I always loved the KEF 105 Series. 105.2s or 105.4s are marvelous speakers. And, they are heavy, sit low to the ground, and are on casters. It would be virtually impossible for the kids to knock these over.
The fact that they sound *sublime* is icing on the cake...
KEF 105.2 - $650
KEF 105.4 - $750
Such a deal!!
I am very happy with my Tannoy Turnberry SE. The Prestige series dual concentrics produce a unique and very realistic tone and timbre that I've not heard matched by any other speakers, period, along with fantastic coherence and a huge, deep sound. I highly recommend an audition if you have a dealer in your area. Just make sure the set you listen to are fully broken-in. There is a world of difference in imaging before and after.
I think Tannoys would be an interesting match with your amp.
IMHO, Tannoy is the only speaker to buy in any price range. Look at the new Definition DC8T, for instance. Or better yet, look for a used pair of 215 DMT II professional studio final playback monitors.
Why do you feel that the Alto Utopias can't be around your kids? They weigh 167 lbs. each and would be very hard to tip. They are also tall enough that smaller kids wouldn't be able to reach the tweeters to poke dents in them (though that changes quickly enough).
Back when my first kid was born (1987) I bought a pair of speakers pretty well suited to toddlers and young kids: ADS L1090 columns. They were sealed enclosures, so there was no tempting port to stuff toys in, the midrange and tweeter were flexible domes, and the grills--difficult for little fingers to remove--were perforated metal, completely protecting the drivers behind. The columns had a narrow footprint, but I got the optional plinth bases to widen the stance, and these days you can get outriggers for nearly anything.
I'm not actually advocating for ADS speakers, though a pair of M12s or M15s might work for you. My point is that if you want speakers that are safe against little kids, they should be difficult to tip, not have ports visible and accessible, and the drivers need to be protected by something better than stretchy cloth.
Thanks all for the recommendations so far. Looking forward to more, if anyone has them.
Johnnyb53, my third daughter, that is just now turning 3, has poked the tweeters three (yes, three) times and I'm not sure she'd had enough... my fourth, a son, is now 6 months old and I'm not tempted to test if he takes after his sister or chooses to let the tweeters alone.
The issue with poked tweeters is not just their substantial cost but also the hassle it takes to fix them.
I'm also not looking forward to day when I walk into the living room and there's a smiley face drawn on both mediums.
You need to find something with hard-to-remove perforated metal grilles. That's what's great about many ADS loudspeakers including the M12s and M15s, but they're long out of production and it could get problematic if you do have to replace the tweeters.
I know there are current production speakers with perforated metal driver protectors, but don't know who they are offhand.
I don't have much to contribute on your question. I was just happy to see someone else that owned Celestion Ditton 66 speakers. I still have mine in use at our summer home.
Best of luck in your search.
I had a pair of Brines Acoustics speakers with a metal grill that strike me as pretty kid friendly; in fact, I sold then to a friend with young kids, who loves them.
They were a good sized tower that would be hard to tip, but not so heavy as to cause fatalities if they did. The build quality was nice, but not fussy; not the sort of finish where you freak if anyone touches it. My model had big ports -- I'd not thought of the port filling issue before -- but big enough that an adult hand could fish out toys.
I'd rate them pretty highly for kid-safe, and a pair built to your specs with this in mind would likely be 2-2.5k.
They sound very good (I didn't notice a difference with the metal grills on/off) -- and Bob Brines describes some of his models as having "vintage" sound, but they are single driver designs, which have strong pluses and minuses. (Mine went pretty deep; interestingly, my complaint was about a regions higher up.) But since it sounds like you are thinking of these as interim speakers, you could have fun in single driver land for a few years, and then move on if so inclined.
In short, recommended; definitely worth it to contact Bob Brines, who is a helpful guy. There's also a couple of users here, I think, if you scout systems.
Let us know how it turns out!
How about something from Martin Logan? IIRC the woofers are in sealed enclosures and the electrostatic panels are covered by perforated steel grills. Plus you can get some seriously high resolution high end sound from them.
with your Jadis: DeVORE FIDELITY Gibbon The Nines (IMO).
Check out the avantgarde uno's. High's and midrange are excellent. Bass is awesome.
Well, little kids might not be able to poke dents in the horn drivers, but they
could easily use them to store dolls and stuffed animals.
I just thought of another alternative. It's a bit of a paradigm shift from your
Alto Utopias, but you can get a brand new warranteed pair of Mirage OMD-
28s from Vanns.com for as little as $2600/pair. These were originally
$7500/pair and considered a bit of a bargain at that price.TAS reviewer
Chris Marten (seearch www.avguide.com) liked them so much he bought the
review pair and made them his reference. They easily reach down into the
20s, and they energize the room in a way that makes the entire listening area
When I went to Mirage bipolars in 1996, it was because with young kids I
could no longer sit in the sweet spot for any length of time; I was always up
and down for something. The Mirages maintained the same tonal balance
whether I was sitting down or getting one of the kids a snack or drink. I didn't
lose the soundstage when a dog walked in front of a speaker. The Mirage
grills over the mid/tweet assembly are perforated metal, held in place by
magnets, and they are very difficult for kids to remove. The speaker is ported,
but the port is not accessible to curious little hands--it fires downward into a
narrow space supported by a plinth.
These would give you a big very natural, room-filling sound, good
transparency with drivers made of light, stiff materials, and a very pleasant
presentation for not a lot of money. Even includes free shipping, a return
period, and the full factory warranty. I have had the OMD-28's little brother,
the OMD-15 for 4 years and like them *a lot*. Very easy to live with, yet
detailed enough to be able to draw you deep into the music.
Thanks again for the many interesting comments. I'm looking into them all carefully.
One important point I didn't mention was that my poor self lives in Paris (France, not Texas) and a few of the speakers you mentioned are US manufactured with no representation on this side of the pond which makes it more difficult to own namely from service perspective but not only (reselling, cost including shipment and taxes, etc).
It would make more sense to either stick with one of the European manufacturers or any larger distributed non-European brand (Verity, Rockport, ML, JBL, Avalon, etc).
Thanks again for your help and regards from a sunny Paris.