AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA (Pennsport, South Philly)
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Maybe look at an Onkyo 707 (last year) or Yamaha 600 series. These have pre-outs so you could add an external amplifier later (which I would do!). Emotiva has the UPA series which is an honest 125w/channel. They also have the XPA which is 200w/channel. This would most likely be the cheapest option to drive your speakers. You could also use the 707 at first, but I wouldn't do that with the Yamaha (too weak). The 700 and 800 series ARE NOT 4 ohm capable. Ultra 2 certification is needed for 4 ohm speakers. Even then, it is truly a rare AVR that can handle 4 ohms.
Ideally getting the amp with your new AVR would be fine. The Yamaha 665 can be found for $300 or less. The UPA-5 is $599 and the UPA-7 is $699. This puts you at $900 or so, but this would be a MUCH better option over an AVR that really isn't designed to drive 4 ohm speakers.
I think the major problem is your driving all 7 channels. Most mid level AVRs have horrible power with all channels driven. They can struggle with 8 ohm speakers, let alone dips below 4 ohms. If you can get a 5 channel amp and put the rest on the AVR you should be fine. The other option is a higher end AVR to get better power, but I think this is a worse option over time. The amp would last through multiple AVR upgrades, saving you money long term (Yamaha 600 series is the cheapest line with pre-outs). Upgrading wouldn't be too bad every few years to stay current.
I hope that helps. Tough when you have power pig speakers but if you explore your options it doesn't have to kill you forever.
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