Re: budget receiver
hers a post from htguide.com's forums.
seems like agood value suggestion
I've just got to mention the Panasonic SA-XR55 and SA-XR57 receivers, the first of which is available new for about $200. In my opinion the sound quality is very nice, the features are decent, and it was the best $230 I spent on my home theater. It doesn't intimidate my girlfriend, and with the Modula MT speakers it goes plenty loud for me.
It's operates solidly with 6 ohm loads, with no reports (that I've heard) of trouble with 4 ohms. There's a neat feature where the front L and R channels will grab an one of the unused rear channels for extra help on amplification. They call it dual-amping, and it's really just running two channels of amp in parallel to power one speaker. This allows lower impedance loads and provides more current. An added benefit of this receiver is that it uses less power, is smaller, weighs less, and produces less heat.
Some folks might scoff at the suggestion, but I tell you that it sounds darned good, and I like the thing a lot for what it cost.
Also, part of the decision of what speakers to use should come from your room. How large is your room, how far away do you listen, how loud do you like it? Where can you put the speakers- away from the wall a bit?
refs: Blunt, BassAddictJ, Pickler, Blazin_Jason, 3onDubs, jeremyzach, mexcansa, baastard