Well, since you didn't mention a budget, I'll offer what I think is probably the best two channel reciever out there. It is made by Krell, and I believe the model number is KVR-300. I think you can find them for around 2K used. New I think they are like $3540 or so.
Sorry, I do not have a budget figure in mind as I have never been able to stick to one anyway.
Krell KAV300R is what S7horton is referring to...supposedly has an excellent tuner section...never heard it though so I can't offer any advice...the other receiver that I have seen in mags is the Magnum Dynalab...if you like tubes...maybe an old mac or Fisher 400c...
Just my 2c
Oh yeah, thanks for the correction Ellery, KVR was all I could remember, but it didn't sound right to me either.
Any body own the Krell KAV 300r that I could speak to?
Not really finding all the info I want on this unit.
Please go to http://www.magnumdynalab.com/ and review their Magnum Dynalab MD-208 Receiver. Price is $2,975.
The Krell KAV 300i is the same thing as a 300r, just minus the tuner section. You find a ton current and former 300i owners.
I find this subject interesting because I really like the practicality of a good receiver. The Krell is really good and there is one on audiogon right now for about $1900. I'm sure the Magnum is good too. If you want to save some money you might consider a Denon DRA-685 or a Yamaha RX-777. These retail for about 600 or about 300 used. The Denon has a very nice amp and tuner and both units have a lot of features. The Harmon Kardon stereo receivers have good amps but have less features than the Denon and Yamaha. Rotel used to make a stereo receiver but I don't know if they still do. If you can find one they are very good and cost less than 1,ooo. If you want to consider an HT unit for future possibilities with your plasma tv take a look at the Marantz line. They perform very well in stereo and in HT and if your family wants HT in the future you wouldn't have to buy a new unit. Harmon Kardon is a possibilty here too, but I like the Marantz better. Incidentally I believe these receivers can all handle a 4 ohm load but if you have speakers which are really hard to drive you would probably want to go with the Krell, Magnum or Rotel. Hope this helps.
I used to own a Magnum MD-208. It is a good receiver, but I could never figure out why it made the ''A'' rating in Stereophiles recommended list. It has a good tuner, but the amplification system for many of the ones found used is the ''economy,'' line Celeste from Sim Audio, not even the Moon standard. I think the amp inside the newer units are made by tuner-experts Magnum now. To get a glimpse as to how it would sound - have a listen at Magnums own integrated. I'm not certain it is better than the previous ''SIM''' generation....But it is certainly an atractive package and does sound nice. It also lights up like a Christmas tree at night with all those LED's on the faceplate - that was quite a surprise to me. I think McIntosh is probably the only manufacturer that can do this in style - but hey, the 208 is still a nice unit.
No one has mentioned the NAD line of electronics so I will, NAD. If you are going to spend $2000.+ on a reciever go with a intergrated and a tuner.
I saw the current Rotel stereo receiver at a local dealer yesterday. It is the RX-1050 and retails for $800. Used it goes for 500-600. This is a nice looking unit with 100 wpc and remote. Also can power 2 sets of speakers. Just thought I'd let you know.
www.jandr.com is selling the older TEAC reference 500 receivers for $300. I like them better than Rotel because they are less bright IMHO. They are smaller than usual stereo stuff, rated for 4 ohm loads, and put out 50 watts. I also like TEAC better than Harman Kardon. H-K is more like Circuit City stuff while Teac approaches real high end sound. What Hi-Fi? gave the TEAC 5 stars.
If you choose a Krell Intergrated I would make certain it does not make your speakers come off as bright. Some who have had them experienced that artifact,but then changed to Krell dedicated amps which worked fine.
I have seen this with 2 particular speakers. One were NEAR's and the other I forget what they were.
How about a Linn Classik K which has a built in cd player and a tuner, or the Linn Movie (I think that's the name)which has a DVD player built in. This way you can use it to listen to music or watch DVDs with the family. I'm not sure whether the Linn Movie has a tuner built in or not. Both are very nice units with very, very high WAF. I put one up in our bedroom system to replace a CJ10A preamp, Magnum Dynalab FT101A, a cdp and amp. My wife just couldn't figure out how to use it all, but she LOVES the Linn Classik K. I have a pair of Quad 11L's hooked up to it.
Good Luck! Mike.