Very small bookshelf speakers / system


I owe (overdue Xmas coupon) my wife a small 2-channel system for our family room, but my "audiophile tendencies" keep interfering with my choices. Ideally, a CD Receiver and pair of speakers would be perfect, but I need someone to snap me out of this funk, because she wants me to spend no more than a few hundred bucks on the whole system. By the way, no subwoofers are allowed! 8)

The system/speakers must go on a very specific shelf in the wall unit, which is only 7.5" high. Nearly all of the speakers I've found are much taller, so they would have to be laid on their sides (Tannoy Mercury F1 for example). I'm not sure what effect this would have on the sound, but I would imagine the radiation pattern is not designed around the speaker laying on its side.

I saw a Denon Micro System (DMS33 or something to that effect) that looks very nice on eBay for around $350, and the speakers are exactly 7.5" tall. I just don't want to get into a substandard pair of speakers that will need to be replaced. Most companies are fairly generic in their description of the speakers that come with their micro systems, but Denon has gone to great lengths to call out the driver technology, cabinet technology, etc. for the speakers that come with this little system.

Any advice, options, or input would be appreciated. I need to get something before next Xmas! Also, if anyone is familiar with these little Denon systems, I'd appreciate your input!

The latest Denon mini-speakers are crap, IMHO. They will have to be replaced. Maybe you could get an older system with the REAL Mission speakers.
Also there is a big improvement in sound by hooking up any mini to a CDP with the AUX input. Much better dynamics and resolution.
I like my paper cone Tang-Band W3-871s much better than the poly cone Gallos, or titanium W3-1335s.
Thanks everyone......

Has anyone had an opportunity to listen to the new JVC mini "executive" system that has the wood-cone drivers?

I thought of getting a DVD receiver and a set of speakers, but I wouldn't know what brand to consider. Jamo looks like they have a very nice home theater receiver, but I've read that folks are having major problems with them. I can't do separates, as there's simply not enough space on the shelf.