HT Bypass - is this a scam?

G

Goliath

Full Audioholic
I wanted to know from those more experienced what their thoughts are regarding this feature. AV processors and receivers have a pure direct mode to bypass visual / DSP modes but the thought is that one need to purchase two separate preamps, one that is dedicated to two channel and one dedicated to AV.

I mean, you have buy-wiring where folks are expected to purchase double the cable for some sonic reward which is highly controversial. You have buy-amping, where folks are expected to double the number of amps for some sonic reward which can be highly controversial too, unless we are discussing active bi-amping. So we have buy-wiring and buy-amping and now have have buy-preamping too aka HT bypass. :D

What are your thoughts on this?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
Completely superfluous and a waste of resources (wastes $, wastes real estate too). And, Senseless addition of complexity. The simple solution is the BEST solution!

I suppose the caveat is that it could be useful if your AVR isn't very good, but I would make the assumption that people looking into this have at least mid-range AVRs.

Add it to the list-- HT Bypass = HT BUY-pass
 
L

Leemix

Audioholic General
Its useful if you want to use a pre(and/or other 2ch equipment) that colors the sound slightly that you enjoy more than what you get from the AVR/AVP. It wouldnt be needed if all music was well made instead of generally shoddy work.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
On Yamaha the Pure Direct bypasses bass management so it’s not useful to me.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
As slippery said, but I would add that it could go both ways too. Sometimes people think because they have a "separate" preamp, they want to use it because they thought it must "sound better". In reality it depends..
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
I find myself being less offended at the idea of using a separate 2-channel rig with HT-by-pass... though I do see it still as a complication.
I know I've been very happy using my AVR for Stereo listening and for HT. So would I ever go out and do this? Probably not.
*shrugs
;)
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
As slippery said, but I would add that it could go both ways too. Sometimes people think because they have a "separate" preamp, they want to use it because they thought it must "sound better". In reality it depends..
I have a separate (2 channel) pre-amp. And, I want to use it.....in a separate / dedicated 2 (2.1) channel system :cool:

Do I think it sounds better than my AVR? Maybe (but not likely). Actually, I do think my Emo Pre-amp + Parasound Amp seems to have a lower noise floor and sound better. But, I also think that I am biased and not capable of reliably making that judgment. o_O

Do I think separate Pre-amp + amp + cables = more real estate, more complexity, and more $. Absolutely that is a YES! ;)
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Field Marshall
No, I don't think it's a scam. I find it useful, though I may be in the minority. While I like the DSP for movies, there are times I prefer to bypass the room correction in my AVR and listen in Pure Direct when playing music. It's like setting the tone controls to 0 on your pre-amp at the touch of a button. It can also be a useful exercise to turn the DSP off and on to hear what the room correction is doing, so I like having Pure Direct available.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Never sought out or think I needed such a setup, don't find amps are special in an integrated at all, either, tho (receivers without a tuner). If you want separates get separates. But basically using two alternate integrated amps seems a waste of electronics in any case.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Do I think it sounds better than my AVR? Maybe (but not likely). Actually, I do think my Emo Pre-amp + Parasound Amp seems to have a lower noise floor and sound better. But, I also think that I am biased and not capable of reliably making that judgment. o_O
With noise it is easy to tell/predict even just going by the published specs, and definitely by measurements. One just have to stick ones' ears (could be risky though so need to be careful) to within a few mm of each driver of the speaker, hear and compare...

One thing I bet not well known is that the recent Denon AVR's including my 2017 AVR-X4400H have very quiet preamp/dac even when compared to some or many AVPs and pure preamps. I just experimented this recently, using a RCA to XLR interconnect with my very quiet Hypex and Purifi amps, and found the AVR was much quieter than my AV8801(that has extensive shielding based on the marketing information), and about as quiet as my $2,000 Cambridge Audio preamp, despite the prepro and the preamp's balanced I/O advantage. That's why I caution that preamps, even the real ones without build in dac and dsp functions do not out perform some good AVRs. It seems your findings are consistent as mine.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
HT-Bypass is a gimmick to most of us because it doesn’t improve actual sound quality.

