Have I got the wrong amp? or the wrong speakers?

Hi all, I'm new to the forum and a relative beginner at hifi, so please excuse the (potentially) dumb question.
In homage to my late father, and the basic, budget setup he had when I was a kid, I've recently acquired a vintage AKAI AA-1150 receiver (circa 1979 I think) and paired it with brand new Wharfedale EVO 4.2 large bookcase speakers.

Two problems - 
First, I think the speakers are waaay too sensitive for the amp - turn the volume up to 3 and the room is shaking. Taking the dial to 11 would definitely kill the Wharfedales.  My old speakers (Paradigm Atom) suffer too, but a little less.  Its definitely the amplifier!
Second, the sound is impossibly forward and bright.  Incredibly clear, with amazing detail (from both vinyl & DAC) but really hard on the ears.

Do I need to ditch the nostalgia and get a warmer, 21st Century integrated amplifier?  Or is there some setting I've missed somewhere?

All suggestions welcomed!
I like the idea of the heavy copper speaker cables. 12awg should be enough. Before you do that check the output/ bias on the speaker connections.
I am amazed by the knowledge of this group.  I would imagine there are a few dealers who are part of this discussion.  Millercarbon you mention ditch the receiver because it is a receiver.  Why are receivers inferior to a 2 channel amplifier.  My dealer sold me my ARCAM AVR850 receiver because I wanted to use it for both TV and 2 channel listening.  Is my receiver good or bad and why?  At the time I would have liked to have gotten a 2 channel amplifier, but was not sure I could play it through my TV.  Right now I have left and right towers, a large center channel and 2 S2 SHO Rel subwoofers I have not yet added the two left and right rear surround speakers.  I looked at the Parasound Integrated.  Wish I had more clarity in the highs.
With 88dB efficiency, and an older Akai, I’m guessing you are clipping, or at least driving high distortion. Maybe a new Integrated Amp?

Take a look at Parasound’s options.

A good, smooth amp with those speakers would be nice. 
Also, take a look at a powered subwoofer like Rel T Series. Their T7i is $100 off for a while. 
A little dialing in (excellent docs and videos on their site, and lifetime support. 
Kudos to everyone's input. And to Larry's note, yeah. Doin' it since this stuff was made. And to the integrated amp: yes and no. There just as many bad integrateds as there are receivers. It depends on the brand, model and year it was made. I modify older pieces to do what they never did back in the day usually because there are now better parts and / or the designers back then weren't allowed the budget to do it right.

In any case one item that comes to mind here- try a BBE processor. Unlike an equallizer, it corrects time. It's a time correction equalizer that most any mid-end system can benefit. High end system don't need this as much because there are no (or few) time base problems to solve.
Most items in your system do not process all frequecies at the same rate of speed. Amps, cables,speakers, it all adds up. Even the room plays a part in this. Time arival equals clarity and usually flater smoother response.
I keep one on my own system (often in bypass) because audio recordings themselves have no standards in which they are recorded and often have time correction problems from the invironment and equipment where they were recorded.
Best of luck on the old gear. There's probably more to it than we know. Are the surrounds on the speakers dead? Are the pot on the amp cleaned, etc?
Hi Miller, Russ, SteveYou got a down on receivers.Please tell me why an amplifier coupled to a radio will have inherently poorer sound quality than a lone amplifier

I'm probably more down on the fact that it's an Akai receiver.

The receiver is still the workhorse power source in the AV space

In the 2 channel realm the receiver is considered an entry level component as you go up the food chain to separates the SQ improves

SQ and radio really don't go together very well, best done in the car for the most part - IMHO