Living Viet

For the Love of Old Cassettes

Nguyen Xuan Thuy in Co Linh, Hanoi is the owner of over 1,500 old cassette players. It not only is his passion, but also is a way to keep his memories of a bygone era in Hanoi.


Thuy said that his student life was attached closely with cassette players, so he would like to keep his memories from his student days. According to Thuy, in the era of technology when people talk about the latest smart phones or Bluetooth audio equipment , it is difficult to find an item which is no longer produced or used. He likes to collect items that were in Vietnam in the past.

Visiting Thuy’s home on Co Linh Street in Hanoi, we were surprised by his collection. He excitedly told us about the cassette players collected over five years from different localities.


It has taken many years to collect about 1,500 cassette players.
Part of Thuy’s collection, including unused cassette players.
Thuy spends a lot of time to take care of his collection.
A cassette palyer is about 50 years old.
Cassette players of Thuy still operate well.   
Cassette players are on display at Thuy's house.
He restored more than 1,000 labels to give to enthusiasts.
One of labels restored by Thuy.
He also looks cassette players on foreign websites. 
Thuy remembers and notes carefully information related to each item in his collection.
Members of his club exchange products as well as experiences with each other.

Among these is the Sharp 777 cassette player which also was known as the "cassette king”. The cassette players were brought by Vietnamese from Germany or by sailors, but not sold in Vietnam. Known as the "cassette queen", the beautiful cassette QT88 was one of the good devices used by stores to record tapes for sale. The Sharp 939 was one of those high-powered cassettes that was used in weddings.

The cassettes players often had no labels, so he studied the models of the brands and then he restored more than 1,000 samples to give to enthusiasts. To preserve his collection, Thuy always kept the items in houses with air conditioners. He also lends them to coffee shops to use as décor in their shops.

Thuy has established a club of cassette player lovers and has 9,500 members nationwide. The club also holds exhibitions to introduce old cassette players to many people. Its members also meet to exchange products as well as experiences with each other.


Story: NGAN HA/VNP Photos: VIET CUONG Translated by SONG AN

Creating Accessories for Keyboards

Creating Accessories for Keyboards

With skillfulness and creativity, a woman born in the nineties named Dao Thi Huyen Thu has made fashionable products for many young people who love to decorate their mechanical computer keyboards at work.