Who would ever thought that the deserted old building could be given new life just like that? I mean ICON tried to model the whole building after flea-market shops in Hong Kong, but failed to attract crowds. Top One came in, throw in loads and loads of capital and converted the whole building into one big cool and chic karaoke joint! Boom and it became the hottest place to go in the Bugis area.
Let me tell you what is so special about Top One and how it differentiate itself from the other competitors.
Service, Design and Special Features
Most of their staff are PRC Chinese. Although there are some Singaporeans who complaint that there are a lot of PRC Chinese people doing service jobs, but cannot speak English fluently etc, but I feel you really have to hand in to them. They are actually very articulate and provide better service than part-timers secondary school students or even some adult Singaporeans. It's just in their blood. Of course, one would beg to differ. I just feel perhaps some Singaporeans take themselves too seriously at times that they feel embarrass or pride less when doing other a favour or when servicing others.
Design of rooms - Being different and proud of it
Amazingly, Top One has different themes for their rooms at every level. Something that was different from their competitors. It's not only the room that is different, but the whole experience is different from the usual one.
For once, their microphones come with a small colour cap for hygiene purposes. Not that it is effectively cleaner, but at least they bother to do something. Also, their microphones did not shrieked once when placed close to each other. This is quite something already. My friend and I can never stand close to each other at other karaoke joints which we always patronised. Haha.
Of course, Top One is new and might end up the same situation later on. I remembered Kbox as being quite good when first started.
I have been there three times so far. The design of the room are quite drastically different. There was Ocean themed rooms at level 6 and Retro theme at level 2.
See, their custom-made tables can lit-up. The lights will changes according to the tempo of the songs !
Unlike their competitors who provides remote control for customers to pick songs, Top One provides control console for customers to pick songs instead. First-timer might need some training to get use to it. The negetive points is that the control console is not as easy to use as remote control and whoever needed to pick songs has to move there physically to do so.
The first time we were there, we had quite a huge number of people and thus we got a big room. Goodness, the room was really very big with loads and loads of features to play with. Firstly, there was three big plasma screens.
You can also adjust lightings according to the mood of the songs and the atmosphere. There are soft lightings as shown on the picture above, see the wall and disco lights somemore. Cool hor! However, the most amazing thing is that there is a small stage in the room complete with smoke effect !!! Singing in that room really feel like performing at a concert setting rather than karaoke-ing at some joints.
But wait, there is more. THEY even have a RECORDING STUDIO that you can book and record your own album!!! I checked. The charges are about the same as market rates , recording of one song is $38 dollars (until you are satisfactory), but if you wish to book by the hour is $50 dollars per hour ! Now who is the superstar? It is really a dream factory for singers-wanna-be !
I actually recorded a song before long time ago for my own entertainment and keepsake purposes.That studio (which already closed down) also charged $38 dollars for one song, but they used midi tune instead of karaoke music. The set up is also not as professional as this one. I mean just look at their microphone and the sound muffle (the black mash thing to prevent you from "popping" the mic). Hmm... Perhaps I should record one album for my birthday this year ! Now, what songs should I sing...
Afternote: Wow, I didn't know this entry would attract that many people. Just to answer some of the questions that netters asked.
The rate: We usually go there during Friday night for $28.70 nett ($31.80 without membership card). It is the discounted price as we got the membership card. To apply (they would usually encourage you to get one), you need to pay one time fee of $10 dollars, like Kbox used to do. Just get one and shared the cost among your friends! :)
Just found out that weekday afternoon rate - 11 am to 6 pm only cost $16 nett.
Address: 530, North Bridge Road, #02-01 Bugis Point
Phone number: 6238 8198
Strongly encourage you all to go in a big group as the big room's smoking effect is just amazing! Do book before you go as you can tell from the number of readers, it is always fully booked.
Interested in Karaoke Singing? See also my Karaoke Experience in Kuala Lumpur - http://photosophize.blogspot.com/2008/11/red-box-plaza-low-yatt-kuala-lumpur.html