First, you should have some door or child-proof security gate to the room.
Beyond that putting speakers on stands will make things far more dangerous for your son should they topple.
Lastly and most important is that you speak firmly/scold him anytime he's within 10 ft. of the equipment. This is more for his safety than for protecting your equipment.
When my son was an infant and toddler we used a gate and when he was in the room and got too close he was scolded firmly.
As a result I only needed to scold him a handful of times and since he was the age of 3 he became the protector of the equipment should any of his friends be in the vicinity.
My son recently turned 8 and I defy any of his friends to try to enter the room when my son is around.
Now the wife on the other hand is another story altogether and I'm open for any/all advice. :)
You've really got to keep the little tyke out of the room unless they're supervised. It's amazing the things they can do. They'll rip your turntable tonearm off (been there done that), shove "things" in the drawers of disc players oncd they learn it opens and closes by pushing buttons(been there, done that), poke fingers in speaker cone dustcaps and tweeters thereby changing them from convex to concave (been there, done that), dent and scratch speaker finishes, maybe even by chewing on the speaker corners/edges (been there, done that), pull on cables and interconnects while exploring behind the equipment rack (been there, done that), and of course use your CDs for frisbees (been there, done that). I can't even imagine what would happen to a tube amp.
I ended up putting my turntable on a wall mounted rack. I downgraded to smaller speakers (Linn Tukans...very forgiving with placement, good imaging and spectral balance)and put the speakers on wall brackets. Still, I couldn't really leave any children in the room unattended.
Now if only I can get my wife to stop banging things with the vacuum cleaner.
K-horns, used of course, are child proof, espcially if you get the ut model. attach to the corners. horns will amaze you. drivers are hidden or high enough to deny access. The other equipment should not be a problem to child proof
When my kid was young, we had/have a wood burning stove.
We disasssembled a playpen and used it as an enclosure around the stove, heat got out and he could not get his hand anywhere near. It is open and if your handy could problably be built to your needs for not to much money.
Hope this helps
I did it like Stehno, lots of children (and grand children)....worked out fine.
Children aren't stupid, a little teaching goes a long way if you start early...they pick right up on it.
My grand daughter loves to listen to my Apogees with me (she is 3 now)...she never goes near them, (she just knows...thats something we don't touch).
Still....I keep an eye on her!
Thanks for the great suggestions. I should add that I am also feeling like my family room is becoming too much an audio room. My wife has said nothing about it, but floor standing speakers want to be positioned in a certain place. In a way your room layout has to be around speaker positioning. Tubes want breathing room, etc.
I am not looking to give up because we all enjoy good music at my house. I just want to simplify a little more and not think too much about it. Step off the "merry-go-round" for a while but still have an enjoyable all around system. When I finish a room in the basement...back in action again!
You are all right about how quickly they learn not to touch, or to tell you when the baby gate is open!
klipsch heresys and cornwalls...i can't even tip them over.
We have a 2 and a half year old, and have I have adopted some unusual practices:
1. Since before he was able to walk I let him play with the equipment knobs, etc. while supervised, with the power amp off. He was scolded however, for playing with the VOLUME knob - and he now knows not to touch it. This has helped de-mystify the stuff, and he isn't nearly as interested in it as he used to be. He did like to open and close the CD drawer repeatedly, so I have an old Marantz in place that has taken the abuse without a hiccup.
My theory has been that my son is more important than my equipment. I'm not going to put him in a little pen, and I'd rather have to fix a button or replace a tube or fuse, than have to frustrate or yell at the baby.
2. I gave him his own real lp's with jackets and a turntable (actually a pretty decent old Kenwood) from the Goodwill. He also has an old beat up record brush. He loves to play with these, and before the age of 2, was "cleaning" his own records. He has a piece of Magic Eraser just like Daddy, so he "cleans" the stylus, too (which isn't really there).
I give him "new" lp's when he seems to get bored of his current collection.
3. The whole equipment rack is tethered to the wall so it can't tip over.
4. I now pick him up and let him push the start button on the turntable - one of his favorite things to do. On occasion, when have "only" a Shure v15-v in place I'll even let him drop the tonearm.
