Denon: "Direct" vs "Stereo"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Craig_B, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. Craig_B

    Craig_B Agent

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    I have a 3802 with all speakers set to small and a sub. I was wondering what the difference is between Direct and Stereo modes when listinening to a standard CD?

    What setting do most people use to listen to 2 channel music?

    Thanks,

    Craig
     
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I've got a 3300 with a Pioneer 100 CD Jukebox connected via optical with Energy e:XL 16's. I can't tell the difference and usually listen in "Stereo".

    With some receivers, Direct will bypass the Sub, but most Denon's do not, to my knowledge.
     
  3. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I have never been able to hear a difference between STEREO and DIRECT or PURE DIRECT for that matter on my 4802 + Paradigm Monitor 7s. I even posted about it, you will find it if you search with "direct" and "overrated". Perhaps "Holadem" would help [​IMG]
    In any case, my sub definitly works in DIRECT or PURE DIRECT mode, though I read that Denon does some ungodly thing with that analog crossover - double bass I believe.
    I just use stereo, because I am sure I ain't getting no double bass, and I can't hear a difference!
    --
    Holadem
     
  4. Brian O

    Brian O Second Unit

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    On my 3300, the Direct mode sounds lifeless to me. I prefer a bump on the tone controls with this receiver, so I use the Stereo mode.
     
  5. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    In a "pure direct" mode you are strictly passing analog signals to the left and right speakers. There are stipulations with the 3802 in that you have to set your sub level to OFF to get a true direct mode. If you have the sub at -12 or higher then the signal is getting sent through the receivers DACs - that bad.

    It sounds very much better than stereo. Slap in a good recording or SACD and watch the 3802 butcher it in stereo mode.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Direct does not bypass the sub. Bass management and tone controls are bypassed = no processing. Whatever comes in, is what should be coming out, adding only the sonic signature of the amp section, not any of the circuitry in the receiver's loop. The sub is not part of a normal stereo track.

    As for "needing" tone controls, if it doesn't sound good with them flat, you've started in the wrong place, IMO. That's kind of like buying a brand new car and painting it a different color because it wasn't the color you wanted when you bought it.
     
  7. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,

    The 3802's direct mode sends the signal directly to the amps. It ALSO sends the signal to the A/D converter and bass management processor to extract the low frequency content ONLY and sends it to the sub. That's why you need to run the sub volume past -12 to "OFF" to get pure analog direct to your speaks. Stereo mode digitizes the signal and processes it according to your settings.

    Austin

     
  8. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,

    If you have a look at the Denon 3802's manual, near the back there are charts as to what is turned on when using the different modes (i.e. Direct, Stereo, DPL II, etc.). The only difference between the Direct and Stereo mode, according to the manual, is that the tone controls will be in the audio path with respect to the Stereo setting and conversely not when it is in the Direct setting.

    I used to listen to the Direct setting with the sub still on (you can turn it off by setting the sub channel one notch below -12 dB - it will say "OFF" or "SUB OFF" on the display if you do this). As I now have a SACD player hooked up via the "EXT-IN", it bypasses everything except individual channel volume settings.

    Good explanation Austin.
     
  9. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi David,

    One thing you might want to try with the SACD is to run a pair of interconnects from the 2-ch SACD output into an unused set of analog inputs on the receiver. Then, set the input to "Direct" mode. You get analog pass-through to the amps PLUS the sub will output the lows that your mains are incapable of producing. You'll probably have to fiddle with your crossover settings in both the receiver and at the sub so you get a smooth transition where your mains leave off. After a bit of twiddling, I find this setup works exceptionally well for stereo SACD (ie. Stones Remasters). Let me know what you think if you give it a shot. Good luck.

    Austin

     
  10. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I am always willing to try out different things on my system.
     
  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I always use direct mode for two channel listening. No tone controls for me and it sounds phenomenal. I only have the 3802 as the preamp and the amp duties are handled by a Proceed BPA2.
     
  12. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi,

    The question is: do you listen "direct" with or without sub? If without (sub set to -13), then you're analog direct from preouts to your amp. If with, then your sub preout will be sending sub-80Hz (assuming global crossover set to 80Hz) signal and your main preouts will be sending full-range (20-20k) to your amp. How do you handle the overlap? IOW, if your mains go to 35Hz, you'll be getting 35-80 from your mains and 20-80 from your sub (double-bass).

    Austin


     
  13. Gordon B

    Gordon B Agent

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    The double bass sounds like what is happening with my Denon 4800 in direct mode. In stereo mode, calibrating my double SVS Ultras with my mains was no problem. In direct mode, no matter how low I turn down the sub level control on the 4800 compared to the mains, CD music sounds way too bassy. I have mains (B&W 7NTs)set to small, sub on. Haven't tried turning the sub off to see what happens. And don't those Denon manuals suck?
     
  14. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are running "Stereo," with tone controls, "Off:" what is the difference between "Direct" and "Stereo?"

    jdg
     
  15. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    If you mean with the "Tone Defeat" turned on (thus bypassing the tone circuitry) and in the "Stereo" setting, I have no clue. The manual states nothing in this regard. Perhaps you could phone Denon and ask that specific technical question.
     
  16. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I listen to my 3802 in "direct" mode (along with a two-channel Odyssey Stratos amp) with the sub off and it sounds great to my ears. To me, the "stereo" mode just sounds too "sparkly" like the highs are being boosted. The direct mode just sounded more natural.
     
  17. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi John,

    "Stereo" goes through A/D, Bass Management, D/A, then on to the amps (or preouts). "Direct" goes right to the amps (or preouts) without any signal manipulation. The cool thing about Direct is that a second "copy" of the signal IS processed and bass content is extracted from it and sent to the sub. This gives you a unique hybrid for high-resolution 2-channel sources like SACD - a straight-through path for the full-range signal AND low bass to your sub. With careful manipulation of the crossover settings (receiver and sub), a seamless transition between mains and sub can be achieved and 2-channel sources absolutely shine.

    BTW, the "Pure Direct" mode on some Denon models shuts off digital, video and display circuitry as well so there is less potential interference with the source signal.


     
  18. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Austin,

    I had wrote almost that exact same thing in my my previous post (i.e. Stereo goes through AD, BM, DA) but was not close to 100% sure so I deleted it prior to posting. Where did you get your information from? Secondly, from this, if one already has the signal coming in via a digital line, it goes directly to BM. Correct?
     
  19. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I can easily hear a difference between Direct and Stereo on my 3802 with ACI Sapphire IIIs (using an external amp, or even the internal amp). Direct sounds much more 'natural' than stereo.
     
  20. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    No sub in direct mode for me. I used to use ext-in before but I couldn't really tell the difference without the sub so I started using direct instead.
     

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