Yamaha's Pure Direct Stereo Imaging

YoungMan23

Novice Member
I am currently using a Yamaha RX V6A for both watching movies and listening to music with my JBL Studio speakers (570 front left, right, and 520 center, and stage 130 surrounds). I'm very happy with the movie surround experience, but the music experience leaves much to be desired, and I listen to music more often than watch movies. I'm using the BlueSound Node 2i to stream Amazon Music HD (I'm using it's DAC instead of the receiver's). When in Straight or 2 Channel mode, it sounds full, but there is no imaging at all. I changed it to the Pure Direct mode, and the difference was like night and day. The imaging is almost pinpoint, however, some of the impact and fullness is gone. It sounds hollow in comparison to Straight and 2 Channel. I'm also not able to use my subwoofer in Pure Direct.

What is Pure Direct doing that makes the imaging so much better?

The reason why I ask is I am thinking about getting separates to connect to my RX V6A to improve the music quality and the ability to use my subwoofer, but I'm unsure whether a stereo amplifier will suffice or if I need a pre-amp as well. I was thinking I could just get a stereo amplifier since the receiver has front pre-outs and I could use the receiver's sub-out, but I'm not sure if the pre-amp or amplifier stage of the receiver is the source of the imaging problem.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Pure Direct by[asses all processing not strictly required. You'd therefore lose the PEQ room EQ adjustments and the receiver's bass managemet. Additional circuitry related to the AV receiver's video processing and the front display are also turned off onboard the receiver to help avoid them adversely influencing the audio signal.

No AV receiver will match or surpass a similarly priced stereo amp. Cheaper stereo integrated amps invariably give better stereo performance than AV receivers. If wanting better stereo performance then consider a standalone stereo setup or maybe try using a good quality stereo amp with HT bypass connected to your AV receiver's front left and right channel pre outs.

If wanting to still use a sub while in PURE DIRECT mode then maybe look into getting an active sub that include high level inputs. Some even include a neutrik input that allow it to share the front left and right speaker terminals with a pair of conventional speakers. REL and BK make subs that include neutrik inputs.
 
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edders5

Active Member
"If wanting to still use a sub while in PURE DIRECT mode then maybe look into getting an active sub that include high level inputs. Some even include a neutrik input that allow it to share the front left and right speaker terminals with a pair of conventional speakers. REL and BK make subs that include neutrik inputs"

I have my BK sub configured this way with my Yamaha AVR (as well as with the low level imputs). A big overall improvement in sound over no sub in use at all. I will be getting an integrated amp with HT pass through and music streamer in due course though.
 

Svedrin

Novice Member
"If wanting to still use a sub while in PURE DIRECT mode then maybe look into getting an active sub that include high level inputs. Some even include a neutrik input that allow it to share the front left and right speaker terminals with a pair of conventional speakers. REL and BK make subs that include neutrik inputs"

I have my BK sub configured this way with my Yamaha AVR (as well as with the low level imputs). A big overall improvement in sound over no sub in use at all. I will be getting an integrated amp with HT pass through and music streamer in due course though.
I hope it is ok to jump in with some basic questions. I have the same “problem” with no Sub when I switch to Pure Direct.

I have a Sonos Connect connected and if I don’t use Pure Direct I get a delay in the music compared to the rest of the Sonos system but with Pure Direct activated everything is in sync.

But with Pure Direct I only getting sound from my front speakers and no bass (as described above).

If my sub supports High Level inputs do I need to connect it in some other way to the Reciever (Yamaha A-1060) or is it just a configuration on the sub?

Is low bass frequencies coming through Pure Direct but only in the Stereo Channel?
 

YoungMan23

Novice Member
I hope it is ok to jump in with some basic questions. I have the same “problem” with no Sub when I switch to Pure Direct.

I have a Sonos Connect connected and if I don’t use Pure Direct I get a delay in the music compared to the rest of the Sonos system but with Pure Direct activated everything is in sync.

But with Pure Direct I only getting sound from my front speakers and no bass (as described above).

If my sub supports High Level inputs do I need to connect it in some other way to the Reciever (Yamaha A-1060) or is it just a configuration on the sub?

