Denon AVC-X6500H 11.2 AV Amplifier Review & Comments

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
I was looking at this model but if I end up purchasing a replacement for my "Denon AVC-A11XV" sometime next year I will consider either the AVC-X8500H or the Marantz SR8012. Given that my system is in the lounge.... and i'm married, realistically I don't need more than a 7.1.4 setup and I already have a 7.1 system. Marantz's straight hi-fi stereo performance seems to, generally, garner better reviews which is important to me and therefore may sway to me that model apart from costing considerably less than the "Denon". Also the price of these two amps will probably drop next year and will have any (well most) updates available out of the box. Having said all that thanks for the review Steve. :smashin:
 

The_inspector

Standard Member
Great read there Steve. Do you plan on reviewing this amps smaller brother by any chance? I am hoping to take the plunge in the next few weeks!
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
I was looking at this model but if I end up purchasing a replacement for my "Denon AVC-A11XV" sometime next year I will consider either the AVC-X8500H or the Marantz SR8012. Given that my system is in the lounge.... and i'm married, realistically I don't need more than a 7.1.4 setup and I already have a 7.1 system. Marantz's straight hi-fi stereo performance seems to, generally, garner better reviews which is important to me and therefore may sway to me that model apart from costing considerably less than the "Denon". Also the price of these two amps will probably drop next year and will have any (well most) updates available out of the box. Having said all that thanks for the review Steve. :smashin:
I think many don't need the 11.1.4 and for the money would do well consider the Arcam or NAD 758 version 3 which both have Dirac.

While both may not have every feature under the sun (denon style) they offer very good sound and the features you are going to use.

Further they off good value and new models don't come every year and therefore values hold well.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Good review Steve. I'm not going to miss the tuner, something I never use. Because of it's size, depth wise, which is actually a little less than my X6200, it's always going to be a consideration because of my lack of depth in my cabinet.

The main question, for me at least, is has the audio performance improved over the already excellent 6200, or would the use of the Audyssey app further improve that delivery over the fixed Audyssey of the 6200. It's film performance being the most important as the front stereos will still be driven by a Rega Elicit for music.

My main beef with the 6200 was the binding posts, they are so crammed together it was almost impossible for my aged fingers to tighten them enough for bare wire connection. The obvious use of banana plugs have solved the problem yet I always think bare wire is best.
 

stblob

Well-known Member
Here's a good question? Does anyone really use these receivers to there full potential?
Your going to have a specific room to set these up or have a very, very understanding partner.
7.4.2 channels must sound amazing. Must be like setting yourself down inside a speaker.
Awesome.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Good review Steve. I'm not going to miss the tuner, something I never use. Because of it's size, depth wise, which is actually a little less than my X6200, it's always going to be a consideration because of my lack of depth in my cabinet.

The main question, for me at least, is has the audio performance improved over the already excellent 6200, or would the use of the Audyssey app further improve that delivery over the fixed Audyssey of the 6200. It's film performance being the most important as the front stereos will still be driven by a Rega Elicit for music.

My main beef with the 6200 was the binding posts, they are so crammed together it was almost impossible for my aged fingers to tighten them enough for bare wire connection. The obvious use of banana plugs have solved the problem yet I always think bare wire is best.
After a few near misses I started using locking banana plugs on the back of the Amp and bare wire on the speakers as you say not much room.
 

cobhc2008

Active Member
Great review Steve. You mention the AVR390 as an alternative which I have been looking at recently. You mention that the AVR390 has more power in it's amplifiers than the AVC-X6500H however looking at on Arcam's website the specs seem to show it as being less powerful than the Denon.

Arcam
====
Continuous power output, per channel, 8Ω (AVR390)
2 channels driven, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.02% THD - 80W
2 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 86W
7 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 60W

Denon
====
Power Output (8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.05% 2ch Drive)140 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 0.7% 2ch Drive)175 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 1% 1ch Drive)205 W

I realise the Denon's rating is at a higher THD but it definitely seems to be more powerful at the same ohmage (top rating on both spec sheets).

Am I missing something here?
 

kobebeef

Active Member
I saw Vincent's vid on HDMI 2.1 & next years TV's; I assume the same applies for AVRs ie. it won't be seen until we hit the 2020 release (6700 series)?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Great review Steve. You mention the AVR390 as an alternative which I have been looking at recently. You mention that the AVR390 has more power in it's amplifiers than the AVC-X6500H however looking at on Arcam's website the specs seem to show it as being less powerful than the Denon.

