A club for Vietnamese who share a love for antique radios and cassette players has so far gathered over 23,000 members, who hold regular meetings to share their experience about maintenance solutions as well as memories of each vintage item in the collection.
A vintage radio and cassette player exhibition was held for the first time in Hanoi last week, attracting hundreds of local collectors who came to showcase a great variety of the electronic devices that are considered ‘antiques’ in today’s era of music streaming.
The event was hosted by the ‘Club of collectors of radios and cassette players,’ a large community of more than 23,000 members founded by Nguyen Xuan Thuy, the current club president.
Thuy took up collecting antique radios and cassette players three years ago and now owns over 800 cassette players, which broke the record previously held by the ‘Radio King’ Phung Van Bai in the northern city of Hai Phong.
|Xuan Thuy stores a collection of over 1,000 cassette players inside his house in Hanoi. Photo: Supplied|
Thuy’s collection included exclusive models on Vietnamese market, one of which was his favorite Sharp WF-88ZW cassette player named “Queen Cassette” that came along with old-time songs of Modern Talking or ABBA that captured the heart of former generations.
He put a lot of efforts into this hobby, from designing decorations for his radios to spending sleepless nights bargaining for special devices on world-famous online shopping website eBay.
He even once traveled all the way from north to south just to purchase a rare 1980s cassette Viettronics RX-4960 from a local worker. “I promised to let him see it anytime he wanted,” Thuy share about his compromise with Hiep, the former owner of Viettronics RX-4960.
|Nguyen Xuan Thuy, the president in the club of antique radio lovers, smiles in a photo taken in Hanoi with his collection. Photo: Supplied|
Ngo Van Thang, a member in Thuy’s club, has recently succeeded in purchasing seven Sharp GF7Z cassette players from Russia via eBay, which delivered melodic songs that he couldn’t afford during his childhood.
Thang, along with other members in Thuy’s club, all chose exclusive design as well as sound quality as priorities and the love for antique radios and cassette players had formed their indestructible friendship throughout years.
Aside from the middle-aged, there are some youngsters who found their interest in collecting old cassette players such as 19-year-old Nguyen Dung from Hanoi, which was rarely seen among the youth today.
Dung received an old radio as a gift from a friend, then began seeking for more of them from junk-shops around Hanoi and repaired them to add to his collection.
|19-year-old Nguyen Dung smiles for a photo while holding his antique cassette player. Photo: Supplied|
There were other clubs for old cassette players fans held across Vietnam besides Thuy’s club to meet the increasing demand of collectors.
“Antique radios and cassette players collecting is developing in Vietnam and it will be the top choice hobby among Vietnamese in the future,” said Pham Van Son, a member in a local club in northern Vietnam’s province of Tuyen Quang.
|Nguyen Xuan Thuy (right) introduces his collection to Nguyen Manh Ha (left) and Dang Dai Hung, other members of the club in Hanoi. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre|
|Antique radios are displayed along the side of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi to attract passers-by. Photo: Supplied|
|Aside from antique radios, Dang Dai Hung also owns a large number of old-time music CDs. Photo: Supplied|