I was not aware they originated in Oakville, that's my exact location.
I find my situation sounds quite similar to yours. Although i'm lacking a pre-out, I'm usually listening around -30db with the center at +4 because anything more causes the sound to be terribly distorted and the imaging comes across very brash. resulting in poor clarity as you mentioned.
Even with the center at +4 it doesn't sound correct, but its the only way to hear dialogue.
I'm a firm believer that power is not everything, its about the delivery and components managing the output.
With a pre-out being added to the A/V receiver, how many speakers would you really want/need to provide the extra power to ? typically is it just the L/R channels? or do a lot of Audiophiles do a L/C/R combination?
i get lost when looking at pre-outs.