Did Denon change how 'DIRECT' mode works at some point?

chilly81

Novice Member
I'm still in the 'feeling out' stage figuring out settings and what not and I thought I had 'DIRECT' mode sorted, but now that I've added a sub, I clearly do not.

I should clarify - this is an older Denon AVR-2105 that does not have a 'Pure Direct' mode... simply 'Direct'. It also has a Tone Defeat button. Maybe things have changed in... uh... 17 years, or maybe I (again) just don't understand right.

My main confusion is that from googling and reading, I thought Direct would defeat crossovers, but it very clearly is not doing so for me. Honestly, this is how I like it - but not understanding is my pet peave. Fronts set to Small, crossover set to 60Hz, sub set to 'NORM' (ie. 'Normal' vs. 'MAIN'... meaning it would feed full range main signal and let the sub's crossover deal with it).

My sub is set to high crossover (> 160Hz "LFE" on the knob) and I'm in DIRECT mode and the crossovers are most definitely still active. I've even verified in REW that it's sweeping nicely and handing off around the set crossover frequency.

Like I said, for me this is actually better - I'd like to be able to swap back and forth with 'Stereo' having tone controls active, and 'Direct' essentially just being tone defeat with perhaps a tiny big of increased fidelity. Without having full range sent to the sub - just rely on the amps xover. But if it's running through crossovers either way (which I assume are analog post-DAC? that's a guess though.... maybe not) then what is Direct actually gaining you vs. just hitting tone defeat. Except that there isn't a tone defeat button on the remote lol so it's far more convenient! I basically swap between 'direct' for 'finer' music, and 'stereo' (with bass up, treble down) for rap/pop/bass/mess stuff. And it works ok for me. Just striving to wrap my head around all these crazy settings.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
In my experience of several Denon receivers they have 2 modes with Direct in the title.

Direct and Pure Direct. You may be thinking of Pure direct which will disable the crossovers (and the various DSP systems. The display and any analogue video circuits) as you expect.

On the amps I've used a second press of the direct button will select pure direct
 

gibbsy

Moderator
When in stereo Direct will not use any bass control and treat the incoming signal as intended, ie, stereo or 5.1. There will be no upmixing to bring in any extra speakers attached. From a stereo source the sub woofer will not be used. In Pure Direct the front fascia display is turned off to cut out any potential interference in addition to Direct.

On some Denon models you can set up a two channel speaker arrangement irrespective of Direct than can treat the fronts as full range without the sub or keep the crossover and sub in use.
 

chilly81

Novice Member
When in stereo Direct will not use any bass control and treat the incoming signal as intended, ie, stereo or 5.1. There will be no upmixing to bring in any extra speakers attached. From a stereo source the sub woofer will not be used. In Pure Direct the front fascia display is turned off to cut out any potential interference in addition to Direct.

On some Denon models you can set up a two channel speaker arrangement irrespective of Direct than can treat the fronts as full range without the sub or keep the crossover and sub in use.

OK I think I figured out what's going on. I have a AVR-X3500H downstairs and it behaves just like you're describing and as I was expecting.
The confusing one is the old AVR-2105 I'm using upstairs for mainly stereo. The part that confused me is that in direct mode (this one doesn't have Pure Direct), I thought the crossovers were still in effect because the sub was still firing.
What ACTUALLY is happening is that they are defeated, like you say... but the subwoofer line output is getting a full range signal (vs. LFE... < crossover frequency signal when in stereo with small fronts) instead of going silent like it does on the X3500H. This seems to be irrespective of if the fronts are set to large or small - which makes sense since it should be ignoring that stuff in direct.

So basically, in 'Direct' mode, the 2105 is acting like I have it set to LFE+Main, even though I don't. In stereo with small fronts, it is working properly with crossovers (I shifted them very high as a test so I could clearly tell what was being sent where)
 
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KMO

Active Member
At least on some old Denon models there is a separate "Subwoofer on/off" setting for direct mode, that only appears when you're in direct mode. It may be that exists and is enabled on the AVR-2105.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
DIRECT or PURE DIRECT are not dedicated to the portrayal of stereo sources. You'd still leave a sub active if using these modes because you'd still want to convey a discrete LFE channel to a sub if and when such a channel is present. Stereo 2 channel sources have no such channel present, hence why the sub falls silent, but if you were playingf a multichannel source inclusive of an LFE channel then that discrete channel would still be sent to your active sub even if in a DIRECT or PURE DIRECT mode.

What you are devoid of in the DIRECT and PURE DIRECT modes is bass management. This is additional processing carried out by the AV receiver used to determine which frequencies are redirected away from the passive speakers to the sub for it to portray. You do this because the passive speakers are less able to portray those lower frequencies and because doing so will also put less strain upon the AV receivers own internal amplification stages. Doing this can benefit the headroom you'd get from your passive speakers relative to the mid and upper frequencies. The bass management redirectsthe frequencies at and below the crossover configuration you set in association with those speakers you've designated SMALL. Setting these speakers as being LARGE would regard them as being FULL RANGE and not redirect frequencies to the sub.

LFE + MAIN is a setting that results in the AV receiver still sending the frequencies as determined by the crossovers to the sub, while simultaneously still send them to the passive sprakers. THis can result in issues with bass boom though.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
Chilly81 Glad you figured it out.

Always intrigued me though and I get that people want to some sources stereo just coming from their left/right front speakers i.e. no sub.

But if after testing with/without sub there is additional lower Freq present with the sub does that not suggest the front speakers cant handle the original source input and the user has been missing out all this time and hasn't been hearing what was originally composed.

And yes it's got nothing to do with the original problem and I was just musing over the scenario and thought I'd pose it here :)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Chilly81 Glad you figured it out.

Always intrigued me though and I get that people want to some sources stereo just coming from their left/right front speakers i.e. no sub.


DIRECT and PURE DIRECT are intended to portray the audio without any additional processing. The bass management used to redirect the lower frequencies away from your passive speakers is additional processing. THis is why you lose this ability when engaging such a mode.

It is only really an issue if using smaller speakers with an AV receiver. If you've speakers more commonly associated with conventional stereo setups then there's not really a problem. Such soeakers are commonly used to portray stereo music sources without need or use of a sub.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
DIRECT and PURE DIRECT are intended to portray the audio without any additional processing. The bass management used to redirect the lower frequencies away from your passive speakers is additional processing. THis is why you lose this ability when engaging such a mode.

It is only really an issue if using smaller speakers with an AV receiver. If you've speakers more commonly associated with conventional stereo setups then there's not really a problem. Such soeakers are commonly used to portray stereo music sources without need or use of a sub.

I am well aware of speakers commonly associated with conventional stereo setups. It just that even some of these when you switch between large and small for example the bass sounds deeper (I don't mean louder) coming from the sub (as opposed to those freq coming from the two speakers) as it's able to reach lower frequencies easier (less roll off) than the conventional stereo speakers can.

I guess the question is did the artist/mixer/whoever expect you to hear this when they put the song together in the first place? Who knows and to be honest who cares, just another thought for the day :)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
When mixing 2 channel music, the speakers and monitors used will not be larger or any more capable than most good quality stereo speakers. No they'd not employ subwoofers or use bass management in the mixing process or while listening to what they are or have mixed.
 
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