In terms of quality, price and most importantly compatibility as supplied straight out of the box, Lenz decoders are the best I’ve seen. This has been the case for around the last 10 years and I see nothing on the horizon that will change this at the point of writing (2018). Below you can see a photograph of a Lenz Standard decoder which still retails around the same price as ESU and Zimo standard ranges
Some information on Lenz Decoders well worth noting if you are considering which decoder to buy or select for your conversion, over the years Wickness Models has only experienced 1 genuine failure on a Lenz decoder and 1 failure on a controller despite having sold many hundreds. One of the main reasons for this is that accross the range of lenz decoders they are doubly protected by good quality onboard circuit breaking where a short circuit is detected but also where a long overload can cause thermal damage. This means that instead of simply blowing when under conditions of short or overload like many US based decoders with inferior circuitry they will simply cut out and allow you to reset the decoder either for thermal reset or overall reset. Essentially it is very difficult to lose a Lenz decoder through shorts so you get a second chance instead of a puff of smoke
A suitable Lenz decoder will run almost any N, OO or O gauge locomotive very smoothly and with minimal adjustment whether its a hard wire or a dcc ready fit. Where sound is not required Lenz decoders provide smooth slow running, numerous lighting possibilities and the easiest adjustment of any decoder. They have been the decoder of choice for Wickness models for many years now
The one thing that puts people off is fear of short circuit because lenz Decoders do not come shrink wrapped and insulated like many other decoders. This should not put you off using the best decoders available. Simply wrap them in kapton tape. A few pictures below show an older chassis hornby Class 08 fitted with a Lenz Standard using this method.
At the bottom of this article you can view a test run of the loco in question which demonstrates the smooth acceleration curve and excellent slow speed response Lenz Decoders are all supplied with. Please scroll down to view