When your wife...

My wife discovered that we need an audio system because my son is playing piano for 3 years and he needs an audio system. As long as I am unemployed I cannot afford too much.
So, my wife looking around came from a dealer with the clear idea that the best system is that one that she saw there:
Yamaha HTR-5660 Receiver for $260 and
PSB IMAGE 4T for $235.

Now, I am wondering if we can do better than this for $500. Is hard for me to believe that she went somewhere and at the first sight she came with the best system for $500.

The system it will be used for (in this order):
1. audio for TV
2. Radio listening (rock, classical, jazz)
3. DVD movies
4. auditioning DVD-audio, CDs and mp3s
5. keyboard for my son (classical piano)

So, I want to show her that an integrated amplifier and some bookshelf speakers can do better than a receiver and towers for $500.

We already have a DVD player Toshiba SD-4900 that we intend to use for playing DVD-audio, CDs and mp3s.

We live in an apartement in a building so the power is not the top priority for us. Rather quality at low and very low levels.

Anyone can help me with any advise?

Thank you very much
You might want to consider a headphone system with multiple headphone outs.
Bogdan: I am afraid for 500.00, you'd probably can't do better than what she came up with.

I bought a pair of Image 5T for my sister and they are not bad at all considering their price. The only thing I can criticize about the 5T is that they do not have the warm midrange of some of the high-end British speakers. Other than that, as far as imaging, dynamic, top-to-bottom balance, they are really good especially at their price range. Or you could buy a pair of Acoustic Energy Aegis 1 (this is the older model NOT the EVO) for about 200.00 which would give you 300 for a used integrated amp.

As for the amp, you could buy a used Nad 320BEE for about 300.00 which may bring the cost up a bit and you have to forego the AM/FM or you can save money to by decent second hand AM/FM radio later.
Just saw a pair of Acoustic Energy Aegis EVO1 for sale on Audiogon for 195 you can check it out. These are What HiFi Speakers of the Year. They may not have the bass of the 4T but IMHO have better midrange and sweeter treble. You can play these super loud without distortion. The Nad 320BEE would be a very good match as recommended by What HiFi.

This would be a perfect 500 dollar system and I doubt you'll find a better system for the price. You may have to wait for a AM/FM radio though.
Hey, for $500 maybe your wife is right. It certainly wouldn't hurt to please her and you can always upgrade later when your financial outlook improves. Any amp and monitor system you could find for $500 wouldn't exactly be a world-beater anyway...
I like the 4Ts, and at $235, I really doubt you'll do better. A used NAD C320BEE would go well with them.
Thank you very much Andy
The small Acoustic Energy Aegis sub/sat system can be found used for $250, $200 for NAD C320BEE, some cables and wowsers!!! This has got to beat the Yamaha dreck. Good luck man.
For under $500, I would definitely consider a nice bookshelf system like Aiwa with BBE sonic maximizer.
They're pretty good for the money.
Here's what I found for a friend with a $500 ( Canadian ! ) budget.

Rotel RCD 855
Harman Kardon HK630 ( 1974 )
Energy 2.1e

Cables and interconnects will bring it a tad over budget but not so much that she'll complain.
Just go for the bose radio with cd, they ar good
sounding.Try it for 30 days, you dont like it,
return it.
Bogdan- You may or may not be able to do better, but it wouldn't be by much at the price point. so...I like Plato's suggestion and keep the peace and marital harmony and make your wife look good here!..Thats the best thing for sure! Your kids's not going to care about the sweetness of the highs or the soundstage and imaging anyway! :)... just MHO Ken
I had a Yamaha receiver and really liked it. I then moved to the NAD c320Bee and like it better. I would stick with the receiver because you listed radio listening as one of your top priorities. I think the Image 4T's are a great price, you probably can't do better. All in all, I think your wife is right!!
Forget that Bose stuff. And I like some Bose stuff. For sale right now is a used NAD 314 for $175obo and Axiom 3ti speakers for $200. Much better than the Yamaha and the PSB. You'll also save $150 if you get the guy with NAD down a bit. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
Buy a pre-1980 Japanese receiver and a pair of NHT Super Ones.
You'll get power and features galore, lots of inputs and reasonably full range given your money constraints.
The only drawback is no remote.
I'm not a 100% sure but, I don't think any receiver pre 90's, maybe later had hook-ups for DVD-A. I could be wrong. The Yamaha receiver's not that bad. My brother in-law bought one and has been pretty happy with it. You might be able to do better on the speakers buying used here on A-gon, not that there's anything wrong with the PSB speaker. It's hard being an audiophile on a budget, but we've all been there. Get what you can afford, enjoy what you have, and when your situation improves, UPGRADE. :)
The suggestion about NAD 350BEE above is unbeatable and so are some of the Paradigm speakers. Both in my opinion real value for money. Above all NAD and Paradigm match very well.