jtenn . . . good question, what have I compared with the (my) 777's . . . I compared JBL, Polk, klipsch, and ProCinema speakers that had similar specs and suggested manufacture's price tags. However, I did NOT purchase my triple seven's at the suggested manufacture's price tag; they (the 777's), as all speakers from any brand, are available for much less with a bit of online shopping.My Findings
Overall the triple seven's were the best selection for my needs, which are 65% HT and 35% music.
What I Discovered About the Lower End Sound of the 777's
Many people complain that these speakers don't do bass to well . . . to be honest, this simply isn't the case with these speakers. They can actually go down to 30 hz without any problems (I know 30 hz is not supper low, don't stress, I'll get to that). Let me tell you how I know this to be true . . . I tested them!
I did a base test from 10 to 150 . . . I actually sensed the base at about 30 hz and heard the bass at about 33, which means they perform exactly as the specs claim. I know that 30 hz is not drop dead super bass, but for a mid-range tower speaker, that's quite reasonable. And in my humble opinion, any sound set up, be it stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, or 11.1 should include a good subwoofer. So, anything lacking below the 30 hz is a non-issue with these speakers if a sub is part of the set up. However . . .
All that said, for music stereo, or HT set-ups, 30 hz is very reasonable for a tower speaker, more than enough to hear the details of a bass guitar, bullets, explosions, etc., found on vinyl, CD, DVD's, or Blu-ray disc. Couple that with the fact that the human ear can only typically hear no lower than 20 hz, the reality is that most people can only really hear around 25 hz, and possible sense (feel) between 20 and 25 hz. Very few people can actually sense or hear anything below 20 hz. And if you're the type of person that wants minus 20 hz rattling in the house on a regular basis, you probably already own two or more subwoofers anyway! So, the 30 hz cap on the low end of this tower triple seven unit is more than able to compete with other brands with similar specs.
I will add, there a a few other brands of similar size that can go lower than the triple sevens 30 hz cap, but is it necessary? Based on what is typical for the human ear to hear, I'd say not to most people. But of course, this depends on your ears. but for most humans, unless they are super audiophiles with a trained ear, 30 hz for music or movie watching is better then just sufficient, it's quite satisfactory. I'd even go as far to say that lower end bass, 20 hz or less, can be just as tiring to the ear as higher end sounds.
Upper End Sound
As to the high frequency response of the 777's, it's quite high, 35 kHz to be exact. Many reviewer of this tower unit have complained that it's too much . . . and it tires the ears. Again, I simple disagree. If you have an AV unit worth it's reputation (I hope you have a quality AV unit, or a quality amplifier, if not your speakers will not perform well, not matter who makes them or how much they cost, but that's another topic for another thread), then adjusting the upper end is just that, using the AV unit as the tool to adjust the upper end sound to a comfortable level. Especially since the mid range abilities of the triple seven's are outstanding. So, if you adjust your AV unit so that the triple seven's high end doesn't tire your ear, then you will completely love the upper spectrum of sound this tower can produce. Close your eyes, and violins will sound like they are being played in the room, not over speakers. Also, I have a music background of sorts . . . so I listen to everything, rock, jazz, hip-hop, disco (yes, disco), R&B, techno, etc., so my comments about the high end (and lower bass end, too) hold firm for any genre of music. FYI . . . Barry White and The Love Unlimited Orchestra sound amazing on the 777's with, or without, a sub (but better with a sub, of course)!
As to comparing these findings with other tower units of similar specs and size, I'd say the 777's held their own quite well. So much so, that I decided to purchase them over some of the more "preferred" tower brands of similar size. Will I admit there are a couple brands out there of the same size and build that sounded better, yes, of course I will. But not SO much better that I think the price for those speakers are worth the expense for a mid-range, middle class home, in the USA.
I do not stand alone in my opinion of the Yamaha triple seven's. They have been reviewed and tested with good results on a few reputable sites. For instance, they are rated as the third best tower speaker on the Top Ten Review (see here: http://floor-standing-speakers.toptenreviews.com/yamaha-ns-777-review.html
Lastly, like I have already stated, the Yamaha NS-777's are not the absolute best, but for third place in a mid-range market, for the typical human ear, this speaker will more than meet most peoples expectations, without much, if any, compromise in your audio experience. And I don't work for Yamaha, either.
Check this out, The Yamaha 777 in the Top Ten Review: