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Denon Direct Modes (1 Viewer)

Denis K

Dec 8, 2000

Can someone please explain the difference between Denon's "Pure Direct/Direct/Stereo Modes on Digital/Analog inputs" on the 3803, and the "Stereo/Direct Modes w/Pure Analog Path" offered on the 2803?

Thanks in advance,


Supporting Actor
Feb 19, 2002
OK, here goes to the best of my knowledge.

Stereo: Normal stereo operation. The if using an analog signal it will get converted to digital, pass through any tone controls, then go to bass management, then back to analog to the speakers.
Direct: Bypasses all the tone controls and turns off all video circuitry. If analog, the signal is still converted to digital for bass management.
Pure Direct: The incoming analog signal is duplicated, one goes direct to the amps for the main channels, the other gets converted to digital for bass management (if using a sub, if not it is pure analog). The main speakers get the original full range signal, and the second path goes to the sub. This mode turns off all digital circuitry that is not needed.

In Direct/Pure Direct on the 3803, if using a digital signal it runs through AL24 to improve the accurcy of the analog conversion.

The 2803 does not have Pure Direct or AL24. So direct mode is somewhere between the 2. It is basically the same as direct but an untouched full range signal goes to the main speakers (if using an analog connection, that is where the Pure Analog path comes from).

Chuck Kent

Supporting Actor
May 29, 1999
Well, my take on these modes is a bit different...

Direct Mode: If analog, the signal is split into 2 identical parts. One is sent full range to the mains, the other is digitized, lowpass filtered and sent on to the sub output. (The sub in Direct can be disabled.) If the original 2 channel signal is digital, the full range signal is ran thru the DACs and on to the mains. The sub receives a digital lowpass signal as earlier and can still be defeated as in the analog mode. The tone controls are bypassed in Direct mode. (BTW, the mains will be sent a full range signal, even if set as "Small".)

Pure Direct Mode: The same as Direct mode except the video circuitry and the front panel display are disabled. If the original signal is analog, only the DAC and lowpass filter feeding the sub's circuit are left on. If it is a digital signal, only the necessary digital circuitry is left on.

The current Denon Stereo Mode's exact nature has been debated recently. If fed an analog signal, older units used the 2 identical analog pathways mentioned above and allowed one to use an analog highpass along with the digital lowpass. This still kept the signal as analog from the mains, even when set to "Small". The tone controls were also available.
Stereo Mode in the current models may no longer operate as an all analog pathway to the mains. They may be digitizing the incoming analog signal from the start. Some of us have tried to get Denon to verify the current Stereo mode's actions but so far, no luck...

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