Originally Posted by Doink
Though I'm probably too late on this, I'd like to mention that I love the Event 20/20. Other favorites include the Tannoy System 800 and Yamaha MSP-10. But the Event's are way cheaper.
You want to get a real power amp. Those home stereo receivers really color the sound, and you end up with a really inaccurate picture of what's going on. Look for a used Crown on eBay.
I agree with the Events at their price, and Tannoys are almost always a safe bet.
But no, home receivers do not color the sound much, if at all (provided you can switch out any included EQ/DSP stuff). Under clipping, amps are an order of magnitude cleaner than any transducer (that's "speakers" to normal people). In an easy to drive situation (meaning low volume home studio with typical 8 ohm speakers) cheapo solid state amps are fine. At this level, spend your money on the speakers for greatest effect.
If you want to push some volume, or are going to spend upwards of a grand on speakers, then better amplification comes into play.
There's a lot of industry brouhaha over amps, but REAL tests (double blind ones) have shown amps to be very similar or indistinguishable. As in, golden ears couldn't tell the difference between a 40W Pioneer receiver and a pair of $5000 Julius Futterman monoblocks.
Personally, I'd find the cheapest 100W receiver using discrete output components (no IC stuck to a heatsink) and spend my money on the speakers. When you move up to the kilobuck range you can buy a nice Hafler or something.