Pure Direct sounding worse than straight stereo in HTPC setup? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 3Likes
  • 2 Post By DanPackMan
  • 1 Post By DanPackMan
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Pure Direct sounding worse than straight stereo in HTPC setup?

Hey,


I've been searching for answers on in the internet (including from these forums) of why my Pure Direct on Yamaha RX-A2030 sounds a bit worse (not much though) than straight stereo. Straight stereo has higher highs and wider bass on the lower end on my setup. I wonder why though, because I'm not using any EQ or enhancements on the receiver (set to "through") and am keeping the setting on straight 2-channel stereo. Only things that have been "set" are the distances of the speakers to the listener on the couch. Shouldn't the Pure Direct almost always sound best as it doesn't color the signal?

My setup is following: from my PC's GPU a HDMI cable goes all the way to the AVR on the other room, and from AVR the cables go to my two Amphion Argon 3L tower speakers on each side of my Sony TV. I'm using Sony TV as a secondary monitor to my PC from which I play almost all my music from Spotify Premium app from PC. To my knowledge, the pure direct setting bypasses all the DSP in the receiver using only the receiver's DAC? So is it the DAC to blame on on the RX-A2030? I had Yamaha RX-v767 before RX-A2030 and although the sound is much better now with a more powerful receiver, the pure direct mode on RX-v767 had the same problem, sounding worse on Pure Direct than "straight stereo". At least, I don't think the speakers are to blame because they're quite high-end 8ohm speakers with frequency response of 30 - 30k Hz, costing nearly 3000 € a new pair.

So if I'm using the Pure Direct on my setup, is the setting using the DAC on my GPU, or the one in the receiver? And in this case altogether, why does the "straight, 2-channel/stereo" settings are giving me fuller sound than pure direct, even though I'm not even using EQ or any other processed music mode?
Kotiryssä is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 05:04 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
DanPackMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiryssä View Post
the pure direct setting bypasses all the DSP in the receiver using only the receiver's DAC?
I think what your are hearing is the sound without DSP, which to you sounds 'worse' but actually may be a more accurate representation of the actual music stream. DSP can help make compressed streams sound 'better'. Th 2 channel stereo mode may have some DSP in the loop. I think Pure Direct is often a feature for analog input where you don't want any DSP.
CoffeeHawk and bmcn like this.

Last edited by DanPackMan; 08-13-2017 at 05:12 AM.
DanPackMan is online now  
post #3 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 07:26 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Mupi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Midwest
Posts: 3,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 27
I have a similar set up. Feeding Denon 3310 from the PC (optical output). The 2ch stereo mode on the AVR sounds a lot better than the direct mode. Not sure what exactly the DSP is doing for 2ch stereo, but I like that sound better than the direct mode.
Mupi is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 07:44 AM
Member
 
PokeyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked: 14
+1 For Stereo mode.

I've noticed this same thing with my Onkyo TX-NR656. Stereo mode seems to have a little richer, fuller sound than the Direct mode.
PokeyBoy is online now  
post #5 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
I think what your are hearing is the sound without DSP, which to you sounds 'worse' but actually may be a more accurate representation of the actual music stream. DSP can help make compressed streams sound 'better'. Th 2 channel stereo mode may have some DSP in the loop. I think Pure Direct is often a feature for analog input where you don't want any DSP.

So in this case, the logical solution would be to listen to uncompressed FLAC formats, right? While I haven't listened actually any FLACs yet with my newly bought RX-a2030, I did listen to them with my previous RX-v767 tyring to compare them with Spotify Premium 320 kbps, and the result was same. Pure Direct sounded somewhat muddy and metallic even with the FLAC files. I imagine it would still be the same even with my new receiver.
Kotiryssä is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 08:50 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
DanPackMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked: 526
I may have thrown you off mentioning compression. DSP will condition/process signals no matter if they are FLAC or compressed. I think the Pure Direct feature is typically for an analog (RCA) input where you want the original signal as is, not so useful for a digital (HDMI or Optical).input.
leecreek likes this.
DanPackMan is online now  
post #7 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
I may have thrown you off mentioning compression. DSP will condition/process signals no matter if they are FLAC or compressed. I think the Pure Direct feature is typically for an analog (RCA) input where you want the original signal as is, not so useful for a digital (HDMI or Optical).input.
Ah, I see. Thank you. This brings up another question though. Would I get better sound quality from Pure Direct if I got external DAC between the receiver and PC?
Kotiryssä is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 08-13-2017, 10:36 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
balky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Liked: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiryssä View Post
Ah, I see. Thank you. This brings up another question though. Would I get better sound quality from Pure Direct if I got external DAC between the receiver and PC?
Without any intention of starting another AVR / Stereo amp debate, and if and only if you have the means and space, I would recommend going from whichever external DAC you get to a standalone stereo amp.

Doing this allows you to form a personal opinion on which sounds better to you... sorry can't say any more than this without asking for trouble...
balky is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 08-14-2017, 01:42 AM
Senior Member
 
Doctor Morbius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indianoplace
Posts: 497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Liked: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiryssä View Post
Would I get better sound quality from Pure Direct if I got external DAC between the receiver and PC?
Possibly, although it's no guarantee. It really depends on the analog output stages of the external DAC and what sounds better to your ears.


Doctor Morbius is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 08-14-2017, 01:53 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
DanPackMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Possibly, although it's no guarantee. It really depends on the analog output stages of the external DAC and what sounds better to your ears.
I agree with this advice, you won't know if it will sound better or worse to you until you try it. I think maybe you should ask yourself why you are so intent on using the Pure Direct mode to begin with. Don't assume its better just because it is 'pure direct'. Find the mode on your very nice AVR that sounds best and enjoy., or you may be forever chasing that elusive 'little bit better'.
DanPackMan is online now  
post #11 of 14 Old 08-14-2017, 07:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Spleen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiryssä View Post
So if I'm using the Pure Direct on my setup, is the setting using the DAC on my GPU, or the one in the receiver? And in this case altogether, why does the "straight, 2-channel/stereo" settings are giving me fuller sound than pure direct, even though I'm not even using EQ or any other processed music mode?
I don't know about your particular receiver but my guess is that using pure direct bypasses the DAC in your receiver and you are hearing your GPU's DAC. No doubt your receiver has a much better DAC than does your GPU.

My A/V Processor's pure direct mode bypasses all digital circuitry, meaning the processor's internal DAC. I use pure direct so I can benefit from my higher quality external DAC.

Last edited by Spleen; 08-14-2017 at 07:40 PM.
Spleen is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 08-14-2017, 07:39 PM
Senior Member
 
Spleen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotiryssä View Post
Ah, I see. Thank you. This brings up another question though. Would I get better sound quality from Pure Direct if I got external DAC between the receiver and PC?
I would say yes since you can hear the differences between your Yamaha receiver's DAC and your PC's DAC. Also, see my post above.

Last edited by Spleen; 08-14-2017 at 07:44 PM.
Spleen is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 08-16-2017, 02:03 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
DanPackMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spleen View Post
I would say yes since you can hear the differences between your Yamaha receiver's DAC and your PC's DAC. Also, see my post above.
He is using an HDMI connection, not an analog connection and therefore not the PC's DAC.
DanPackMan is online now  
post #14 of 14 Old 08-16-2017, 02:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Dave in Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,398
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1845 Post(s)
Liked: 1229
If you used YPAO on your AVR to optimize your speakers' room response, Pure Direct mode also turns that off along with all other signal processing. So your speaker response would be back to what it was before running YPAO and no longer corrected to match your room's acoustic characteristics.
Dave in Green is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply 2-Channel Audio

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off