Metra K5LA horns

BCRAIL99
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:53 pm

Metra K5LA horns

Postby BCRAIL99 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:13 am

Hey Guys, I have a question about Metra MP36 K5LAs, does anyone know why they sound different from other K5LAs, does anyone notice that, they have a more harsh sound and they have a different doppler effect sound. Metra 412 is a good example of how different it sounds. I did hear that Metra K5LAs use a Flat 4A, could that be what gives the Metra MP36 K5LA a different sound and it's own metra identity. What is a flat 4a bell and does it give a horn a slightly different sound? Is it true that metra uses it and gives it that unique Metra sound?

BCRAIL99
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Metra K5LA horns

Postby BCRAIL99 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:35 am

BCRAIL99 wrote:Hey Guys, I have a question about Metra MP36 K5LAs, does anyone know why they sound different from other K5LAs, does anyone notice that, they have a more harsh sound and they have a different doppler effect sound. Metra 412 is a good example of how different it sounds. I did hear that Metra K5LAs use a Flat 4A, could that be what gives the Metra MP36 K5LA a different sound and it's own metra identity. What is a flat 4a bell and does it give a horn a slightly different sound? Is it true that metra uses it and gives it that unique Metra sound?

https://www.facebook.com/# Metra K5LA sound recording

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FS150HZ
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:03 pm
Location: Golden Horseshoe, Ontario

Re: Metra K5LA horns

Postby FS150HZ » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:54 pm

Flat 4A bells are standard on K5LA's nowadays. And they were fairly common even back into the late 70s. Even die cast bells tended to vary in pitch fairly dramatically from production line to the next up until the Micro-Precision era. All of this happening was most likely by chance.

The K5LA sound you mention was standard on GO Transit's first order of MP40's in 07-08 as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DaCoUWHzKw

Here's another that's nearly identical on Coaster 2101.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91-4wGulwrg&t=75s

From the early 2000s to about 2009, this sound was quite run of the mill. Since most K5LA's from this era are oriented R24, and or are muffled behind a wall on a locomotive, and or sick and dying, you won't hear this particular sound often. I've tested a K3LA from this era, and believe it or not, the 4A was actually perfectly in tune. The 1 bell however was about 20 cents sharp, and the 2 bell was just 25 cents flat of a G note.

The first recording below is an Audacity combination with the notes at D#+20, G-35, G#+40, B, D#+20. As it would sound in the chord, the 2 bell would sound like it's 35 cents sharp, 3A would sound like it's 20 cents sharp, and the 4A would sound like it's 20 cents flat, thanks to the sharp octave. In the second recording, the only changes made are the 1 and 5 bells are flattened to a perfect D# octave. It really eliminates a lot of musical quality though. I heard both of these sounds on GO's MP40's.

The Micro-Precision K5LA's made today are similar to the second horn chord structure, except the 2 bell is now bored to around F#-25, and the 4A's, either by increased boring or minor changes in casting structure, now play around B-25.

The 90s K5LA sound that you would've heard fairly frequently on Metra up until a few years back is quite different. Back then, pretty much everything was sharp of the octave notes except for occasional flat 4A as mentioned earlier. The octave sometimes was sharper as well I believe. The additional 90s K5LA recording I made is more of a guess based on past information and not so much first hand experience. Sounds pretty accurate though. Of course, just like any era, there were plenty of different sounds in the 90s. This was just the most run of the mill it seems.

D#+35, G-35, G#+55. B+50, D#+35 are the notes in the recording.
Attachments

2007-08 K5LA.mp3 [ 202.04 KiB | Viewed 298 times ]

2007-08 K5LA (2).mp3 [ 204.14 KiB | Viewed 298 times ]

90s K5LA.mp3 [ 199.04 KiB | Viewed 298 times ]


BCRAIL99
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Metra K5LA horns

Postby BCRAIL99 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:55 pm

Hey FS150HZ, thanks for the info about the Flat 4A, really appreciate the info, I got more information about them after you sent me all the info. So the reason Metra K5LAs sound that way, is because its a common sound and newer and does Metra MP36 K5LAS use Flat 4a bells because they are new. So Metra uses flat 4A bells then.


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