14.05.2022, 10:59

Vietnamese man collects over a thousand reel to reel tape recorders in two decades

A man in Ho Chi Minh City has spent nearly 16 years collecting reel to reel tape recorders.

Pham Quy Long, aka Tuan Akai, now owns a collection of reel to reel tape recorders and turntables worth nearly VND2 billion (U$86,600).

Tuan Akai developed his interest in collecting the items after he saw a reel to reel tape recorder at a coffee shop.

After asking the cafe’s owner to buy the recorder several times and being turned down, Tuan Akai insisted on convincing the owner to sell by visiting the venue constantly for three months until the owner finally agreed to sell it for VND6 million. (US$1 = VND 23,037)

“I started collecting in 2006, and now have over a thousand devices,” Tuan Akai told Tuoi Tre News.

“The emergence of social media has also made it easier for me to collect them.

“My recorders were produced by many manufacturers including Akai, Teac, Pioneer, Sony, Studer, Revox and more, but mostly Akai.

“That’s also why I got the nickname Tuan Akai.”



Tuan Akai and his reel to reel tape recorders. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

According to Tuan Akai, the reel to reel tape recorders fetched different prices from millions to billion of dongs.

They are often found intact and are also easy to preserve.

Besides the music devices, Tuan Akai has also collected other items such as rotary phones, old mobile phones, classic motorbikes, typewriters and more.

“This collection is my childhood dream,” he expressed.



A 1904 Victor gramophone which is still working in Tuan Akai’s collection. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

A Studer reel to reel tape recorder manufactured in 1980 fetches VND400 million. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

A device combining a turntable with a cassette in Tuan Akai’s collection. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

A Japanese typewriter in Tuan Akai’s collection. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Old mobile phones have been collected over the years. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

An old television in Tuan Akai’s collection. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

A Japanese rotary telephone weighing nearly 10kg in Tuan Akai’s collection. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

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Ngoc Phuong - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News