As an owner of an aging Performa 6400, I like many others, am very thankful to find your site. My stock Apple 8x CD-ROM finally died last month and I finally got my act together and replaced it. I saw this as opportunity to upgrade but I really didn't want to spend too much time or money. As it turns out, I ended up going with a Sony 12x CDU415 from www.macresq.com/store (no affiliation, blah blah blah) since they bundle a CD-ROM driver AND an audio cable with the unit and I really didn't want to deal with jury rigging a front panel bezel.

I am not a computer tech by any means, but I found the following procedure to attach the audio relatively easy for anyone handy with a screwdriver and a good dose of common sense. In the end, I have a quiet, bootable, brand new 12x CD-ROM replacement drive for my 6400 that plays audio CDs all for $40 plus shipping.

As of today, MacResQ had two versions of the CDU415.
$39.99 Sony 12x CD-ROM (w/FWB CD-ROM Toolkit v3.0.2 and audio cable)
$49.99 Sony 12x CD-ROM Apple Audio (w/FWB CD-ROM Toolkit v3.0.2)

The $50 version is listed as 6400 (audio) compatible and all you do is slide the new one in place of the old one. The $40 version is not 6400 (audio) compatible, but it comes with an audio cable and that got my attention.

Since you already had instructions on how to hack an audio cable on your site, I figured I could save $10 and get the cheaper version -- as long as I was willing to do a little work. It arrived today and sure enough, included was a handy audio cable. The audio cable has different connectors on each end, one of which can only fit into the CD-ROM. This leaves the other connector -- in my case a white 4 prong female connector (call this connector A).

I was loath to cut off a perfectly good connector so I found an alternate way to connect the audio. It turns out that there is 4 conductor ribbon cable that is attached to the audio connector inside the 6400 and on the end of this ribbon cable is 4-prong female connector (call this connector B) that matched the connector A on the audio cable. So, all you have to do is to connect the two female connectors with common household items and your done.

I ended up cutting a straightened paper clip into 4 equal lengths (image1).

cutting the wire image

You will only need 3 of the 4 wires. Insert them halfway into connector A (image2).

placing wires in plug image

I lined up connector B, taking care to make sure that orientation is correct. To ensure that they are lined up correctly, just remember that the right stereo channel is the first pin (of the four pins) closest to the corner of the drive and the left stereo channel is the pin farthest from the corner of the drive. The two middle pins are ground and you only need to connect one of them. The red wire going into connector A is the right stereo channel and the white wire is the left stereo channel.

Once I inserted the paper clip wires, I pushed connector B onto the protruding wire stubs, while preventing the paper clips from pushing all the way through the back of connector A (image3).

connecting the cables image
{Note the red wires join together - Tom}

With a little bit of wrangling, you can manage this without difficulty. Once you have connector B pushed all the way onto the stubs (image4),

wrap in electric tape image

wrap both connectors with electrical tape to keep them from separating (image5).

electric tape complete image

Attach the plastic caddy from the old drive to the new drive and slide it back into the CD-ROM bay while pulling up the slack audio cable through the top of the computer to keep it from snagging. I found it helpful to fish the audio cable under the slot connector at the back of the CD-ROM bay to avoid crimping the wires (image6).

drive installed with cable image

-Tom