childproofing rear speakers

I have Snell K.5-2 rear speakers in the HT setup. They're 8.5 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 18 inches tall, and pretty heavy. Right now they're sitting on TV trays, but I need a childproof setup, as my infant is starting to crawl. Do I go with a stand that grips the speaker or one that has a very large base that the speaker sits on? Anyone with experience in this area? When I first looked a year or two ago, I didn't find any stands with grips that fit speakers this large. Any help/advice is appreciated. -Dave
I'm assuming there's no back wall these are near? If so you can find the stud in the walls, you can mount them. Even if you can't find the stud - I imagine these aren't more than 40lbs or so?

I've seen ceiling mounts, but they're not attractive.
Kids will harm more than you think. They pull off grills, claw at the grills, push in dust caps on drivers...Imagine anything a 20 pound cat can do to your speakers!

Ikea has the right idea: Their anti-topple device is a simple strap screwed to the back of a unit and screwed to the wall. If no back wall, you will have issues. I would never leave speakers on stands around kids 8 months to 2 years old.

Which do you cry more about, the damaged speaker or the kids who got nailed by the falling speaker? Darn kids...
I have three little ones all within 22 mos. of eachother, so I speak from experience on this topic. Have a pair of B&W CDM-1NTs in our family room as mains. . .here's what I did.

I bought a a pair of very heavy steel four-column stands and filled each with 100 lbs. of lead shot--net weight is now 135 lbs each (not including speakers). That pretty much takes care of the "topple" factor. Plus, it gave me the excuse to go a little OCD on mass loading.

Next, I carefully drilled into the bottoms of the speakers and installed threaded inserts. Yes, I know that this will "kill" the resale value, but I don't plan on parting with these terrific monitors. I also drilled a hole completely through the top plate of the stand--now I can insert a allen head bolt up through this hole in the top plate and into the threaded insert in the bottom of the speaker. So it's not going anwhere. And the speaker is firmly coupled to the stand (I used some Blu-Tack to protect finish of speaker and for constrained layer damping. . .uh oh, more OCD behavior. . time for meds).

Next, I bought some extra long zip ties and secured the grilles by going all the way around the perimeter of the speaker/grille at the top and bottom. . .so that took care of that. Ugly? Yes. Effective? Yes. Temporary? Yes. I made sure the smooth surface of the zip tie was up against the cabinet walls, as I didn't want to chance that those little 'teeth' on the ties would mar the finish. . .plus, I read somewhere the little teeth will tame room resonance but you have to be sure to have an odd number of them exposed. . .or maybe I just dreamed that part.

Finally, I enjoyed my speakers and waited until my kids grew up enough to no longer show an interest in them and would also listen to our gentle admonitions. Zip ties are now gone and kids are way cool about respecting the gear. Plus, they LOVE music which is the outcome I'd hoped for.
Kjweisner and Dbw1,

I have a similar, though different issue of the same sort. I have a great Dane, who indiscriminatly runs about the house some times, and frequently runs into things. She has even damaged walls in her little sprints.

While Kjweisner's ideas are OK, no disrespect Kj, but I think anything on stands CAN fall, and children only get larger. They might not topple it NOW but can soon. Check the AMA for the articles of adults toppling vending machines and dying if you doubt me. I personally have gone to floor standers for rears and recomend it to everyone. I use the same or one down in a products line and am much less worried about them falling over.

Sure, it might seem extreme, but the stands and lead shot Kj is suggesting will cost you as much as the upgrade to larger floor based speakers, and you'll end up with better sound.

My 0.02.

No disagreement about the cost of the stands/shot (did I mention the OCD?). The stand were $200, and about the same for the shot. But I got a smoking deal on these speakers ($600 vs $1200) so I was still ahead of the game, but that's not really my point.

I don't wish to sound defensive. . .Kenny's alternative is a good one, but it was recommended primarily as rebuttal on the 'demerits' of my method, so I'll offer some additional comments.

I have a separate Meridian digital theater and a separate BAT/Magneplanar 2-channel setup, both with floor standers, so I'm not an evangelist for monitors. I went this route because I already had the CDMs on hand and wanted to make use of them in the family room, where I didn't want to put a $5k speaker in harm's way.

Are floor standers less prone to getting toppled than stand mounteds? I'll enthusiastically agree, which is why I did what I did. But now, my mass loaded and bolted down setup has such a low and heavy center of gravity, they are significantly more stable than my Meridian DSP5000s (which are pretty heavy due to built-in DACs and 225 watts of amplification). And the CDM1-NTs are a fine sounding speaker regardless of box size, and worthy of a solid foundation.

I'm pretty sure that vending machines are not stand mounted, so the comparison is equally apt with any speaker. . .if enough force is applied, I'm sure you could pull that Wilson Audio MAXX, Dali Megaline, or PBN Montana WAS onto yourself and experience a literal moment of killer sound !

"You'll end up with better sound" from floor based speakers is a pretty bold statement and would certainly invite a debate of what constitutes better sound. . .is it frequency response? imaging? PRAT? soundstaging? timbral accuracy? in-room response/interaction? Clearly, every speaker is a mix/compromise of these and more. Box size (or complete lack thereof such as with 'stats and planars) is not the final arbiter of better sound. All three of my systems sound pretty different (and terrific)!

