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G3 400MHz Slot Loading iMac bizarre audio volume issue


Hola everyone!

I picked up a nice condition Graphite slot loading G3 iMac last week and so far everything has been really great with it. Replaced the dead IDE harddrive with a StarTech IDE2SATA adapter and 120GB SSD. Replaced the PRAM battery while in there. Zero leakage of the batteries or caps.

My question: is it normal for the speakers on this to be stupid loud? Literally the lowest volume (one click above mute) is still really loud and it only gets even louder from there. This can't possibly be normal, can it?

Fresh install of Mac OS 9.2.2
Updated firmware to 4.19
Reset PRAM

I haven't tried 8.6 to see if it behaves differently and I'm not interested in installing OS X on it (unless I need to).

Thank god the Harmon Kardon speakers on this iMac are in great shape because it's audio is really loud. Like living room filling loud.



Well-known member
My MDD is similar, at least for the boot chime. That tiny speaker making that much noise? I have a slot load Graphite 700MHz and it is not very loud at all. I suspect some cap or resistor is having an issue. If you increase the volume, does it distort?


No. That's the weird thing. It just gets louder and louder while staying clean and undistorted.

You could fill a nice size room with audio from this thing. I just wish there was a couple notches of lower audio volume. I keep it on the lowest notch before Mute and it's still louder than I would like.

Thinking this might be some weird OS 9.2.2 thing, I installed 8.6 just now to see how it behaved.

Exactly the same.


Active member
the speakers in the Slot-load iMacs oftentimes need to be replaced because the cone gets brittle and disintegrates. So I suspect that yours were replaced with much newer ones that require far less power to drive, thus making them much louder at lower volumes.