Going into the dark side.....please help

Lots of change in life and thinking about completely blow out my seperates and switch to Bose 321.

I have a 3 weeks old baby girl and have to start to plan baby proof my living room area. I have a complete full setup in my basement theater with Maggie1.6, Meridian 561 and Proceed amp and HSU VTF 3. I will keep those and use them to get my fix of hifi or mid-fi actually.

T current living room is mainly for casual TV/DVD viewing and mostly background music. I have Acurus ACT3, Green Mountain Europa, HSU VTF-2 and Classe 150 there. Nothing fancy but decent sounding. Wife complains about the look, difficulty to operate and many wires around when baby gets a bit older.

So it seems the only way out for me is to get rid of them and get an Bose 321 or somehting like that, 2.1 not 5.1, fairly modern looking, stremlined, and easy to operat, ie build in DVD. I know I have to take a big set back in terms of sound quality. But I want to ask for some help here to see if there is any alternative to the Bo$e. I normally would have researched myself but with a new born, bewteen work and diaper change and feeding, that's a complete luxury I can't afford.

I have read someone mentioned Denon S301 (discountiued) is decent and I saw Kef KIT-100 the other day in the sotre which probably is better than the Bose. The system maily be used for background music, classical/Jazz probably 90% of time and 10% for DVD view. Anyone want to chip in. Thanks for reading my long post. Regards.

Hey, rich, good luck with new baby! I don't have a suggestion hifi-wise, but your intuitions are right in my experience...children are so curious and do things you just can't imagine ahead of time. One example (not hif but electronics): when my daughter was maybe 5 she had a friend sleep over. They got up early to watch cartoons on the TV. They were nice and quiet and that was great, but when I finally got up and went to look in on them, they had a water spray bottle and were squirting at the tv screen. That of course freaked me out in terms of safety....When I calmed down enough to ask them why they did it, they said they were squirting the bad guys.....Have fun with your new daughter!
If your goal is just to simplify, you can do a lot better than that. And, I'm not talking about breaking the bank either. Have you looked at the integrateds for sale here?
give you wife exactly what she wants... DVD player plugged directly into the tv and use the TV speakers... Or buy a LCD tv with the DVD built in (Westinghouse 40").

Sell off the components and throw that money into your basement system!

Sorry... Single Guy Response
Congratulations. Nothing in life is better than children. However, their presence doesn't mean you have to lose your things. Just use common sense about what you get and how you display it. FWIW, here are a few general points.

1. No tubes. (My son is three, and I've used solid state since he was born.)
2. Forget turn tables. Ain't gonna happen.
3. Buy integrated amps. Buy them used. Integrateds are smaller, with fewer wires and knobs, and they sound damn good. Put it out of reach. Nothing sits lower than two feet.
4. Get longer speaker cables. Long enough so they can't be pulled. Better yet, hide them inside PVC pipe.
5. Use floorstander speakers or monitors with stands that are lead/sand filled, with extra weight on the feet. Keep the grills on. Use electrical tape on the binding posts.
6. Tell your girl "not to touch". It works.

I've used this system with great success. Have fun--you'll never be the same. And good luck. You've got about 10 months before things get crazy.
I had some "expensive" issues with toddlers too in regards to my equipment. But that's another story.

Since you have your main system downstairs, you can make your upstairs system your "family" system.

Here's the solution I used jsut to show that it can be done. Not that you can't do it another way.

I put my TV on a stand (duh!) with my VCR and integrated amp (or receiver if you wish) on the shelves of the stand. It was a cheap Ikea type of stand that was enclosed on all sides except the front.

I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of plexiglass, cut it and attached some glass door hinges and door pulls on it and attached the doors to the front of the TV stand. Only cost a couple of bucks for materials. I then put a childproof plastic lock, like a bicycle lock, through the handles of the door pull. The remote works fine through the doors although you do have to open them to change tapes of cd's or whatever. The back of the cabinet was also enclosed so I drilled a few holes to run the wires through. The kids can't get their hands in the back of the stand to reach the equipment if they crawl behind the TV stand. I then used wall mounted speakers out of reach of the kids. If you don't like the wires hanging from the speaker, and if you don't want to make holes in your drywall, then you can buy little plastic channels called "raceways" at a home hardware store and run the wires through them. They're designed for this application and more discrete and decor friendly than speaker cables. Another alternative is to buy a mass market home theatre package with wireless speakers. I think Panasonic make one, as well as Sony.

