"Hexatone" H5

Horn and photos courtesy Brent Lee.
The H5 was the world's first five chime air horn. Developed by Robert Swanson (founder of AirChime) in 1949, only 88 H5's were made before the design was refined into the M5. The "H" stood for "hexatone," a carryover from Swanson's original multichime airhorn, the six-chime H6.

The bells of the H5 were welded together into a single unit, and could not be reversed as on the M5. The M5's bells and power chambers were bolted to a manifold, but in the H5, pressurized air was supplied to the bells through individual tubes emanating from the base. This example appears to have been replumbed with rubber tubing.


Original tuning was: A major dominant 7th (C#,E,G,A,C#),
but this could easily be changed to a number of other chords including F# minor 6th (C#,D#,F#,A,C#) and C# diminished (C#,E,G,A#,C#).


Only a few H5's are known to exist today in the hands of collectors.


H5 sound samples:

Brent Lee's H5:
Sample 1...215kB...9 seconds




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