I am in need of a upgrade for my HT components. Reading through the articles found on the web is confusing to say the least. I was hoping that I can find some clarification here. What I currently have: Pioneer vsx d711 Toshiba HDTV 50" Infinity IL60 Harman Cardon center and surrounds Panasonic progressive scan DVD I don't watch TV, cable, or satellite at all. I use my system exclusively for DVD movies and music. Currently when I watch movies, my system sounds great and shakes the whole house and I don't turn up movies that loud anyway, but when I play music (most of the time I will turn it up loud while working in the yard), I don't get the volume that I need/want. I recently upgraded from the 10 year old "white van" speakers to the IL60's. The main problem that I am having is when I start pushing the volume, I get to about -20 and after a minute, my receiver "pops" and shuts off. This has made me decide to make some upgrades but I need some info to make the best choices. One more thought, when I play music, I am using my DVD player (my receiver still set for DVD) and just turning off the surround sound and going stereo direct. Because I am playing it in DVD mode, am I compromising volume? My current thoughts are that my speakers aren't even running close to what they can produce as far as volume. I think the receiver is holding me back. The speakers don't even come close to distorting and sound great until the receiver shuts off. Does this sound reasonable? My pioneer "says" it is rated for 100W at 8 ohms from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz front, center, and surround but after installing a new system in my car, I realize that these ratings are "fudged" all the time. To get more volume for music, should I: 1) Get an amp like the Harmon Cardin PA4000 and use my current receiver? Even though it is rated at 2x100W and 4x45, will it be louder than the Pioneer receiver by itself? Are these designed for running with a receiver or just a pre-amp? 2) Will I get more volume from the HK AVR 525 for my music or would I still have to get the PA4000 to use with the AVR525? My thoughts are that this is a better receiver and will push my speakers harder even though it is rated at 7x70. Although I know I don't have the greatest receiver, it sounds good enough to me (quality) but just doesn't have the volume. What should I do to actually push the speakers how they were designed to and not be running my receiver at max all the time?