JC69 wrote: ↑Dec 31st, 2012 1:54 pmI love the Yamaha (Aventage A720) and it's infinitely adjustable in terms of sound so I'm not sure what the problem is, it sounds as good as the Onkyo and Pioneer I tried. Also the on screen display of the Aventage line is just so nice (it's different to the normal Yamaha line). I'm particularly impressed withe the 4 year Canadian warranty which blew me away. No problems with firmware update and I'm listening to some nice FLAC tunes via a USB key right now. The iPad app is also extremely nice. The unit is also solidly built with a heavy metal chasis and metal front covering etc. It just seems miles apart from the Pioneer 1022 I tried for instance. To me this unit is definitely worth the $599 I paid for it.
the receiver is only part of the equation. it's not fair to say one receiver has 'better' sound or 'more natural' as it may sound very different with different speakers hooked up. it's nice that it's adjustable though. i just haven't had any reason to try yamaha again, i don't feel they do anything any better than the competition, i know it's kind of silly, but we all have our brand loyalties for whatever reason. for me, i've just avoided yamaha due to past experiences before all this auto calibration stuff was common. no point in wasted hours upon hours trying to 'fix' yamaha's signature bright sound when the others are pretty close right out of the box(for my speakers and tastes). like you said to each his own, i just found yamaha's way too bright with my speakers for my taste, and now i just don't have any interest in them. i am a sucker for the gadgets and features i'll admit. just don't care for the procession gimmicks
as for the on screen interface, i think i've used that 5, maybe 6 times since i bought my receiver 3-4 years ago(i don't remember). that would definitely be near the bottom of my list when deciding what receiver to buy, if not an afterthought completely. what are you doing with this receiver that would use the GUI often? the only thing i 'need' mine for is set up, which i only do once when i get new gear.