I compared both of these at Tweeter, so they were working off the same input, and outputting to the same (8ohm) speakers.
The Yamaha had a brighter sound when using music, and more power, and video upconversion. However on DVDs with digital input, they sounded the same! I am using my exclusively for movies, and I went with Denon because I was able to get a good deal.
To me, the brighter music sounded better but not everyone likes that, and you already have a bright room. I would have liked the video upconversion, but $$$ won out.
but at that time I used a Denon 3600 and 5600 and liked them, but before that when I was in the 799 range I found that I liked Yamaha better in that price point, and Denon better at the top of the receiver level. Yamaha had a nitch with that 991 I believe it was, and I tried both at my home from friends at the lower end, and the Yamaha was just nicer, until you got to the top of their 2 product lines.
It could have changed, but it seemed more an issue of design segment choice then ability then.
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