Now that I have had ample time to break in my new receiver, I am going to give my thoughts on this affordable high value receiver.
The receiver feels very solid and has very good build quality. It is not too heavy for a receiver packing 95 watts/channel and does not get very hot at all, even after a three hour marathon watching Lord of the Rings III The Return of the King. I particularly like the quick selection buttons that are like macro buttons you can program for events such as watching a dvd/blu ray movie or listening to the radio or a cd etc... The white flourescent display is a lot easier to read than the old amber orange display of past Yamaha receivers. There are also plenty of modes to use to display just about anything you would want in context to the input selected. Overall, a very nice, high tech looking receiver.
This Yamaha really does not disappoint. The receiver plays plenty loud for both movies and music. I usually watch movies in the highest quality surround codec available on the disk. So, DTS or Dolby Digital for DVD's and DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD for blu ray disks. I find that I usually watch movies using these codecs at or around -25db on the display which is a comfortable listening level to hear all of the dynamics of the movie's surround sound track. For Music the best sound is output using the pure direct mode if using stereo and the 7 channel stereo yamaha dsp for multi-channel listening. For music I find that the volume needs to be a little higher at around -22db probably due to less signal to noise ratio in the recordings using cd's.
So far, I have not strained the amps in the RXV-765 even during multichannel listening, suggesting that the power reserves are pretty decent for the lightweight transformer in the unit. The sound-stage is very good, especially after calibrating the speaker channels using the Yamaha YPAO, which is the Yamaha Parametric Accoustic Optimizer. YPAO is very similar to Audissey on the Onkyo and Denon receivers, and does an admirable job of equalizing the speaker levels and delay for the speakers based on their placement in the room and the room accoustics. This is really a great feature. I setup my speaker levels and delay manually on my last receiver and it took me a good 45 minutes to dial everything in to sound as good as YPAO does in around 5 minutes. This receiver also has HDMI passthrough which allows the HDMI signal to pass through the receiver even when the power is off and the receiver is in standby. This is a handy feature, but does use about 2 watts to maintain the pass through of the signal. I am very pleased with the power and clarity of sound produced by the receiver. The Yamaha produces a very forward sound that is not as rich as the Harman Kardon I had previously but it is a very pleasant non fatiguing kind of sound that I can listen to for hours without feeling tired or like I need a break from the sound.
This Yamaha has the Anchor Bay ABT2010 scaler used to upconvert analog signals to up to 1080p out the HDMI port. The scaler is reported to work very well, although, I have not had a chance to test the scaler performance out as I have not hooked any analog components up to the receiver yet. I do plan on hooking up a Wii game system to the unit and will post the results of the performance of the scaler on the Wii as soon as I get a chance.
The remote for the RXV-765 is decent. It is adequate and feels solid in build quality with smallish buttons that are somewhat rubberized. The remote is also able to control some other gear such as tv's and dvd players which is nice, but it is definitely not a universal remote.
The Yamaha RXV-765 is a very solid performer for both Home Theater and Music applications. Plenty of power for most people with rich and detailed sound. The receiver is loaded with just about every decoder available to date including the latest neural surround processor and a plethora of Yamaha DSP modes from Halls and arena's to SCI-FI, Drama,Games, and Sports. The receiver is feature laden and should be able to process any surround codec you can throw at it. It also sports a compressed music enhancer for listening to mp3 or wma files and it really does sound less compressed and richer. I am very happy with my selection of this receiver and for $399 it was a real bargain.