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Equipment Sellers in Phnom Penh

Well yesterday I thought I would go and get my microphone fixed. Then it occurred to me - why don't I spread around a few flyers for the Beatles Tribute thingo to all the music stores at the same time. Then it occurred to me - while I am doing that why don't I pick up the name-cards from the music shops and create a post for the Leng Pleng blog. So here it is.

Most musical instrument stores are still stuck back in the good ol' days of communism where the idea of "The harder you work means the more money you make" translates to "The harder you work means the harder you work". Hence if you walk into one of these stores don't expect them to spring to attention and ask in perfect English, Chinese, French, Japanese or Korean "Yes Sir (or Madam), may I help you". No, no, no - it is your honour that they are there for you to buy things. If you walk in and stand in the middle of the shop looking around like you want to buy something then expect them to just continue to keep doing whatever they were doing when you walked in. If you are lucky enough to get a more modern-thinking shop then they may ask you what it is you need - but usually they will have a look of disgust on their face for inconveniencing them having to ask you.

It's best to take this all in your stride. It really does no good in burning bridges because they did not provide you with the service you might expect back home. Ultimately you will probably come to have to rely on them for something and, as such, will receive a scowls and bouts of uncooperative ignorance when confronting them with your needs at a later date. Believe me they tend to remember faces and forgiveness (or compassion as they see it) can come at a higher price. The best thing you can do is form a relationship with a shop that is based on mutual respect and trust - but you will have to work on it. You need to make a balance between letting them know that you refuse to be ripped-off (thereby gaining their respect) and letting them know that you trust them and want to do business with them. I have a couple of stores I have managed to get this to some level and it is discussed further below. Even if you do manage to strike a congenial relationship you should always ensure some level of navigation through neighboring stores to make sure the prices they are offering are competitive - but always stick with your friendly shop if you can.

What you might want to remember is that all of these shops are generally family-run businesses and a quick look around the store will show you just how much profit margin they tend to acquire. When it comes down to it they are relatively ruthless negotiators and, in my experience, generally start by doubling the price they really expect. I believe their other (more local) clients are even more ruthless as the condition of their store's decor and the quality and type of equipment they make available are found wanting in all cases.

At this point I am unaware of any musical instrument shop that provides a broad range of good quality, authentic musical equipment. This is worth thinking about when bargaining. In my opinion it is worth paying more to a store that seems worthwhile because we need them to make money so that they can bring in the equipment we need and provide the service that goes along with it. If one thing could come out of this blog post it would be an agreement between all Leng Pleng members as to which store actually provides the best and most worthwhile service so that we, as musicians, can support them so that we have a fully equipped service at our disposal. With this in mind - here is a run-down of all the shops I visited yesterday.
  1. Hong You Music Shop
    1. ADDRESS: No. 337-E0 Street 110 (Russian Federation Blvd.), Phnom Penh (Near the corner of Pochentong Road and Monivong)
    2. PHONE: 023 430 222 or 012 864525 or 011 855015
    3. EMAIL: HongYou[chuck in the AT sign here]ps-powersound.com
      1. Main guy is a nice, thoughtful bloke
      2. Speaks English
      3. Can arrange production for major gigs through his brother-in-law (i.e.: Power Sound)
      4. Can go straight to reasonable prices if you have a good relationship

  2. Samnang Thmei Music Instruments
    1. ADDRESS: No.115-E0 Preah Monivong Blvd., Phnom Penh (On Monivong north of the corner with Kampuchea Krom)
    2. PHONE: 012 960622
    3. EMAIL: khovsamnang as[chuck in the AT sign here]yahoo.com
      1. Specializes in guitars / keyboards / amps
      2. Friendly but ruthless negotiator
      3. Husband has English

  3. Hiep Sreng
    1. ADDRESS: 30-E0 Street 217, Phnom Penh (Charles De Gaule between Monivong and P'sah Thmei)
    2. PHONE: 023 210484 or 012 820396 or 012 581 938
    3. EMAIL: none available
      1. They have 2 shops near P'sah Thmei
        1. One neareest corner with Monivong 
        2. One that is 4 music shops in from corner with Monivong
      2. No English but speaks Chinese 

