Slingshot, I feel for you Bro. While I am not one of the married brotherhood, I have a friend with a wife and a three year old son who's gone through exactly what you're about to experience.
He started assembling a home theater system about two years ago and had to address the appearance [wife acceptance] factor and all the child safety issues. His DVD player, AV receiver and TV are all centrally located behind the doors of a large media cabinet. The cabinet has bookshelves on both sides of the TV section so he can put his two front main and center channel speakers high up, and out of reach of his little boy. His surrounds are wall mounted. The only piece exposed is the subwoofer, which his son just loves to jump up and down on.
Initially, he purchased a unit from IKEA, but returned it because build quality and sturdiness were sub par. He eventually settled on a nicer system from a department store. Something that looks more like traditional living room furniture, which rates high on the wife acceptance scale.
I realize a bookcase is not the best acoustic environment for monitors. I have mine wall mounted for home theater using Target wall brackets. If your child were able to tip over a large floor standing speaker, that could potentially be worse than knocking over monitors on stands.
You may have to sacrifice sonics for safety. Hopefully for your sake, other forum members will be able to offer better solutions than I have.
When our son was born, my wife made me sell my beloved Dynaudio Confidence 5s to get something more stable. I now had another criteria to add to my auditions: Stability. Fortunately, although a little higher priced, the Talon Khoruses fit the bill sonically and physically. The extra $$ were an easy sell once she saw how stable they were.
Slingshot, might it be time for an upgrade???
Find a way to bolt your stands to the floor (most stands should be easy to retrofit to suit this need). Speakers could be bolted or screwed to the stands, though the clay like stuff that I use (4 peas sized balls) makes it very difficult to remove the speakers from the stands (it takes a great deal of strength and twisting to remove them). I have Target (think that they are HR) stands which are filled with sand and lead and my wife has walked right into one of them without knocking it over, though with small childred I would again bolt (or screw) them to the floor. Spikes could still be used and the bolts or screws would just draw the spikes into the floor as much as is needed. I do not know how this would effect the sound, but it should still be better than other options.
My friend the father of two has a pair of speakers with all sorts dimples in his woofers. I suspect the tipping isn't the only problem your going to have in 2-3 years. Maybe wall mounting is something you should consider. On a more important note: congratulations to you and your wife on your good fortune.
Wirehead: I take it that they are not "cute" dimples.
Dekay: They ain't the cute dimples of a baby. Its a shame because they're a pair of those Rogers speakers - classics. But whenever I go over there, see them (the speakers)then him and his kids, nuff said.
Get a good stand like Atlantis Reference (4 pillar), very heavy even unfilled, then fill them with silica sand and or shot. Use the spikes. Then go to your hardware store and buy stick tack, same stuff as Audio sells but for about $2. One package usually does it. Put a small ball of the stuff on each corner of the stand then place the speaker on top and gently push down. Short of bolding it down to the floor this would be your best defense.
These are all excellent answers. I am handicapped and the second day that I had my new Dynaudio 1.3 SE's in Bird's eye maple, I backed up and knocked one off of the stand. It fell on top of the sub and only gouged a piece out of the rear fascia and dented the bottom. No speaker damage. But I was sick. How am I ever going to manage this. Well, now that I have seriously sunk the spikes into the hardwood floor and set sorbothane dots on the top of the Target HR/60 stands which are filled with sand, I have bumped them a couple of more times with no more falling. This is a real issue especially when you need your speakers to sit 3 or 4 feet away from the walls. But now even an earthquake has not toppled them.
But please note, if I thought that my little children were going to knock down my speakers, I would be much more worried about my child than any stupid speaker. I mean, isn't that the right mind of this. I would bolt them with a loading strap if I had to. ( the speakers ) And please beware of filling you speaker stands with lead if you have little children. Lead exposure is very dangerous to children. Dale
I know you may find this post perhaps a little too idealistic, but here's my two cents. Ignore at will. I had three kids in four years, all the while maintaining a pretty serious audio rig. They were taught from day one to stay away from my stuff, that was Daddy's and they were not to touch it under any circumstances. Similarly, we never removed all the knick knacks and other stuff the wife likes to keep around, we were vigilant in raising them to respect people's things. Easier said than done, I know. My kids are now 7.5, 9, 10.5 and so far, there has been no damage to anything, including themselves. Why go this route? Well, if you take yer kids to friend's houses, it's hard to expect your friends to childproof their place cuz you wanna pass a few hours there together. Long-winded diatribe on parenting I guess, but, it may be worth considering since yer first is on the way now. Congrats, kids are terrific! Jeff
Personally I think Jeffloistarca above has the best idea, but failing that...
For floorstanders look at the Triangle Antals that I think you can get for $1500 new. They're not too big, and if they meet your aesthetic tastes I'd bet they make a huge improvement in your system.
Another thought if you want to stick with monitors, go hear the Soliloquy 5.0s. I was able to do A/B comparisons with the B&Ws(which are obviously also very good speakers) and I thought they blew the CDM1se away. The other part is that the 5.0s are made to screw into their matching stands, and the stands themselves are ridiculously heavy in their own right and can be filled with sand, which would make these really tough to knock over. I think you can get the 5.0s with stands for around $1300 new. You can see them on www.solspeak.com if you want to check them out.
I agree with the guy above who said this might be the perfect opportunity to upgrade. Hey, if you're stuck with lemons why not make lemonade? Give these speakers a listen and you'll be glad your wife hip checked your monitors.
