Speaker choices to go inside a cabinet? Help

A friend wants to hide speakers in a built in cabinet. They will have a space for each speaker a reasonable distance apart to put the speakers in and get acoustically transparent (or so they say) grills to cover. They want good sound but will not permit stand alone speakers. I guess bookshelfs (sitting open in a bookshelf) might be an option. The room is moderate sized (15 x 15 high ceilings 12 feet). The amp will be a simple integrated. When they put them in we will use foam to pack them in tightly (I think this would be best). We are looking at front ported speakers. Cost is somewhere 1 to 2 thousand. Any thoughts on choices and tricks on how to improve the sound would be most welcome. Thanks.
There is only so much that you can do ... accept that up front and save yourself a lot of grief and expense. The resultant sound of essentially placing a box inside of a box can be pretty good, but it will be almost impossible to attain any of the nice to haves ... soundstaging, imaging, speakers disappearing, etc. My preference would be to go with acoustic suspension/sealed box speakers (they are designed for shelf/close to wall placement) .. though front ported speakers will work out fine and are infinitely better than rear ported speakers.

I have a similar situation in the spare bedroom that we have set-up as a TV room. The room's dimensions are (15 X 10 X 8.5) ... a decent enough room size that a 2 channel HT system works out well. The system is powered by a NAD C320BEE integrated amplifier and it drives Acoustic Research 302 speakers. These speakers are acoustic suspension/sealed box design and were acquired when Accessories4less was liquidating the AR Classic Series a few years ago (paid $250 for $1100 speakers). The speakers are set-up as follows ... horizontal placement on shelves inside of sealed back bookcases, sitting about 5 feet high. The speaker set-up looks like this: [o O] [O o]; with the tweeters on the outside. It works well enough. The sound has clarity and punch to it. The sound also just comes out at you ... toeing in is not an option.

In terms of choosing speakers, pick ones that will fill up most of the physical space that they will occupy the inside of the cabinet. I believe that you will almost have to go with horizontal speaker placement. I would not foam around the speaker cabinet and the built in cabinet, but depending on how high the interior shelf is, you may need to use door stops or something similarly angled to aim the speakers downwards a bit. You may also want to construct "screens" with the acoustically transparent fabric and attach the screens to the cabinets.

Lastly, you do not have to spend as much as you might think on speakers ... as you do not need to chase the ultimate in imaging, etc. I would take a look at the Omega Grande 6 or 8 . The Omegas are a high efficiency, one speaker, front ported affairs. One benefit of this design is that you get away from crossovers and their inherent issues. I have a pair of the Super 3's and the sound is very lively and musical ... they do a very good job of getting to the emotion of music ... Sinatra never sounded so good. I was speaking with the company president, Louis Conchos, and he felt that the Grande 6's would work pretty well with my inside cabinet placement situation (he even suggested the aiming down). Louis also manufactures the speakers once you order them, so you may have some leeway with cabinet size. Total cost would be a grand or so.

Regards, Rich