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High End audio in China


Prodigal Son
I recently spent a couple of days in Xiamen, China, which is a surprisingly modern city with huge modern glass and steele sckyscrapers, amazing highways and roads, public transportation, and tons of excellent restaurants and shops.


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While walking through a covered shopping area, similar to a semi-outdoor mall in the US but with much smaller stores, I happened across high end audio store. In it were many well recognized brands like Marantz and Klipsch, as well as brands with chinese names I couldn't read. What surprised me was the lack of knowledge from the sales girl, "Do you want to try it out or buy it?" was all she really asked. I was also a little impressed with all the tube gear and absolute absense of receivers. This was mostly two channel high end gear. They were showing many excellent Klipsch speakers, including a cutaway K-Horn in the back and a pair of Heresys hooked up for auditioning. They also sold HiVi (the local high end brand) and other unrecognizable speaker brands.


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A few more photos:


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So what were the prices like? I mean, comparable to a high-end store in the US?
PaulyT said:
So what were the prices like? I mean, comparable to a high-end store in the US?

The skinny Marantz preamp in the photo below has a sticker price of 3,200 RMB, which is about $480 USD. Thats's a pretty good price to me, assuming it isn't counterfeit.


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Flint said:
Thats's a pretty good price to me, assuming it isn't counterfeit.

That's the problem though, isn't it?

I don't travel much but in my previous life in the US Navy, I've seen lots of cool shops and stuff abroad. I never bought anything because I didn't have the confidence that whatever I was buying was the real deal.

I bought a Vietnamese tube amp once . . .

damned thing blew up in my Jeep

* :text-nocomment: *

EDIT: Any errors in Spelling, Tact, or Fact are transmission errors.

Flint, have you been to Bejing?

And, if so, how does it compare in respect to high end audio gear, shops, etc?

(China is a fascinting country)
I have only been at the airport and nearby hotels in Beijing. As such I don't know anything about their audio stores.

Shenzhen has amazing audio stores, but it is in a free trade zone in southern China where capitalism runs pretty much free.
Shenzhen (IPA: [ʂə́ntʂə̂n]) is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. Owing to China's economic liberalization under the policies of reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, the area became China's first—and arguably one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones.

Shenzhen's novel and modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the late 1970s, when it was a small fishing village. Since then, foreign nationals have invested more than US$30 billion for building factories and forming joint ventures. It is now reputedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world.[2] Being southern China's major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the third busiest container port in China, ranking only after Shanghai and Hong Kong.