retro spiller


Boom Bus

Earlier this month Anchali and I were on the bus from Kanchanaburi to Sangkhlaburi on our way back home from our trip North. The bus seemed a little bit newer and nicer than the standard beat-up air-con Thai bus, but was still nothing special. At least that is what I thought.

One peculiarity I noticed was the lack of a TV (usually standard equipment, put in a custom made cabinet in the front). The bus did have a large 12 volt power inverter, and two NICE looking power amplifiers mounted above the drivers head in the center of the front of the bus. I casually noticed this stuff, thought it was nice equipment for a bus going to Sangkhla, and then forgot about it.

After 2.5 hours or so we were about 20k from Sangkhla and I was gazing out the window at the incred- ible green scenery, when I jumped. Bass (not the fish, but the frequency) shook my seat, and all the sleeping people on the bus woke up. The driver had decided it was time for some music…maybe he was getting drowsy. It was loud, really loud Isaan music with the bass turned way up. I looked around again and was surprised I didn’t notice the back of the bus when I got on. It was solid speakers. Big cabinets with big speakers in them…taking care of the bass. Along the ceiling there were no less than 14 large standard car speakers spaced every few feet on both sides. Large gauge cable connected everything. Someone was pretty serious about sound on this bus, which is contrary to most of what I’ve seen and heard in this country. Usually VOLUME is all important, even if the sound is terrible, distorted, and painful. The “boom bus” got us home safely, with ringing in our ears and Isaan songs in our heads.