Well your post motivated me to see if I could actually implement option 2 and after a trip to the electronics store here's what I came up with: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vaks8fgvr1h4nzg/GwW56NUn14
I had an old cheap set of 2.1 computer speakers I picked up a few years back for probably $15. The satellite speakers were pretty much crap, but the sub/amplifier worked fairly well. As you can see in the pictures, my sub/amp connected to the speakers with basic bare wire clips. The sound stick speakers however have male RCA connectors on the end so I couldn't simply "plug them in" (unless I wanted to cut the RCA ends off - which probably would have worked but would have made it so I couldn't use the original sub in the future). As a result, I picked these up from my local electronics store (http://unicornelex.com/phono-jacks-female---2-pk-red-black.aspx) and added some speaker wire as you can see in the pictures.
All said and done - it works remarkably well. The sound sticks sound as good as ever - very bright and clean even at high volume. The bass is fairly muddy (the sub only has a 4" driver) and there's still no mids, but if you wanted great base/mids sound sticks - modified or unmodified - are not the place to go anyway.
Obviously your experience may differ sligtly in terms of what you have at your disposal and how the replacement subwoofer/amp you end up with connects to the speakers. That said, you should be able to find adapters for pretty much anything online (more than likely you'll need something like this: http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-RCA-MONO-3-5-PCS/dp/B000068O49)
That is fantastic.... I must have a go.
To be honest, if you have read my thread, If Harmon Kardon had responded with the clarity of your earlier response to me, then I would have clearly understood and although I would have had no idea how to fix it, it would have saved me a lot of trial and error with various cables and adaptors.
Than you so much for your efforts.... I will have to have a dig around in my garage and other places and see what I have to play with.
Hi - new to these forums but spotted the discussion. I recently dug up my Harmon Kardon USB speakers, having thought they were obsolete. I wanted to make them work with my iPad 2. I thought I would have to try some strange Airport/wireless thing. But I found a marvellous solution: I bought the camera connection kit for iPad, which fits into the normal iPad slot. Then, the USB from the speakers just goes into the connector USB slot, and hey presto, you have iPad output being played through the ancient HK speakers. Only problem is: now I want another iPad, one to play music, the other to carry around .... Hope this works for others too.
Awesome thread. This now begs the question - can one stream from their primary airtunes source through a 'slave' iphone sitting on the end of their soundsticks USB cable? Sounds like the only way one can make use of their old airtunes speakers. Mine have been sadly gathering dust and will stop working soon if they don't host passage of a few electrons asap!
I'd really appreciate a copy of the file too. The link doesn't work anymore.
I've been very frustrated that my Soundsticks don't work anymore. They worked fine on my PowerMac G5 until the last OS update (10.5.8 I think). Now I have a new 2012 Mac mini with 10.8.2 and I really don't want to have to spend $170 for a new set of Soundsticks when the old ones sound fine.
If that file works on my new Mac mini, then you'll be saving me $170.
And if Apple has problems with posting the file, then email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your help.
Great info here.
I'm struggling with the same issue, and was hoping for an adapter to become available. I was just about to pull the trigger on some cables I found online when I found this thread, and the digital to analog issue discussed here means I don't have to waste a lot of time exploring.
Thanks for this discussion. Really helpful!
By the way, I went a cheezier route for now. I have an old PB12", so I just leave that connected, and since iTunes home sharing is on, my old 12" can access all the music from my main computer. It's not an elegant solution, and makes me want to get a remote that works better with an older version of iTunes that's accessing playlists from another computer...but still, better than nothing, I guess
I think that all you may need is a 3.5mm to USB audio converter:
Then all you should need to add is a female to female usb adaptor to plug the device into the usb male connectors from the converter to the soundsticks usb male.
Unfortunately, PainNTheMac, this will not work
With Harmon Kardon Series speakers, the sound card is in the sub woofer, so it pulls digital data from the laptop, and does the conversion to analog in the subwoofer.
The Harmon Kardon cannot take 3.5mm because that's an analog source....the USB can only take digital source.
The device PainNTheMac mentions is designed to take digital data and convert to analog. simply flipping the connectivity will not make it convert backwards.
Basically what is needed is a device that takes analog data (3.5mm) and converts to digital data (usb) which Harmon Kardon will convert back to analog...
Which may cause a ton of degradation and makes me wonder whether this is worth it or not.