Suggestions for mini-system -- 300-400

My Dad and his wife are going to purchase a mini system for themselves for their living room, he mentioned he wanted to spend about $300-400, (maybe I can push to $500). Suggestions? If not, I will be forced to recommend the Bose Wave Radio!

I would assume they would like to be able to play CD, tuner, maybe cassette; an AUX input would be nice.
I just bought a Denon M30 Minisystem from for $309. MSRP is $449. The M30 consists of a Denon single disk cdp/tuner paired with Mission speakers. I bought it as a supplementary system for my wife to use in a relatively small family room. My primary system is made up of Stereophile "B" components and I find the Denon is fine for that application. Stereophile Magazine quotes, " a remarkably compact, consistently fluent system that won't chafe your audiophile sensiblilties" in the April 2001 recommended components issue.

This is easy. DMC Electronics offers on this site an NAD L-40 factory reconditioned unit for $360. I own one. Paired with some used Paradigm Atoms or something similar this will rock. Lovan offers some 24" stands found online for $55.

The Denon system mentioned is very decent for the money, but this will smoke it. Good luck.
The nakamichi Sound Space 5 is pretty good and can be had on ebay and maybe ubid for around 500.00. It sounds pretty good and looks great.
The TEAC Reference 100 system is very good. Better still, it's available at Costco/Price Club with a diferent model number (MD90 or something like that) for under $200. You can add a sub, or replace the speakers with something larger and efficent. I bought one for my father-in-law and hooked up a pair of old Monitor Audio 300md's (big 2 way bookshelf speaker rated D, borderline C by JA in the late 80's). The sound is great, smooth, enough detail to satisfy a music lover (as opposed to an audiophile hobbiest), and nice soundstaging with classical music. Decent tuner too.
I took my Dad to the stereo shop, he hasn't a clue what he or she wants! There was a little Denon with Mission speakers for $699. For that price I could buy him a set of bookshelves and a receiver and cheapo CD player. It wouldn't be as small, but I don't think they will care.

At any rate, I don't know what they will do; he may just turn her lose at Sam's Club or something! I am probably just wasting everyone's time here.

For his birthday, I gave my 7 year old a Sony mini system..
a CT-CP100. It was 259.00 and even though I am spoiled by
the high-end systems I have had...this little guy is easy
on the eye/ear/budget. Sonically there may be better..but
for casual listening it is quite acceptable. I am a real
estate agent, and was doing an open-house at a very large,
open new-construction I took this little guy to
play some Jazz and X-mas music..and it did a good job in
filling a very large area(again, for non-critical background
Cambridge Sound Works Model 88CD. Outstanding value for $300. Please see link below:
Brian, In case you are still looking, Buy a YAMAHA Piano craft micro system (CRX-E150 cd/tuner/amp unit with NX-E150 piano finish speakers) and be happy ever after again. Add YAMAHA amplified subwoofer to add low punch, just keep low freq cut-off at 60 hz at 8'oclock volume and system performs likeaudiophile system. All the qualities (almost) that makes a system musical. All three cost me $ 500 at the good guys. I had no intention of buying a mini system last few weeks. I was shopping for a boom box for my daughter. And of course being an audiophil, wanted to check out some systems. The Denon with Mission speakers, Nakamichi sound space 8 and their new mini system and this Yamaha system. I loved it so much compared to 'high' priced Denon, that I bought it today, hooked it up using my spare pair of Dunlavy speaker cables ($400.00/pair!!!Although you could probably use haeavy gage cable from Radioshack and would get good perfomance) and Radio shack 'gold cable for the Yamaha Subwoofer,and got system that pleasantly surprised the hell out of me. wie sound stage, very good imaging including decent depth. Great authority, very good tonal balance, very fast and firm bass and great tuner section to boot. Folks run and get this one if you have extra 400-500 laying around, you won't regret it. By the way needless to say that this easily beat the Denon's Mission equipped system ($799) and another of Yamaha's multi cd system ( $600-700;don't know the model number). Both sounded boxy as compared to this one. Just to certify my position: My main system consists of Dunlavy V's driven by all Classe electronics and sounds great!
I think since it's Christmas Eve, and given Brian's last post, the subject is moot. But, I was out shopping for a bedroom mini-system and maybe a desk top system as gifts and ran across the Denon and Yamaha mentioned above. Both are good recommendations, especially if you can find them online at a discount. Even at the $400 price point there are enough differences to make a meaningful choice. The Denon/Mission seemed to have more bass, the Yamaha clearer top end with more detail and maybe better soundstaging. A music lover could be happy with either. Lots of detail, depth, width, decent imaging, enough bass for most people. Both systems have better speakers than the TEAC I mentioned above.

I like the looks of the Denon and the feel of the Yamaha.

In the end, I bought two more TEACS, even though I think the Yamaha or the Denon might be marginally "better." The cost was less than half and for the intended applications I think the TEAC is fine.

I was put off by the Good Guys and Best Buy charging suggested retail prices. And even more annoyed with the Good Guys salesmen's persistent (and consistent among several at different times of day) recommendation of the Yamaha as having "better sound." I assume, and this is only my opinion and is not intended as an assertion of fact, that their motivation to push the Yamaha reflects a spiff they get from the manufacturer or distributor. The Denon is very good and I think some people might prefer it.

I keep thinking of that earier thread that asked why arent more people interested in high end sound? With little $400 minisystems that sound this good, I wonder why so many peope are interested in high end sound.