Use direct, because if you acivate those signal processors you will lose part of the sound. You are better off to run everything direct and control using analog preamps.
-Matthew Anker www.SACDmods.com
What receiver are you using? Im using a 3802 and I just balanced the levels using the reicevers internal test tones. I can swear that the ext inputs levels changes when using the recievers channel balance.
I have a Sony STR-DA777ES Receiver and use an Outlaw ICBM for bass management on DVD-A and SACD.
For multi-channel SACD you must use the 5.1 inputs. The 5.1 inputs bypass the receivers AD & DA's and processors. Most receivers 5.1 inputs bypass everything except the main volume control and mine is no different. If they don't, you loose the quality SACD or DVD-A offer because the receiver doesn't have 192/24 DA's or DSD DAC's. This means the analog sound from the SACD or DVD-A would be converted to standard resolution digital (Likely 48/16-20) for processing and then back to analog, rendering it no better then PCM DVD at best.
I was just checking out some things on my reciever. I have the tone controls bypassed and the receiver set to ext inputs.
I CAN adjust the channel levels individually by using the receivers level controls. For example, on the Denon 3802 pressing enter one time lets you adjust the FL, 2 times the Center, etc. I dont think I am doing anything wrong in the way I have the equipment set up.
I cant believe that the 3802 isnt capable of passing a high resolution audio signal.
I just got off the phone with Denon and they verified that on the 3802, all settings are bypassed when you use the 5.1 (Denon had 8 for future use) inputs. The tech said the only thing that is affected on these inputs is the master volume. No separate level control is available for the analog inputs, only for DSP modes and Digital input sources.