Speakers to make even Raffi sound good?


OK, so nothing out there can make Raffi sound good. (You have no clue what I’m talking abut if you aren’t a parent.) I need to do something about the system we have in our playroom. My good system (Von Schweikert/Outlaw Audio/Dac2/etc. (consistent since ’03!)) is up in the living room, but we often have music playing while my daughter plays. I can’t stand listening to it any more. That said, I’m a stay at home mom now and now exactly rolling in dough. I’ve cannibalized our two channel Dennon receiver from the bedroom (no time to hang out there any more). I also stole the CD player, just a Sony SACD changer. Actually, we’ll use her iPod quite a bit. (*gasp* never happen for my music. Compression is evil.) So, we aren’t talking the highest quality sources to begin with. That said, the Cambridge Soundworks cubes aren’t cutting it.

I’m limed by safety. This is the one totally childproofed room in the house. I can’t run long speaker wires. I need everything out of reach. So, I’m thinking bookshelf speakers. Much as I’d love to get a set of VR1s for the playroom, I can’t see spending that kind of money. The aren’t many good used deals these days.

How to make the best of this situation?
joyelyse
What is your budget? I have been in the same situation with my family room HT system. Luckily my kid's have moved past the Barney and The Wiggles phase to High School Musical and Ice Age (at least Ice Age is relatively humorous). I ended up with a pair of Polk Audio RTi25s for $140 shipped. When the center channel I used (supposedly voice matched to the 25s) was driving me crazy, I ended up buying another pair of RTi25s for $100 shipped and used one as the center. The Polks are pretty amazing for speakers in the $100-$150 range. I use a small subwoofer with them but if you can't, the RTi35s should be available for $200-$250. The Wharfedale Evo 8s or 10s are also very good small speakers available for $200-$300 used.

This is mainly a theater system but I do listen to 2 channel music a couple of times each week on it and I can't imagine being able to find better $100 speakers.
ads 300's or 310's....their fine sounding and kidproof
NHT superzeros
Acoustic Energy AE-1s

No need to go crazy here with an ipod source.
SuperZeroes are great. More bulletproof are the Rock Solids which are also for outdoor use so no grill to be messed with and will survive Silly Putty attacks and spilled Kool-Aid. Also sound decent.
there's no accounting for taste! "one light, one sun" is one of my reference CDs! just kidding, but hey, you can do a lot worse than raffi.
I'd agree with the Polk recommendation, even the smaller Polk R15's sound amazingly good at their usual discounted price of $79 and I've seen them on sale at Fry's for $49 a pair.

A truly kid-proof option that would be a step up from the cubes would be to get a pair of Radio Shack Minimus 7's off ebay and upgrade the capacitors and crossovers with the kit sold by 'litekeys', also on ebay. The all-aluminum enclosure and grills will take a beating and they do sound pretty nice after the upgrade.
Thanks all. I realize that I have been out of this so long, I'm having to look up everything. (Once I found my system, I posted for a while and then stopped. I found that it just made me want to keep upgrading, which I could ill afford to do.) So, I'm not sure what my budget should be. The speakers I'm replacing were $400 new when I bought them 5 years ago! (I can't believe I ever spent that on Cambridge Soundworks. But I used to believe that they were the best speakers.) I have the M60s, not the cubes, so I misrepresented. LOL There is no point in spending more money unless I'm going to get significantly better sound. But if I go up to $700, I can just buy my beloved VR-1s from Von Schweikert. (I can't cannibalize my surrounds, can I? No, my husband would kill me. LOL) So, it would have to be significantly under $700.

You probably aren't all that familiar with the CSW offerings. I know specs are meaningless, but here are the specs for the M60s anyway. I have them hooked up with the CSW bass cube subwoofer:

SPEAKER TYPE BOOKSHELF
ENCLOSURE TYPE BASS REFLEX
CABINET FINISH SLATE, MAHOGANY, BLONDE MAPLE
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 65Hz - 22kHz
MIN/MAX POWER 10 WATTS / 125 WATTS
SENSITIVITY 88dB
NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 8 OHMS
MAGNETICALLY SHIELDED YES
TWEETER SIZE 1"
TWEETER TYPE DOME
TWEETER FERROFLUID COOLING YES
TWEETER MATERIAL NATURAL FIBER
MID-RANGE SIZE N/A
MID-RANGE TYPE N/A
MID-RANGE FERROFLUID COOLING N/A
MID-RANGE MATERIAL N/A
WOOFER SIZE 6-1/2"
WOOFER TYPE CONE
WOOFER MATERIAL INJECTION MOLDED COPOLYMER
HI-LEVEL INPUT (SUBWOOFER) N/A
HI-LEVEL OUTPUT (SUBWOOFER) N/A
LINE-LEVEL INPUT (SUBWOOFER) N/A
SUBWOOFER DIMENSIONS N/A
CONNECTORS GOLD-PLATED BINDING POSTS
MOUNTING BRACKETS NO
DIMENSIONS 13-1/4"H x 8-1/4"W x 9-1/4"D
WEIGHT 28 LBS (PAIR)
WARRANTY 10 YRS
What about in-walls? That'd remove the cables from the picture as well.


Look, I'm not as enamored with Cambridge Soundworks as I once was, and I know price is often not a good indicator of quality (BOSE anyone? LOL) But do you really think that $49 Polks are going to sound better than $400 Cambridge Soundworks Newton Series Bookshelves?

I'm not actually worried about the speakers holding up to kid torture. I'm just explaining why bookshelves and why I'm not spending a fortune for the quality I'd get for my own system. I literally have them on the top of a bookshelf, where my daughter and her friends can't reach them. She's around my VR2s upstairs and never messes with them, but I'm always with her there. (Though she tends to climb on the subs, which has *gasp* marred their beautiful finish. We've tried to stop this but have sort of given up. Of course, now that I'm reminded what they cost by visiting VSA's website, I think I'll try harder.)

I'm not up for putting anything in the walls, though it was a good idea. My husband isn't around much these days, and I'm not putting in anything myself. Nor am I rebuilding anything. I haven't even managed to shower yet today.

So, I guess this was really a "What bookshelf can I buy w/o spending too much that will be a significant upgrade in sound quality from my M60s?" post. I probably should have just done a search for bookshelf rather than playroom. LOL

Joy
Let's re-phrase the question: can anyone recommend small spkrs that can be hung on the wall?
Still think that superzeros will fill the bill. They have an integrated ball and socket wall mount. Add a small sub and you're in business if you want full range; otherwise if you are not concerned with deepest octave you've got very nice minimonitors that can be placed out of harms way at a minimal cost. If you ever go HT, you can get 5 SZ's for about $350.0.