Is low bass frequencies coming through Pure Direct but only in the Stereo Channel?
Not sure what the problem with the delay is, might be able to mess with the audio delay settings in the reciever if it has them? As for the sub, you will be able to use speaker wire to connect your sub to the rest of the system. All frequencies get sent out in Pure direct. You'll just need to set the low pass filter on the subwoofer. The only issue is the sub will not have LFE effects, so movies and shows might not have the same bass impact.
 

YoungMan23

Novice Member
By the way, I ended up going the expensive route and got a Parasound P6 and a23+, and am loving it! Much better sound quality all around, and am looking forward to using this system for many years to come! The P6 has high pass and low pass filters for bass management in music and a home theater bypass that overrides the set bass management and volume of the preamp. I also found that Parasound has many other cheaper class D integrated amps that have good home theater bypass and bass management for music!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I hope it is ok to jump in with some basic questions. I have the same “problem” with no Sub when I switch to Pure Direct.

I have a Sonos Connect connected and if I don’t use Pure Direct I get a delay in the music compared to the rest of the Sonos system but with Pure Direct activated everything is in sync.

But with Pure Direct I only getting sound from my front speakers and no bass (as described above).

If my sub supports High Level inputs do I need to connect it in some other way to the Reciever (Yamaha A-1060) or is it just a configuration on the sub?

Is low bass frequencies coming through Pure Direct but only in the Stereo Channel?



While using the sub via its high level inputs, in PUR DIRECT mode for example then adjust the timing using the phase adjustment on the sub. Note that you'd need to manually make such adjustments to the phase again whenever you rerun the ABV receiver's YPAO calibration. Remember to reset the sub's phase to 0° whenever rerunning the calibration.

If only having issues relative to one source, then I'd suggest it to be the source at fault as opposed to it being the AV receiver.
 

psyki

Novice Member
I have a Sonos Connect connected and if I don’t use Pure Direct I get a delay in the music compared to the rest of the Sonos system but with Pure Direct activated everything is in sync.

But with Pure Direct I only getting sound from my front speakers and no bass (as described above).

I have the same "problem" with my RX-A780 receiver. I have a USB DJ controller I have hooked up to my receiver and it uses a splitter so I can get monitor/headphones out while sending audio through the receiver. When I turn Pure Direct mode OFF there is an awful and extremely noticeable delay between the headphones and the receiver output; the receiver audio is behind/after the headphone output. When I turn Pure Direct mode ON the audio is perfectly in sync but I lose my subwoofer.

I've tried tinkering with the "lipsync" settings and all other related settings in the receiver but that just makes it worse, all the settings serve to increase the delay not make it any better.

Are there any other workarounds for this issue? I don't care to get into audio dynamics or frequencies or anything like that I just want the sub to work while I crank up my tunes. It would be nice if the center channel worked as well but that's a non-issue.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I have the same "problem" with my RX-A780 receiver. I have a USB DJ controller I have hooked up to my receiver and it uses a splitter so I can get monitor/headphones out while sending audio through the receiver. When I turn Pure Direct mode OFF there is an awful and extremely noticeable delay between the headphones and the receiver output; the receiver audio is behind/after the headphone output. When I turn Pure Direct mode ON the audio is perfectly in sync but I lose my subwoofer.

I've tried tinkering with the "lipsync" settings and all other related settings in the receiver but that just makes it worse, all the settings serve to increase the delay not make it any better.

Are there any other workarounds for this issue? I don't care to get into audio dynamics or frequencies or anything like that I just want the sub to work while I crank up my tunes. It would be nice if the center channel worked as well but that's a non-issue.
Basically, no, there is no solution. If you use the AVR to process the signal digitally, that will take time and any comparison with the source will show that. You can only eliminate the processing delay by not processing the audio (pure direct), but then of course you lose the processing such as bass management. Put simply, you can't have your cake and eat it.

A direct subwoofer connection to the speaker output is the obvious suggestion, This means purchasing a suitable subwoofer, of course. The other alternative is a separate stereo setup with speaker level source selection switch (Beresford TC-7220 or automatic switch).
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
The issue with high and low level to the sub in movies and hifi is crossover and time alignment.

