"Direct" and "Pure Audio" Modes on Receivers...

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by PearlcorderS701, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    What is the deal with these modes? Today, I played around with my Onkyo TX-8555 stereo receiver's Pure Audio and Direct modes while playing some CDs, and honestly, I couldn't hear any difference between them and normal Stereo, where the tone controls are active...

    I understand that these modes bypass the bass and treble controls typically, and the Pure Audio even shuts off the receiver's display and video circuitry for supposed "cleaner" audio transfer and delivery, but honestly, I couldn't hear much, if any, difference between Stereo (where I leave my bass and treble at the midway default anyway) and Pure/Direct. With Pure and then Direct, the bass was still punchy and active, and there wasn't really any "cleaning up" of the signal that I could detect -- are these modes supposed to be readily audible in terms of sound differences or are they basically just bypassing the tone controls?

    I'm thinking I'll just stick with the normal Stereo mode output and leave the bass and treble at midway...

    Any thoughts?
  2. Stripes Full Audioholic

    Stripes
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    I know with my Elite the Direct and Pure Direct turn off all the EQ perameters and the phase control, some purists may like this but I find it makes my music kind of dull and lifeless sounding.
  3. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    Thanks for the reply, Stripes.

    The funny thing is, when I engage these circuits on my stereo receiver, the audio signal from my CD changer doesn't really change or get "dull and lifeless" as you put it (which is what I expected to happen)...

    :confused:
  4. sholling Audioholic Ninja

    sholling
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    On some receivers "direct" bypasses all processing and bass management. For example music from stereo source would be played entirely through the L&R fronts with nothing sent to the subwoofer.
  5. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    That may be what's happening to my system, Sholling -- because I am not running a sub in my stereo two channel setup, my Onkyo's Direct/Pure modes have nothing to shut down in that regard; the mains though sound just about the same when switching between Pure, Direct and Stereo. The sound is just "as punchy" in any of these modes...

    There's supposed to be a "cleaner" signal going into the receiving and amplification stage when choosing a Pure or Direct mode, but I don't really sense this when I select these on the TX-8555. With my 605 surround AVR, there were differences in Direct vs. Multichannel and such, as the sub was being cut out of the picture and other factors -- but you are right in that Direct and/or Pure on most pieces of gear bypass tone controls and the sub. I am just wondering why the modes sounded so similar on my 8555...
  6. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Pure Direct on my Yamaha RX-V1800 bypasses all the DSP, bass management, YPAO (Yamaha's version of Audessy) and the display. I use this mode when listening to vinyl or CDs as I love the soubnd of my speakers running full range in music mode. The biggest difference I hear is becuase it bypasses YPAO and bass management.
    3db,
    • Like Like x 1
  7. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Yeah, basically if you are just using Stereo 2.0 (no sub) and you are not messing with any EQs (Room EQ, Tones) or any DSPs (Hall, Concert, Rock, etc.), then you will not notice any difference between Stereo, Direct, & Pure Direct.

    You definitely won't hear any difference between Direct & Pure Direct.:D

    Mine is set to Direct Mode for every single thing (music & movies).

    Now with movies, the setting will automatically change to Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, etc. according to the source.
  8. billy p Audioholic Ninja

    billy p
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    We paid more for our AVR's to have this processing prowess and then were going to bypass it by using PD...:confused:. Not me....if this counts as a vote.:D
  9. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    over ruled!!!! :p
    3db,
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  10. moves Full Audioholic

    moves
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    thank you... i learn something new everyday :)
  11. supervij Audioholic General

    supervij
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    I definitely use the Pure Direct mode on my receiver when listening to 2-channel music. Although I've an awesome sub, there's a clarity and precision to the music that was lacking without the PD mode. Of course, this is completely subjective.

    But I definitely remember listening to some vinyl this one time, and switching between PD and normal stereo mode -- with stereo, the vocals sounded like they were coming out of the two main speakers; with PD, they sounded like they were emanating from the centre speaker. I can't explain that one, but there it is.

    cheers,
    supervij
  12. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    From the owners manal:

    When this unit is in the “STRAIGHT” mode, 2-channel
    stereo sources are output from only the front left and right
    speakers. Multi-channel sources are decoded straight into
    the appropriate channels without any additional effect
    processing.

    You can mix down multi-channel sources to 2 channels
    and enjoy playback in 2-channel stereo.
    Press STEREO on the remote control
    repeatedly to select “2ch Stereo”.