Arcam
====
Continuous power output, per channel, 8Ω (AVR390)
2 channels driven, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.02% THD - 80W
2 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 86W
7 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 60W

Denon
====
Power Output (8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.05% 2ch Drive)140 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 0.7% 2ch Drive)175 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 1% 1ch Drive)205 W

I realise the Denon's rating is at a higher THD but it definitely seems to be more powerful at the same ohmage (top rating on both spec sheets).

Am I missing something here?
Power numbers are always rather misleading, and some manufacturers are more honest than others. A lot of these measurements are based on driving one speaker and are taken just before it blows up. All I can say is that in actual usage, the Arcam seemed to have more power than the Denon.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Good review Steve. I'm not going to miss the tuner, something I never use. Because of it's size, depth wise, which is actually a little less than my X6200, it's always going to be a consideration because of my lack of depth in my cabinet.

The main question, for me at least, is has the audio performance improved over the already excellent 6200, or would the use of the Audyssey app further improve that delivery over the fixed Audyssey of the 6200. It's film performance being the most important as the front stereos will still be driven by a Rega Elicit for music.

My main beef with the 6200 was the binding posts, they are so crammed together it was almost impossible for my aged fingers to tighten them enough for bare wire connection. The obvious use of banana plugs have solved the problem yet I always think bare wire is best.
It's hard to say because I reviewed the X6200 over two and a half years ago, but probably not.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
After a few near misses I started using locking banana plugs on the back of the Amp and bare wire on the speakers as you say not much room.
I use banana plus as well, but then I do have a lot of AV receivers going through the home cinema.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Great read there Steve. Do you plan on reviewing this amps smaller brother by any chance? I am hoping to take the plunge in the next few weeks!
We'll see what we can do.
 

Mister_Tad

Well-known Member
Here's a good question? Does anyone really use these receivers to there full potential?
Your going to have a specific room to set these up or have a very, very understanding partner.
7.4.2 channels must sound amazing. Must be like setting yourself down inside a speaker.
Awesome.
I've wondered the same thing. I've found on several occasions others have expected me to explain myself with an X8500 and only 5.1.4. Then I ask the same to find that they have a 11ch, or 9ch, or 7ch AVR and 5.1 speakers.

I may well add channels some day, perhaps even to the full 7.2.6. On the other hand I may not, but it's nice to have the option, there were other benefits to moving up the food change and with no down-side (other than the ~2000 obvious ones) in leaving channels or other bells and/or whistles unused.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Here's a good question? Does anyone really use these receivers to there full potential?
Your going to have a specific room to set these up or have a very, very understanding partner.
7.4.2 channels must sound amazing. Must be like setting yourself down inside a speaker.
Awesome.
Answer: Yep! I have an X8500H and use the full 7.2.6 at all times. And yes, some UHD BD tracks are absolutely out of this world. Dedicated room, though, which I would agree is actually required.
 

LX200GPS

Member
Looks like a really nice amp but no FM then no deal I'm afraid. It's not as if there's loads of FM tuners out there to choose from. How much extra would it cost Denon to add this? Two and six?
 

nicfaz

Active Member
Great review Steve. You mention the AVR390 as an alternative which I have been looking at recently. You mention that the AVR390 has more power in it's amplifiers than the AVC-X6500H however looking at on Arcam's website the specs seem to show it as being less powerful than the Denon.

Arcam
====
Continuous power output, per channel, 8Ω (AVR390)
2 channels driven, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.02% THD - 80W
2 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 86W
7 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 60W

Denon
====
Power Output (8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.05% 2ch Drive)140 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 0.7% 2ch Drive)175 W
Power Output (6 ohm, 1 kHz, 1% 1ch Drive)205 W

I realise the Denon's rating is at a higher THD but it definitely seems to be more powerful at the same ohmage (top rating on both spec sheets).

Am I missing something here?
As Steve says, power ratings can be misleading. Arcam's specs say "Continuous Power Output", meaning it can deliver that power constantly, Denon's website just says "Power Output" so it may mean peak power delivered for just a fraction of a second. Continuous power might be half (or less) of peak power, so the Denon might be more in the 60-70W range if measured on the same basis. I have owned both Arcam and Denon amps, the Denon's were more reliable and had better features, the Arcam's had better amplification, comparable to proper stereo amps.

The real test will be the type of speakers you want to connect - if you've got a set of fairly benign 8Ohm speakers then the Denon will be fine. If you have some hard to drive speakers (dipping down to 4 or even 2Ohm under load) then the Arcam would be better. But that said, if you have lots of hard to drive speakers then you might be better with a support amplifier anyway (each amp has pre-outs, letting you add another amplifier to take the strain, at more expense!).
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
As Steve says, power ratings can be misleading. Arcam's specs say "Continuous Power Output", meaning it can deliver that power constantly, Denon's website just says "Power Output" so it may mean peak power delivered for just a fraction of a second. Continuous power might be half (or less) of peak power, so the Denon might be more in the 60-70W range if measured on the same basis. I have owned both Arcam and Denon amps, the Denon's were more reliable and had better features, the Arcam's had better amplification, comparable to proper stereo amps.

