Receivers that turn OFF bass-management in DIRECT mode

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Chan, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a receiver or pre-pro that has the ability to switch off bass-management in 2-channel source-direct mode.

    Here is my situation: I have a pair of Paradigm Active/40's and a PW-2200 sub. When I play music, I want my sub OFF and the mains to play in full range (LARGE), as I find the PW-2200 too slow for music. BUT, when I watch movies, I want to route low bass to the sub instead (mains set to SMALL), as my Active/40's only go to 30Hz or so.

    Is there any receiver or pre-pro that can do this as I am tired of manually having to switch settings back and forth between large and small every time I listen to a CD.

    -Vince
     
  2. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    I previously owned the Marantz SR-8000 and the Marantz AV-9000 prepro, and they both have a Source Direct stereo mode. (I am wondering since you asked about source-direct mode if you already knew that, or are just great at guessing! LOL!)

    The Marantz Source Direct mode overrides whatever bass management setting you have, so you can set your mains to small and they will play as small (along with activating the subwoofer output) for all modes except Source Direct stereo, in which case the mains are set to large and all other speakers, including the subwoofer, are inactive.

    I believe that the SR-14, SR-18 and SR-19 have this feature too. All of the Marantz receivers and prepros I have mentioned are 5.1, so if you desire 6.1/7.1, DPL II, THX EX, etc, then you may want to look at Marantz's recent releases. I am not sure of the model numbers (although SR-8200 and SR-9200 come to mind), but I believe that Marantz would probably keep this feature.

    Good luck!

    Michael
     
  3. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    The Denon 3802 allows you to do this.
     
  4. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    The parasound 2500U will let you do this and was made for music

    check it out at their web site.
     
  5. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    The Denon AVR-5800 does this in the "direct" modes. You can also switch it back over to stereo to get your bass mgmt back.
     
  6. Dela Rosa

    Dela Rosa Auditioning

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    In theory, any Pre/Pro (or receiver, for that matter) that has an advertised "Source Direct" mode should bypass any bass management functions, since true analog pass thru does not go thru the DSP stages, which is where most (if not all) bass management is implemented.

    Truthfully, any Pre/Pro worth it's weight should have a "Source" or "Analog" direct mode that bypasses bass management. The Parasound Pre/Pro referenced earlier is a great example, as well as the Pre/Pro I own, the Aragon SoundStage. Classe, Nakamichi, and others also made Pre/Pros with this capability.

    Also, the receivers mentioned in this thread, Marantz and Denon, are great examples.

    If you're looking at the top tier models, you can't go wrong. Below that, it sometimes becomes a marketing game.

    Christian
     
  7. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Great Post Dela
     
  8. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the useful info guys!

    Dela, you raised an interesting point, any true ANALOG bypass should circumvent the bass management. However, I neglected to mention that I want to use the receiver to decode the PCM signal from the CD transport, thus, I'm not using analog input but rather the digital input via optical. This is where the problem lies.

    My experience with the Denon 4802 showed that the sub was still on during the 'direct' mode with CD digital in, so some sort of bass management was still going on. The mains were set to 'small' and didn't switch to 'large' upon entering the 'direct' mode. The Yamaha RXV1200 I tested was the same. Has anyone experienced otherwise with a digital input?
     
  9. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Vince,

    I haven't tried it from the CD input, but my Onkyo 989 in direct mode playing from the DVD player/digital coax interconnect bypasses the sub.

    Switch to stereo (or other mode) to reengage the sub.

    Is this what you asked?
     
  10. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "However, I neglected to mention that I want to use the receiver to decode the PCM signal from the CD transport, thus, I'm not using analog input but rather the digital input via optical...Has anyone experienced otherwise with a digital input?"

    Yes, but only with a coax digital connection. The Lexicon MC-1 has 3 digital coax expansion ports, which was part of Lexicon's attempt 3 years ago to handle any future multi-channel digital signals. While nothing came of that feature, it was determined that Expansion Port A could be used with a digital coax PCM input. The resulting stereo signals would be played full-range by the MC-1, regardless of the speaker setup. No bass management, no subwoofer output, no tone controls.

    But I noticed you said a digital optical output. You wouldn't per chance happen to have a digital coax output also?

    Michael
     
  11. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I own the Denon 3802, and it does NOT allow you to do this. I find this annoying.

    Well, OK, you can do it by plugging the desired source into the external 7.1 input jack, which bypasses bass management. You also could go into the setup menu and manually turn the subwoofer off. But, with mains set to large and sub set to on, in direct mode the subwoofer still gets a signal.

