Some random observations after messing with the DH800 for a few days:
Overall I am very satisfied with it. I can shake the walls with it, if I wanted to.
- The lack of pass-thru in standby mode is not a problem, because I can simply bypass the whole receiver if I don't want it. I wanted a good number of HDMI inputs because my TV only has one. But I can send HD from my Satellite tuner thru component to the TV. Which made me wonder why would I want the receiver to pass-thru anything if it is off? (Other than the geek factor I guess).
- I can waste lots of time trying out all the many different sound modes. I can hear no difference at all between Dolby PLII and Neural-THX with stereo input. Likewise on DVD's that have DTS and DD tracks, I notice very little difference. But there's always somebody in forums who says "Gotta go with .... because .... sounds like crap"
- I always knew that some MP3's give a slushy sound on the surround channels, it is even more noticeable with this receiver. I'm going to try a player that supports .ogg files, which sound better to me. But for best sound, nothing beats the original cd.
- SONY's Enhanced Sound "Portable" mode eliminates the slush on MP3's by reducing the sound to 2 channel stereo, AFAIC. Is this SONY's idea of an enhancement?
- I did not find the manual as hard to understand as many of the reviewers on Amazon. The large number of setup choices could be confusing, but just following the steps worked for me. Maybe I am just above average
- Nice feature is setting a sound enhancement for each individual FM station. Now if only the reception wasn't so noisy....having lots of storms here now, maybe better in the fall.