Harman Kardon Soundsticks

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CooperBox, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #1
    A local ad has just caught my eye, of a guy selling the subject Soundsticks III for 70euros ($75) which to me seems a reasonable deal. I've always fancied matching a set of these to one of my PPC Macs. It would probably be mated essentially to my 1.25GHz iMac G4 17" which I'm smitten with, and have just re-installed Leopard, and together with Coreplayer set up as a juke box player. In this configuration it's great, and with headphones and/or the Imac's original HK small spherical speakers sounds brilliant!
    - Could someone please advise me if I'd be better off going for the Soundsticks II (several of these around in good condition for approx $64).

    - Is there any significant difference in build-quality between the II and III models?
    - Are these considered a prudent purchase 'used'? Or do they tend to suffer over time i.e. plexiglas cracking, sound deterioration etc?
    - I believe the III model has Bluetooth which could be useful but not essential.

    Or should I dig a lot deeper in my pockets and consider their ONYX Studio or latest Aura model?
     
  2. micahgartman macrumors member

    micahgartman

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    #2
    I had a set of Soundsticks II. They sounded great! The glue holding the two halves of the speakers eventually gave out, and I had to re-glue them.
     
  3. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #3
    I've had a set of II's for about 8 or so years now and they're holding up great. For that price, I'd say go for it.
     
  4. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    I have the III's, they're amazing, but they only have Bluetooth if you get the wireless model, as there are two separate versions. I have had mine since 2012 or so and they still look and work brand new. I'd go with the III if it's only $11 more.
     
  5. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #5
    Many thanks for the replies. Just the sort of feedback info I was after.
     
  6. bobesch, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #6
    The Soundsticks look and sound great (but beauty is in the eye of the beerholder - cheers).
    The newer the better since they might get problems with the glue of the satellite-speakers and they tend to rattle nasty if anything is damaged. The satellite-speakers, the "sticks", are definitely not made for eternity, since even normal use with high volume sound might break the plastic once they get older. But the Subwoofer will be humming forever and alone is worth the expense. You may attach any other satellites to the subwoofer, but that's not the real thing. The first version offered only USB-connection and obviously carried their own external USB-soundcard, made to fit the cube. The later versions offer a 3.5 Klinke socket.
    The most important thing is to go and pick them up personally!!! So you may check the sound of the Sticks and see, if there are tiny broken parts within the sticks. Postage will kill them and/or leave you with further hassle to get your money back in case anything is damaged. With my SoundSticks I even had problems in spite of being sent within their original box.
    To be honest - you may get brand new Soundstick II or III starting from 130€ at Amazings. Definitely better go for those ones or check your occasion locally.
    But they are definitely great. - There's a tiny blue LED within the subwoofer and the whole thing is shining magically blue...
    IMG_1760.JPG
     
  7. CooperBox, Dec 4, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016

    CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #7
    Again great info, especially about potential damage during shipment. Thanks, and cheers - have one on me!

    Just AN UPDATE on this.
    I missed out on the SoundSticks as they'd been sold a short time before I arrived. But I note they are not too difficult to find, so will just be patient for a while.
    Have just found a remote control for my TAM so that gain will be some compensation for the the loss of the Soundsticks.
     
  8. MrBungleBear macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Only issue I have with the IIIs is that they go to sleep (something to do with EnergyStar, I think). That's OK, but they take 3-5 seconds of audio to wake up and start sending out said audio! That's annoying for songs or YouTube, but even worse, it means that all the alert sounds from the computer are missed... There seems to be no way to turn off the sleep mode as it is built in to the speaker, not your audio card/settings.
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    I honestly don't recall whether or not I had them when this thread was started almost a year ago, but I have the first generation Sound Sticks.

    For a while, my main PPC desktop was a Quicksilver, and I used the "eyeball" pro speakers along with an H-K iSub. That's a really great sounding combo, although I'd advise finding the ones with the white silicon insulators.

    In any case, for a variety of reasons I "upgraded" to a dual 2.7 G5, but of course I lost the ability to use the Pro speakers with those. Also, the iSub is flaky in Leopard, although it can be made to work.

    With that in mind, I decided to just grab a set of Sound Sticks and I could not possibly be happier.

    As a side note, many Cube owners know that the original "eyeballs" are difficult to find and are also subject to foam rot. The first gen Sound Sticks work every bit as well as the proper Cube speakers and IMO are a nice aesthetic match for a Cube+ADC display.
     
  10. eyeleica macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    #10
    Early this morning as I scanned the topics in the power pc forum, my eyes popped wide open seeing this thread about the HarmanKardon Soundsticks. A few months ago I purchased a nonfunctioning liquid cooled G5 thinking I could revive it, but have thus far have failed. Included in the purchase was a H-K Soundstick set and a Focus Fk-2001 still in the box keyboard. I called Harman Kardon customer service giving the serial number on the speakers and learned it was one of the original models. Also discovered that the original Soundstick are shown in the Museum of Modern Art for their unique design. Their sound is incredible! The value of the speakers and keyboard is much more than what I paid for the G5.
    If I never get the G5 working, the speakers and keyboard are enough to make me happy.
     
  11. AphoticD macrumors 6502a

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #11
    When the HK Soundsticks / iSub were brand new, I was managing a Mac retail store and recall selling them for AU$499.95

    People dropping $3 - $4K on a G5 or even $2K on a 20" iMac G4 were usually happy to buy the HK Soundsticks as a beautiful addition to their shiny new Mac.
     
  12. YYsMD macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #12
    I got a pair in '06 with a then brand new iMac, and they are still my primary speakers today (11 years later) on my new tower. An utterly brilliant piece of kit although mine also needed to be re-glued.
     
  13. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #13
    So this is nothing about Soundsticks or the iSub, but about the BassJump-Subwoofer from 12south.
    Unfortunately their software does support Leopard only for intel, but not PPC.
    Tonight - everyone in bed except of me - I happened to listen to music with only my 15"MacBookPro early 2008 and the BassJump attached when my wife appeared out of bed asking me to turn the volume down.
    Uugh - two doors shut and bedroom upper floor. Either I'm getting deaf or that combination really rocks.
    Lucky I didn't use the Soundsticks...
     

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