Just a question

Okay, here’s my question. Everyone says that a K5LA is the “godfather” of all horns and such. What about a K3? I have heard both and they seem to sound the same, loudness-wise. They, of course, do have a different tone though. Hornblaster’s website even shows that they have the same decibel rating. I don’t know if this is accurate or at how many feet this is taken from. (obviously not over 100 feet). Can anybody explain this?

The difference between a k3 and a k5 is 2 bells… They k3 has the same middle bells as a k5 just missin the 2 on each end… Thats why they sound the same…

Hope this helps

Well I do know that. An American K3 has the bell #'s 1,2,4a and the American K5 has (usually) 1,2,3a,4a,5. I collect locomotive horns lol. I was just wondering why people think a K5 is so much better than all others. Sorry if I’m coming across in a rude way, not trying to. I’m just curious if a K5 is really louder.

the leslie RS5T is the godfather of train horns :slight_smile:

I agree and will have one soon. Might have to do some trading for one though:mad:

we demand videos and pics when u get it! :slight_smile:

Half inch supply line split 3 ways (k3) Half inch supply line split 5 ways… (k5) hmmm… I’ve even heard of nutto’s drilling out the bases of the bells past the 3/16" to get more air in there, I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS, I’m simply stating that customers have called and sworn it makes a difference. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, I AM JUST REPEATING WHAT I HEARD!

lol. Yeah I’ve heard of people drilling them out too, even on P horns. I also hear that it makes them sound like straight up sh*t haha

i think their already loud enough… if u want them louder… just add more sets…

The K5LA is the loudest of Nathan’s train horns. Its not quite as loud as a Leslie RS5T (1db off at 100ft) but is a lot more common. Nathan horns are more prevalent than any other make today (at least in the US) which makes this horn very well recognized… hence its ‘godfather status’. Its the loudest of the most popular horn series in use.

Heres a little snippet of 100ft decibel ratings:
Leslie S5T-F 116dB
Nathan K5 115dB
Nathan K3 114dB

(So if you ever hear some guy boasting about his 180dB horns… lol.)

Well I was recently shown a pic directly from Airchime showing that K3’s are, indeed, louder than a K5 by +/- 1 db. Wasn’t expecting that, but I have noticed that hearing them both on a locomotive, they sound identical in loudness but different in tone (obviously because of the 3a and 5 bells).
The info showed 113.1 (it was on a line graph so around there) db a nd 114.1 for the k3. The RS-5-T is 115 so it’s only 1 db louder as Tiernan said.

Interesting tidbit. Do you know what distance this was recorded at? / might you happen to have a copy of the pic. There aren’t many formal distance recordings available except for the 1 meter ones.

The recordings were at 100 feet. Here’s the pic… courtesy of Ken Kanne

This graph shows air consumption…meaning, the K3’s can sound as loud as the K5’s with less air consumption. I have both horns and they’re as loud as each other…

Yeah well if your ears can tell a difference in 1 DB you have excellent hearing my friend haha. And that’s not what the graph shows. The graph shows air consumption at peak decibels. The K5 obviously requires more air to sound as it has 5 bells.
Think about it this way: The K3 gets 140 psi spread over 3 bells. The K5 gets 140 psi spread over 5. That’s a loss of sound there.

Or I could be not reading it right. But I have heard from several collectors that the K3 is indeed louder by 1 or so decibels. Not enough to matter at all but just proves that the k5 isn’t the loudest horn lol

well it looks like if u give that first the same psi as the other horns get, then it will def be louder then all others…

If I’m reading it right, I think it’s showing how much air each horn uses to reach maximum loudness without distortion(sounding like sh!t). Like the first is a single chime so obviously it will be louder while using less air, because it is using its air more efficiently. Same goes with the K3 vs the K5.

What happened to the pic? I didn’t actually get a chance to see it. lol.

It’s back. I didn’t know if Ken wanted me to use it or not so I delelted it. Sorry haha

If you want to honk a leslie s5t-f you better at least have more than 10 gallons of air to play with. Ive had one and sold it cause this thing would eat some air. Any starter that is trying to get into horns i would go with a k3 or k5. Leslie’s horns are too confusing and trying to tune them is another thread on its own self.