This article was originally written for and published at TechTat on August 26th, 2011, 2011 It has been posted here for safe keeping.
Ah, the Helix HX-4635 (Also known as the Conion C-100FL and Clairitone 7980 ). Talk about your classic ghetto blaster! This beast was released to the public in 1984, and holds a spot as one of the most iconic boomboxes of the age. Featuring large speakers, dual cassette decks, and all of your favorite radio bands (it even has shortwave!) the 4635 was not your average K-Mart radio. The blue button on the upper right hand corner may look out of place. Why are there two buttons anyway? This is exactly what they want you to think. The blue button actually enables a burglar alarm! I kid you not, if you get too close to the boombox when it is active, it emits loud shrieks similar to an alarm you might have on your car. In a way, this boombox is also “future proof.” The back side features dual RCA inputs, so you can hook up your favorite MP3 player if you really wanted. There is also a toggle switch for PHONO, so you could even plug in a turntable if you desired. Audio outputs on the front have your standard headphone label, as well as a monitor jack if you and your buddies are making some music.
I found this bad boy at a flea market in New Jersey for $20. Best purchase I’ve found in a long time. Typically, these boomboxes are found in various states of disarray. Usually missing antennas, tape deck doors, or the storage drawer (there is a little bit of plastic on the bottom that holds 2 cassette tapes), a full unit is a dream for most people that find them. Also, one last bit to mention… this thing is loud. The volume knob goes up to 100, and I find 20 a bit loud for most activities. All in all, a nice piece to take out on a summer day, and turn a few heads.