Thursday, November 02, 2006

Karaoke Review: BMB Karaoke Box

November 1st, 2006

In my contining quest for the best karaoke party box in Toronto I continued on the same night to a place I had passed numerous times but had only been to once in all my years in Toronto. So, it was time to check it out and see if they could help. The sign was nice enough...

The Good: The rooms at this box clean although a few shoe scuffs were somewhat visible on the inner doors and walls but no damage as far as I could see. Mikes were as in great shapes as were the speakers (about the same as Twister). The doors gave a little bit more privacy than Twister as I could see more than outlines from the inside. Rates were better than average.

The Bad: No food at all. Just drinks.

The Mixed: The selection was fairly limited. 4600 English songs is a little weak in my view for a Karaoke box these days. Mind you they have a LOT more Korean. I'm a learning quite a bit about the majority of Korean Karaoke boxes though: They often use a system I am becoming familiar with: Taijin. Yes, Taijin, with its 100% MIDI music and Title only song books. At least it saved me having to look to see how many songs they had as I had already counted from Twister's Taijin system. On the plus side at least the remote had English labeled buttons this time. (helps a lot actually, especially if you've never used it before) so I felt free to try out all the "neat" features like tempo control, music and microphone volumes. Apparently there is a Video game option?!? Hmm... Anyway, it wasn't bad but as I say, 4600 songs is a little weak for an MC, let alone a dedicated Karaoke Box. The saddest thing is they had older Modulation Boxes connected to the system so if they had the 10k song system that Twister had, they could REALLY bump their rankings for this review. Frustrating! One has the selection, the other has modulation boxes that are no longer in use. A partnership would be kind of cool, or at least sell Twister their modulation boxes so they can mop up the competition. :D Oh, the Taijin system has a small selection of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog songs so ESL students would probably appreciate that. Obviously this place is tailored to the Korean-Canadian population but at least they had the curtsey to get English labeled Controllers for their Taijin system which is appreciated. That's about all I have to say on that.


Summary: BMB Karaoke is a lower end Karaoke Box in terms of selection for English Speaking Karaoke lovers. Basically the song selection is ideal Korean speaking people. On the plus side they had an English labeled Taijin controller which Twister didn't have. If a place only has MIDI (especially Taijin system) its pretty much a budget facility. At least the rooms and equipment were in great shape. If you want a place near Bloor and Bathurst this place will pass if you are in the neighborhood. Just bear in mind you have only 4600 English songs (more Korean) that are all MIDI music but you can transpose them using the Taijin controller, or the modulation box if you want to get cute like I did. The rooms are comfortable and you can get snacks and drinks. The rates were posted here which were better than average.

1-5 people: $20/Hour
6-7 people: $25/Hour
8-10 people: $30/Hour
10+ people: $40/Hour
Large Room: $50/Hour
Party Room: $60/Hour

Summary Scores:
Facilities: 8.0 (Nice rooms, really clean, furniture in amazing shape)
Equipment: 7.5 (MIDI Only but I'm giving points for Good Mikes and Speakers)
Location: 7.8 (Block off Bathurst. Parking to be found on side streets)
Food Prices: 7.0 (Prices on food/drinks are average, but only snack food)
Service: 8.0 (they do their job, which given the Taijin systems make it easier I'm sure until cleanup time comes around)
Selection: 6.5 (4600 English songs, books only by title. Its....Taijin)
Wait Times: 9.0 (Given the limited selection the index makes it easy I suspect)
Room Prices: 7.7 (a little better than average)

Final Grade: C

Venue Information:
593 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
M6G 1K5
(416) 533-8736

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8 Comments:

At 5:29 PM, Blogger T.C.K. Leung (梁俊杰) said...

check out Ten23, a recently new Chinese karaoke place:
www.ten23.ca/

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger NinaJay said...

Hey Jonah,

I've had a look at a few of your reviews on the karaoke boxes and nothing has really seemed to draw me in.

I'm wondering if you could suggest anything with a simple karaoke system, a decent selection of songs in English, drinks, and food (or the possibility of bringing in your own food)? I'd really appreciate your help.

Nina (ninaj_03@hotmail.com)

P.S. have you thought of maybe setting up your own karaoke bar/pub? Its a growing industry here in North America and you definitely know what people want.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Renée said...

Hi Jonah,

Where would you recommend for a bachelorette party (all english speaking Karaoke novices)? We're looking for somewhere with private rooms and good food and drink.

Thoughts?

Thanks a ton!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Renée said...

PS In the downtown area.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger db_toronto said...

Hi Jonah,

Your reviews have been helpful, but I was wondering if you could shed some light on a spot in Little Korea where I could host a special event (actually, it's a book launch for a really cool new photo book called "SEOUL FASHION REPORT").

Some of your reviews are from a couple years ago and I was looking to get some more recent insight.

Many thanks,
Deborah

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger ohhmyjay said...

After going to so many Karaokes, which is your favorite? Which one will you bring your friends to?

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Jessica Anh Nguyen said...

I am trying to call them to book a room and no one picks up. How are you supposed to reserve a room and has anyone else had this problem. There is no mailbox to leave a message and there are no e-mail addresses for me to get information....

Jessica

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Jessica Anh Nguyen said...

I've been trying to call them all day but no one picks up...I can't leave a message or send an e-mail. Has anyone else had a problem making reservations?

 

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