But it does seem to make some people feel good, so it’s not a gimmick to those people. There’s really no harm, but most of us just don’t care for it.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
No, I don't think it's a scam. I find it useful, though I may be in the minority. While I like the DSP for movies, there are times I prefer to bypass the room correction in my AVR and listen in Pure Direct when playing music. It's like setting the tone controls to 0 on your pre-amp at the touch of a button. It can also be a useful exercise to turn the DSP off and on to hear what the room correction is doing, so I like having Pure Direct available.
He is talking about using a "HT bypass" physical/cable connection on your AVR, you connect a 2-channel pre-amp and use that pre-amp exclusively for 2 channel audio.

i.e. adding some hardware and cables. NOT just bypassing the room correction settings.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
With noise it is easy to tell/predict even just going by the published specs, and definitely by measurements. One just have to stick ones' ears (could be risky though so need to be careful) to within a few mm of each driver of the speaker, hear and compare...

One thing I bet not well known is that the recent Denon AVR's including my 2017 AVR-X4400H have very quiet preamp/dac even when compared to some or many AVPs and pure preamps. I just experimented this recently, using a RCA to XLR interconnect with my very quiet Hypex and Purifi amps, and found the AVR was much quieter than my AV8801(that has extensive shielding based on the marketing information), and about as quiet as my $2,000 Cambridge Audio preamp, despite the prepro and the preamp's balanced I/O advantage. That's why I caution that preamps, even the real ones without build in dac and dsp functions do not out perform some good AVRs. It seems your findings are consistent as mine.
On a related note, my goal is to max out all of my gains, no source playing, ear right next to the tweeter, and have absolute silence. I have accomplished this in various setups over the years, but it is not a given. If my system can't accomplish this, then I would typically dial back some gain so that it is dead silent at max volume (with no source playing).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
On a related note, my goal is to max out all of my gains, no source playing, ear right next to the tweeter, and have absolute silence. I have accomplished this in various setups over the years, but it is not a given. If my system can't accomplish this, then I would typically dial back some gain so that it is dead silent at max volume (with no source playing).
That's what I have been doing too and I only started to get a little concern about the risk (hearing damage) since someone mentioned the however remote possibility of any "pop" that might happen just when the ear is virtually touching the driver, due to something that triggers such noise by a device turning on, or something accidentally touching somewhere on the electrical distribution within the house etc. etc.. I know such a risk would be extremely low, and even if it happens, a split second kind of loud noise burst should not cause permanent damage anyway, I would think... I mentioned out of abundance of caution only.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Field Marshall
He is talking about using a "HT bypass" physical/cable connection on your AVR, you connect a 2-channel pre-amp and use that pre-amp exclusively for 2 channel audio.

i.e. adding some hardware and cables. NOT just bypassing the room correction settings.
OK, interesting. I don't think that I've read about that feature before. I've seen some people post systems with separate HT and music speakers in the same setup, but not something I would do.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic
It’s a clever feature built into some nice pre’s but I’m with most others here; with the improvement in reducing the noise floor on lost newer AVR/AVPs, you can accomplish a very similar result by simply using an external source that you feel may provide results superior to whatever you use to process your signal through a pure direct/analog input.

I do this with my AVM 70 and a Node running through a Denafrips Ares II DAC in pure analog. Is it really better? Sounds like it. And it is a more simple solution than adding a pre and use HT Bypass.
 
M

mtrot

Full Audioholic
HT-Bypass is a gimmick to most of us because it doesn’t improve actual sound quality.

But it does seem to make some people feel good, so it’s not a gimmick to those people. There’s really no harm, but most of us just don’t care for it.
Right on. HT bypass does allow me to drive my front speakers with my 100 pound Krell class A power amp! :D
 
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