I used to own a very respectable Denon AVR5700 before I started to upgrade. My first high end upgrade was a pair of B&W 803D's which I still own & love. Over time I acquired more higher end, components. (that is higher than the aforementioned receiver).
I did indeed drive the B&W's with that 5700, and was surprised at how good things sounded - at the time, mind you, with my limited experience w/ high end gear.
However, the receiver limitations really began to show as I continued to refine my rig.
Little did I realize how incredible the 800 series can sound, given the right kind of power and current. They are now quite stunning, even with a 600 watts per stereo amp!
My goal is to eventually acquire either Pass Labs or Classe' mono blocs; but by then I hope to have also gone up the 800 series.
Anyway, I have to agree w/ Pdreher; It is possible, but I don't think even advisable, and definitely will not be able to truly appreciate.
I don't think you can truly appreciate their sheer velocity (dynamics) and finesse, without the right engine!