    I would guess the rest of the Denon line is similar.
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Vince and Marc...don't throw the baby out with the bath water yet![​IMG]
    Denon does indeed have a 100% analog bypass for the mains when you are in Direct mode (using a 2 channel source in analog mode.) The thing you don't seem to be aware of is that Denon has a parallel analog bass management on board these machines.
    This is the basic setup when using 2 channel signals:
    DIRECT mode: When in analog mode, the mains are ran as large (the speaker setup will still show your original setup however. IOW, if your normally run your mains as small, the setup will still say small, BUT THEY'RE NOT!) The tone controls are bypassed (BTW, they are ANALOG tone controls. Not digital in ANY mode!) Finally, the subwoofer is available, due to the existence of Denon's parallel feed for bass management. The analog input signal is split, one full range analog signal sent to the mains and the other full range analog signal is sent to the sub's digital lowpass filter. Then all you need to do is decide whether or not you want the sub on or off (or how loud.) If you want it turned down or off (when in direct mode) use your individual channel level adjustment to run the sub level down to "OFF", or whatever volume you want (Do NOT use the main setup menu to do this or you will have the sub off or turned down in all modes.)
    2 channel digital DIRECT mode is similar except the signal is split using the digital bass management. But still large mains and no tone controls.
    STEREO mode: There are 2 differences from DIRECT mode. First, the speaker size chosen on the setup menu is retained. Small remains as small. The other difference is that the tones controls are available for use. But it is important to note that if you are in analog STEREO, the signals fed to the mains remain 100% analog (since the Denon has that parallel feed.
    Bottom line, IMO, I think Denon has chosen a great way to execute their DIRECT mode. Definitely a tad more flexble than some of the others...
     
  13. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Both the previous series, and the current x200 (including the 8200 and 9200) model receiver in Marantz's line have a SOURCE DIRECT function.
    Contrary to what is stated in the manual, source direct bypasses bass management. Full bandwidth is sent to the mains and the sub is OFF.
    /Jeff
     
  14. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Great post Chuck. Just one more vote that says my 3802 does indeed eliminate bass management if setup properly in DIRECT mode.

    Turn subwoofer volume to OFF when in DIRECT mode and presto! I was a bit confused as well because to me direct meant bypass all features and send source to preamp for volume then on to power amp.

    edit - this is true for analog or digital inputs.
     
  15. Patrick Senez

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    Does anybody knows if the Denon 1802 and 2802 does the same for bass management as the 3802 ??

    Thanks !
     
  16. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    A couple of years ago, Denon had a p.r. paper on their website going over all of the features of the AVR-3300. That paper stated that ALL Denons stayed 100% analog when in 2 channel analog modes. DIRECT and STEREO do differ a bit in how much the signal can be manipulated but they both remain analog through the mains.

    I haven't seen anything published by any knowledgeable source since then that would indicate anything to the contrary.
     
  17. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    had some questions on this with my Denon AVR-2700 as well actually. from some experimentation and a bit of reading in the service manual, i seem to have the following in my system with all speakers set to small:

    1. there is still sub output in direct mode by default. this is handled by a *digital* low pass filter (presumably at 80hz). (a parallel signal is sent to the ADC/bass management controls to handle this). this can be disabled by turning the sub output all the way down (until it says "off", which is only available in and only effects direct mode) using the channel volume buttons on the remote (ie not through the menu, which has global effects).

    2. it seems in the service manual that there is an analog high pass filter in one of the analog direct paths. it's not clear exactly when this is enabled, but my guess is that it's used when the speakers are set to small in the speaker setup menu. i haven't had a chance to experiment with test tones to see if this is in fact the case.

    3. Denon's direct mode can be used with analog or digital sources.

    4. On my AVR-2700, i get a signal on the sub out even if my speakers are set to large, regardless of the mode my receiver is in (unless i've turned the sub off, either form the menu or the channel volume controls in direct mode).

    Soooo.....I'm not 100% sure what my point is, but basically I think Denon's "Direct" mode may not be as direct as some are assuming. Of course, the AVR-2700 is a few years old, so these observations may or may not apply to newer models (that most of you seem to be using). Would appreciate any further info that anyone has...
     
  18. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Well, to go over your questions/points...

    1. You are correct that the sub's crossover is digital. But when the Denons are in 2 channel analog mode, it receives it's signal from the full range analog split. The main thing to kinda keep in mind is that the main 2 channel audio signal that goes to the mains remains wholly analog. If you want to have the sub play too, then yes it is lowpassed digitally (but is only going to play low frequencies.)

    The impression I get from most users is that the mains are the critical "analog" element here. And they remain 100% analog. The great thing about the Denon "method" is that you can use the sub too if you want.

    2. You're correct again. I mentioned above that there are indeed analog highpass filters for each channel. But they are completely bypassed when in analog DIRECT mode. The analog highpass filters are only available when in STEREO mode.

    3. Yes, DIRECT mode is available in both analog and digital mode. DIRECT mode in either mode bypasses the main's highpass filters and tone controls. But 2 channel analog DIRECT is not the same as 2 channel digital DIRECT. Denons have 2 separate pathways.

    4. I haven't verified if the sub on my 3802 is always on, but your observation doesn't really go against anything we've mentioned. The sub can receive a full range signal for it's lowpass filter from either analog or digital sources. Whether this is good or bad is certainly up for grabs. But IMO, I don't think this makes the DIRECT mode less direct??? :b
     
  19. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck - any idea if your comments apply to all Denon's (specifically wondering about my older AVR-2700)? I hope so because I'd love to be able to use the direct mode as a way to bypass the sub and run my speakers full range for music, while leaving everything set for small + sub for movies. And if so, i agree that it truly is direct as advertised [​IMG]
     
  20. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Hmmm... that's a much better explanation of what DIRECT mode does than anything I've seen in Denon's manual or web site. Thanks. I hadn't realized that the subwoofer volume setting would be recalled independently of its setting for other surround modes.

    I still find that my main speakers seem to sound slightly different in DIRECT mode set to LARGE than they do set to SMALL on a low-frequency sweep, but I can't quantify the difference or say which one sounds "right." Weird.
     

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