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How to buy cutting-edge home electronics sold only in Asia — and still be able to read the manuals.
March 7, 2001 6:09 PM   Subscribe

How to buy cutting-edge home electronics sold only in Asia — and still be able to read the manuals. have you ever bought electronics [or anything] through specialty websites that was not available locally? god bless the internet.
posted by palegirl (9 comments total)

 
Cripes! Bernard Yee must have done all of five minutes' research on that story. But I like the idea. Does anyone on MeFi know the Japanese toy du jour, or do I have to ask Mr. Pants?
posted by chino at 6:26 PM on March 7, 2001


It is disapointing how far behind electronics in the American market are behind the Asian market. In Taiwan, everyone's walkman or discman has the controls built into the headphone's cord, but I've yet to see a model like that sold here.
posted by Loudmax at 1:59 AM on March 8, 2001


Loudmax: I think the accepted "price point" dictates the feature set in the US. If you're selling portable CD players at Target for $40, you're going to have to make some sacrifices. The Asian market is much more geek-friendly.

I ordered my MD player, not through a company, but an individual's site: he bought it in Japan and posted it back to me. Worked fine. I'm sorely tempted to get one of the new MDLP players, but Must Resist Geek Lust.
posted by holgate at 3:48 AM on March 8, 2001


A geek-friendly market will raise the price point, yes. But even the cheaper models in Asia have the headphone controls. I bought my CD player in Taiwan for less than US$50. But I don't see the controls on even the higher-end models here (although admittedly, I haven't been looking). It's really a nice feature, too.

The MD player is another case in point. Why are they so hard to get here? They could replace floppy drives and CD-ROMs, but nobody in America has them.
posted by Loudmax at 4:23 AM on March 8, 2001


I'm about to buy a gamejack, so I can make my own gameboy games. Yeeha!

Ordering electronics from asia rox0rs.

but....

<sigh>

I wish it was easier.
(This is your cue, gentle reader, to inform us all of your secret weird-asian-electronics catalog, and how we might acquire one for our ownselves.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:23 AM on March 8, 2001


In Taiwan, everyone's walkman or discman has the controls built into the headphone's cord, but I've yet to see a model like that sold here.

This sounds unbelieveable to me. I live in Norway, for crying out loud, and I got myself an MiniDisc-player with controls like that in '99. Now, do any of you even know where Norway is? :-)
posted by frednorman at 8:41 AM on March 8, 2001


It is disapointing how far behind electronics in the American market are behind the Asian market. In Taiwan, everyone's walkman or discman has the controls built into the headphone's cord, but I've yet to see a model like that sold here.

I had a Walkman with the controls in the cord. In America. In 1983. I've also seen a number of current players with this feature.

These super-Mini Discs have better capacity, but is the sound quality any better? The ones here aren't all that much better than cassettes.

Anyone have links to Japanese electronics sites that sell things besides MiniDiscs and $4000 laptops?
posted by aaron at 10:07 PM on March 8, 2001



These super-Mini Discs have better capacity, but is the sound quality any better? The ones here aren't all that much better than cassettes.

From the One True MD Site, they've tweaked the ATRAC codec so that 2x is more or less identical, and 4x passable for portable use. (It can use Joint Stereo now, which is more efficient, if less amenable to audiophiles.)

And you must have a rotten MD player, or a top-of-the-range tape deck to consider them sonically equal. Yeah, MD's the successor to tape, not CD, as far as sound quality goes, but practical considerations (the ability to move between tracks in a split-second, to split and rearrange tracks, blah blah blah) makes yer cassette look like an 8-track cartridge. But we've had this argument before, and I can't see MD becoming Dead Media while Sony still sees life in it. (And I know that most radio stations rely upon MD for their jingles, adverts and whatnot.)
posted by holgate at 4:19 AM on March 9, 2001


Holgate! What are you saying about sound quality? I've done a fair amount of live band recording direct to mini-disc as that's how we do demo's and we could hear no difference between that and an uncompressed digital recording (we're taking signal from a digital mixing desk so it's as free from analogue noise as poss) We're quite picky as well.

I think it's a great, convenient format and has certainly found it's niche. It ain't going nowhere and for all but very high end use it's probably indistinguishable from CD. If you're not finding this then get some new leads...
posted by Mr Ed at 4:31 AM on March 9, 2001


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