Direct vs Stereo modes

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by RobWil, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Soooo.....can somebody smart tell me whatup with direct vs stereo mode?

    I'm assuming that when in stereo mode that as long as you have subwoofer = off you don't have to deal with any additonal A/D and D/A conversions, i.e. bass management/digital domain crap? Would that be a correct assumption?.... cause I KNOW that assumption is the mother of all youknowhats.
    I have my sub wired via my speaker terminals (receiver to sub, sub to speakers) so I can listen to the sub when in direct mode. But just wondering what's happening when I switch to stereo mode cause it definitely sounds different. I have it set for flat frequency response but I'm again assuming that, when in stereo mode, the signal still flows through some additional circuitry that it doesn't in direct mode, even if not using bass management OR tone controls?

    Commenting on the sound differences heard...most CD's sound better, as far as the instruments and vocals, in direct mode, but occasionally in stereo mode I 'THINK' I can distinguish a little bit better 'soundstage' or 'imaging', for lack of better words?
    Also, for some reason, the difference in 'sound' is greater between direct and stereo mode when using my Klipsch as mains vs my Polk Audios. Just wondering if this would necessarily imply that the Klipsch are the more accurate speaker?
    As usual, all comments, ctiticism, rotten fruit and vegetable slinging, etc. is accepted and appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Rob,

    It all depends on your receiver as to the difference between the modes. Can you post your model?
     
  3. LarrySkelly

    LarrySkelly Stunt Coordinator

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    Generally direct mode bypasses all circuitry that alters the source signal. It produces a stero signal only from the source signal. It bypasses level, tone controls, bass management, etc. The resulting sound is much cleaner in my case (with a Marantz receiver).
     
  4. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Most receivers will automatically turn everything into digital even if you do not need bass management. That is specifically why there is a direct feature on higher end receivers, and why it sounds better. Direct cuts out all the digital stuff and keeps a more pure signal. That is why cheap receivers still don't sound as good, even just in stereo because they can't bypass the digital circuits.
     
  5. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the responses!
    John....my particular receiver is an Integra DTR 7.

    So really! Even though no bass management is being called upon I still get the A to D and then another D to A conversion???
     
  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    The understanding I have is pretty much the same as Brian. For me personally, as DACs and ADCs have improved, I find it somewhat difficult to accept that being digitized is all bad. (This opinion fits in with some of your listening experiences RobWil.) Still, for purists, I can understand why they would want to keep the path unconverted.

    FWIW, there is at least one exception I know of though that keeps both 2 channel Direct and Stereo as analog for the Main speakers. Denon. The only difference is that Stereo mode allows the options of analog tone controls and an analog highpass filter. Direct doesn't...
     
  7. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Appreciate the input very much....thanks!

     
  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Well, as an example of how harmless one maker thinks the ADC to DAC pathway is, the new Mark Levinson No.40 $30,000 surround processor has NO analog bypass, 2 channel or otherwise. It's ALL digitized...

    (Personally, I think that's wrong, But I use a $1200 receiver too...)
     
  9. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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