Hifi has the sub crossover enabled and set to roughly where mains speakers are
AV has sub crossover disabled and AV does bass
Management


During avr setup the AVr pings the sub and main to do a phase/distance check. That means the sub will be outputting two lots of noises in speaker check, the the sound from mains and sub at the same time. That'll probably confuse the detection system in the avr
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
During avr setup the AVr pings the sub and main to do a phase/distance check. That means the sub will be outputting two lots of noises in speaker check, the the sound from mains and sub at the same time. That'll probably confuse the detection system in the avr
That is why you need a subwoofer that supports such a connection. An example of a series that does is the Martin Logan 800X and above; there are others. A subwoofer that simply combines both input types will not work, but is far more common.

Another option is a stereo amplifier with subwoofer passthrough in HT mode. Strangely, these are quite rare, with the Parasound Hint 6 (or P6) being the best known (supports 1-2 subs).
 
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rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
How does that work? Signal priority? Does it mute the other input, can you set input? Independent volume , delay and crossover per input?
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
How does that work? Signal priority? Does it mute the other input, can you set input? Independent volume , delay and crossover per input?

I think the parasound halo 2.1 has sub inputs so it can take over full control of the sub. Not sure of any others that have this feature.

As for subs, some subs have switched inputs (only one input active) while some have mixed inputs (all inputs active). The ones that come to mind that I think have switched inputs do so via phone app control or an IR remote.

Mixed inputs is more common along with multi-function LFE/Line in where the crossover control affects both uses rather than have a dedicated LFE. Both of my subs for eg have dedicate Line L+R inputs via crossover + separate LFE input.

The problem with many AV subs for stereo music use with an analog hifi amp (or AVR in pure direct) is that they include DSP which adds further latency which in some cases can make them more or less unusable without the timing correction of an AVR or digital active base management (Lyngdorf hifi amps come to mind).

When setting up you AVR you may notice that the AVR's detected distance for the sub is longer than expected - that is because of the sub's additional DSP latency.

For some subs if the latency is low enough, you can mitigate this additional latency somewhat by ensuring the sub only handles very low frequencies (40Hz downwards) and ideally positioning the sub closer than you main speakers. Ideally for music with a typical stereo amp, you want to use analog subs for this reason. Good analog subs may be more expensive (and bigger) due to the need for the sub to have a natural good response instead of relying upon DSP to flatten its response and/or extend apparent range.

Of course this only make sense when using the sub with speakers that are already able to handle close to 40Hz or so.

As for phase, issue mentioned above (where phase for music is not the same as the phase for AV use) - just also change the sub phase setting via manual setup option in the AVR.

If you choose to dual connect a sub, then you also have to accept this may well significantly degrade the performance of main speakers+sub with AV use compared to not doing so. If you can get away with very low crossover on the sub for music, then this can be part mitigated by having the AV crossover at 80Hz, or running them as full range which will more strain on the AVRs amps.

I have had subs dual connected like this for AV and music use and quite honestly it was a pain to setup to dela with the resulting sound issues even using REW (and later a separate DSP on the audio path). Thankfully I have no need to do this anymore.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
How does that work? Signal priority? Does it mute the other input, can you set input? Independent volume , delay and crossover per input?
It's no different from any other automatic source selector, such as are sold by Russound, Sonance., MCM. You can also buy boards, such as from Audiophonics. You can find DIY projects on the net.

The ML subwoofers do not support delay. The low pass filter is not applied to the LFE inputs, only the stereo RCA / speaker inputs. You can adjust the levels independently using the control app, which also controls functions such as room correction or listening modes. All of this explained in the manuals, under "Simultaneous 2-Channel / Multi-Channel Mode".

Ideally in a stereo environment you also want a high pass filter in the subwoofer, so that you can insert the subwoofer between the preamp and power amp and have the subwoofer perform bass management. The ML BalancedForce subwoofers support this.

Although I'm using ML as the reference point here, they are not the only supplier of suitable subwoofers. What they do all seem to have in common is their higher price.
 

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