These systems are still fun. Some of the Sony ones kicked ass. I brought my RCA down to my bros some years ago and we were redoing all the fascia on his house. Later that night (3-4 beers later) we started to find some good tunes. We had it sitting on the kitchen table, point-blank-at-us with the speakers as far apart as they would fit, angled in just a little. I had a bunch of SRV CDs with me and we went thru (Def Leppard) a couple bands worth of music libraries. Totally worth what I paid for it and more. It was just clean enough to not be the least bit irritable and it had enough headroom near field like that.
I thought about DIY'ng a higher end version of one of these, but there aren't many small 3-way designs in the DIY world, that I recall, and adding a sub somewhat complicates it. I suppose I could use some car speakers, perhaps.