My only concern about the Bose is that for the same money, you can get something with much better sound quality. Pretty well every manufacturer makes a small wall speaker for this type of application, so you have lots of choices. However, If you're happy with the Bose that's fine. They hit their market very well and what you require in terms of needs is right up their alley. Your Ferrarri is in the garage...the kids get the minivan.

Want low profile, and yet quality sound? By a Bryston B-60 integrated. You can't find a bigger sound, and tighter bass response, in a more compact unit. If you kid stand on the Bryston, no big deal. Then get yourself a pair of Monitor Audio MA100 speakers, the smallest in the line way back when, with cages around the tweeters...or if you want about 40HZ, bo with the MA700s. And a simple Rotel CD player. Profile doesn't get much lower, the stuff is bullet proof, and the sound? You may be spending less time in the basement and more with your baby. All the best.
I have a two year old and four year old, both boys. Although I keep my main system locked in my office (tube amps that sit on the floor and turntable) I've always taught my kids how to "use" electronics. They know exactly which buttons to press on the TV & VCR, how to hold a CD/DVD, how to insert it and take it out, etc. Of course, there were a few "accidents" along the way but, even as young as they are now, there's no problems. Even when I'm in my office on "Dad System" my four year old helps me change tubes, turn on the amps, hands me my stylus cleaner, helps me put the clamp on the record, dry brush it off, etc. When he helps me turn on the amps, it looks like he's trying to diffuse a bomb he's so nervous: I've drilled it into his head they are HOT and DANGEROUS! He won't even go near my turntable. I think it's all about training and respect. (No beatings required.)
If you want a decent system I would choose something besides Bose. Bose is expensive for the amount of quality and connectivety they deliver. For less money you can get a very nice receiver DVD player and speakers. You could even get a reciever with a built in DVD player or CD player for a few hundred dollars.
Calbr03 states .."Nothing in life is better than children." I'd suggest grandchildren are!
I never understand these posts. I have two children but I never changed anything about my systems. I always let them grow up with the gear around at their level. My wife and I were always with them anyway.

Do you plan to leave the children alone in the room? You'll have bigger problems then the hi-fi.

Anyway, I was right. They're 16 and 18 now and have never damaged anything. Additionally, both know how to clean and cue and album properly. Plus they know how to trace the input and turn the volume knobs down when nothing sounds.

To bad my wife still gets fustrated and calls us to turn on the tv.
Music Hall Trio and Arcam Solo are awesome. All in one units with great sound and quality. These are cd only systems. You will still need a dvd player. You could go to the Arcam Solo Movie if you want dvd built in.
Both units have sub out. The arcam is almost double the price of the music hall but does have more features and power.
My issue with kids was pushing in the dust caps on my drivers. Speakers on stands don't work either. Small floorstanders with strong grills will pay off.

A cheaper solution are Rotel or NAD all in one receivers. Not as good as the 2 above but cheaper and more "junk". Big ugly complicated boxes though. The WAF on the MH and Arcam are very good!

Remember this: I spent hundreds of hours listening to classical with my kids when they couldn't sleep in the middle of the night. Now they love it! Run that by your wife...
Along with the above adice, if you do not leave the kid alone with your equipment, keep an eye on her, she will most likely grow up knowing how to act around good stereo equipment, great pre-training for her future boy friend :).
Also, after my son was born we never changed the volume level in our house, it was what he knew and he adjusted.
All kids are different but they all sooner or later adjust to the situations they are in, good, bad, and indifferent.
Good luck and much happiness.
Imin2u I do believe your experience is unusual. Kids unwatched even for a couple minutes (when they are young) can do quite a bit. Their curiosity gets the better of them. Lucky you!!!
the reasons to change the system is not enitrely just for the baby. Wife constantly complains about the looks of the system and 'complexity' of operating them.

I plan to have Music (mostly classical) on most of the time while my baby is growing. If wife doesnt' like to operate the current system cuz she thinks it's hard then I have to find alternatives which is one of those all in one system. So this way, she will be happier and acutally use it, looks nicer and the system pose less danger to the baby.

