child-free environment?

Quick poll: who here on Agon has kids under 10 years old in the house? And of those, who lets their kids listen to their audio system (supervised or unsupervised)? Anser "kids yes / no" and "listen yes / no / N/A"

Everyone selling gear on Agon tends to advertise that the gear was kept in a smoke-free, pet-free, and child-free. environment. I understand it's important to assure the buyer that the amp doesn't wreak of smoke, the speaker grilles haven't been used to sharpen cat claws, and the speaker cones aren't trashed by the exploring fingers of a toddler. But if it's about the music, rather than the equipment, then who wouldn't want to share it with those they love the most? And who wouldn't want to raise their kids to understand the value of good sound and a respect for precision equipment? But that's just my bias. My 4 year old twins love dancing to Gordon Goodwin and my 2 month old twins find Nina Simone's voice more soothing than mine. Looking forward to seeing some poll data!
child free usually means their little fingers haven't poked around pushing in speaker drivers, tossing tubes and brushing their little fingers across the tip of a cartridge.I can't really see them doing to much damage to a krell amp...unless they spill their pablum on top.
Yes and yes. As a matter of fact, I specifically purchased a second system to encourage family use in the main room of our house, and it is an exposed tube amp, which is more complicated than my main system. Children are people and learn through respect. They know not to touch cones and tubes, and know how to adjust volume and insert a cd. Mine learned at the age of 3. Probably would need to be a bit older to have the motor skills for a turntable, but I won't have a problem when those skills develop. Great way to teach life skills and classical music. I am always in wonder at the number of people I see posting a downsizing because of new kids in the house. Send 'em to a Montessori preschool and watch them learn similar life skills.
I dont have kids so No and No

Im 26 and youll notice my generation just isnt into it.
A big part is after researching audio history you have great names from the past like Fisher, Infinity, Etc. that made great gear and then sold out.

My generation came after the 80's (I dont believe there were more than a handful of good cars built in the 80's if that) And didnt really get that HIFI was real (Its all hype besides having 2 12's in your trunk and 1K watts)

My point being I have come to love music and audio all because my dad was really into HIFI and sadly his health dictated how many shows he could go to and I was raised with a love of music and an appreciation for live music. I remember him telling me when i was 8 that I was playing it loud enough to make my rural neighbors living 200+ yards away complain (LOL) great way to make a kid stop.

Anyway I will never forget that Conrad Johnson PV-11 on the mantle, speakers I dont remember but man i remember the joy of turning that dial and hearing it go up like it was yesterday as i jumped everywhere around and on the couch JUST ROCKING OUT LIKE NO OTHER to Pink Floyds Money and Paul Simons You can call me Al.

That brought such a smile to my face remembering that. These days HIFI is our main conversation piece which is similiar to the music we listen too. He went low power SET Amps for classical and jazz mostly (One day hell learn the awesomeness of the mighty zep) While I love Older rock, Hip-hop, Rap, Especially 90s rock like soundgarden and alice in chains. But I like everything except the lounge singer type stuff.

Case in point, What good is it if only your enjoying your system, If you work that hard your children should be able to share in your Joy AKA Audio Nirvana
On a side note I have a dog and used to have an apartment, I trained that dog to never go near the cables, One day she was super excited playing fetch on my steps which is near the stereo, The ball landed next to a random cable 2 feet away from my rig and wouldnt come close to it without me getting the ball

Child/Pet Free meens nothing its all in the quality of the parent/pet owner.

