Audio heaven?


Dec 6, 2007

This post is about an experience that I recently had.

I had recently been to Tokyo Japan when I happened to visit a shop "Odakyu" in Shinjuku, Tokyo area. They had a hi-fi section which seems to be stacked up with lots of speakers. I had recently reviewed, auditioned and bought a pair of bookshelf speakers. So I ventured towards that area to check what speakers did they have. And to my surprise, I found the following speakers on the same shelf -
Dynaudio Audience 42/52
Dali Helicon 300 (looked much larger than the rest)
Dali Ikon series
B&W 685/686
KEF iQ series
Monitor Audio RS1
Quad 11L2/12L2
ALR Jordon
Wharfedale Diamond 9.1​

There were other brands whose names I do not recollect now.

On the other side were the home theater speakers -
Quad L-ite series
Monitor Audio Radius series​

There were also floorstanding speaker section which I did not check completely, but had most of the above brands. Also in the electronics, I could find Marantz, Rotel, Arcam, Denon and Onkyos amongst others.

I could have spent the whole day there. However, I was with a colleague who unfortunately did not share the same hobby. Maybe, I will plan and spend longer time during my next visit. (I am hoping that it comes soon)

The final thought that was in my mind while leaving that place: "When will we have such a place in India?"


I was in Japan last week and was again at this place.

This time my object of study were amplifiers and cdps from Marantz. Here is the pricelist considering today's conversion rate from yen to rupee are:

Integrated amplifiers:
  • PM 11S1 - Rs. 128,535
  • PM 13S1 - Rs. 91,817
  • PM 15S1 - Rs. 44,615
  • PM 8001 - Rs. 28,340
  • PM 6001 - Rs. 15,346
  • PM 4001 - Rs. 9,662

CD Players:
  • SA 11S1 - Rs. 171,392
  • SA 13S1 - Rs. 91,817
  • SA 15S1 - Rs. 44,615
  • SA 8001 - Rs. 32,425
  • SA 7001 - Rs. 20,217
  • SA 6002 - Rs. 15,345
  • SA 5001 - Rs. 9,662

I had a chance to listen to the 15S1 pair on some Japanese music (it was already playing). Speakers were Audiopro (??? I dont remember the name exactly) floorstanders. It sounded very clean (slightly on the warmer side) and articulate.

Now some questions for you folks in the know:
  1. How are these prices compared to Indian market?
  2. How much taxes I have to pay if I bring it along with me?
  3. I did not check whether these amps and cdps can support 230V supply. Does any one know about it? Suppose, if it does not support, is it worth the investment? Will I get the same clean sound with a transformed supply?

Forget buying from Japan... that market is TOO expensive, their Voltage is 110V AC and adding a transformer to a top quality product will throtle the sound ( unless the transformer is HUGE )

My suggestion... Fly Spore Airlines and pick up stuff when you take a stop over at Spore.

Spore has the same voltage, lower prices ( bargainable)

Adelphi Centre, opposite Funan Computer centre is the place to go ...
Hi Prasad,
I am not sure of the voltage in Japan but the prices u mentioned of most of the Marantz gear is HALF of the local Indian price. Its really surprising as Japan is notoriously expensive for most things.
As regarding customs/duties its a hit or miss thing. I think u are allowed about 500 USD worth duty free so depends on what else u are carrying and how many persons are travelling and lastly a bit of luck. Have brought tons of gear(one peice at a time) into bombay and have never paid any duty but have also heard some horrible experiences.
BTW the 15 SI and above are very good amps and cdps and the 8001 u mention is actually the 7001 KI for the US so its safe to presume that Japan runs on 110 V too. Some gear have switchable voltage so u are OK and the next time u are at the store in japan ask if he can arrange to get the 230V models. I have never been to Japan but in the US they got me a 230V cdp but it took a week.
I second Indian Ears suggestion of singapore for audio gear but the prices u quote are great too.
Best regards

That the prices in Japan are too expensive is not true anymore. Do you think that India is the only country pressurized by Chinese goods? You can see the effect there also. I have seen this effect deepening over my twelve odd visits to Japan over the past four years. Having said that, you need to know the stores where you will get bargains.

I was recently buying a watch for my wife: Citizen or Seiko. You find two sections in most stores: Chinese manufactured or Japanese manufactured. And the Chinese manufactured prices are less than half of the Japanese prices. Four years ago the ratio was one third to one fourth. So Japanese are also effected by this price pressure and are trying to close the difference between the prices.

Anyways back to electronics, Singapore is reported to be cheaper. But by how much? I have not visited Singapore ever before and hence I don't know.

The voltage issue is however as you said the killer. Unless the equipment is multi-voltage, this may be no-go! But since the power supply is a critical component in hi-fi units, I doubt whether this will be true.

If I visit Singapore in the future, I will be on the lookout for bargains in electronics.

Prasad Redkar.
HI All,

I would assume S'pore is cheaper than Tokyo. I bought the PM 7001 KI and CD 6002 from there this Jan from a Marantz authorised dealer in Sim Lim. The amp converted to INR costed me approx 22 K and the CDP around 12 K.

This was on Bill and included VAT!
Forget buying from Japan... that market is TOO expensive, their Voltage is 110V AC and adding a transformer to a top quality product will throtle the sound ( unless the transformer is HUGE )...

Not necessarily. You can specifically ask for 220v and they will deliver you, might take some time but can get rid of that transformer part!


So going by Spycatcher's numbers, buying Marantz in Tokyo is about 25% costlier than Singapore. (I also quoted final numbers including everything).

However going to Singapore is not an option in the near future. So I should compare Tokyo prices against those in India to make my decision.

I will also check about the 220V compatibility on my next visit (maybe July)

- Prasad.
Purchase the Audiolab 6000A Integrated Amplifier at a special offer price.