i also have denon and use audessy. i have two 12 inch subs (5.2 system). the subs' volume are dialed to midpoint (as suggested by their maker). the audessy will take over from here by calibrating/equalizing all the speakers by taking into account the physical make up of the room (size, carpet, couch, cabinets, walls, etc) and how far you are from the speakers (listening position). then (this is where individual preferences matter--less bass/more bass, mids, highs, etc), you will adjust the level of the front, center, surrounds and the bass (via denon recever) until you feel the right amount of bass, mids, high, front, center, surrounds. the audessy is there to calibrate and equalize all the speakers but it does not know individual preferences. this is akin to having automatic camera. it will set everything to (hopefully) take good pictures but it does not guarantee you will like the result. so it's time to learn to override the automaitc system by learning manual (not auto) operation. the more you learn about your system, the better and more knowledgeable you become as far as your taste goes. some people like darker pictures, some brighter, some like it sepia, some vivid colors, etc.