You may want to check the outlaw pre/amp 950/770 combos at outlawaudio.com
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That's part of the reason I returned my Yamaha and didn't buy Onkyo. Marantz 7200, JVC DP10(my new one), I believe Sony 5, and most Denons will handle 4 ohms. I blew off the sony because of poor multi room features and an impossible remote. The Marantz sounded the worst and Denon didn't have some features that I wanted.
Integra, (the beefed up Onkyo) has a setup menu where you can select 4 or 8 ohms. I run the DTR 7.2 and love it. All the features of Onkyo with better performance. I highly recommend this receiver. I run all NHT and a friend of mine has the DTR 5.2 with NHT 2.3's and it runs with ease. Good luck.
I will say this, although I've had people tell me I was ABSOLUTELY NUTS, that it wasn't possible.
Back around '93 or '94 I ran into some money problems and needed to sell a couple amps. In the meantime, till the money problems were straightened out I used an Onkyo 2 ch. receiver to run my Apogee Stages. Never shutdown, no problems whatsoever.
I don't know about what the multichannel recievers will do today, but I'd venture a guess that they may handle some of the easier 4 ohm loads.
The switches are actually small resistors that you can move in and out of the electrical path. They may change the way your speakers sound - don't use them. It is a cheesy way to get your 4 ohm speakers look 8 ohm to your amp.
My old H-K 795i receiver can handle 4 ohm loads no problem. I am not sure about most of the new A/V receivers. Amplifier design has not moved forward much and still takes a large amount of space in the receiver. If a setereo and a 5.1 receiver are the same size and wieght - they made shortcuts somewhere - period. Look at the transformers and heatsinks.
Also, look at how they report their power ratings. On some 5 channel receivers they report the power from 2 channels only as their rating and only at one frequency. They are trying to deceive us.