What will the source be?
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Hmmm... system for a 10 yr. old.
I've got a ten year old system in my bed room.
Sony 444 es 5.1 receiver... should go for around your price point... will sure drive those NHTs... and more.
Get an X box, or PS as a source.. so he can play whatever disc, whenever.
Actually my Sony is 9, later this year, and has been used with great frequency during that time in many ways... Right now I use my Oppo 980 as one source, a laptop as another and then the cable box.
The sub is over ten years old... Velodyne, 10 inch 100wpc, w/passive 12 radiator... probably you could do way better there than mine... around $150 or so.
But definitely a sub has a lot of grin content.
Pick up a used Great American Sound (GAS) Thalia or Thoebe preamp and mate it to a GAS Son of Ampzilla power amp. Cheap enough on Ebay, fun names, and gets him into having pride of ownership and separates like the big boys. Surprisingly, this gear still cuts muster with today's gear. The meters on the amp are a hoot also.
Wow! Thanks for all the ideas.
I had thought about a sub, but the issue is space. The room is about 12 x 12, he's got a bed, a small bookcase, a desk/chair and a floor lamp. Plus one whole wall is taken up with the door and closets. I can mount the NHT's on the wall, so they're not an issue.
Keep the ideas coming.
Any system would be great, just as long as it has no speakers. The other memebers of your family will never get any 'peace & quite' once the speakers, including a sub, show up. Headphone listening, from the ipod, computer or receiver is best. Spend the money on a good pair of headphones, all will be happy. You will get to enjoy your system more.
I, too, am putting a bedroom system together for my 10 year old son who is very into music. (He plays 12 bar blues in addition to lots of the Beatles, Neil Young and blues from the 30-60's (with an special liking for Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thorton and Elmore James). I just picked up an Arcam A60 for him for $300. I wanted an integrated with a decent phono section as he is into vinyl and the Arcam has it. If your son gets into vinyl, I suggest a technics sl1210 as it is essentially bullet proof. The best CDP for the money ($25 on ebay) is the Sony Playstation 1 (Art Dudely was right). Good luck!
Buy yourself a new computer, give him your old one, and run out of it into an NAD 3020 and on to your NHTs.
He can dump everything in his ipod into the computer and he'll have a headphone jack and phono inputs if this should lead in that direction.
And you can buy yourself a new Imac. Everybody wins.