First time to this forum and the site. I was introduced to this site by a few friends. I need some serious help with this. I just recently decide to purchase a home theather system for my home (and also to listen to some music). I decided to go with KEF Speakers (KHT 2005.2 along with subwoofer PSW2000), being that a close friend of myself owned a set and they sounded awesome (along with a Denon 3801). I happen to have gotten a good deal on the KHT's and decide to take them on a test run with a decent (or low budget) receiver before i went high end (Denon 3805, judging by your reviews). My dilema is this I brought the Sony STR-DE897 to test these speakers with and i am totally confused as to the set up of this component. I have read the manual 3x (as of 2 hrs ago) and i can't get a decent movie sound experience to it. Music CD's sound okay (being is played out of all channel).

Now my main question is. #1 Since I have a 5.1 speaker set up. Should all the speaker connections go directly into my surround sound audio inputs OR! Should 2 of my speaker go as front A & B speakers? Under the test sound option when i plug in all the speakers to the surround sound speaker inputs the left and right do not give off any sound (while the center, rear, and subwoofer actually do) #2 Is it normal for a receiver to sound so low that only at nearly 48% of the max volume is actually audible? (i crank it up to 37 of a max 73 before i can hear decent audio) #3 Can anyone tell me if I in fact own good speakers? or is it this receiver that is unable to give me real specs. (i need this resolve before i run out the Denon 3805 and run into the same issues)

I appreciate the help gentlemen,

1.1 Surround Sound Dummie