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Importing from Japan?

Discussion in 'classic' started by JimmyB, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Anyone got any experience or pointers on this?

    I'm starting to think I'd like a nice Japanese direct drive unit, possibly automatic or semi-automatic although a nice DP-80 would be good to try out my plinth making skills. Actaully, all those old Denon's look nice...

    There's not been much in the classifieds and also not in Scotland (last shipping of a TT to me was a disaster) so hence th thinking of an import.

    Is it a minefield and apart from import tax, what do I need to know, what TT's to avoid and any reputable sites?
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d expect the big well known stores like HiFiDo to know how to pack stuff for export shipping. I’d certainly be inclined to go with one of the better known dealers anyway as they’ll have done it hundreds of times.
  3. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

    Remember also that the mains voltage in Japan is 100VAC so you may need a step down transformer

  4. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Freight charges seem to be astronomic from a great deal of the rest of the world, especially Japan. Take an educated guess at dimensions and weight and plumb them into one of the online calculators, making sure you specify Japan to UK.
    How much any shipper would add for time/agro you would have to completely guess.

    There might, of course, be an online seller in Japan that includes shipping costs to Europe, if you can find them if HiFiDo are not one of them.
  5. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    Having read too many horror stories and, indeed, having bought the remains of a Yamaha GT-2000 turntable that another chap imported from Japan and which was destroyed by the courier, I wouldn't go anywhere other than Hi-Fi Do.

    Lovely people to deal with, their prices are fair and although shipping is not cheap, they pack superbly. My Sony PS-X9's shipping from them cost just under £400 but it does weigh 35kg! It arrived triple-boxed in a carton so big I could barely get my arms round it and I'm confident it would have survived pretty much anything short of direct missile strike.

    As mentioned, don't forget to allow for import duty and a step-down transformer...
  6. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Some of Japan is also 60 Hz mains frequency
    TheDecameron likes this.
  7. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Indeed, not too worried about mains voltage as can pretty much deal with this.

    HiFiDo have some nice things (despite the usual awful Japanese website), looks like I just need to keep my eyes on there and see what appears.

    Has anyone any experience with Victor (JVC) direct drives? Look nice and I'm guessing related to a lot of similar stuff inc Denon.
  8. Hempknight

    Hempknight pfm Member

    If you want to brave yahoo auctions (prefered to ebay in Japan) buyee.jp is a great proxy shipping service, great communication, they check the item is as described, offer additional packaging (at cost) and have a range of shipping options.
    Salamander and hermit like this.
  9. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Cheers Hempknight, there's a lot on Yahoo auctions so that's good to know!
  10. p147

    p147 pfm Member

    I used to own a JVC QL-Y55F lovely sounding turntable but would loved to have owned a JVC QL-Y66F, the 55 had a switchable voltage selector located under the platter.
    My understanding and experience is that if you go for a piezo quartz direct drive turntable then it does not matter whether its 50Hz or 60 Hz.
  11. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    I've bought cartridges from Japan, and most recently a set of vintage high end Pioneer units. Its not cheap but you can pick up some rare stuff if you're prepared to shell out for shipping and the inevitable import charges and other fees.
  12. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Yes, imported a few cartridges from US once, got them delivered to me at my workplace. (Work even payed the import taxes because they thought they were test gear.....and they couldn't be bothered trying to work out how I could pay them back, just to me to keep quiet about it...result!)

    Small and solid things are quite safe but mechanical I'm a bit worried about.

    We've just received 6 dining chairs and I'm scared to open the boxes as they've obviously been hurled about....so guess a turntable might need a hell of a lot of packing.
  13. mikeyb

    mikeyb pfm Member

    On any item over £15 remember to add import tax (3%) to the sale price, then add vat (20%) to the total cost including postage then add a handing fee to collect those charges.

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