I have a somewhat unique situation that I wouldn't mind having some advice for.
First a short history - A few years back I bought a Sony STR-DE825. Loved it from the beginning and have enjoyed it since. When I moved to Japan, I brought it with me, not knowing that the power coming out of the wall sockets was different in both voltage (only 100) and number of cycles (either 50 or 60). The good news is that it didn't seem to affect the performance of my system at all. Living in a shoebox apartment didn't allow for much 'cranking' of the volume, so perhaps that's one factor in my current predicament.
Late last year I bought a house and since I've moved in I enjoyed many evenings of excessive-volume-listening to my favorite music. (My speakers are Bose 301 in the front, some Toshiba somethings in the back and an Aiwa as the center). No problems, other than mediocre sound quality.
About a year and a half ago, I visited one of friends from college who had bought a set of Polk speakers which were driven by some cheapo $150 receiver. What surprised the heck out of me was the quality of the music coming out of those little tiny speakers sitting on his bookshelf. So I decided that an upgrade was in order, beginning with speakers. I bought a set of LSi7's, hooked 'em up, and was literally blown away at the difference.
The next thing I did was take Polk's recommendation about bi-wiring. I changed the ohm setting to 4 (which I have since learned is a very bad thing to do to Sonys), turned off surround sound, cranked it up, and was amazed again at the difference. So I decided more volume was needed. I ran the volume at about 3.5 for a couple of hours. I don't need to tell you that it got hot. REAL hot. The next time I went to use it I found out that the receiver had short circuited.
Herein lies the problem....I've been reading about all the great amps available in the States, however they are unavailable in Japan. Pretty much, I am limited to the following: Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, and Onkyo. (There are other brands but they don't have a good reputation here - Technics and Panasonic (which are the same company but branded differently here), Sansui, etc..)
My question is, of the brands I've listed, does anyone have some advice as to which would be the best for my LSi7s?
My primary concern is that they are 4 ohms and most amps are 6 or 8. I think that ohm-matching must be important, although I am not an expert.