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Apple Pro Speakers Mod

Harmon Kardon M6531 Speakers

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#1
enjoyfebruary

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I always liked the design of the Apple Pro speakers from back in the PowerMac G4 days. I had a set with my MDD G4 and thought the sound quality was better than speakers for this size. So I thought it would be a cool project to mod a set to be used without a Powermac. It's pretty simple to do this if you have a little extra time and a soldering iron. Here is how I did it:

1. On the Apple Speakers, cut the speakers off of the little round pendant Y thing. So now you should just have the two speakers with a good length of thin cable.
2. Cut and strip the ends of the wires. You can get rid of the thick shield ground that surrounds the inner wire. You don't need it.
3. You can use any male 1/8" adapter with a stereo tip. (this has 2 rings around it) I used a white 1/8" cable from monoprice.com. Obviously strip the cable down.

Pinout:

Speaker 1 Brown - Left Signal + Solder to: White Wire (Sometimes Black) - 1/8" Jack

Speaker 1 Yellow - Combine with White -
Shield Ground (Bare Copper) - 1/8" Jack
Speaker 2 White - Combine with Yellow -

Speaker 2 Blue - Right Signal + Red Wire - 1/8" Jack

4. The most important thing is just that you connect the corresponding wires. Like if you are looking at the wires as they connect to the actual driver inside the speaker just say "Left connection is signal" and use that same corresponding wire on the other speaker. That way your signal won't be out of phase. Pretty simple hookup.

5. I was a little bummed about lack of volume. An external amp of some kind is probably best. These speakers would be best for an environment such as a reasonably quiet office or bedroom.

6. From what I've found on the web each speaker is rated for 10w at 4ohm each.

Overall I still feel these speakers give a solid overall impression of the audio source. Very pleasant to listen to. Again, maybe too quiet for most sans power amp of some kind, but hey they look cool! Nice little hour long project.

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#2
Mr.D.

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I think that is an awesome example of a way to add some Apple flair to your hackintosh. These speakers are usually just thrown away... look you're saving the environment too! I will now be looking for similar, simple projects to add to my rig. Thanks for sharing your project!

#3
nickjf20

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Nicely done!

They used that funny connector simply because they're passive and need to be amped.

#4
enjoyfebruary

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You're exactly right Nick. There was obviously an amp built into the old PowerMacs. Additionally I've read that in that little pendant on the speaker cable there is a little chip that can turn the speakers on and off somehow.

Quick note. I've been using these speakers on my desk at work connected to a Mac Mini and there is plenty.of volume. I usually run them at about three to five "dots" depending on the song. I think I'm gonna get another set for my desk at home. I'll take pictures of the actual wiring this time lol.

#5
WhatTheTech

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You know, I wonder how difficult it would be to power these. Any idea on what sort of amplifier they used? I just wonder whether you couldn't find a simple amp board and power it via USB...

More investigation is definitely required!

Something like this would work from what I read on dremeljunkie: http://www.amazon.co...pd_sim_sbs_hg_1

Simply cut the wires above the circular part and wire in to the amp...

#6
nickjf20

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That might just work ... the T-amp will be half decent as well!

Are you into DIY audio?





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