I keep hearing how Yamahas are so much more "sturdy" and "bulletproof" and all these people with problems with Denon\/Marantz\/other brands not Yamaha. I owned the RX-V781 and had to return it once and get another one because my first was a lemon and certain channels would not work. Never had issues with any other brands, save for Onkyo (I had handshake issues with the HDMI). \n\nWhy is it so far fetched that he heard details he never heard before? I just got the Marantz SR-7012 and have experienced similar. I think it is Multi-EQ XT32 more than anything else, but this made my Emptek towers, surrounds, and center put out sound I never heard before. I thought my Sony STR-DN1070 sounded amazing...until I replaced it with my Marantz SR-7012 and hooked it into my RBH sound and RSL Speedwoofer 10S system. I am also hearing little nuances, little sounds I never noticed before. Not to mention it really made my Empteks come to life. \n\nWith this same setup, I have heard the:\nSony STR-DN1070 (owned it for a year) - Sounded very, very good but a step down from the Marantz.\nYamaha RX-A1080 (owned it for 5 months) - Good sound, but could not touch the Marantz for dynamics and raw sound quality. Inferior room correction as well (needed massive tweaking).\nDenon X4300 (owned it for 3 months) - More laid back and "colder" than Marantz but up there in sound quality.\nPioneer LX-501 (only had it for 2 days) - Sounded rich and dynamic but not enough time with it.\nOnkyo TX-656 (only had it for 2 days) - HDMI handshake issues and lackluster sound made it a non-keeper. \n\nYamaha, to me, did not sound as good as the Sony, Denon, and especially inferior to Marantz. It sounds good, lots of surround modes and such. But nothing special for sound quality and I can say that the Marantz is on a whole level higher. The Yamaha ran cooler than my Marantz does, but the receivers get plenty of ventilation in my room so a non-issue. I can say the Yamaha was no where near as dynamic and rich, plus not as warm-toned and musical as the Marantz. YPAO with RSC was not as good as hoped either, I had to really tweak it to get it to my liking and often disabled it for critical listening.\n\nAll I know is this Marantz SR-7012 is the best receiver for features and sound quality I have ever owned and it was a great buy. Yamaha built better? I disagree, as this is built like a tank (quite heavy as well!). An external amplifier would only increase performance.