Denon 6500 - Am I crazy?

**I know everything is subjective and it all comes down to what I think sounds 'good', but I figured there are some valued opinions here I would love to hear.

Amateur here and first-timer to the forums, but wanting to learn more.  If I land on B&W 704 S2s like I'm eyeing AND I want to leave the door open for creating a Surround/Theater experience for when I watch movies am I being crazy going for something like the AVC-X6500H (140W when driving 2ch @ 8 ohms)?  

I see thousands of 2-channel amps (and I have a decent one that I ordered but hasn't arrived) that people use.  Is that because they are MARKEDLY superior to a multi-channel amp like this one or is because they have no desire for surround and they just pick up a nice 2-ch amp?

I ask because I'm building a theater room for my basement and I want to be able to drive my 704s (not bought yet) but if I'm selling myself extremely short by buying this amp I want to know.

that horribly priced thing has 11.1 surround.

are you thinking of a super theater with 11.1? It’s nothing special as a 2 channel amp.

Think it thru now, the cost of the speakers, proper locations, interconnects, speaker wiring, seating positions, ceiling heights ...

these things are very complicated, did I say very ...

I’m damnnn happy with 5.1. and my Sony AVR, for Video, I would not consider it for my Music System.

those speakers are sensitivity 88db/1w/1m, I advise 90 or above, for music, the higher the sensitivity, the less power you need, leaves you money for other things, and higher sets you up to try tubes some day.

Home Theater, you want wide dispersion, a center channel directly below the monitor, and enough of a center image for 2 or 3 people,

I use/love these old dogs for home theater mains

at least read about how they are designed for wide center, then choose your mains informed

this Bose low profile center channel has fit in 3 different configurations for me, blends very well, simple, in-expensive, darn good.

Notice the little dispersion vents on the top edge, a little clearance is needed for them.

Don't forget, many programs sound best 'direct' or 2 channel stereo, which means no sub, so you want decent bass out of your mains. I am not a fan of using ports to get more bass, thus you need 8-10-12" woofers to move enough air. Dual 6-6.5" keep the cabinet smaller, perhaps enough bass, but again, avoid ports, so narrow fronts want taller/deeper to give the woofers enough cubic feet in the cabinet to do a good job.

You really do not have to worry about ported speakers as many are now designed that way.  Because a audiophile doesn’t like them doesn’t mean they aren’t any good.  Use your own ears to listen.  It does not matter what any of us think, it’s your system and your hearing. 
Ugh, keep the 2 channel and home theater seperate. 2 different animals. Those home theater amps are generally lousy for any serious 2 channel listening. They are design compromised one box do it all junk, at least when it comes to 2 channel listening. For movies and all  that,  then yea they are fine. Invest in a nice dedicated 2 channel amp.
Markedly different. In fact, in many respects a different hobby. The screen in my room gets used about once every 2-3 months. 
I use a 6300 from a few years ago in my living room 7.1 system. The 6000 and above series have better quality amps than their lower line. I could easily tell the difference from the 4100 I upgraded from. 
Will it sound as good as a 2 channel integrated or pre/power?  No. But it will still be quite good, and you get the benefit of room correction, which still isn’t common in 2 channel. 
I say try it and see if it meets your expectations. If it doesn’t, you can always add a 2 channel integrated amp that has a “home theater passthrough”, and get the best of both worlds. 
Or you could later just add an amp for the front 2 channels and use the denon as the preamp function, Including it’s room correction. 
I will also say, I personally find the B&W 7 series to be too treble forward. They might benefit from a tube amp or integrated for music. Or perhaps you like that type of sound?
Seperate. Or you'll end up with the worst of each. I'm with Elliot. 5.1 is plenty for two ears per head.
You have to decide what is more important to you. I went through this same thing In the end I ended up with a Denon 4806 7.1 for theater and a emotiva preamp and Marsh sound Design ht500 amp 2 channel system with an imput pass through for home theater. I get my 2 channel system but I can use the two channel system to power the front. The amp I use has three channels with three separate transformers for powering the front three speakers. Everyone here is correct you only need a 5.1 system as long as you only have 1 row of seats. Because I have stadium seating I opted for the 7.1 to better cover the room. Subwoofers are very important for movies but do 1 ported connected only to your surround receiver . For music side do two sealed subs. You should get the matching center channel for your speakers. That being said you would be amazed how good tv and movies are in two channel. Later you can go nuts with adding more speakers. I believe only the front three need to match since AVPs have so much room correction now. 
re: Center Channel

Not trying to be ’right’, just to explain and pass on my experiences.

I have found, most of the center ’sound’ is still the phantom center created by equal sound from front l and front r mains. Another reason to get full range mains.

Center wants to be best at dialog, and capable of an output level to match the db level of the front mains. And easily and inconspicuously located.

Center’s location is critical to cement the bulk of the dialog on the screen, the engineers using front mains for off center front dialog. Timbre matching is now important.

Sooo, while it may seem, and is generally proposed to match the center OEM, often they are too big to be easily and inconspicuously located.

I’m no fan of Bose’s ’Stereo Everywhere’ i.e. their 901’s, and no fan of their ’full sound’ from small sources, clever for a kitchen radio, but ...

However, I was and am still happily surprised by the little Bose Center I recommended, I have been over many years, re-configuring my equipment and furniture arrangements, never tempted to replace it, THUS, I could not tell you a thing about any other center speaker.

I guess I am lucky it’s timbre is compatible with my mains.

