New memberUsername: Audio_mypassion
Post Number: 1
(how should i go about that? Is it a generic system setting to be able to switch to four speaker stereo?)
Platinum MemberUsername: Jan_b_vigne
Post Number: 15948
There is no "best" anything in audio. Do you want the best receiver to drive four speakers? Or, do you want the best receiver when considering sound quality? Or, do you want the best receiver with the most flexibility in connectivity? Or, the most reliable? Saying you want all those things places you outside the loop of how mainstream audio operates. Audio is often about making choices.
First, for $1k I would suggest you forgo a receiver. At that price range you should be considering a higher quality component. Receivers tend towards the convenience of having multiple components in one box but all too often also tend towards appealing to the less informed consumer who just wants everything in one package. Additionally, there aren't many two channel receivers on the market at this time since the majority of receivers being built are meant for home theater use. If you want an AV receiver, then there's no way to tell you which receiver is "best" since there are too many feature options for any one product and your expectations have not been clearly stated in your post.
One very good stereo receiver would be the Outlaw RR1250; http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html This unit has received very good reviews and has an A/B speaker switch. Additionally, you could consider any stereo receiver from Harman Kardon, NAD, Rotel or Cambridge. Most mass market receivers will not be happy driving a less than 8 Ohm load which would mean your speakers would likely shut down most of the Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony, etc. receivers.
You can always purchase a speaker selection switch to add more versatility to the receiver but the mass market garbage still isn't worth your money when compared to the few lines that are building for higher sound quality rather than a higher feature count.
For your $1k though, unless you need a tuner to pick up radio stations, you should be considering an integrated amplifier. Integrateds typically have a higher build standard than will a receiver since they are meant to appeal to a slightly more sophisticated buyer. To the list of manufacturers above, when looking at integrated amplifiers you can add the names Marantz and Onkyo.
If you still need a tuner but want the higher quality of an integrated amplifier, you can purchase a stand alone tuner which will serve as your radio station source. Be aware tuners in receivers are often there as after thoughts and too often have miserable performance. A stand alone tuner will have better quality though the reception of radio stations is dependent upon the quality and placement of the antenna and your location relative to the station's antenna. Internet radio has moved in to replace over the air radio reception in many locations due to its mostly noise free sound vs the quality of a good tuner located outside the reception range of most stations.
That will keep you in the mianstream of audio which is where it would appear you wish to remain.
Deeper into the hobbyist equipment, you can buy an amplifier from a company like Rega or Vincent. These are still relatively easy line to find in any major city in the US and tend towards higher quality sound than, say, an Onkyo or Marantz. Even deeper into the hobbyist ranks are lines such as NuForce; http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/nuforce_icon_usb-input_integrated_ampl ifier/index.html or an on line, direct from the manufacturer line such as Virtue; http://store.virtueaudio.com/aboutus.asp
As you can see, there are numerous ways to build an amplifier and just as many ways to think about what product is best for your needs. As you move further away from the mainstream products, you tend towards less bling about the amplifier and more serious devotion to the music above all else. You wouldn't appear, judging by your very brief post, to be more than a mainstream buyer. If you don't sit down to listen just to music - no reading or using the computer at the same time, then the mainstream products will serve your needs. If you are serious about music and you do listen intently to the artists' performance, then you should explore the slightly more serious end of audio. If that's the case, there are numerous products which will suit your needs but I can promise you the Audio Source speakers won't stay in your system for long and the idea of an AV receiver will be the farthest thing from your mind.