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Having no luck so thought I would try this section!!

8893 Views 38 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2013 7:20 AM by besswestern1 RSS
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Alcanara Calculating status...
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Jan 4, 2012 1:09 PM

I have the Harmonn Kardon series 1 sound sticks....


Can I get a USB to 3.5mm stereo Jack plug to output to these speakers. They are powered through their own power supply but the 1st series used a USB connector to connect to the PC????


I have seen them on ebay, from china for a £1 or so... supposedly carrying power and data. I assume the Harmonn Kardon cable is data only as the power is received through its own separate power supply. Would this cable do any damage?


I asked this question 4 years ago and got the same response....ZILCH  I did a search 4 years ago and found the same question asked by another ..... response for them was the same ZILCH!.


Does no-one have any I the only person in the world who wants to keep these speakers but have them work with new kit????




Thanks for your help



  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,610 points)

    Hi Stuart,

  I the only person in the world who wants to keep these speakers but have them work with new kit????


    Well, that could be the case! When I saw you post I called my neighbor across the street who has a set of the HK sticks with sub-woofer. Used them on a G4 iMac for years and then connected them to the iMac 27" that replaced the G4. I figured I could check out his setup for you.


    HE GAVE HIS AWAY! They started acting up (he was not specific) so he sent them packing.


    This forum doesn't get a lot of traffic, and third-pary products get less, but I'll put up a Bat Signal in the Lounge where the Level 6 and above community members hang out. Maybe someone has experience with them. Check back over the next couple of days.



  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,610 points)

    You may have stumped the gurus! Seven views on my call for help in the Lounge and no one has jumped in. Let's give it a few more days.

  • Jiri Krecek Calculating status...

    You are not alone in this world! I'm in teh same boat as you are!

    Got a pair of 1st gen SoundSticks with USB, have had them for over 10 years and they are still going strong. Getting better over the years, actually... A bit weak mids, but nothing what a good equalizer couldn't remedy.


    i too want a 3.5 mm adapter and hook them up to my piano and iPod. There is near zero information on this.

    I'm ready to buy the 3rd gen as well. Love'm.


    I'll keep searching and post whatever I find!!!

    There must be some nerd somewhere who has tried this adapter.

  • Jiri Krecek Level 4 Level 4 (1,080 points)

    Call me crazy, but since you have an iPad: have you tried to hook the sticks to your iPad via the Camera Connection Kit? I'm curious.....


    Not sure whether you'd be able to control volume, though....

    1st gen Sticks had no volume control besides the knob on the iSub

  • Jiri Krecek Level 4 Level 4 (1,080 points)

    So, what we are looking for is a 1/8" to USB adapter with a A/D converter in it. And which would match the original specs of HK including the drivers. I'll keep looking online. Maybe someone actually bothered making them.


    I read some other post saying (can't find the address now) that the Sticks work in this order:

    1. USB signal - digital including a driver form OS X telling about the channels and volume
      And this is a major problem - the A/D converter requires a special driver which tells it what signal goes to R or L channel and what signal represents volume
      Wiring is not a concern here - it is the driver - that tells you what to do w/ signal out of the 4 USB pins
    2. iSub - A/D converter takes that signal and converts into analog
    3. iSub - analog signal sent to the amplifier
    4. iSub  - the amp distributes the signal usual 3 ways into the sub itself and the satellites
      I'm sure there will be crossovers somewhere in it


    As Lebowski said: We're f*****, Walter!

  • Guywebmac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After few test I did find THE simple solution.

    Put in Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/Audio an old file from 10.5.8(Leopard) replace the newest file by the old one AND SoundSticks are back to work.


    Name of the file from 10.5.8 ;

  • timcortesi Calculating status...

    just to throw my 2 cents into the ring - I am in the same situation and though I love my 10 year old sound sticks - they don't get much use these days unfortunately. 


    Here are some thoughts:

    1. A simple adapter simply isn't going to work.  The sound sticks (v. 1.0) actually have a sound card built into the subwoofer which is turning the data from the computer into an analog amplified audible output.  This is an active process which requires some logic and circuitry - so no passive pin mapped adapter is going to do the trick.  That being said, in theory the built in sound card could theoretically be bypassed and you could pipe in analog audio data from any analog source (like a computer or an ipod) directly into the speakers avoiding the digital decoding circuitry entirely.  Unfortunately this would mean opening up the sub, taking it apart, and doing some clever hacking which I haven't had a chance to do.  (But it could be done - and it probably wouldn't even be that complicated)


    2. Though the sub/amplifier won't work with a generic analog source, the sound stick speakers use a standard analog RCA connector to plug into the sub.  As a result, you should be able to plug the sound sticks into pretty much any all-in-one sub/amplifier that comes with any cheap pair of computer speakers.  You're not going to get the awesome alienesque blue glowing sub, but the tweeters in the sound sticks should sound pretty much identical.  This is probably the simplest option and should work reasonably well. 


    I may try option 1 or 2 in the near future and take some pictures once I get it working properly.  I'd really hate to see my formerly $250 sound sticks end up in a dumpster especially when they still work great.  In a world with portable and wireless audio though, they really just don't cut it. 

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