Vandersteen's on wall speaker, the VSM-1 requires little space and although designed for HT use, would be great for your purpose.
I have a Vandersteen dialogue channel between a pair of Soundlab Ultimate Ones and continue to be amazed at it's ability to perform for HT application.http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/vandersteen_home_theater.htm
For a similar setup, I have a Yamaha MX-35 power amp connected to the second set of outputs on my McCormack preamp. The Yamaha is very small and unobtrusive, has two sets of speakers terminals and plenty of power to drive small pairs of dining room and kitchen speakers. The best feature, though, is that there are gain controls on the front of the amp, making it very easy to balance the volume of the auxiliary speakers to the mains in the living room and a speaker on-off switch on the front if you want to listen just to the main system.
It might be difficult to find that amp used but I think there were several similar Yamaha models. It could be that th only advantage over your Harmon Kardon integrated is the unobtrusive look of the Yamaha.
My experience with auxiliary kitchen and dining room speakers is that almost anything decent will do since very little critical listening gets done there and it's hard to hear over the slicing and dicing, anyway.
I simply bought the Onkyo one-box wonder (CR305tx) CD receiver, a narrow, silver clone of an NAD L-40 like product.
Comes with two quite attractive all-wood veneer two-ways, and with its 3 levels of push-button bass boost sounds shockingly good wall-mounted! Introduced at $299 list last year, now only $199! My wife couldn't be happier, and is listening to Billy Joel as I type. Funny how we trade cables that cost more than entire systems, eh?
Morel has an interesting new speaker line out called harmony. The dual driver unit might be a nice solution for you.
See review at:
Gallo offers the micro, due', and A'diva speakers. The new A'diva might work well for your application. Get them in Stainless to match the All-Clad ;)
try some Edirol active speakers:
reviews or edirol at www.ecoustics.com
Swan had some M1 active but ?? wall mount and www.av123.com may not carry them any more.
Also Tweeters etc sells an ultrasonic remote (not infr-red0 that will transmit through walls ~$85.00.
My experience suggests that Ernie, (Suburuguru,) has a good idea. I think you might like to avoid running into the other room to control what is playing. I would also suggest that you go mono, but use a pair of speakers. There can be no stereo "sweet spot" in the kitchen, unless you are just stirring soup.
The excellent Paradigm Atom is light and is ready for wall mounting. I have a pair of these, and they would be great. Anything from PSB would be great too, but they are heavier and you have to drill your own cabinet mounting holes. This will be fun. Good luck. Charlie
I have always used a radio in places with separate/isolated kitchens.
I do not use radio as a source in Hifi setups, but enjoyed listening to it while cooking (my old radio was a KLH Model 21).
People seem to like the new Tivoli radios which look similar to vintage KLH.
If you end up using extension speakers and CD as a source then pick up a relay device (for the remote control) @ Radio Shack for around $75. This will allow a basic remote control unit to operate from a different room.
Thanks, all, for the variety of ideas. Charlie, I do want to run the source from the living room, so I can wander from kitchen to DR to LR, as I often do, under the spell of the same music. Sfar's little amp sounds perfect, but if the cd/receiver unit of a microsystem had a line-in, that would also work and would provide some added flexibility. Dekay's post reminds me my Tivoli radio does have a line-in, but I am going to want more boogie-ing power than that.
Assuming I go with mid-fi amplification and something on the order of Atoms or little B&Ws, can anyone suggest what to look for in a very long interconnect?
In my prior house, I ran a second set of speaker cables from my integrated amp to the kitchen speakers, through a Niles impedance multiplier and volume control. But I'm thinking I should do it differently this time.
In my vet clinic, I use the Niles box and volume control, as you describe, for background music in the reception area and for a little company during surgery. (It would help if the phone wrang in the kitchen during the heat of battle, no?) That would work if you decided to go with the present system you already have and pipe it into the kitchen.
If you went with long interconnects, it seems to me, (and I freely admit I am not a cable freak,) I might look for something from the catalogues of the DJ type suppliers. They alway have to make long runs, (as do recording engineers in many cases.) You could check a supplier like American Musical Supply:
just crank up the volume on your main system and leave the doors between the system and kitchen opened.
That's what I've been doing for three years, and I cants stands it no more. The people sitting in the living room while I'm fixing something in the kitchen sometimes have a problem with it, too. (Who are those people, anyway?) Charlie, good idea for cable source -- thanks. Jayson