Help - Need Audiophile advice on small systems

Hey guys - I need some help - I want to give someone I know a really good Stereo system for a present. I would LIKE to give a real good quality audiophile system w/ all the latest Dolby Digital/EX /Pro Logic II/ DTS-ES/ NEO 6, DVD-Audio, SACD, DVD-RW, CD-RW, DTS-CD, VCD, MP3, multi channel surround bells and whistles, etc.

VERY Big problem - they have EXTREMELY limited space available (Very small studio/loft apartment). Due to that single fact - I need to find a quality MINI sized system.

I have never been impressed with mini or micro systems - I have never found one that came close to a full blown system. IMHO most seem to be made with the teen age rapper or gamer in mind rather than the audiophile.

Does anyone know of a really nice one they could recommend?

Looking through Bose, Cambridge, Sony, Pioneer, and B & O, just make my quest seem less likely....

Thanks for the help...

Well, can you fit a "full sized" receiver, or do your electronics have to be "mini", too? If you can fit "regular sized" electronics with smaller speakers, I think that you can fairly easily put together a quality, small system. If you must have DD, DTS, etc., then I'd go for a Rotel receiver with your favorite universal player. For speakers, I'm sure that you will have tons of recommendations, but to narrow things down, I'd go with NHT, Totem, or ProAc, depending on your price range. The NHT SB1/SB2 are very good for their size. The Totem Dreamcatcher's are tiny (and quite lovely!), and if you can fit some skinny floorstanders, Dreamcatcher center and surrounds with Arros works out very nice (a friend of mine has this). I am also a big fan of ProAc Tablette Reference 8's, and an HT system based on these would be very good, indeed.

If you are truly looking for a "stereo" system, then any of the above with a nice integrated amp & electronics would work well.

For a subwoofer, I'd try a Velodyne DD-10. Quite small, and incredibly good (especially for difficult rooms).

Hope this helps, Tom.
You forgot to mention your price range.

Check out these Teac components, they seem very nice and are certainly space-efficient:

Good luck!

Here's a better link than the previous one I posted:

Good luck!

price range?

bells & whistles are not necessarily synonymous with audiophile quality...usually just the opposite until you start spending the big bucks for the "quality" bells and whistles along with all the other audiophile quality parts used to build the component.

I'm all for sound quality over gimmicks myself...that is why I have allocated my funds for a better 2 channel system that I also use for HT. I would rather have high quality music reproduction capabilities and forgo the occasional surround effect from a movie than hear that bullet, thunderclap, etc. from behind me at the expense of the enjoyment of good 2 channel music.

A Dr. I know who has a full Krell/B&W Nautilus HT listened to the Linn system and thought it sounded pretty good for the price...which once again brings us to the first question.

budget? can get VERY VERY VERY expensive if you really are talking "audiophile" quality surround sound...just check the classifieds'll see the range.

just my 2c

I certainly would not object to spending $5 - 10K on a stereo system; I have spent 5x that on my home system and almost that again on my boat system...; To spend more than that you would have to convince me real hard...

I am not trying to get a surround sound home theatre system as a gift - just a great Audio system that could occaisionally be hooked in to a TV if they wanted. Again the problem is the small space - everything in the apartment is multi use due to space. I don't think giving them a full size component system that they have no room for would be a wise gift...

Thank you for your assistance.

For compact combined audio/2ch HT nothing beats small D'Appolito array speakers with a small quality integrated like the TAD-Cayin TA-30 and a kick ass DVD player of your choice. Basic interconnects (like VenHaus Pulsar), DIY speaker wire and a cryo'ed outlet. Take this from a former audio salesman...

You may want to check-out the Gallo line of speakers from (Anthony Gallo Acoustics). These are very small, easy to drive and maybe in a class of their own for (Micro Sized) speaker systems.

A high quality receiver will drive these speakers with ease, get one with pre-outs for all channels as your friends may move to a larger space in the future. A dedicated two-channel pre with HT pass-through could be added..and/or other amps to the system. The receiver would then function as a pre-pro with extra amps for front/rear or were needed.

Almost all (even the $100) dvd/sacd/dvd-audio players on the market will play dvd-r/dvd-rw's and anything else you throw at them. Pick the one in your price range and of course the one you think sounds best to your ear.

My suggestions are for new products only with all the latest/greatest options. Used gear may be missing some of these options so beware before you buy.

Audiophile sound + mini systen size = Musical Fidelity X-150 + X-ray. (See page 44 of the November Stereophile.) For small speakers: Gallo Nucleus Solo. There you have it: Small, simple, within budget, and sounds good. Problem solved (for a Stereo system). Given the size constraints, I'm not sure you can do HT--unless maybe you do something "built in". Maybe in-wall or on-wall speakers? For all the "bells and whistles" you describe you will probably need to get a HT receiver, if anyone makes one small enough.
Mapleshade just came out with a micro satellite system in their newest catalog. They redid the guts in the powered sub, and wiring to the pods. Check it out.
If your looking to buy all in one there are a couple of really nice micro(or mini)systems out there. Denon has 2 and yamaha also has 2 nice ones. They are not what you would call audiophile, but good all the same and for a small room like you have mentioned they are more than adaqite. 2 very nice Denon models are the df-101 and the ud-m50. 2 very nice yamaha are the mcre500 and mcre300. The yamaha systems come with speakers, I'm not sure if the Denon ones do. If they don't come equipped with the speakers they do sell nice mission ones that complement the equipment nicely. Hope this helps a little.