‘Old-school cool’ Mac rig rocks Cinema Display, HK SoundSticks [Setups]


The Apple Cinema Display is nice, but the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks really grab the eye.
The Apple Cinema Display is nice, but the Harmon Kardon SoundSticks really grab the eye.
Photo: DoomNukem1993@Reddit.com

Sometimes on a Friday — or really any day of the week — we like to go back in time with an old-school cool Mac computer setup. That is, when we can find something on the retro side to feature. Luckily, today we found one.

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Redditor DoomNukem 1993 posted an eye-catching setup entitled “Old-School Cool Mac Setup.” What makes it “old-school cool?” That would be the 20-inch Apple Cinema Display and the extraordinarily distinctive Harmon Kardon SoundSticks speaker system — two things a lot of people coveted back in this century’s aughts. And even now, frankly.

Old-school cool monitor, keeb and sound; modern laptop

DoomNukem runs a MacBook Air on a Rain Design aluminum laptop stand with the system. No information on the laptop appears in the post. That could be because everyone visiting and commented seemed to want to know about the display and — more than anything — those crazy speakers. And the retro Apple keyboard got some love, too.

Apple Cinema Display

Apple first launched the flat-panel Cinema Display in 1999 and discontinued the last of the breed in 2011, with the advent of the Apple Thunderbolt Display. The Apple Store sold its last original Cinema Display in August, 2014. Over their run, the monitors came in sizes of 20, 22, 23, 24, 27 and 30 inches.

The 20-inch model replaced the original 22-inch Cinema Display in January, 2003, featuring a wide screen with up to 1680×1050 resolution and a brightness of 230 cd/m2.

The 20-incher got an update in June 2004 to match the aluminum design of the new Cinema HD Display, and it got a little brighter. At that point, it cost $1,299. Apple sold it until February 2009.

DoomNukem’s Cinema Display looks it’s from the aluminum-design era.

These days, 20-inch Apple Cinema Displays often sell for anywhere between about $50 and $150.

G4 and G5 Mac keyboard

That time frame more or less checks out with the Apple USB keyboard DoomNukem uses, which appears to be the one offered with G4 and G5 machines.

“I have the [Magic Keyboard 2] but always use this one,” Doom said to an admiring commenter. “It’s the best keyboard I’ve ever had.”

Others concurred. They were probably jealous to read that he got it new, in box, for $15 Canadian.

For more on how cool and surprisingly relevant an Apple Cinema Display can still be, check out Cult of Mac‘s recent article, “30-inch Apple Cinema Display of Yore Still Dazzles [Setups].”

Harmon Kardon SoundSticks II system

Though Harmon Kardon’s distinctive SoundSticks speaker systems originally date back to legendary Apple designer Jony Ive’s version in 2000, HK kept the look for the whole run and we still see them from time to time.

In fact, HK still sells version 4 of the speakers, wired or Bluetooth.

Redditors gawking at DoomNukem’s post seemed most impressed by his SoundSticks. Many folks missed theirs, lost to various accidents over the years, with cats knocking them off shelves and moms spilling coffee in subwoofers. One person said his have been going strong for 10 years.

When asked how they sound these days, Doom couldn’t be much more enthusiastic.

“They sound incredible. I had to find a third party power supply but luckily everything works,” he said. “These speakers were ahead of their time. I mean the design is fabulous and the sound is impressive. The sub and the bass are satisfying, too.”

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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