On the 3rd floor of Siam Paragon are stores that sell top of the line audiophile equipment.
I dropped into these stores, perused the offerings, and inquired about prices.
Like most luxury goods, I always assumed that there was a monster tariff and that the prices would be substantially higher than in the US.
So how much more expensive is high end audio bought in Thailand compared to the U.S.?
This is the Denon AVP-A1– a top of the line Audio/Video processor from a mainline audiophile brand–what used to be called a pre-amplifier back in the day.
Look at the connections on the back of this monster.
This is the matching amplifier — The Denon POA – A1HD.
The price being charged for these at Siam Paragon is 289,000 THB or $9633 USD each.
Amazingly, the U.S. price is $7500 – Not that much of a difference.
Don’t like Denon equipment and want something more exotic, exclusive, and high end.
Here are a couple of Mark Levinson items.
This is a Mark Levinson 521 H two channel amplifier.
And a Mark Levinson 502 Media Console.
The amplifier was quoted at 450,000 THB or $15,000 USD each.
The media console was quoted at 1,011,000 THB or $33,700
In the U.S., the media console sells for $35,000 USD and the amplifier for $15,000.
Surprisingly enough the Siam Paragon prices are comparable to those in The World.
On high end luxury items, the quoted price is usually discounted 20% in Thailand.
This would bring the price of the Denon equipment right to the U.S. price and the price of the Levinson’s below U.S. retail.
You could bring U.S. equipment to Thailand in your suitcase but these are not dual voltage and can’t run on 220V.
When I did the math, compared prices, and found rough parity it makes sense when I step back and think about it.
Computer parts and equipment at Pantip Plaza sell for about the same price as they do on the internet in the U.S.-memory, processors, hard disks etc. can be bought in Thailand and the US for the same money.
Camera equipment also sells for about the same price in Thailand and the US.
Either there isn’t a tariff on consumer electronics or Thai retailers have some way of avoiding customs, e.g. re-importing from a ASEAN country.
Anyway, if your in the market for a top of the line setup, there seems to be reason not to buy in Thailand.