Originally Posted by bennyjammin
1. Is there any way to activate/deactivate pure direct from the remote? The only way I've found is using the button on the receiver.
I'm not familiar with the 3808CI remote specifically but there definitely should be a "pure" button somewhere from the remote.
2. From what I can gather, direct mode simply removes bass management (essentially, setting all speakers to large).
DIRECT mode turns off ALL processing, including bass management... with the sole exception that you can OPTIONALLY have Audyssey Room EQ.
The manual claims it bypasses all tone controls, but how can it make this claim when you can still choose to apply Audyssey (a fancy, sophisticated tone control)?
because (1) the "claim" predates Audyssey by, like, a decade or so (DIRECT mode has been a feature on Denons for years and years) and (2) it is true, it does disable the tone controls.
Audyssey is NOT a "tone control"; in a way you could argue that, until you correct for the acoustics of the room, you aren't really getting a "Direct" reproduction of the sound since you are really hearing your room inexorably coloring the "pure" sound.
But, either way, these are "purist" oriented features so pick the way that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
Further, whether in direct mode or not, there is an option for "tone defeat."
you must be mistaken, you cannot turn on tone controls at all in DIRECT mode.
3. Why did Denon choose to down convert bitstreamed sources to 2 ch ?
DIRECT mode was invented initially for "pure" 2-channel audio, and intended only for 2-channel listening. It is really only supposed to be used with PCM sources, since these require no decoding/processing and can simply be D/A'd before heading to the amps. So putting it in Direct/Stereo mode will downmix any multichannel source to 2-channel.
In recent years, now that you can get multichannel PCM over HDMI, they added a "multichannel" version of Direct mode for predecoded PCM sources. It's the same principle as multichannel analog inputs; if you have a source which does all the processing/decoding of the signal, you want a mode where the receiver "gets out of the way" and simply plays the unprocessed PCM signal. Again, just as with 2-ch DIRECT mode there is NO processing at all, with the exception of optionally turning MultEQ on.
by definition, there can be no "DIRECT" mode with a bitstreamed source, because by necessity it must be decoded/processed before you can hear anything. For bitstreamed audio, the "Standard" mode is effectively the "Direct" mode, since all it does is decode and play as mixed by the engineers who produced it. In Yamaha-land this would be the equivalent of "Straight" decoding mode...