AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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After 40 years of experience with audio systems, I know one thing for sure; listening in a showroom is absolutely worthless. Different acoustics, different equipment...worthless.
You need them in your home, connected to your gear, for at least 3 days to evaluate the way they will sound. Be glad that you have no store to hear them in.
The sound of an amplifier and speakers is totally synergistic, and the acoustics of the room even more so.
You can get the speakers from an online retailer and test them for a week. But let me tell you, those are very good speakers. Hard to go wrong there. But make sure you can return them for a full refund anyway, just in case.
I have to tell you however, that the receiver you have picked out there is not going to drive those speakers well. The design of those Pioneer amplifiers is not well-suited to those speakers.
You can get a Cambridge Audio 551R receiver for $1200, and it will drive those speakers beautifully and the sound quality will be excellent.
Check out the Home Theater magazine review on it and you will see what I mean.
They rave about its superior sound quality, and rightly so!
If that is more than you want to spend, you can get the Harman-Kardon 3650 for $700, and it will also be far superior IMO to the Pioneer.
By the way; the Pioneer power ratings are way overstated and misleading; you will do well to ignore them.