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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Retro Addendum.. The Firestone Air Chief!

Several people have noted the Firestone Air Chief 4-A-30. One really kicked my butt to get it to work. One offered some good advise.

Some may think it is a sad commentary on my life to be sitting at home on a Saturday night pondering this. I think not.

I do still have some noise coming from it that I need to troubleshoot, but I proudly present new voices from a 64 year old mouth piece:

And once again I can only imagine my grandparents and their children around the definition of the home entertainment center back in the day. And yes it is again WSM in Nashville TN on the same tuned pushbutton.  

Sorry about the lighting, but as it is AM radio coming from a state over, the unit is really sensitive to rheostat dimming and fluorescent ballasts.

The one thing I can say however is that the audio output is impressive. It can easily fill my house with sound. 

The other thing is yes, again it brought a tear to my eye as I never heard it when my grandparents were alive. I wish they could hear it again and I think that the bluegrass and country music still coming from the Grand Ol Opry would feel familiar to them still now.


  1. It sounds pretty darn good. Great job!

  2. Yay -- great job! Sounds wonderful! And the dial looks fabulous -- glad you "featured" it in the video.
    I think the set is everything it should be for an AM radio; that "noise" may well be just a normal part of it.
    (Not a bad choice of radio station either.)
    Congratulations on having such a fine family heirloom in working condition!

  3. Very nice Keads! And a true piece of history lives again!

  4. @ Supi- Thanks! It DOES sound good.

    @ Ed- I found it. The right hand pushbutton selects manual tuning and switches in the main tuning condenser. Any other pushbutton "hijacks" the main tuning condenser in favor of its own pretuned one. A shot of DeOxId took care of it on the manual/pushbutton tuning button, thanks!

    @ NFO- Thanks!

  5. I thought it sounded good. Thanks!

  6. SWEET!!! What a lovely Valentines surprise!! I think that the sound was so WARM compared to modern gear. Call me crazy but there is something much more...well, it's like a comforter compared to a linen sheet. Much different. I appreciate your effort to share it with us!!

  7. @ stopsign- Thanks!

    @ LauraB- Thanks! I agree that the sound is distinctly different than IC amplifiers. It truly is a warm sound, just stand next to the radio while it plays!

  8. What a great old time-machine! We had a big old Zenith or some-such that lasted a long time but went away to an enthusiast when i was in HS and tubes were becoming more scarce. It didn't help that you couldn't pull in that kind of music around here, AM radio was the bubblegum pits in the mid 70's.

  9. @ DirtCrashr- Thanks! Yes I agree about AM radio in the mid seventies!