog for all LGB customers worldwide. A new age was dawning not only in sound technology but soon also in driving technology and in decoder technology that would open up a new world of operating model trains.
The price for the first digital sound engine was a whopping DM 1,490.00 or about US$ 650.00 which would translate into about US$ 1,200.00 today.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++to be continued