A very talented amp that’s just lacks some sonic polish
even tonal balance
Input assignment issues
lacks the dynamic brilliance of the best at the price
It's obvious that Yamaha has focused a lot of its energy on designing this home cinema receiver.
The design and styling may share similarities with the RX-V565, but inside the chassis you'll find upgraded capacitors and a new transformer.
There are separate power supplies for the digital and analogue output stages, claimed to help reduce the effects of outside interference. Additional tweaks include a new circuit-board layout, shorter signal paths and a more rigid construction.
Atmospheric surround soundAnd, the proof is in the surround sound. The '765 creates an immersive, atmospheric surround sound experience.
During the bamboo fight in House Of Flying Daggers, you're aware of details such as rustling leaves and the sounds made by birds.
More after the break
Then, as the action kicks off, the Yamaha springs into life. Mei wields a bamboo stick at her attackers, and there's great emphasis on the swooshing between speakers.
Dialogue sounds smooth and rich, as do high frequencies. Each clash of blades differs in tone, but there's no trace of uncomfortable hardness.
Low frequencies also have enough weight to ruffle your neighbour's feathers, if not the detail and precision of top amps. The same character holds true in stereo.
Fine features, with one frustrationThe Yamaha does everything you'd expect. Nearly. Four HDMI inputs, 1080p upscaling and upconversion, a set of multichannel inputs and a set of pre-outs are all thrown in.
The problem is the same one that hinders its sibling. The '765 won't let you assign an optical digital input with an HDMI input, preventing you from enjoying Dolby Digital surround sound from Apple TV or a Sky+ HD box. However, a firmware fix is now in the pipeline.
This oversight, together with the fact that it's more expensive than some close rivals, and not quite as well-rounded, holds the Yamaha back from achieving five-star status.