Where to shop for vinyl in Bangkok

Where to shop for vinyl in Bangkok

From dusty Sinatra albums to remastered Michael Jackson, your old school musical hunt begins at these city shops
Whether you're after Thai folk albums or remastered classics, Bangkok is full of shops that specialize in record players and vinyl.

Vintage is the rage in Bangkok, sounds included. 

My own newfound obsession with old school music started a few months ago, when I asked a relative to bring over a faux-vintage record player from the United States.

The hardest part wasn’t carrying of a kilo of fragile equipment over the ocean. It was finding those large black disks to play on it.

If you're up for some digging, check out the vintage Ratchada and Rodfai weekend night markets, or head out bright and early Sunday morning to Klong Thom and Charoen Krung for cheap, but sometimes badly kept, records.

Otherwise, if you prefer to do your digging in air-conditioned surrounds, here are some of the best shops in Bangkok to hunt for vinyl records and players. 

Turntables

By turntable I don’t mean the ones DJs use for scratching in the clubs. I’m talking about a simple vinyl record player.

For those who don’t have the luxury of coercing a family member to exceed their baggage limit and bring one from overseas, here are your local choices.

Online, there’s Mister G Turntables, whose storefront, unlike the name suggests, seems to be filled with more accessories for turntables rather than the machines themselves. Bookmark this for when you break your needle or tonearm.

For vintage, and (allegedly) still working turntables, We Love Turntable has some affordable and good-looking ones on offer. There are also accessories such as the tonearms, needles, and other audiophile-worthy equipment.

Suan Siang (3/F, Fortune Town, MRT: Rama 9), on the other hand, has futuristic turntables that come in bright lime green, or even with no casing at all. The “cheapest” one up for grabs costs 20,000 baht. But if you’re a true audiophile, this is a bargain.

If money is no object, check out the third floor of Amarin Plaza, which has top-of-the-line turntables and high-end stereo speaker sets to match.

Record HunterFans of 1980s rock and 1970s disco will have fun digging through the vinyl selection at Record Hunter.

Zud Rang Ma Records

The most talked-about record store at the moment is Zud Rang Ma Records (Sukhumvit soi 51) run by DJ Maft Sai. Here you'll find a mix of retro soul and funk, with rare Thai folk discs thrown in between the crates.

DJ Maft Sai's "Paradise Bangkok" partner Chris Menist has shed some light on some of his Bangkok hunt for old Thai vinyls on CNNGo already: check it out here.  

Vinyllica Store

Vinyllica Store (3/F, Fortune Town, MRT: Rama 9) is hands-down the biggest vinyl store in Bangkok.

From Eagles and Van Helen to Rolling Stones and the Beatles, rockers will find comfort in this 40-square-meter store, filled with so much vinyl you don’t even have a place to stand.

They’re on tables, on the walls, along the ceiling, in crates on the floor. The owner does categorize but it will take a whole day to go through his entire collection.

Vinyllica's records range from 500 baht oldies with dusty sleeves to 8,000-10,000 baht mint condition box sets.

PS Audio

Another great place to dig is PS Audio (+66 (0)2 383 8807), out near Srinakarin Road.

Though there’s no BTS or MRT going there, it's opposite the new Bangkok “it” mall Paradise Park so any taxi will be able to take you there.

The owner is a middle-aged Chinese man so nice he'll cheerfully let you sit in his shop and play records while he’s out having a drink with his wife who owns the coffeeshop next door.

Although his store specializes in tube stereo amplifiers for old-school audiophiles, his collection of records is just as impressive. Curiously, the shelves seem to be dominated by a wide selection of 1980s-early 1990s American rap and R&B artists.

Think Wyclef, LL Cool J, Janet Jackson and the original Destiny’s Child. The records here are also more than affordable, at roughly 100-300 baht an LP.

Record Hunter

Record Hunter, in the basement of Century Movie Plaza (BTS: Victory Monument), is also a staple joint for vinyl hunters.

Full of 1980s rock and 1970s disco, you can still manage to find some rare odd pieces in there, like a 600-baht "My Fair Lady Original Soundtrack," or a 10-LP box set of legendary jazz artists for only 4,000 baht.

PS AudioPS Audio's shelves have plenty of 1980s and 1990s rap and R&B.

MiniThea

Hardcore jazz lovers should hit MiniThea, who had just moved from third floor of Fortune to the third floor of Amarin Plaza (+66 (0)81 875 5888, BTS: Chidlom).

Some of the records here are used, some never opened but left sitting in a closet for decades, so a bit of digging could be rewarded.  Legends like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong seem to dominate, but there are also some odd Japanese folk records too.

The starting price of records here is around 800 baht.

Image

True audiophiles wouldn’t be caught dead playing dusty records on their 100,000 baht turntables, so this is where Image (3/F, Amarin Plaza, BTS: Chidlom) comes in.

The music on offer here is old, but the records are all remasters. So you can get Michael Jackson’s "Off The Wall" or Nina Simone records that were made in 2011.

But with new records comes a higher price. A remastered Frank Sinatra album could set you back 2,000 baht while a used one will cost 400-600 baht in stores mentioned above if you don’t mind the torn dusty sleeves and slightly warped vinyl. 

If you're into vinyls but not the musical era they were produced, staff in Gram Music Store at Siam Paragon (4/F, next to California Fitness, BTS Siam) say the store will soon sell vinyl LPs by modern artists like Lady Gaga and Adele in the coming months.  

Although a full-fledged Thai born and raised in Bangkok, Kitty is not your typical Thai lady.

Outspoken, sometimes with an almost gnarly in-your-face attitude, her signature is a trait that is usually frowned upon in her home country -- as shown in her brazen writing style.

Read more about Kitty Chirapongse