I just got done listening to some CD's so I guess I'll start with the music side of this receiver first. WOW!! I absolutely have to agree with the other couple of reviewers/dealers that have said the V555ES sounds better then the DA777ES! I had someone bring over their DA777ES and we hooked it into my speaker setup I have in such a way that we could do A/B listening and I as well as my firend (who owns the DA777ES) agreed that the V555ES has a better sound from low levels all the way up to foundation rocking levels! And comparing the V555ES to my old Sony STR-DE925 was quite an eye opener as well! I guess you tend to get used to the sound of your receiver but good God all mighty the sonic differences between my old and new receivers is astounding! What sticks out most when comparing my new and old receivers is the V555ES ability to produce ultra low frequencies at high volumes yet still be able to produce pristine clear ultra high frequencies that blend so flawlessly! It's pure ear candy here tonight!
As for the receiver (as a DTS/DD receiver) I must say I have no less opinion of this receiver then I do for it as a Stereo receiver..Just awesome! When compared to the DA777ES we found that they are pretty close in sound quality but the V555ES had a more enveloping sound on both DTS and DD DVD's. I believe that the V555ES's added Cinema Studio EX (which adds phantom side and rear center speakers) is what makes the difference here. Also it appears the DTS/DD decoders are a bit better in the V555ES then the DA777ES.
The V555ES does have on screen menus as indicated by a setting of whether you want the on screen menues in color or monochrome in setup. I haven't use it myself as I don't run video through the receiver because my Pioneer HDTV has all the inputs I need. I have only messed with the remote now for a couple of days but I am very pleased with it useability and customization. It is a full learning remote, can do macros, you can customize the name of inputs which if reflected not only on the remote itself but it also uploads changes to the receiver so it reflects the customizations on the receivers front panel as well. I have yet to find a setting that is not already on the remote which in the past was always frustrating that manufacturers would have most but not all functions on their remotes! The LCD screen is 4" diagonal, very easy to read, and can be customized from 10-30 seconds timing before it auto shuts down. It has a touch pen that slides out of the back of the remote as to make better use of the touch pad (especially when you are making custom names and have to type off a on screen keyboard. It's also nice because it has stored in itself almost all manufacturers remote codes so you just select the input, tell it what type of equipment it is then scroll to the manufacturer and choose between 1 or more different code settings form the particular manufacturer and your done.
One question I hear asked a lot that I will answer, is does the receiver get warm or hot when used. Well when I was cranking the receiver -30db and up and touched the top of the receiver it was VERY HOT! You can't really keep your hand on the cabinet very long. This may be the one drawback to anyone who has to cram this receiver into a small enclosed area, but a quick run to Radio Shack for a specialty fan should take care of that problem!
Well that's all for now, I am going to listen some more to the receiver so I gotta go! If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to reply and if a question I'll do my best to answer!
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