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 Post subject: Seoul electronics market
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 06:08 
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Joined: 18 Feb 2010, 05:14
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Location: Incheon, South Korea
I needed some parts for an improved PS for my K12g amp, so I wandered down to the Seoul electronics district (I'm living in Korea right now), and I took some pics while I was down there. I thought some of you might get a kick out of it.

I should point out, that this is NOT the famous(?) Yongsan electronics market. That's in a different part of town and sells electronics PRODUCTS. I had to hunt for this place, this is where all the passive components and more in the Seoul area come from.

The market is a maze of alleys and hallways with no particular order to it, but as you wander around you notice a change in products. I was mostly in the passive components area, but farther northwest I found lab supplies. To the east I found audio products (both home and commercial... some tube stuff too). I ran across areas focusing on motion control, lighting, power, hydraulics, compressors, and plenty of crap I couldn't identify.

Most of these businesses deal in delivery and bulk, walk-in customers aren't too common (much less big, white, "foreign" walk-in customers like myself).

If any one wants higher-res versions let me know, I have plenty of other pics too.


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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 06:16 
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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 06:22 
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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 06:38 
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Very nice. Thanks for sharing ! This reminds me of the "Sim Lim Square" in Singapore.

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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 12:31 
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That looks so awesome. Wish I had something like that nearby.

What are the prices like compared to North American pricing?
Cheers

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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 21:09 
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Gio wrote:
That looks so awesome. Wish I had something like that nearby.

What are the prices like compared to North American pricing?

That depends. I often get the "can't speak Korean" prices, which are a touch higher (I miss my ex-, she was a terrific haggler). Even with that in mind, I think I walked out of there having paid about a third of the Digikey price for the parts, plus no shipping costs. However, I didn't get the same branded items... the electrolytic caps weren't nichicon, not sure who made the resistors, etc. I don't think that makes a great difference for what I was doing (new PS for a K12g), but it's worth mentioning.

As far as pricing on the audio equipment (tube amps, speakers, etc), I didn't ask, and prices are almost never posted.

Shopping in there can be really frustrating (as a guy who doesn't speak Korean, and is still somewhat initiate in electronics and passive components). I went well prepared this time, I knew what I needed, and I wrote it down in Korean... the problem I ran into this time was if they didn't have the part at the specified value, they just said they didn't have it. I went into a capacitor shop looking for electrolytics, I showed her my notepad and she said they didn't have them and she referred me to another area.... I asked someone in that area and they referred me BACK to her. Before I went in this time I looked around at the caps in the window and found a suitable one (400V instead of 300V). When I went in this time she tried to give me the same line, I grimaced at her and pointed at the cap in the window.... "OOOOHHHHHH!!!!" She jumped into action and I got my caps. I asked her where I could find metal film caps, and she wrote down the name of another shop and showed me how to get there. This place was very well organized and clean compared to most of the other shops, and they were generally friendlier and more helpful. It was a family run shop, mom was in charge (in this culture I've found that mom is generally far more business oriented) and some of her children did the footwork. They took a look at my list and managed to take care of everything else (though, again, I had to specify that similar values were fine if they didn't have EXACTLY what I wrote down... I need to learn how to say "approximately" in Korean). There were a few parts they didn't have, but mom sent one of her sons running somewhere else to get them for me.

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PostPosted: 03 Aug 2010, 10:22 
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Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 15:42
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Location: England
Sounds like a brilliant find, I cant even think of a place in the north east of the UK where I can get a decent selection of electronic components. Maplin doesnt have everything you could wish for, Rapid doesnt have a physical shop so I'm left ordering stuff online :(

Lewis

P.S. Good luck learning korean

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PostPosted: 03 Aug 2010, 12:05 
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I'm actually heading to Seoul at the end of the month. I'm wondering where this part of town is. I woudl like to pick up a tonearm, this looks like the place to find it. Thanks.


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PostPosted: 03 Aug 2010, 16:45 
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Mariners wrote:
I'm actually heading to Seoul at the end of the month. I'm wondering where this part of town is. I woudl like to pick up a tonearm, this looks like the place to find it. Thanks.

It's just north of the Chungyechun (I'll check my spelling on that later, the stream that runs East-West through Seoul, north of the Han River) around the Jongno 4ga area. There's another part of town that seems to have more components in the Yongsan area (the audio stuff in this area seemed to be mostly complete amps and turntables etc). I'll see if I can play around with Google maps later and get some more info.

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PostPosted: 03 Aug 2010, 21:47 
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Thanks a lot, I would appreciate the google maps. But, in any case my brother is familiar with the area so I'm sure if I feed him that information he should know. But, I'm unsure of what you meant by the audio stuff in this area. Do you mean the area that you posted is more complete turntables and amps. Or do you mean the place in the Yongsan area is. Thanks a lot.


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