system for a 12 year old

I'm going to assemble my 12 year old son's first system.

OK, so he doesn't know the difference between a woofer and a tweeter. Still, there are decisions to be I request your comments and observations.

I bought a vintage yamaha CR-420 receiver for a pittance on ebay and plan to build from there. I have not received the Yamaha yet, but when I do I will either assign it direct to my son's new system or replace my vintage NAD 7020 receiver in my 2 channel a/v system and donate the NAD to my son instead.

Next, my plan is to add a pair of Klipsch RB-51 monitor series bookshelf speakers, which I've heard at BEst Buy and was very impressed with for the price. This will settle my yearning to gain exposure to a pair of horn based speakers at low cost and risk initially. I can then either dedicate the Klipsch's to my son's system with the Yamaha or NAD or replace my Triangle Titus's or Ohm L's and moved one of these to my son's system which will go in his modest sized bedroom.

Not sure which way this will pan out yet at this point, but I welcome any comments or observations.

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It sounds like a very nice system either way. The only thought I had was on your choice of spk. wires and IC's. If you do not have spk. wire already, I highly recommend QED Qudos original (White jacket) which can be found new on Ebay as well. This would work great w/the system you are putting together because the cables add warmth on the bottom end, perfect midrange and a slight reduction of treble. Perfect for the electronics and spk' choics. I'm sure you have plenty of IC's around, but do use a good quality one as this will affect the tonality of the system. Email me if you need a good inexpensive CDP. Bill

I think your assessment is on target. The interconnects will make a big difference for this, I believe at marginal cost.

I'll definitely check the QED's out and consider. I have nothing particular in mind for this in the IC department at present.

On other thing I forgot is that I'll be looking to add a very low cost (<$100) CD player for this. As it stands, I'll probably pick up something second hand at Best Buy, like a entry level Pioneer, Philips, or such. I'm open on suggestions for the CD player in this low end range as well.

I also have a nice Dual 1264 phono changer on my 2 channel A/V system that I hardly use and might put on my son's system, if I see that he is likely to be able to properly handle playing vinyl...we'll see.

As a sidenote, in putting this system together, it works out nice for me as a way to scratch the itch I've had (see related thread) for sampling the horn loaded speaker experience. In researching, I've heard some enticing things about Klipsch Fortes, but these would be way overkill for this experiment, so I've decided to pass on larger horns for now in favor of the smaller and newer Klipsch bookshelf designs that I am able to listen to in advance at the local Best Buy. If I end up liking living with these, using my son as the lucky guinea pig,I'll go on from there at some later date.
Setting up the system for your Son, eh?
I bet you buy your wife power tools for xmass.....
Playstation for a source? Get him headphones too. Otherwise you will be sorry you bought him klipsch. I know where you can get Sennheisers really cheap.
Yes, he is into music and asked for a stereo.

But of course I did not require much convincing to volunteer put something together...
I did a system for my son when he was about that age and it never got used...he listens strictly through the computer....then I bought a receiver that interfaced with the computer and then he started listening....the cd player and amp when into a box...times have changed.

I think your idea is a very nice one, and your son is lucky to have such a thoughtful Dad.

Larryken does have a point, and perhaps there is a way to dovetail an interest in audio with all the more contemporary multi media stuff.

Among other ideas, here is an easy way to connect a computer:

and any kid has to be able to appreciate an amp and decent speakers compared to plastic computer speakers.

As for age questions, I credit my parents for giving me my first "stereo" (an all in one unit with record changer) when I was 6 as being one of the keys to my lifelong interest in music.

It was proceeds from delivering newspapers that had me buying my first real gear when I was only 13 - a Techics receiver and Infinity speakers, leading to Hafler amps, an SME tonearm, Grado Signature and Magneplanars before I was even 15.

So I think it is a great idea and a great age and wish you the best of luck.


Thanks for the tip on the Behringer interface. I hadn't seen this particular gadget before.

My parents bought me a Sanyo integrated compact system (radio, tt, cassette, amp, speakers)which was a common entry level system back in the day ( early 70's) and I developed my love of music and appreciation of good sound from there.

It's definitely a different age now. My boy is into music and uses a shared family laptop for other interests.
This system would be for his room. I'm not sold on providing a 12 year old with a computer and internet access in his room at this point though. He said he would take me up on the offer of a "stereo system" though.

We'll see how it goes. Should be fun!
Here's an update.

The Yamaha CR-420 is cleaned up, working good, and sounds great with the Triangle Titus' in my 2nd A/V system.

I'd account for the synergy of the Yamaha with the Triangles as a result of a combination of low distortion that these vintage Yamaha units are known for combined with the re-knowned clarity and detail of the Triangles.

This system sounds the most transparent, clear and detailed at present as it ever had with either prior receivers: a Tandberg TR 2080, which sounded quite sweet in it's own right when I had it, or the NAD 7020 I called into duty to fill in for the Tandberg.

I was never really very pleased with this particular NAD in this system. The sound had a nice warmth and good dynamics, but lacked in clarity and detail, particularly at lower volumes. The Yamaha really shines at lower to moderate listening volumes which is typically how this system is used.

So it looks like the NAD 7020 is probably heading eventually into the system for my boy, whenever that comes to fruition.