Well, the review has sort of two parts in it. Lets start with the first one. I have 5.1 setup with Paradigm Studio 100s in front, Studio CC in the center, and Studio 20s in the back. Mid-grade DVD player with optical output. Nothing fancy like SACD or DVD-A so I cannot really test analog inputs. I got the unit last Monday. The thing is huge and very heavy. Gets quite warm after a while. The front panel is designed very well in terms of readability, you can immediately see what modes and speakers you are running. The menus of AVR8000 are quite simple (if you like tweaking you'll get bored), but all the necessary functions are there. Delays and adjustments are separate for every speaker and are memorized for every input. Minor gripe - the OSD cannot be disabled permanently, for some reason this setting is not stored between sessions). Remote is marginally usable, I'll need to buy something else. I hooked the speakers to the internals amps (110 watts per channel x 5.) The first thing that I noticed was the clarity of sound which I never had with my old receiver. When watching movies, every sound is so precise and detailed, it's just amazing. Music was pretty good too, very clear and seemingly full (hm... seemingly.) My old CDs started to sound quite differently, so I spent few evenings just listening to music. Logic 7 does magic to 2 channel sources, especially to music. I found it much more natural than DPLII. So, basically I was satisfied with the results... well, almost. After some time I started noticing that all those extra details and clearness were making me tired. So basically I realized that the sound is a little on the bright side, with emphasis on high frequencies with not enough punch from mid-bass and down. Not that those frequencies were not present, they were just not as strong as highs and therefore the overall sound seemed bright. Now is the second part. On Friday I finally got my Sherbourn 5/1500A amp. Removed jumpers and rewired preamps to the amp - having assignable connections is a nice feature on the receiver. Minor gripe - the amp power-on plug on the receiver supplies only 5V when the amp requires 9-12V. Fixed it with a small power supply hooked to one of the switchable power outlets. After turning the whole thing on I could not believe it. The difference was stunning. The sound became so full and dynamic, and that without losing the clarity. No more brightness, very flat and smooth sound from highs to lows. I even did an experiment - hooked one of the speakers back to the internal amp, recalibrated levels, and listened. The highs were practically the same from both speakers, but someplace in the mid-lows the speaker connected to internal amp started losing the punch and became somehow muffled comparing to the other one hooked to the Sherbourn. So those of you with big speakers running receivers, do yourself a favor, get a good amp. Makes a world of difference.