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    Disclaimer/Warning: This page is for reference information only. Performing modifications like this can void your Apple warranty, may cause damage to your computer or result in personal injury. The author and site publishers DO NOT recommend unqualified persons attempt the mods listed in this article. You assume all responsibility for any modifications you make.

How to Create a Universal Adapter from a Plaintalk Mic
by Lionel
Published 1/21/2001
[English translation sent by author for posting here]

Step by step transformation of a Plaintalk mike into an adapter for other, worthier microphones. The hardware tinkering that will mark a milestone in Macintosh history. ;-)

Until recently, Apple gave, along with its PowerMacs, Plaintalk mikes (now sold separately) which, more often than not, ended gathering dust under a shelf, a worthy tribute to their blatant lack of handiness. I shall explain the step by step procedure required to create a universal adapter from a Plaintalk microphone.

Required material list:

  • one Plaintalk microphone
  • electrical wire (.5 inch)
  • a very small cross-point screwdriver and a pair of scissors (or a swiss army knife).
  • one integrable 3.5 stereo female jack
  • one soldering iron

Materials reqd

First Step:
Remove the Plaintalk's skidproof undercover.

step 1

Take away the small screw and open the mike.

mic disassembled

Cut or solder out the metal protecting grid. Take away the microphone (it is only held by friction). Cut the two wires as close as possible to the microphone.

ckt board

Second Step:


Remove or fold tabs 4 and 5, which we will not use.

Solder your piece of wire between tabs 2 and 3 because these tabs separate left and right signals and Plaintalks are mono.
Solder the BLACK wire of the Plaintalk to tab 1 (marked GND on the electronic board).
Solder the RED wire of the Plaintalk to tab 2 or 3 whichever suits you (marked MIC on the electronic board).

jack mod/wiring

Third Step:
Well, you have done the worse part.

Make a nice, cosy, hole in the front of the Plaintalk (with the soldering iron, you can avoid the hardships I encountered with my electric handheld drill). Put the jack through the hole and screw it thight. Put the mike back together.
Done !

completed mic

Forth (and last) Step:
Test it.
I tested it with a low-end mike and with a Creative Labs (they are the same, but well the brand is everything, isn't it ?) and both worked fine. Mike specs (informational only):

    Impedance 1,4 KŻ +- 30%
    Voltage 1V-10V (standard voltage:3V)
    Consumption 350mA Max.

Cheap PC Mic

I also tested it with a standard headset which worked just as fine.

I cannot and do not guarantee it will work with every microphones, but it will definitely not work with amplified microphones, the Plaintalk already being amplified.

PS: Apple and Plaintalk are registered trademarks belonging to their respective owners (Apple in this case).

The macbidouille team [and xlr8yourmac.com] will not be held responsible for any damage resulting from the application of the preceding procedure. It works quite well for me, but I am a nimble-fingered genius, am I not? -Lionel

Other Audio Related Reviews/Articles:
See the Audio Column (bottom of current issue) for listings of reviews, opinion pieces and other Audio related articles.

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