Gear hunting in Bangkok – surprise Mesa/Boogie encounter and <groan> more Asian overpricing stories
Spent a nice weekend hanging round in Bangkok, combing the mega-malls for cheap designer clothing while my significant other checked out lingerie in between meals of Tom Yam Goong and various colored Thai curries.
Whilst sauntering at a leisurely pace around the Siam Paragon mall (by far the newest, shiniest and largest mall in Thailand) I decided to swing by a store that I’d happened across over a year ago when the mall had just opened – Music Collection on the second floor. Not a super impressive selection of brands back then, but I felt it would be worth a quick look just to break up the rhythm of being in department stores for a while waiting outside the changing rooms.
My heart rate increased when I discovered that since my last visit they had since become a dealer of Mesa/Boogie equipment. There in the window was a gleaming Dual Rectifier head atop a 4×12 cabinet, a Stiletto Ace combo and an Express 5:25 combo. I pushed the shopping bags to my wife and raced into the store gasping “Boogie… window… Mesa… amplifiers – when? how much… where?” They probably thought I was mad, but being Thai, gave me a calm and solemn meditative look up and down, then continued shuffling some papers instead of panicking.
The guy who served me went by the name of ‘Toey’. He gave me a price quote on a Roadster Head of THB 106875 (USD $3445) which he claimed was on sale from the list price of THB 150000 (USD $4809.45 compared to the US list price of $2099).
Needless to say I wasn’t impressed by the prices (see my rant on Bentley in Malaysia), but pretended to be none the wiser anyway. I then asked him if I could see how heavy the Roadster 2×12 combo was and proceeded to try and lift it by the handle – ignoring his sudden display of anxiety and agitated hand waving as he gibbered in Thai something that may have been translated roughly into ‘NOOOO YOU FOOL!!! YOU’LL KILL US ALL!!!!’.
Too late. I think I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder, slipped a disc and suffered a minor embolism while straining in an attempt to not let it appear as if its weight had defeated me as my wife looked on. The amp did not leave the floor for more than a second before I had to put it down again while the pain spasms subsided.
I later found out from the spec sheet that it weighs in the region of 50 kilograms.