    • You can use a subwoofer with this program when “LFE/BASS
    OUT” is set to “SWFR” or “BOTH” (see page 80).
    • You can also select the “2ch Stereo” mode by rotating the
    NPROGRAM selector on the front panel.


    DIRECT
    (“2ch Stereo” only)
    2-channel stereo direct. Bypasses the decoders and DSP processors of this unit for pure hi-fi stereo
    sound when playing 2-channel analog sources.
    Choices: AUTO, OFF
    y•
    Select “AUTO” to bypass the decoders, DSP processors and the tone control circuitry only when
    “BASS” and “TREBLE” are set to 0 dB (see page 52).
    • Select “OFF” not to bypass the decoders, DSP processors and the tone control circuitry when
    “BASS” and “TREBLE” are set to 0 dB.
    • When multi-channel signals are input, they are downmixed to 2 channels and output from the front
    left and right speakers.
    • The low-frequency signals of the front left and right channels are redirected to the subwoofer in the
    following cases:
    – “LFE/BASS OUT” is set to “BOTH” (see page 80).
    – “FRONT SP” is set to “SMALL” (see page 80) and “LFE/BASS OUT” is set to “SWFR” (see
    page 80).

    When this unit is in the "Pure Direct mode", this unit does not
    output any video signals at the MONITOR OUT jacks and the
    HDMI OUT jack.
    • When you set the audio input jack select setting to “AUTO”,
    “HDMI”, or “COAX/OPT” (see page 43) and play back the
    bitstreams or multi-channel PCM sources, this unit activates the
    corresponding decoder.
    • The following operations are not possible when this unit is in
    the Pure Direct mode:
    – switching the sound field program
    – displaying the OSD
    – adjusting the “SET MENU” parameters (except for speaker
    level settings)
    – operating video functions (video conversion, etc.)
    • The Pure Direct mode is automatically canceled whenever this
    unit is turned off.
    3db,
  13. billy p Audioholic Ninja

    billy p
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    Well I don't have a TT anymore but I'm willing to experiment using some CD's when you come over in a few weeks...:)
  14. tcarcio Audioholic General

    tcarcio
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    I thought that the Elite only turned off all processing in pure direct but not in direct??
  15. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    Everyone in this thread went off an a tangent about surround sound receivers, when Pearl was talking about the Onkyo TX-8555, which is an analog stereo receiver with no digital processing of any kind.

    The direct mode on a stereo receiver serves the purpose of bypassing tonal controls. By bypassing the tonal controls you effectively reduce signal noise that arrives at the amplifier by removing those controls from the signal chain. It's highly likely you would notice only one change, the SNR (signal to noise ratio). If you switch the direct mode to on with your ear next to the speaker while no music is playing the stereo "hiss" should be reduced. If it does not reduce this hiss at all, then it's a poorly executed direct mode.

    In any case, for listening to music (assuming your tonal controls are set to flat) there would be no audible difference for music listening.
  16. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I have noticed this on an old Pioneer 5.1 receiver. In Stereo mode or Surround DSP modes, there is a "hiss". But in Direct mode, there is NO "hiss".
  17. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    Thank you very much, Seth -- I couldn't have said it better. I was talking about my analog stereo receiver, not a surround AVR.

    Yes, as I stated, I do keep my tone controls set to flat, and I do believe I experienced what you suggest here -- that is, a slight hiss to the signal, but I cannot confirm that. But being that I do keep the controls like this, you're saying there should be no discernable difference between Stereo and the pure modes?

    Why would a "stereo" signal cause some kind of interference or "hiss"? This is introduced just because of the tone controls?

    Thank you, Seth, for getting the thread back on track and for your assistance.
  18. tom67 Full Audioholic

    tom67
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    The pure direct on my Yamaha is analog only and requires a non digital cable.....I used RCA and, like you could not hear a difference between that and "straight stereo".....I frankly think I would get interested in this feature if I was using a turntable only....I also notice that it requires a lot of volume to get the same level as regular stereo which is strange since the amp driving 2 channels only and nothing else....
  19. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    You want to talk about a thread "going off on a tangent," Seth? Take a look at what happened in my "Power Conditioners" thread in that section of the forum...:eek: :rolleyes:
  20. PearlcorderS701 Banned

    PearlcorderS701
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    Tom,

    Is your Yamaha a surround receiver?

    I have found that with "Direct" or "Pure" on my surround AVR, the sound does drop somewhat in output -- but "comes back to life" via Stereo. But on my stereo receiver which I use for two channel playback in a separate room and system, Stereo sounds exactly the same as Pure or Direct. :confused:

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