The real test will be the type of speakers you want to connect - if you've got a set of fairly benign 8Ohm speakers then the Denon will be fine. If you have some hard to drive speakers (dipping down to 4 or even 2Ohm under load) then the Arcam would be better. But that said, if you have lots of hard to drive speakers then you might be better with a support amplifier anyway (each amp has pre-outs, letting you add another amplifier to take the strain, at more expense!).
That's very true, and I mainly used the X6500 with the B&W 700 Series I was testing at the time, which are rated at 8Ohms. However it was also able to drive my reference MK S150 speakers, which are 4Ohms.
 

CarMad

Member
In test bench scores between Arcam and Denon relating to the power they actually produce there is rarely a fag paper in it when comparing models.

Arcam 850 vs Denon 7200/8500 just as an example are very very close. There are two sets of figures below generated by Sound And Vision tests. One is for a Denon 7200 the other Arcam 850; spoiler the one with the higher figures isn't a Arcam. The figures are reflective as you go up and down the range. Yes Dirac might be better and the sound is different but the reality of the power they generate and the control they have on the speaker the difference will be negligible.


AV Receiver 1
Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 125.9 watts
1% distortion at 142.8 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 115.2 watts
1% distortion at 129.9 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 110.3 watts
1% distortion at 121.2 watts

AV Receiver 2
2 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 146.6 watts
1% distortion at 185.8 watts

5 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 122.3 watts
1% distortion at 138.0 watts

7 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 113.7 watts
1% distortion at 124.0 watts


Read more at Denon AVR-X7200W A/V Receiver Review Test Bench
 

indus

Distinguished Member
I don't get the comment about it supporting BT 2020 and HDR. Haven't all DM AVRs done this for the past 3 or 4 years?
 

ivagiglie

Member
Here's a good question? Does anyone really use these receivers to there full potential?
Your going to have a specific room to set these up or have a very, very understanding partner.
7.4.2 channels must sound amazing. Must be like setting yourself down inside a speaker.
Awesome.
Not the full potential but very happy about the 7.1.4 setup in my living room with the X8500H, definitely a step up in certain movies compared to my old 7.1 one.

Given the geometry of the room, adding front wides or the two mid atmos channels is not really possible but I'll try to test sooner or later (probably when a particularly good Atmos track catches my fancy) to see if there's any improvement whatsoever.

I had a 7.1.4 setup with the X6400H for a while but this required an additional amplifier for two channels (having only 9 on board) and the X6400H did not give complete freedom to choose those channels, so I had to keep the two amplifiers close to each other instead of hiding one in the back of the room as I wanted.
I sent the 6400 back for a different reason but I can say that having everything in a single box makes life much easier and the 8500 is much more flexible in the channel assignment if you have a complex setup, so definitely a thumbs up from me!

PS I also have a butt kicker which I turn on for some action movies... I know sound purists hate that but makes movies with lots BOOMs and BANGs enjoyable that I wouldn't watch otherwise :)
 

TL24

Active Member
I just recently bought the 6500H to pair with my Martin Logan Motion 40's, Motion 50XT, Dynamo 700 and some random Polk surround speakers.

This receiver allows me to set the impedance from the default 8ohm to either 6ohm or 4ohm. Martin Logan states that both the Motion 40's and Motion 50XT are "4 Ohms Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers." - so what should I set my impedance to? Sorry I'm still learning as I go here and some guidance would be greatly appreciated!
 

CarMad

Member
Leave it at 8ohm to get the maximum output from the AVR unless you run into problems but that is unlikely.

I’m running a Denon AVR with 4 ohm Arendals and it’s been fine but does run out of steam at higher volumes and the sound thins a little.
 

TL24

Active Member
Leave it at 8ohm to get the maximum output from the AVR unless you run into problems but that is unlikely.

I’m running a Denon AVR with 4 ohm Arendals and it’s been fine but does run out of steam at higher volumes and the sound thins a little.
Thanks for your input, I did email Martin Logan directly last night and their response was to keep my 6500H set to 4 Ohm: "We also recommend keeping the receiver set to 4 Ohms."

I'll play around my settings some more tonight and will report back what works best for me. Just trying to see what others are doing with 4 ohm capable speakers.
 

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