At any rate, since DBw1 already has monitors, my post was meant to respond directly to his question "Anyone with experience in this area?" Again, I don't mean to sound defensive (truly), but wanted to suggest that there's not "one true way."
These are some good ideas so far. Thanks to all. I have tried floorstanding rears in the past, and didn't like them b/c the it seemed like the sound was just going into the back of the couch (which it was). I like the idea of mounting to the rear wall, which is only a couple feet behind where they are now. Less optimal positioning, but who cares in the name of safety.

BTW, I too have a great dane! Don't worry KT, she will calm down in a year or so as all danes do. Mine used to knock the sliding glass door off the track in his laps around the house. In those days, I only had the two speakers, and they were kept right at the wall b/c of him (ick).

Are there ways to mount to the back wall that do not involve screwing into the speakers? Also, there is a radiator in one corner. How high above a radiator do you think a speaker ought to be mounted? -Dave

I in no way was trying to rile you, I agree with your ideas, though even to me my initial post didn't seem to enthusiastically reflect that, sorry. I was refferring to 'better sound' as if you go to floor standers further up the line of the same speakers you will have better bass response from the surrounds which I find is a concept most people don't seem to appreciate, I should have expanded on that to be clearer.

You are correct, he does have the monitors now and I do agree your solution is a good one, you have yourself pointed out the downsides, my option isn't without downsides either. I personally would go the floorstander route, but that is me, I have had my dog knock some speakers off the stands, granted mine aren't filled with all that shot, but I think her body height actually contacts the speakers so it might not help unless I did bolt them down, which I am not willing to do.

I used to own the Snell K.5's, you won't need to worry about the grill, it's perforated metal and pretty solidly held in place.

Kj, I run Meridian in my reference system as well, though not the full digital setup, it's amazing gear! Sorry if I seemed antagonistic, it wasn't intended, it was more a reflection of my strong beleif in full sized speakers for surrounds. I feel this is a concept sorely missing in most HT and MCA set ups.

1-I would put something on top of the radiator or under the speaker to block the heat if you are that close. Veneer will delaminate over time.
2-Velcro is a great invention. It may discolor a patch either on the rear or underneath the speaker but should be sufficient in strenth to hold a small strap. You may even be able to put it where the speaker terminals are. However, you could even tie to the speaker terminals? They are usually quite well mounted and shouldn't have any problems as long as the speaker wire isn't interferred with.
Get yourself some of the largest Niles In-walls like I have and then you don't have cables or speakers in the room, plus the extra distance behind the couch adds to the steering dynamics of movies.
Hey Kenny! Likewise. . .wan't trying to antagonize , but rather offer some clarity regaring my post. As for the Meridian gear, that stuff is simply amazing, isn't it? I have to say there's nothing I've yet heard that is as uncontrived for home theater. It doesn't sound like anything, except what it's supposed to. And I do agree that running five full range speakers, especially in the era of Dolby Digital and DTS has a lot of merit. Throw in the processing that Meridian can do on music surround, and the case grows even stronger!

DBW1, there are some mounts out there that are designed to hold small televisions that use an "arm and tray" to hold the TV. I have an old 13" tv sitting on one of these. The tray can be tilted downward and has a nice lip on the front edge to keep the tv from sliding off. You could even add a fabric strap if necessary. The nice thing about the arm is that it will hold you speaker a reasonable distance off the wall. And the tray might suffice to protect the speaker from the radiator. These can be found in most home improvement stores these days.
How did you childproof your front speakers? Just put a childproof plastic fence around them? Electrical field? :)

Seriously, would be good to know. I'm getting worried as my six month old gets bigger and stronger - those beautiful Verities are prime targets for his abuse and explorations.
My brother had the ultimate cure: He bought wall mount martin logans with metal grilles and in wall wiring. I'm still waiting for his kids to put pencils through the grill holes...
Hi Hatari:

Regarding those Verity's, just put them in the flight cases and send them to me for the next six or so years. I'll keep them in my dedicated listening room (restricted access) and make sure the drivers get daily exercise.

If that won't work for you, then I'm out of ideas! In my case, my stand mounted/child resistant CDMs are my front speakers so I didn't have a separate protocol for floorstanders.

My dedicated listening room is on a separate floor, and the gate we used to keep our twins from tumbling down the stairs also kept them away from my main system's Maggies.

I will say that while my daughter never showed much interest in my speakers, the twin boys were incessantly drawn to them--as if the driver magnets were attracting them! In reality, I think the idea that an inanimate object could emanate sound was fascinating--even today (at six years old), they will frequently put their ear up to the grill to localize the sound. But it used to be their little fingers that did the probing, so protection is definitely necessary.

I should also mention that I lost one Benz and two Clearaudios (broken cantilevers) to them, but given the choice between some repair/replacement cost and closeting the gear, I chose the risk (and cost). Now we're past that phase and my kids love music of all kinds, which was the objective I was going for. I hope their lives will be richer as a result, even if I'm a bit financially poorer for the experience.
Boys... don't care what the nurture folks say, they're definitely different by nature! My little guy changed from an angel to a rambunctious little one in two weeks. There's trouble written all over him - and I love it.

We are of the same mentality on sharing the music for sure. Pass on the love of music - it's got to be a good thing. Good thing the Verity bass unit is backward facing, that will throw him off (for a few hours).

thanks for all the ideas everyone. i will go ahead and wall mount the speakers, haven't decided whether regular shelves or one of those bracket mounts for a tv. i appreciate the help. -dave