Slingshot, you echo the thoughts of what I suspect to be many expecting audiophiles. When my daughter was on the way a couple of years ago, I had already experienced the wrath of my nephew. It went something like this: Stand 6 inches from Apogee ribbon, insert index finger. Ugh.
So, with my daughter on the way, I went on the kid-proof speaker search. Now, as said above, Jeffloistarca has the right idea. Teach 'em, and teach 'em well. As I found, however, sooner or later someone else's kids will come to call. And when they do, you better be ready!
And so I found the most kid-proof speaker next to a bose all-weather...the Martin Logan. Logans, in particular the Aerius and SL3, have metal grilles in front of both the 'stat and bass driver.
Metal grilly = no touchy
Now when the neighbors come with their less than well trained offspring and poke and prod and generally destroy, I relax.
I want to thank all who have responded!! Unfortunately, 60 year old oak floors preclude any sinking or screwing with stands. The Logans were on my short list prior to this, but I am worried about stability ... any comments from ML A owners?
While Jeff's suggestion is the best (and I will fight the desire to add a long diatribe about parents that overly coddle their kids, never teach them proper boundaries, end up with little monsters and then wonder "where did we go wrong"...) (didn't fight that impulse too hard, huh?), this thread got me to thinking.
The ideas regarding heavy stands are good, but if they *are* tipped over the results could be disasterous to a small child. Same with a speaker falling off a stand. The first idea that came to mind was to suspend the speakers from the ceiling, but that has it's downfalls and really only changes the "tipping" issue to a "swinging" one. So how about this?
Would adding a safety wire (picture a length of piano wire attached to each corner of the stand that is in turn attached to a single wire fastened to the ceiling. It would only be taut enough to take out any slack. This would not only keep stands from being tipped over, if properly designed could also help keep the speakers from toppling off the stands. Sonically it would have little effect (I think) and wouldn't be too offensive from the WAF perspective. Combined with filled stands, Blue Tack, etc. this might be a reasonable solution. Just trying to be helpful.
Doug, like you I sold off my Apogee Duettas fearing some kid would ruin them. Jeez I miss those speakers. Went to Martin Logan Quest Z's and you're right, poke and prod to your heart's content. Sorry if my rambling on about child-rearing appeared pretentious to anyone. Jeff
Slingshot--don't know about the Aerius as I don't own them. However, I can say the SL3 is more stable than it's tall figure would imply. The weight is on the bottom (like many of us) so they are not easily tipped.
Maybe some Blu-Tak under the "slider" feet that come with 'Logans would help glue them to your floors. Don't know what 'tak does to oak flooring...
I bought the Acoustat Monitor III's before I was married. Had them for 18 years while my kids were growing up--they even outlasted my marriage! They were tall with a big, hot tube amp on the back side. The only problems I had was with the cats clawing the fabric and once I accidently watered the amp instead of the plant beside it. Youch! I then thought I would upgrade to the ML SL3. Yes, my teenager managed to knock that over pretty easily! Put a small gouge in the woodwork. So I'm not sure there's an easy answer here! Listen to your wife (WAF rules!), get something that will be rock solid stable or at least out of the way. Plan on living with it for a while....kids are expensive.
I do plan on my child having limits and rules ... unlike some of our friend's kids. I just need to make sure that a tumbling monitor doesn't seriously injure my kid as she chases the dog or a friend around the living room.
60 year old Oak floors? Hot Damn, You got it made! Get some thin Stainless Steel wood screws and screw'em down! Ya might want to use some small spacers but only if the finish on the floor is fairly new. When it is time to move the speakers lust unscrew them and fill in the "small holes" with Oak colored wood putty. You might have to get a couple colors to blend and match various coloring in the wood. In two or three days you will not even be able to find the holes. Even if you can find the holes, trust me no one else will. I've put down enough floors to assure you, them holes are no big deal and the safety factor makes it well worth it.
Not only Monitors my 5 1/2 yr old has had my Aerius on the floor 3 different times... I just go to another room and punch the wall... ah well
I would suggest the Vandersteen 2Ce or 2Ce Signatures with the Sound Anchor stands. These speakers sound good and the stands are tri-points which tilt them back a little, and best of all, they are are SUPER stable. There is a grill all the way around which may be useful too. In response to the ML post above, I have Martin Logan Sequel II's and they are NOT very stable, when you tilt them a lot you run the risk of knocking them over.
It's surely not an upgrade, I know Acoustat and ML I have Acoustat 2+2 for myself and I have friends with Acoustat III and other with ML SL3 and the Acoustat's owner never thought to change and the ML's owner always thought to change but he never found a pair of Acoustat, sorry to tell this but if you think your Acoustat is not good I think you don't drive them with good electronics or you don't have find the good position for placing them.
The woofer of the ML Sl3 give shit compare with a good sub
like Velodyne or other good one. Try a good fast sub with your Acoustat and you never think to change them. Put your money on electronics and keep your Acoustat, you are lucky to have a pair of this divine and indestructible speaker.
BOLT your stands to the monitors' bottoms, then GLUE the stands' bottoms to marble/granite slabs that are then coned (spiked) to the floor. Your babe will NOT knock them over!
Not sure about your wife, however...!
Good idea, Subaruguru! I owned a pair of Platinum Solos which were bolted to their sand-filled stands. Total weight of approximately 80lbs per speaker. My first child grew up with them (age 0-3) and they NEVER came close to tipping.
Teach children respect and self-control. That being said, it's also important to limit your risk of an accident - both for you AND your children.