It's real easy to try and be surprised by it, or return it.
When you think of this receiver this way, it makes sense.

amplifier (times X 11 channels)

All this is crammed into a box that weighs 30 lbs. So think about that for a minute. In our world where preamps alone can weigh that, how does the physics even make sense?

I am in the camp that says no receiver can ever match the audio quality of a good two channel amp and preamp, or a good quality integrated amp.


One more thing tubes wear out over time and can get expensive. If you buy an amp for home theater do not use tubes unless you have the money to upkeep them. Also I love Emotiva products except for the amps unless you are using them for HT only. Otherwise pick another brand of amp. They are too sterile for music even there best versions. A lot of people do not realize that the better your HT setup sounds playing music the better it does playing music due to a lot of talking and music in movies which makes the movie more engaging and real. Also a movie is over two hours and you do not want to get listening fatigue watching a movie. 

good points, if trying to use the AVR for serious 2 channel music it will be adequate power for efficient speakers, but nothing special for sound quality.

for video, these ’kind of lightweight’ multi-channel amps can do a decent job for 5,7,9,11 channels, by their ability to send power only instantaneously here, there, not needing to send power everywhere simultaneously, so this 11.1 AVR may be good at that.

I want to add, look at the speakers first, i.e. speakers that are good for video, i.e. my DBX, successfully creating a wide center image, are not the best choice for 2 channel music. I toe my music mains in for ’just wide enough’ for 2 people, not wider than that, and dead center is still best.

sooo, pick your video main speakers based on wide enough center, high enough efficiency and lack of bass distortion because they are often too close to rear wall and also often too close to a corner. If 1 is close to a corner, another not, it is again the bass that will be the ’problem’.

Avoiding too much bass in corners is why I don’t like ports, and why so many video systems rely on subs, to get the low bass that has been avoided up front. Just not too much from the sub, and for 2 channel with video, not too little from the front, a tango.
Elliot mentioned about about the center channel. Maybe set you receiver to not have a center and let the front two speakers be the phantom center. You will be amazed how good the front end sounds especially when you get a good amp for your two channel setup. Also Bose is great for the center speaker due to it is all midrange. People sell those little cubes individually pretty cheep  On EBay so you can give it a try and keep
it hidden like he said. Let the receiver balance out the front for you with the built in room correction. 
Thanks for so many great comments.  

One question I had was, @hshifi said
For music side do two sealed subs. 
I might be dense, but if doing 2-channel stereo this wouldn't be available.  I assume he meant if using a AVR with 5.2 or 7.2?

So, I think I'm leaning toward the Rega Planar 6 and Elicit-R.  I can then grow my HT around that if I want.  Now I just got to figure out two Floorstanding units that are impressive but won't break the bank (i.e. < $2k)

You can add subwoofers for two channel stereo. If your two channel preamp does not have a subwoofer option you can run your speaker wires from your amplifier to most subwoofers and another set of speaker wires to your front L/R speakers and use the crossover controls on the subwoofers to decide what you want the frequency cutoff to be. A popular place is 50 hz as long as your front speakers can do 50hz. REL, SVS are a few popular names but even cheaper lines have this option. This way your fronts do not have to work as hard and get a lot more detail since they are not trying to go down to 20hz but most speakers bottom is 30-40hz. I prefer sealed subs for music since they produce more detail. The ported subs are great for home theater to get the room shaking with less power.
The second set of speaker wires go from the subwoofer to your speakers. That way when you change the volume the subs follow. Rega P6 is a great TT so is VPI. If you do the Rega do your research on the cartridge. Some carts pick up him from the motor when they get closer. I still would love to have the Rega P6. Best value in the Rega line. 
For a basement system like that, personally, I would pick up an array of the Crown amps, they sound great for movies or music.

prices are. Great, and the Crown amps will drive about %80 of mos speakers. Headroom, power, clean , reliable.

Search around this and other forums, those Crown amps are great!
Great sound and save money.
Work smart, not hard.

I’m a 2 ch guy only, good amps, and speakers which many call junk. YOUR EARS are the judge! No one else’s.

the Crown amps sound great, are reliable, easy to install and use.

or the QSC amps are good too, but have heard reliability issues!

Skip the high dollar amps, and try the Crowns for a basement surround system. Would b my choice for an installation like your talking about.
Have fun shopping and listening to amps etc.

the more power you have, the more headroom, and ease of clarity you will get from speakers.

 140W is ok, but you won’t get the slam, or detail needed for song/movie ending crescendo’s.  
 In my 30+ years of audio gear, I’ve only found rapture with 300WPC min!
you will need the headroom, and you will want to jam some tunes in 2ch, and 140W no matter what is not enough!

 Spend now, get enough power for your system, or go with the 140W and regret it the first time you want to “push” your volume for your fav song, and the map clips and you blow a tweeter or midrange

  sure 140W will sound fine at low to moderate volume, but you will want to show off your new addiction, to friends, family, buddies, etc!

  B&W’s are amazing, and you will need the juice to make them sound their best.  

 Speaking from 30+ years of experience.  

Thank [email protected], will keep in mind!

@hshifi Probably a silly question, but if I am only using one sub then I assume it does not matter which side I put it on (L or R)?  

If I put it on L, would that mean that all L channel audio is being sent first to my sub, then to my L speaker and all R channel audio is being sent completely to my R channel?  It would seem I would have imbalance in bass, or am I thinking too much into it.
I have a Denon based 5.1 theater system....its ok but only ok. My big system is in another room for serious listening.
re: sub....lows are non directional
Please don't resort to a crown amp..........