Yamaha RX-V765 Home Theater Receiver Reviewed

Yamaha RX-V765 Home Theater Receiver Reviewed

The RX-V765 features Yamaha's "signature lively sound that is quite enjoyable and mates well with a lot of today's modern music and movies." The receiver has only 95 watts but "sounds far more powerful than it actually is." That leaves this model "one of the more affordable receivers that can take full advantage of today's most modern sources and playback options..."

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Yamaha recently updated a large portion of their home theater receiver line-up, giving them newly restyled displays, updated features and, in some cases, a lower retail price. The RX-V765, reviewed here, falls into the before-mentioned category. I must say the changes are welcome, not to mention affordable, as the RX-V765 retails for $649.95.

Additional Resources
Find a Blu-ray player to connect to the RX-V765.
Buy the RX-V765 receiver from Yamaha.

The RX-V765 looks every bit a Yamaha receiver with its no-muss no-fuss matte black finish and exposed hard controls. It's not a stylish or sleek receiver, more function than form if I'm honest, but the new display window is far improved over the old amber-colored-what-does-that-say displays on Yamaha receivers of yore. The new display color is a bluish-white and is far more legible and thoughtfully laid-out than the previous version, a nice upgrade. Also nice is the inclusion of "scene" buttons, which are pre-programmed macros that simplify day-to-day use for applications such as watching a Blu-ray, TV, listening to a CD and listening to the radio. Another nice feature is the inclusion of a front-mounted aux jack for use with a portable music player, such as an iPod. The RX-V765 can interface fully with an iPod, using Yamaha's own iPod dock (sold separately). However, it is no longer the sole way to connect an iPod to the Yamaha receiver. The RX-V765 is also Bluetooth-ready and, with the help of Yamaha's Bluetooth receiver dongle (sold separately), the RX-V765 supports A2DP audio streaming from Bluetooth-enabled devices. With regard to portable devices and lower-resolution audio formats, the RX-V765 features Yamaha's Compressed Music Enhancer sound format, which does exactly what its name implies: making MP3s and the like sound better than they do or should. Does it work? Yes. 

On top of some of the RX-V765's new features, a score of old favorites are also present, such as Yamaha's wonderful YPAO automated room EQ software, which is similar to the Audyssey system found on many competitor receivers though, if I'm honest, is far better. The RX-V765 features full 1080p video upscaling of all video sources, analog and digital, through its single HDMI monitor out. In terms of HDMI, the RX-V765 has four HDMI inputs, which are just enough for most consumers right now, though a fifth would be nice. The RX-V765 can play back all of the latest surround sound formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as all previous incarnations of the Dolby and DTS sound formats.

In terms of power, the RX-V765 isn't a mega-watt receiver, but its 95 watts per channel across all seven channels are strong enough to power most modern loudspeakers available today. The RX-V765 also has the ability to power a simple yet effective home audio distribution system for an additional room elsewhere in your home.

Read about the high points and low points of the RX-V765 on Page 2.

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High Points
• The upgraded display screen and scene controls make day-to-day usage far easier and more enjoyable. • The addition of a front-mounted aux jack is welcome for those with iPods or portable music devices. When coupled with Yamaha's Compressed Music Enhancer sound format, this makes listening to said devices far more enjoyable. 
• The RX-V765 has Yamaha's signature lively sound that is quite enjoyable and mates well with a lot of today's modern music and movies. 
• While the RX-V765 is a sub 100-watt receiver, it sounds far more powerful than it actually is and exhibits tremendous control over most loudspeakers available today. 
• The RX-V765 is one of the more affordable receivers available that can take full advantage of today's most modern sources and playback options.

Low Points
• While four HDMI inputs are pretty much standard these days, I can't help but think a fifth or even a sixth would be beneficial, given the RX-V765's focus on current HD technologies. 
• I don't like how Yamaha has packed so many goodies into the RX-V765 yet require the consumer to purchase additional equipment to take full advantage of half of them. Yamaha isn't the sole manufacturer guilty of this practice - they all do it. I was just hoping Yamaha would rise above the same old gimmicks and cut the consumer a break. 
• Yamaha has never been great at making remotes and the RX-V765's remote is no exception. While functional and quite omni-directional, the RX-V765's remote is still a bit cheap and can be difficult to navigate. However, if you're one to stick with the RX-V765's scene controls, the remote is a delight. 
• Because the RX-V765 has a slightly forward sound, I wouldn't suggest mating it to speakers that exhibit the same or similar traits, for it may prove to be too much of a good thing. 

Related Articles and Reviews
To compare the Yamaha RX-V765 to other receivers at a similar price point, read the Harmon Kardon AVR 354 also reviewed by Andrew Robinson or the Onkyo TX-SR608 reviewed by Ken Taraszka.  If you are looking for more information on Yamaha products please read HomeTheaterReview.com's articles including Yamaha To Launch New Aventage AV ReceiversYamaha's New RX-V667 AV Receiver; 3D Solution for Home Entertainment ExperiencesYamaha Introduces 3D Home-Theater-In-A-Box, and the Yamaha BD-S667 Blu-ray player review by Adrienne Maxwell.  General information about the company can be found at our Yamaha brand page.

Conclusion
It's amazing to think that, over a year ago, a receiver packing as much performance as the RX-V765 would've cost you near two grand, if not more. Here we are approaching the fall of 2009, and that same receiver is now $650. That, my friends, is progress. Yamaha has delivered with the RX-V765, for it is a feature-laden receiver that takes full advantage of the latest audio and video trends, sounds amazing and is supremely affordable.

Additional Resources
Find a Blu-ray player to connect to the RX-V765.
Buy the RX-V765 receiver from Yamaha.

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