Music Hall or NAD both have all in one components-just add speakers.
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Don't worry about the 'brightness', he probably can't hear above 12-15k anyway, that just comes with age, unfortunately I KNOW!
I would actually suggest a single-driver speaker that is going to lean toward a wonderful mid-range, which he could probably appreciate the most, especially if your adding a sub, and take 'minimal' power. And don't forget an FM tuner if he lives somewhere with a good signal, a nice vintage piece can easily be picked up for $150, probably less.
I concur with the all-in-one recommendation (receiver w/built-in CD player) such as is available from Arcam, NAD, or Music Hall. For speakers I recommend the Mirage Omnisat v2 satellites and their Prestige S8 sub. Mirages and their subs blend exceptionally easily and well. The Mirage satellites manage to maintain depth of image even if mounted on the wall or a few inches in front of it. The sub is a little bigger than a cubic foot and is fast, clean, and extended.
But the Mirage satellites have another fuss-free factor to them: They aren't terribly picky about placement, and their in-room power response is very uniform. That means he doesn't have to find the sweet spot, won't get midrange suckout or "venitian blind" treble if he stands up. Up, down, side to side, the MIrage omni's maintain their same timbre and musical honesty. He will definitely get "that high-end sound" with them, however. Their drivers are very fast and of high quality, midrange is transparent and honest, highs are smooth, but fast and extended, and they're uniform throughout the room they're in.
At full price the Omnisat v2 Sats and Prestige S8 sub come to about $1050, so you can easily get a high quality disc/rcvr unit within the budget. Right now Crutchfield has the satellites on sale for about $400/pair w/free shipping, and the Prestige S8 sub at $549 for a total of $950.