    5. Thea Heng
      1. ADDRESS: 26-E0 Street 217, Phnom Penh (Charles De Gaule between Monivong and P'sah Thmei)
      2. PHONE: 011 998998
      3. EMAIL: ye_le[chuck in the AT sign here]hotmail.com
        1. Specializing in guitars
        2. English
        3. More professional layout
        4. Seems slightly more organized
        5. Has teachers for guitar, flute, sax, keyboards, violin
        6. Starts bargaining at high prices
        7. Same family as Sydymex Group

    6. Sydymex Group
      1. ADDRESS: 28-E0 Street 217, Phnom Penh (Charles De Gaule between Monivong and P'sah Thmei)
      2. PHONE:023 219335 or 012 866105 or 012 848279
      3. EMAIL: none available
        1. Same family as Thea Heng
        2. Guitars from many different places
          1. Say that they have original Yamahas made in Indonesia

    7. Thea Meang
      1. ADDRESS: 4-E0 Street 217, Phnom Penh (Charles De Gaule between Monivong and P'sah Thmei)
      2. PHONE: 012 922030 or 011 888643 or 023 218056
      3. EMAIL: none available
        1. Can go straight to reasonable prices if you have a good relationship
        2. Jolly / happy husband and son
        3. They remember you
        4. No English
        5. Wife is ok - if on her right side

    8. Another larger shop next to Thea Meang
      1. ADDRESS:  none available
      2. PHONE:  none available
      3. EMAIL:  none available
      4. COMMENTS: none available
        1. Large
        2. Specializing in larger sound equipment
        3. Very poor service
        4. When asked for a name-card they wouldn't give it to me

    9. Another shop right up Kampuchea Krom
      1. ADDRESS: Kampuchea Krom about 1.5km from Monivong on left-hand-side
      2. PHONE:  none available
      3. EMAIL:  none available
      4. COMMENTS: none available
        1. Run by Vietnamese family
        2. Music books in Vietnamese
    The shops where I have missing information I will update in the coming days / weeks. Please send me any info which you may have garnered yourself. Please see the map below for a general locations of the shops:

    For me I have had best success with both Hong You Music Shop and Thea Meang. With Hong you I find the main guy to be very cordial and thoughtful and prepared to do a good job for returned customers. I recommend them quite highly. Thea Meang is also good for this - giving straight-forward prices if you show them a level of loyalty with their service. You will have to communicate with Thea Meng in Khmer but Hong You can speak quite good English.

    In a subsequent post I will try to discuss the availability of equipment and what it is people need but cannot get.

    Cheers and don't forget to feed the fish.


    1. Dude..
      I wonder....why bother with PP stores..
      A quick trip to BKK once or twice a year...problem solved.
      How is Customs treating people ,who bring in gear, by the way?

    2. Anonymous, you don't want to ship anything big into Cambodia, it can be quite messy with the custom clearence sometimes.
      Just hand carry the stuff in if it's guitars, mics, keyboards etc.

      For huge equipment like PA System, FOH Consoles, Backline and so on, it's easier to get it in by an agent who takes care of all the paper work for you.

    3. hi all when i came here one year ago i had my guitar and bass guitar with me also a keyboard and computers and fx stuff and there was no problem with customs at the airport. I think as long as it´s in a used conition there is no problem. but i don´t know how it is when it comes to bigger things like pa systems or mixing desks.
      greets flo

    4. Where can I buy a MIDI keyboard in Phnom Penh. And what is the usual cost in PP? Thinking about bringing one from Europe with me, but if it's cheap, I might as well just buy one in PP.

    5. Cheap drumsets anywhere?

    6. where to buy usb-midi cable/connector in phonm pneh?

    7. I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice. List of Shipping Companies in Singapore


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