Mr. Nguyen Tan Hieu, 34, in Binh Thuy district, Can Tho city has acquired a collection of around 200 valuable vintage cassettes, radios, and over 100 old kerosene lamps.
The much-admired collection on display in every nook of Hieu's house.
The vast array of antiques captures the attention of passersby despite the house being located in a little alley on Bui Huu Nghia street (Binh Thuy district).
The majority of cassette players and radios here date back to a few decades ago, even more than half a century, but are still surprisingly new-looking and functional.
To demonstrate, Hieu even switched on VOV1 (Voice of Vietnam) channel from a radio produced in the 1950-1960s, and the sound was strikingly smooth and clear.
The quirky perennial machines originating in Japan, the US ... from big brands like National, Panasonic, and Sony were all manufactured between 1955 and 1975.
Many phonographs, vinyl records and other items. From all over the country also massively contribute to Hieu’s captivating collection which he has sweated blood for.
Mr. Hieu remarked that though modern electronic audio equipment is of very high quality, the retro style machines, particularly the signature sound produced from vintage cassette players, for ever has his heart.
Radio and cassette players obtained by the sweat of Hieu's brow.
“I have been passionate about collecting cassettes since I was a school boy. Back then before the digital age took over, people listened to music via cassettes or radio stations, which I feel immensely nostalgic for. Even a simple dysfunction calling a halt to my contemplation could completely cast a shadow over my day,” Hieu recalled.
The devotion he has to classical cassette players burgeons every passing day, so handsomely that it became a part of him, making him expend his energy and effort into seeking further and further.
"I was initially only choosing ones with clear sound and durability, but later on set the bar higher to items of rarity and colour/model variations, " he added.
Hieu prioritizes rare and even unused items.
Many machines in his home-based exhibition are original and neatly boxed. Some of them can be badly damaged, which may sometimes cost him the earth to get them overhauled.
Circuit error is the most common problem among the cassette players and radios when found.
Even when functional, maintenance, frequent cleaning, board waterproofing, and non exposure to direct sunlight are all indispensable for these items.
Inco Mica cassette radio manufactured between 1955 and 1963 is considered a one-off in Hieu’s collection.
“This is the most special cassette player that I could find across the whole nation. It cost up to VND25 million and is fully intact and operational. Its model is among the most exclusive and elite up to this point in the world of vintage cassettes,” Mr. Hieu said.
Hieu also owns more than 100 Kim Loi Hoa kerosene lamps. The lilac one is regarded as the rarest in the collection. Akai vinyl record players, old televisions, southern pottery ...are all intriguing.
Hieu’s Kim Loi Hoa oil lamps.
Mr. Huynh Dang (35 years old, Ninh Kieu district, Can Tho city): “I am also a cassette player and radio maniac. It’s undeniable how profoundly the collection left me bedazzled upon my first visit. It definitely is the finest in Can Tho.”
Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha feels fortunate that she was led by many teachers on her journey of self-growth. And the first teacher was her mother.
Dao Huy Hoang, 28, a graduate of Hanoi Foreign Trade University, is known as a pioneer in Western calligraphy in Vietnam.