My kids like the retro 60's and 70's stuff - Harmon Kardon,Fisher, Scott & Kenwood - All the lights and dials. AND Jane's Addiction will sound better than you may imagine on that old stuff! They're (the gear not the kids) inexpensive at your local garage sale and who cares if they get broken. A 16 yo should know what they like. Best if you let them make the choice....Good Luck
We have a Reference 100 system that we use in the kitchen. It is a very nice little system. We live in Northwest Indiana and can get most all of the Chicago and surrounding suburb radio stations on the tuner. The CD player does a real nice jobas well. We are very happy with the build and sound quality of this system. It beats the living crap out of the WaveRadio, I've listened to both. You will not be disappointed with your purchase. BTW, spend $10 and get better speaker cables. Good Luck, :~) Doug
A friend has the integrated it's pretty good. Lucky 16 yr. old ! I would look into the Swans powered monitors at av123.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Which sound amazing for $299 and very fexible use with portable cd , dvd player or uhhg even a computer. The speakers that go along with all the other mini systems are crap. The little Denon with the mission speakers is the best of the lot. Have Fun
If you want cool check out Nakamichi Soundspace 8 that goes for about $1100. It has a subwoofer with satellite tweeters and a cd changer that holds 5 cd's. It is the coolest looking thing around and sure to appeal to a teenager.
Tell them to buy their own stuff, they will apprecite it much more :D. trust me i know,..im am around that age and have worked for a just over 2 grand system. Still going up of course. If they are really interested in the hobby, i would consider something like that, but if he/she only cares about something that will play music im sure anything with a remote and a cdp will do, and just think thats just that much more you can spend. :D
I'm slowly assembling a system for my 11 year old daughter. A friend that owns a pawn shop acquired a NM Dynaco 70 and a Denon CD Player which he sold to me for $140.00. I have a custom built passive and an old tube Harmon Kardon tuner that aren't in use and bought a ART Di/O which is getting the complete set of mods for $130.00. Another friend has a pair of Vandersteen 1's that he isn't using and has considered selling them to somewhat complete the system.
It won't be the best sound, but I'm sure that she'll enjoy it, and it should bring years of service.
wino: reason it's "dropping like a rock" (just a guess) is nobody seems to have a yen for it. -cfb
While you didn't state if your 16 yr old is male or female, you might want to include a subscription to AudioXpress with the system. I think that male's would find it more interesting, but you never know. It is a mag that is based on upgrades / modifications / speaker building / tubes / DIY projects, etc... all things that a newcomer at that age would REALLY dig. After all, didn't you dream about building the "baddest" speakers in the world at that age ? This will tell them how and do it step by step. Sean
Put together a system for my son for his 11th b'day and he loves it. Pioneer PD M650 6-disc CD player, Carver HR752 receiver (remote), NAD 6050C tape deck, B&W DM302 speakers, wall-mounted swivel speaker supports. Interconnect is Monster, speaker wire is 10 gauge stuff I had lying around. Total cost of everything was around $400 and sounds pretty good all things considered. Knowing him, he'll swap stuff and tweak as he goes along. The apple never falls far from the tree....
I think Winoguy may be talking about the Reference 500 series, which the UK buff mags said was pretty good, competitive at its price point. Doesn't really appeal to the audiophile market, but to those who want "good sound" (pleasant and tuneful without worrying too much about fidelity). The price is coming down, I'd guess, because TEAC is coming out with a new model.
Doug is talking about the Reference 100 mini-system, about $169 at Costco, and very good for a kitchen or bedroom system. I bought one for my 11 year old. Even better, my father in law has one to which I hooked up old Monitor Audio md300 large bookshelf speakers, and it sounds great. Very deep and wide soundstage, fair imaging and smooth frequency response. Not the last word in detail, but a killer for $169 plus the value of the surplus speakers.
If you want it simple and good sounding...
The NAD L40, B-stock from Q-Audio in Cambridge MA, for about 250, a pair of the small Paradigm speakers or any similar small speaker and decent wire, and you have excellent sound, remote, cd & tuner all for around 400.
If you want to be really cool, have the speakers be gallo micros or blueroom minipods
Last year, I bought the TEAC Reference PD-H300 CD player to use in my office, and I've been quite pleased with it. Subsequently, I recommended the "300" Reference series of components to my company's Buyer, who had been asked to assemble a decent but inexpensive system for use in our company lunchroom. The Reference 3-disk CD player and integrated amp (50 wpc, as I recall) that she bought for the lunchroom system has performed just fine (the speakers in this system are an old pair of B&W DM602's that I donated). Based on these experiences, I bought a TEAC Reference system for my wife's office: the same CD player I have in my office, plus the 30-wpc integrated amp, and the tuner. My wife has a fairly critical ear, and has been very happy with the system (which includes a pair of Snell monitors).
The one caveat I'd give you is to buy the 50-wpc integrated amp (unless you intend to buy the receiver), AND get some fairly efficient speakers (I'm using a pair of Krix Equinox speakers, which are rated about 90db efficient). Kids tend to listen to music at fairly high volume levels, and this can lead to clipping and distortion which can burn out the speaker (usually the tweeter). Buying the higher output power amp, and combining it with more efficient speakers, may avoid this problem. Do caution your teenager, however, that this system is NOT intended to be played at public address system levels.
READ THIS DAD!USED 2 chanel reciever unless he wants surround sound in his college dorm room than I sugest a Yamaha RXV420 ($300) with a single play DVD (less repair worries).If he/she wants a carousel player $200 gets a Onkyo Integra w/3 year warranty.At the hifi shop where I woprk we've had one going 6 years straight.Then what ever speakers the budget affords.If it's a college drom hard to beat the single play Denon DM30-S($450) that comes with mission speakers.Is way compact with full features like alarm,two sets of tape inputs/outs,optical out and a sub out.Throw a compact Yamaha $160 sub and it's compact and rocks in a very refined way.If it's a she if she see's it she'll want it-you hear it you'll want it for her.Hell i can sell it to you as I have an extra in my house if I've made my case.Seriously it's great for dorms!
I would recoment a Pioner sx-750 or luxman receiver or OLD Marantz some can be had for a hundred or so and they have great phono section,and great tuners ! add a cd , TT and a pair of ADS 710's and you will have a mini audiophile system . The cheap new stuff has no guts ! The teac will be in somesones yard sale for $ 20.00
I appreciate all of your responses, but as it is going to be a Christmas present, I dont really want to go the used route. Did you like used presents for Christmas when you were a kid? Did'nt think so. I really appreciate the responses pertaining to Teac , asthat was the purpose of this thread. Again thanks, especially you SD.