So Stage is perceived positioning, if you close your eyes on something like "The Patriot" where they are looking over a vast field and different areas are being shelled with cannons - you should be able to reference where in your room (on the floor between yourself and the speakers) each shell is landing. Steering is part of this, its how smoothly things pan around you. There shouldn't be gaps or jumps when you have sound move around. The Marantz as I said, absolutely amazing for 2ch sources - the best thing I listened to for Music reproduction. Its just not quite as precise and defined as some of the other receivers I listened to for 5.1 sources (everything was calibrated) when I was shopping for one. I wouldn't say you'll be unhappy with it - it's certainly overkill for the speakers you have, and much better than if you bought a $1500-2000 RRP AVR here in Australia.