But let your kids play with the system I have been smiling for 5 min. remembering that, Also rocking out to collective soul in 93-94 when i was 9 or 10 hearing a rock radio station for the first time

And remember you can put together a pretty decent SS system for less than 1K with enough power and to keep you and the kids safe if your rigs too fancy
Yes, they've pushed in dust caps. No, they never touched a hot tube (I always stressed how hot they are). Yes, they love classical and I have music all over the house. Finally, yes I am paranoid about them in the theater room with friends unsupervised. All I need is a mono block amp knocked off a stand but I have faith...they are little versions of me after all :-)
My kid is approx. -5 months old so there is minimal risk of damage resulting from him. The 160 lb rottweiler walk by one of the main speakers and only on a rare occasion will even get close. He's never really showed any interest in anything in the house and hasn't damaged anything so far. He was sick a while back and managed to puke near the couch, but thankfully it went under and didn't get on anything but the laminate floor. So far so good, but well see what happens in a few months.
Yes and Yes.
Taught my daughter how to use the system. Want her to have an appreciation of how good music can sound over her ipod and tabletop radio. She'll even use it for a movie.

Yes I have kids, and yes, one of them can use my system. My wife on the other hand turns plays music on the computer or DirecTV over the TV speakers because she tired of my ever changing configurations. My 11 year old son has an incredible knack for technology, and he is permitted to use my system, and is as careful as I am if not moreson. My 9 year old daughter doesn't care to learn, but knows how to mute.
You guys are speaking my language. Of course there's a selection bias determining who reads (and responds to) this post, but it warms my heart to see that no one yet has replied "yes" to kids and "no" they aren't allowed to use it. Corazon, you bring up an excellent point. While the healthcare experts and the media are worried about the high volumes achievable with an iPod and earbud headphones, what worries ME is the conditioning of our youth into valuing only the QUANTITY of music they command, not the QUALITY of the listening experience
No and no in my house. But the grandsons come over fairly regular. The oldest (15) finds his way into my listening room at some point if things get hectic. He'll generally listen to his ipod unless I come in and turn on the system. I wouldn't mind if he turned it on but he must be intimidated by it.
Maybe he recalls the time his little brother pushed in a tweeter. I jumped up and yelled so loud it scared the crap out of him. Most definitely an over reaction on my part and although I apologized for it none of them touched the stereo again. At least not when I was around.
No and no, but it would be yes and yes.

I remember 20 years ago a friends spoiled kid throwing a GI Joe through the dust covers of my Quads when told that he was not allowed in the "nook" off of the living area of that home. As it is, if I am ever blessed with children I will gladly allow them to use it as my father did with me. His love for music and the appreciation of it reproduced well is why I am in this hobby in the first place. I would be honored to bestow that upon a child, even if it meant the inevitable damage that occurs with kids and pets. The funny part is, now that he is older, I am the administrator of his system, and I fear the damage he will do.
4est- loved your post....
Yes and Yes… We’ve got five granddaughters between the ages of 2 and 7… and a big black dog. When they were too young to understand, we simply fenced off the equipment. They learned to respect the equipment and other fine art as “breakable”, which was the magic word that cautioned them to “look but not touch”. Our dog vicariously learned to respect the equipment because whenever one of her soft cotton toys lands too close to the equipment, she makes me retrieve it.

You’re a lucky guy with two sets of twins. Our granddaughter twins stand in front of the speakers, one on the right and the other on the left, to listen to the music.
nd Yes... We've got five granddaughters
My kids are fully grown (27, 25) and moved out when they went away to college (never came back - except to visit). When they were growing up I had music in most every room. Formal family dinners in the dining room included music playing on the dining room system (still do). My primary music system set up in a formal living room, and the other systems were budget or old stuff. I never had a problem with the kids pushing in dust covers or tweeter domes, nor did they try to handle my vinyl/turntable. I don't recall having to give them any admonition either. When they were teens I bought them each their own bedroom system which they still have today. Their systems are cheap Best Buy setups, so they didn't inherit my passion for hifi. They're happy with their ipods . . . .

