Should I listen to movies in the auto or direct modes found in my receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Luis M, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    I have the Marantz 8200 receiver (by the way the new 8400 does not inspire me to upgrade) and I can watch movies by selecting Auto or Direct, In the direct mode movies have more impact, everything is bigger sound-wise, I can easily hear a more robust bass but I can not calibrate the speakers in this mode (Direct Mode flasses in the receiver) which tells me that all speaker may be receiving a full signal.

    I love the way it sounds in direct mode but I am concerned about my surround speakers getting these low signals, they are a pair of small energy speakers, the main speakers are the Paradigm 100 v3 and the Paradigm 570 in the center spot.

    Should I listen to my movies in the Auto mode or stay with the direct?

    Will the calibration made in auto mode be void in the Direct mode?
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    "Direct Mode" on most receivers means that the receiver is merely amplifying the signals sent into it's 5.1 or 6.1 inputs from an external processor or dvd player with built-in processor. This is why you can't adjust speaker levels with the receiver or do any calibration when using Direct Mode. In direct mode all processing and calibration is being done by the dvd player, not the receiver. The only operable control on the receiver in this mode is the volume control. You can either calibrate the processor in your dvd player or use the digital connection between the player and the receiver and use the receiver's processing, which will allow calibration with the receiver. Usually recievers have better processors than dvd players.

    I'd strongly suggest you get out the owner's manual for your receiver and find out for yourself what's going on in "Direct" mode. That manual is specifically written for your particular receiver and is more accurate than most advice you'll get off the 'net, as there probably aren't very many out here with the exact same receiver you have.
     
  3. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    "Direct Mode" on most receivers means that the receiver is merely amplifying the signals sent into it's 5.1 or 6.1 inputs from an external processor or dvd player with built-in processor."

    It's not the case here, I have a seven channel input which I use for dvd-audio and sacd where I have to make all adjustments in the dvd player. with this receiver you can ither listen to movies in auto or direct mode through the digital input, coaxial in this case.
     
  4. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Luis, I think that Steve is correct. To verify, unplug the digital input and see if you still get sound while in direct mode. I would bet you do; if the DVD player decodes DVD-A and SACD in it, it probably has a dolby digital decoder built in as well so that when you listen in direct mode, the player is doing the movie's decoding instead of the receiver.
     
  5. Dean Wette

    Dean Wette Stunt Coordinator

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    Typically, non-direct mode is used for DSP processing of digital inputs and is meant for movies.

    Direct mode, shuts off all processing modes and bypasses DSP circuitry from the analog inputs for better quality sound, and is meant for listening to music.

    At least that's the way it is for the Arcam AVR300 receiver and AV8 pre/pro.

    Dean
     
  6. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    Jeff, I just unpluged the digital (coaxial) connection and I lost the signal on both the auto and direct modes. In order to listen to the dvd player (Denon 2900) without the digital connection I had to activate the 7.1 analog input in order to listen to dvd-audio, sacd, and movies if I want to hear it through the dvd player's decoder. For what I now understand, what the marantz does is bypass the tone controls in the direct mode while using your digital connection, if you want to use your dvd player's built-in decoder you must use the 7.1 analog inputs.

    Even though I have not found anything on the manual about this matter my guess is that while listening to movies on the direct mode (or music for that matter) using the digital connection, what you get is a full signal to all channels which eliminates any crossovers at any point. So I guess full bass signals are being sent to all speakers.

    Will small surround speakers get damaged with full range signals?
     
  7. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    "Direct mode, shuts off all processing modes and bypasses DSP circuitry from the analog inputs for better quality sound, and is meant for listening to music".

    Dean, I just found a brief note about it on the manual.

    " ( S SOURCE DIRECT) In the source direct mode, The tone control circuit and bass managment configuration are bypassed for full range frequency response and the purist audio resolution.....internal speaker size is set up to front L/R=large, Center=large, Surround L/R=large and subwoofer= Yes automatically. The tone controls and additional processing are also defeated.

    In fact on the unit's display it reads digital signal input (not analog) and Source direct at the same time. Whaterver it is, this unaltered signal is superior to the one I am used to hearing in the auto mode. So the question is, What good is a full range frequency sent to all speakers if your receiver can not calibrate them in the digital domain?
     
  8. Jurgen Dutch

    Jurgen Dutch Auditioning

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    I nearly always listen in direct mode, but all speakers are set to large with exception of the center-speaker. I use a Marantz SR-14mkII (European model). The manual states that in source direct mode the tone control circuit and bass managment configuration are bypassed and that the internal speaker size is setup to Large.

    But anyway. I think that there will be no harm if your surround boxes get all the frequenties of large boxes. It is the same when you would use smal boxes only.
    The Speaker size option is just to make sure that large frequenties will go to the speakers which can handle them.

    J├╝rgen
     

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