Bedroom system for my 10 year old son

We're re-doing our 10 yr old son's bedroom. He's really into music, listens either to his iPod or the family computer in the den. My wife says we should add a stereo for him. I've got a pair of NHT Super Zero's sitting unused that I can throw in there. What I need is either an integrated amp or receiver. I prefer something in the sub $200 range, preferably with a headphone jack. Because he doesn't have much shelf space, the smaller the footprint the better.

Any recommendation for something that would work with the NHT's? Would I be better off spending a couple hundreds of bucks on a shelf system?

Thanks in advance.
Ag insider logo xs@2xecruz
I would guess mostly his iPod. He could potentially burn some cd's, but it's easier just to make playlists for the iPod. Files are all full size.
How about the Nu Force iCon?

It has a USB DAC, as well as stereo and minijack in, is TINY and costs ~$200.

This thing is super cool and the tiniest amp you can likely buy!
Kids like bass. I'd add a sub so he doesn't blow the speakers. Also, don't skimp on wattage: 1 watt of distortion can do more damage than 100 clean watts.
If he is really into music get him lessons. That would be the best thing you could ever do.
the older (90s era) integra integrateds or a garden variety rotel would be a good match for the nhts and make for a nice system for your son
NHTs are great but need some current. Older NAD or Rotel integrated will push them.
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.

Good luck
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.
"12 X 12", you might want to stick with headphones, or at the very least limited bass (not typically the kind of sound kids go for).
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.
Buconero117, your post brought back many fond memories of listening to my music via Koss headphones when I was a young lad. I know Mom and Dad appreciated them !! Ecruz, if you go with headphones, explain to the little man about excessive volume and hearing loss.
We had the headphone volume conversation (and continue to reiterate it), since he first got the iPod.

He's very excited to have a stereo with speakers. We may regret it, but we're going to let him have speakers.
Ecruz, That being said, maybe a pair of the small Paradigm or PSB monitors will fill the bill. I have a pair of Paradigm Titan v2's that I have had for 10+ years that sound really good,sorry they are not for sale!!
I've got an old pair of NHT Super Zeros to put in there, just need an (cheap) integrated or receiver to go with them.
I must apoligize, I got off on speakers and you are asking about amps,my bad. Can't go wrong with used NAD or Rotel in my opinion.Plenty of inexpensive ones on the market.Add an ipod dock and there you are.
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.
Kudos to you guys that are sharing this with your son / daughter. I'm a product of it and am so glad that my dad introduced me to it. It's done wonders to my life.
I posted on another thread my daughter who will tell you she is 3 and 3/4's in age uses an NAD 7020 receiver (same version as 3020 with Tuner. She uses a playstation 1 for her cd's with speakers that are mounted in the wall. Bob