If I have to take a step back in sound quality to achieve the above, I would; Plus, I still have my full sized system downstairs.

I acutally just purchase a KEF KIT 100 so will soon list my Acurus ACT III, Classe CA 150 and Green Mountain Europa for sale on the audiogon. Thanks again for your input.


Rich, why doesn't your wife just figure out how to use your system. How difficult can it be???
Dang wives. Kids are easy in comparison :)

I'd suggest grandchildren are!

That's asking a lot of a three year old :)
For a situation like this, a pair of Mirage Omnisat v2 SATs and coordinating Omni S8 or S10 subwoofer would be about perfect. The satellites can mount on the wall, eliminating the danger of a crawling baby pulling a minimonitor off a stand and thunking her on her punky little head. The grilles are metal mesh, resistant to curious, poking fingers. The omnidirectional radiating pattern is great at filling larger living spaces from small sources. The Omnisat gets really close to being a point source. At the same time, the sound is very clear with excellent midrange.

Best of all, the parts and build quality and sound quality are great--way, way better than Bose, and generally better than similar-priced sub/sat systems. The sat enclosures are inert and shaped to avoid standing waves. Tweeter is a cloth surround titanium dome and mid/woofer is titanium vapor deposit on polypropylene with butyl surround. Handling capacity is 150 w.

Get a consumer-friendly combi player and receiver and you're there. I recommend using the high level (spkr) connections to the sub and from there out to the sats. Kimber TC-4 or TC-8 terminated in bananas should be a good match.

Separate disk player and receiver shouldn't really be more complicated than a single unit. It just requires one more AC outlet and one pair of interconnects.

I use a 2-channel Mirage Omnisat system in the music-only living room, and it's a very engaging and involving system. It energizes the room the way instruments and voices would, it's unobtrusive with good resolution. It excels on jazz and chamber music and acquits itself well with orchestral and big band music too. Voice is almost spooky-real and should work really well for TV/DVD sources.
I'd get an Arcam Solo and a couple of those small Gallos. The wife would be ecstatic, you have decent sound and minimal exposed cabling (the Gallos can be wall or high shelf mounted, and are waaaay better than anything Bose will ever make).
Lots of good advice. Rich, I don't know how much of a "simplification" you are planing on making but if cost and simplicity of operation are primary concerns I would recommend that you look at the Polk Audio I-Sonic, a sinle chasis all-in-one unit listing for $599. It has 4 speakers built into its chasis and is designed to give a semblance of stereo regardless of whether you are in front of, behind, or to the sides of the unit. It has a built in CD\DVD (decent video quality I can attest), AM/FM/XM and HD radio. Sound quality is more than acceptable, especially at its listed price. It will blow away the Pose units with their boomy one note bass. Just plop it in front of your TV, hook up the video cable ad you're ready to go. See the reviews at the TAS/TPV website (www.avguide.com).
I worried too much about getting a "child proof" system at first as I had a two year old when I started this hobby. It might just be my kid but I have always told him "not to touch my stereo!" and it has worked. I sometimes have to remind him when he is jumping and running around the rig but he is really pretty respectfull of "daddy's special stereo". YMMV but you can have it both ways with a little effort and a wife who is on the team. Let me tell you...it sure it nice to be able to listen to a nice system when everyone is asleap or gone. Believe me, you'll need the outlet.
Folks, Thanks very much for your input.

I acutally just purchased a KEF KIT 100 so will soon list my Acurus ACT III, Classe CA 150 and Green Mountain Europa for sale on the audiogon.

the reasons to change the system is not enitrely just for the baby. Wife constantly complains about the LOOKS of the system and 'complexity' of operating them.

I plan to have Music (mostly classical) on most of the time while my baby is growing. If wife doesnt' like to operate the current system cuz she thinks it's hard then I have to find alternatives which is one of those all in one system. So this way, she will be happier and acutally use it, looks nicer and the system pose less danger to the baby.

If I have to take a step back in sound quality to achieve the above, I would; Plus, I still have my full sized system downstairs.

Thanks again for your input.

Too late to get a new wife, huh? :)