High End In China: Visiting This Summer

Hi Folks:

I have a work related trip to China coming up in June and was hoping to get a view of their audio world when I have some downtime in Shanghai. I'd love to visit with audiophiles, see a manufacturing facility or even a retail shop if one exists. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
No idea if they are still there, this was several years ago, but a nice little retail shop. I remember tube stuff by Shengda, Rogers speakers, and German beer in the fridge.

Muse Audio: No. 3 Dong Hu Road. Post 200031. Shanghai. Tel: (021)64453551
I've never been to China. Irrespective of your hifi search over there, I hope you have a wonderful time. I'm jealous.

I came across this on the web:
Hi-Fi mall at 398 Zhejiang Zhong Lu (near People's Square).
Have fun.

All the best,
I would love to visit with our Asian Audiophile friends that got all the big HORNS.
They were smart to jump on a good thing while we were sleeping here in the USA!!
I spent most of 2012 in mainland China, traveling throughout the country, and I found zero high-end audio products on display. Even in Shanghai and Beijing there's mostly just junk available for audio gear, and those cities are much, much wealthier than the average Chinese city. Now I think McIntosh may be opening a salon in Shanghai this year, so you could contact them for that information if you're interested. Chinese people are very interested in Apple computer products, and increasing numbers of Chinese people can afford them, but this interest and consumer spending is not apparently matched (yet) among music lovers.

By contrast, there's definitely a high-end scene in both Hong Kong and Tokyo. For example, during our stay in Tokyo last year, I walked out the door of my hotel to get some fresh air and within one block, without really trying, I found two vinyl-only record stores with fantastic stuff. One of these was classical-music LPs only! Fifty feet from said LP store was a tiny jazz club with a live Dixieland band playing. Seating room in the club for about 10 people total and tickets at $100 per person. Of course we had to do it, as the band sounded great. And between sets we listened to the superb $100K expensive vinyl-only stereo system in the performance space! Lots of audio dealers in both Hong Kong and Tokyo, and you won't have trouble finding them.

Best wishes and safe travels in China.
Would suggest contacting Ian Grant of Grant Fidelity.
There is an article written by Robert Harley in TAS that you can find with a search on their website, it's titled, "The World's Number One Audiophile?".

It's about a Chinese gentleman in the city of Yang Jiang who undoubtedly is number one. The article is worth reading even if you're not going to China.

Here's an excerpt from the article after the unbelievable collection of gear and music Mr. Ji Hui Li owns is partially described:

"All this gear is put to good use; Mr. Li opens his house to anyone who wants to come and hear music. He's extraordinarily passionate about music and high-end equipment, and shares that enthusiasm with anyone who's interested. Similarly, the club is open to the public so that ordinary people can come and hear great music wonderfully reproduced. What a wonderful gift to the people of Yang Jiang."

If you're anywhere near Yang Jiang, you really should look up Mr. Li.
You'll be missing the biggest show in town by about 2 months:


From previous show reports I've read, the attendance reaches CES level.

In response to the post above that there are no Audiophiles in China, here's my take. And this, of course, is an over-generalization. The Asians approach this hobby much differently than their western counterparts. Most people feel that "music appreciation" is part of being "culturally educated". So, you find many educated people very interested in learning to appreciate music, especially classical music. And you have teens and early twenty-something generation that try to express themselves through music just like kids everywhere. Then you have a very small percentage of music lovers that enjoy exploring all kinds of music without the pretense.

Hi-End Audio is also perceived as a status symbol. Besides a house, a nice car, and women with their expensive purse collection, a HT system is a must have, but a two-channel system gives the impression that the owner is sophisticated. And if you play vinyl, super-sophisticated.

Most Hi End Manufacturer had figured out 20 years ago that the real market was in Asia. The customers there got the dough and are willing to spend. For every unit they sell in North America, they can sell at least 50 in Asia.

There are also many Hi-End start-ups in China. Sure, there are many opportunists looking to make quick money selling junks to anyone willing to pay, but there are many companies, like Opera-Consonance, that are run by people who are passionate about audio. Most of them just haven't figured out a way to expand business overseas. Or in the case of Opera, got taken advantages of by some sleazy US importers. But Opera was fortunate to have found Grant Audio, some of the nicest people in this business. (Not associated with either, but I have several Opera products and have dealt with Grant Audio on several occasions).

Asians have this negative bias towards domestically made products, so even thou the market is big, most people would prefer to buy foreign products.

Really helpful--thanks everyone. Please keep your suggestions coming. I've got several months before I leave so will do some research around your ideas. I think it will be interesting to get a different perspective on the hobby and the business side of things while overseas.
Send a proxy.;-)