AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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IMO the only way you will anything close to "audiophile sound quality" in an HT receiver is to get the Cambridge Audio 751R receiver, which runs $2700.
It has plenty of power to drive ANY speakers with no additional amplifiers required. It also has by far the best sound QUALITY of any receiver on the market IMO.
If you check out the reviews of Cambridge Audio receivers in Home Theater magazine, you will find that they also find the Cambridge sound quality superior to other receivers, so that is not just MY opinion.
For speakers, I suggest that you consider the PSB Synchrony One speakers for the front ($4200/pair), and the matching PSB Synchrony One Center speaker for $2100. A pair of Synchrony B speakers, for $2400, will complete the set.
IMO these are better speakers than you were considering, and a matched 5-speaker set. You want a matched set from the same manufacturer.
The NHT B12D subwoofer is exceptionally good, and only $700.