5. Speakers - Dahlquist DQ-20i's - First off - We are VERY happy with these speakers (you can find discussion of sonics by searching some of my previous posts), but we have held off upgrading the living room pair (to Usher most likely) specifically because of their natural child-proofing. They have a very strong expanded mesh structure supporting the grill cloth which my son literally bangs on occasionally with no problem. The perfect speaker for your needs!
I've listened to several more amp and speaker combinations and just can't let go of this ARC/Verity combo for now. Ordered the tube cage, and I have some grill options to sort out but I am keeping the synergistic system that I listen to for hours at a time.
Thanks for all the advice and feedback guys! I have to say that my son doesn't show any interest in the amp and points and says, "spkrr," with amazement but doesn't touch because he knows, "only daddy touches the speakers."
Hilarious! Thanks for the replies via forum and email.
how about getting some martin logan speakers (I'd think they'd be almost impossible to damage) and maybe a class d amp, which can be small and out of the way, while also remaining cool at the same time. Depends on the wife though...i suppose the ML's need space, but some women like them much better in terms of looks...
I had those plastic gate that can be infinitely configured stretched across the front of the equipment, which was 13' in lenght. I took that apart when she was about 2 and taught her not to play around the equipment, so far not one incident, she's 3 1/2 now. I also have Gallo 3.1's,a great sounding speaker, which I consider child friendly as long as the grill is in place. The grill frame is very sturdy and it seems like the fabric can be easily replaced if ripped. The system is in the family and she plays around it all day without any mishaps.
I agree with Mantisory. For some reason, Martin Logan's seem to have better WAF than wood veneer boxes of only 2/3 the size. Dunno why. The older versions like the SL3 and above/older are also difficult to damage because the grill is metal. The other solution might be Orishorns or Azurahorns with a la scala-type bass cabinet.
Real old thread but a story worth sharing. When my daughter was learning to crawl she reached out for a woofer on one of my un-grilled Wilson Audio Watt Puppies. It happened so fast. She grabbed the surround and it tore a chunk off in her hand as she pulled it. (the surrounds were in need of replacement anyway, but this is not how we like to discover these things. I "shrieked," then gently picked her up and handed her to her mother. I then left the room for several hours. I spoke to no one for 2 days. On the second day I went down into the shop and built a 2ft tall fence out of cedar and finished it in tung oil. There it remains to this day. My Daughter does not go anywhere near the Watt Puppies anymore I probably didn't even need to build the fence (she is so sensitive). A year and a half later my son was born. He LOVES all those intriguing lights on my Anthem AVM40... Plexiglass! He has just discovered that he has a good arm and he loves to throw balls. For a moment I pondered buying back my old Martin Logan SL3's, but he would just climb them. I believe we will move and I will have a dedicated listening room with a lock on the door, and I will do an in wall system for the living room. I love good sound, but I love my children so much more.
I have two boys that are now 15 and 20 years old. From the time they were babies they knew not to touch the stereo and even today they do not tamper with it. It has always been in the open. Partly why I never used a tube amp- so no risk of electrocution. In fact, the only thing ever to happen was the tv remote disappeared one day when our oldest son was around 3 years old. I finally found it in the garbage. Apparently, it was lying around somewhere and he helped clean and tidy up the house! Maybe I am just lucky to have the two best boys in the whole world.
Gallo Acoustics Reference comes with a mesh box.
Here is one for $1200: http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1287105811&/Gallo-Reference-3.0-
Saw this old thread back and thought I would update. After over three years we have had no problems (Oh no, shouldn't have said that.)
Just being firm and observant has done the trick. He can play with anything else in the house, except in the workshop, and seemed to understand at an early age that certain things are off limits.
I have learned that attention and play are invaluable for keeping kids focused and listening. It doesn't always work that way I'm sure but so far I am lucky. I'll post again after the birth of our second.
Also, never let them see the woofers. i can remember wanting to play with speakers as a child so am very cautious to keep those drivers out of sight for as long as possible.