The worst damage to any of my equipment was the result of my wife using one of my speakers as a plant stand and leaving a water stain on the veneer (ever seen an Infinity Monitor speaker - they make great plant stands!).
It's great to hear how everyone relates the way they approach kids to their own childhood exposures to music and hi-fi. I grew up with one of those record players with built-in speakers, about the size of a coffin. I can remember putting the Chuck Mangione and Gordon Lightfoot records on from the time I was tall enough to lift open the lid. Getting the needle in just the right place for my favorite song. Making sure not to scratch the record. Those are some great memories. Time to go out and buy a turntable! My parents still have all the vinyl I grew up with. Any turntable recommendations to match my system (see system link).
My 2 children are now grown and 27 yo and 24 yo. My 24 year old daughter called me yesterday from Washington DC where she works and lives in a 400 sq foot apartment. Last year I gave her my old PSB Stratus Bronzes with a new Marantz integrated and a Marantz CD player. She called just to thank me again for the system and for teaching her about the beauty of listening to classical music. She was at the time listening to Bach's Goldberg Variations and Von Williams Lark Ascending and Mosaic, a Stereophile recording of a Mozart clarinet qunitet. She also uses an Ipod with rock but loves to listen to the music with real speakers. My son could care less about the music but is a movie enthusiast. One out of two allowing the music to penetrate their souls is not bad. My advice is to forget the gear and encourage the kids to listen. My children always had access to the gear. A plus for buget systems.
yes and no. My 7 year old son has no interest in listening to my system and he has been good about not touching it since he knows he's not allowed.
Yes and Yes. My kid is 18 month old and has been listening since the day he got back from the hospital.

Today he is obsesed with vinyl. We recently moved into a new home and I now have a dedicated listening room in the basement. When we are upstairs he often signal by waving his hand that I should bring him down stairs. Once in the room he runs to the TT but does not touch it (it is an SL-1200). As I lift the dust cover he presses the start stop button to get it going. I can ask him start/stop it and he gladly does. When I clean the dust from the regard he will pass me the brush.

We listen, we dance and many times he falls a sleep in his dads arm, sitting peacefully in the sweet-spot.

My biggest problem is not the gear but the vinyl. He loves to take records off the rack and pull them out of thier sleeves. He has his own records (old scratched ones) for that purpose but he still tries take others. The goods stuff is on the top shelf.

My obsession with music listening come from my father. We always had music playing in the house as I was growing up. Today I have my dad's vinyl collection (after my Mom bought a Bose Wave system Arrgh!)The vinyl is mostly in very bad shape but a few great records survived.

When I was in elementary school my Dad and I had a running gag. I would come home for lunch everyday, with my Dad and he would always be playing classical piano records; Bach, Chopin etc... We would joke that we had a private pianist that would play just for us.

The other day the pianist gag came-up, I told my Dad the pianist is still playing for us. My son and I that is and he is welcome to come by at anytime. Today pianist sounds better than he ever did. I hope he will continue to play for many generations to come.
I am encouraged to hear so many say they want the kids to have an appreciation of good music and good sounding music!

I think if they have good sounding tunes then they will strive to find more music they like. Broadening their horizons.


Children are different than adults. They are in the process of learning. They will make mistakes. They will test boundaries. Many children will not be diagnosed with developmental delays until after the age of two. Many children have died from pulling TV's onto themselves. Early teaching is a supervised activity. Please use caution and proper risk management protocols with those that have neither the maturity, knowledge or responsibility to consistently make proper decisions.
well said Unsound. at the end of the day, a crunched dust cap isn't that important. Some equipment (and all that electricity) on the other hand can be hi risk to little ones.
So far the posts range from "kids can't kill a krell" to "a krell could kill a kid" (paraphrasing of course). But one concept that is agreed upon unanimously is that the children are the top priority, whether from a safety or learning perspective. Unsound, as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, I couldn't agree more about the need for proper supervision in activities that pose risk of injury to children. (Are you a lawyer?) But as a dad of two sets of twins under 5, I would rather expose my children to the risks of good sound (supervised around the electricity) than the risks of ATVs and monkey bars. Nonetheless, amen to Bdgregory's "who cares about a dustcap" comment!

Keep the posts (replete with childhood anecdotes) coming!
yes a 4 yr old son. he loves jack johnson
with supervison he helps me with cleaning records on the vpi 16.5. So far he hasn't destroyed anything
i hope he continues to enjoy music