Update after living with the XR700 one week and using it extensively but casually as I normally would listening to tons of music watching TV and movies.
I did get used to the very digital sound and the wonderful treble extension. That extension psycho-de-emphased the mid-range for me. It isn't missing it. Mid range was always there, I just was paying more attention to treble I didn't hear before.
Or perhaps it's the XR700 revealing the nature of my speakers or my speakers revealing the nature of the XR700 or the XR700 and my speakers are just a combination produces that sound. Regardless it's VERY, VERY detailed and is characteristic of that digtal amp crispiness.
Unfortunately it's going back. It doesn't support >96k 5.1 or 7.1 PCM over HDMI and to get the same loudness as before, the volume has to be at -10db, despite running dual amp mode to the mains in my 4.1 setup. I spent money and expect a worthwhile upgrade which unfortunately isn't true in my case.
This isn't to say the XR700 is bad or just ok. I do recommend it. It's HDMI passthrough when off and having no FANS is something ALL receivers SHOULD have. It's just not worth the cost of 'upgrading' my previous amplifier. Here's to hoping for a better XR707. I'd like to see more digital inputs and a learning remote. See you guys in the XR707 thread.