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Pure Audio & Direct Modes (Onkyo 708)

Discussion in 'Amplifiers & Receivers' started by nelmr, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    Hi, does anyone know if these modes bypass the manual speaker distance and crossover settings? I've read that these modes usually disable these things, but I cannot verify this with the Onkyo. The manual says Audyssey Dynamic EQ/Volume, tone, music optimizer, and equalizer settings don't work. Nothing about speaker distances, levels, or bass management. These latter three are important to me.

    Here is the link here to the manaul.

    This is what it says on page 38:

    Pure Audio:
    In this mode, the display and video circuitry are turned off, minimizing possible
    noise sources for the ultimate in high-fidelity audio reproduction. (As
    the video circuitry is turned off, only video signals input through HDMI IN
    can be output from HDMI OUT.

    In this mode, audio from the input source is output without surround-sound
    processing. The “Speaker Configuration” (presence of speakers),
    “Speaker Distance” and “A/V Sync” settings are enabled, but much of the
    processing set via HOME is disabled. See “Advanced Setup” for more
    details (➔ 42).

    So am I good to suppose that bass management and speaker settings are working?
  2. soundhound

    soundhound Well-Known Member

    That's easy enough to test. Use your RTA program and run frequency response sweeps in the various bypass modes. This might be an interesting exercise in any event to see the exact slopes of the various crossover filters.
  3. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    I thought about that but that would only work for stereo, which may or may not be the same when it comes to movies. For dvd I use the receiver to decode, for blu ray I use my PS3 (LPCM). I'm not sure how easy it would be to test these formats. For what it's worth I emailed the manufacturer.
  4. yromj

    yromj Well-Known Member

    Typically, with the receivers I've been around, "Pure" is associated w/ 2 channel material and "Direct" w/ mult-channel (typically movies). Pure turns off the video processing side of the equipment in addition to what Direct does. Direct, in my experience does not use any bass management or any type of processing beyond D-A conversion. Whatever sound is in the front left speaker gets routed to that speaker, and so on, including the sub. (ie, if there's no dedicated .1 track, there's no sound from the sub.)

    I have no idea about the delays, but I would think they would be active because that would be part of the signal path that wouldn't alter the sound (it's the same just a few milliseconds later). The levels are simply amplifier levels relative to each other and would therefore be used.

  5. Maximo

    Maximo Well-Known Member

    If I were an Audio engineer, I would see no advantageto disabling the speaker distance delays.
  6. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I can. The point of a "pure" setting, in my mind at least, is to remove all processing other than volume control for analog sources. For a digital source the only processing that should occur is the decoding.
  7. soundhound

    soundhound Well-Known Member

    For any practical size of room, speaker distances don't matter. The minimum delay that an average person can detect is somewhere about 20-30 milliseconds with critical test tones. That means you would have to have at least that difference between any speaker and you just to be able to tell a difference with a test tone (sound travels roughly a foot per millisecond). Considering the normal listening distance to any speaker is usually 15-20 feet, nobody is going to be able to tell whether speaker distances are set or not. That is especially true with actual program material, where the correlation between channels is usually minimal.

    The only instance where speaker distances might even be heard is when, say, the surrounds are right next to your ear and the mains are 40 feet away. Even then, it is questionable if any delay would be heard since the correlation between the mains and the surrounds is almost always nil.
  8. MatthewB

    MatthewB Grandmaster Pimp Daddy Famous

    nelmr, from what I read over at AVS, using Direct or Pure Audio DOES NOT interfere with your setup settings, it just disables the video and surround and center speakers by shutting those off.
  9. milpool

    milpool Active Member

    Adjusting the speaker distance has an impact on time alignment. You can use this feature to correct the phase relationship between your subwoofer and the mains, if your sub lacks a phase control.
  10. heeman

    heeman Well-Known Member Famous

    Since Adams Electronics did a Re-set to my TX-NR708, I had to go through a complete set-up. Being much more familiar than when I first received this AVR, I was playing around with some of the other settings and found the "PURE AUDIO" setting.

    Do any of you guys that own an Onkyo AVR or Pre/Pro use this setting?

    If so why?

    If not why and what setting do you use for Audio?

  11. Zing

    Zing Retired Admin Famous

    Is that the setting that shuts off all video circuitry?
  12. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Yes, Zing, that's it. I think in pure audio it only sends out exactly what's input for each channel. So, I seem to recall that it also turns off all the bass management (crossover-based) processing as well, though, which is why I don't use it; if there's an LFE channel, I need that mixed into my main L/R channels, as I don't use the sub channel output; and vise-versa, if you've got e.g. stereo signal but use the sub channel, it won't split that out. And it may also bypass the EQ, again a reason I don't use it, as I use the internal EQ to smooth out my room response.

    I use whatever mode is most "natural" for the input signal, which mostly means "stereo" from the squeezebox, DSD from SACD, or PCM/DTS/Dolby from BD.
  13. heeman

    heeman Well-Known Member Famous

    Okay...........as I typically do, I will ask some question due to some type of confusion??

    1. When I play a Blu ray with DTS Master Audio in the Pure Audio Mode, the Onkyo passes this signal through, however you are saying that it will not utilize any of the Set-up Settings?

    2. There is another setting called Direct, which I used to use prior to the repair, what effect does this have?

    3. I almost never use any of the "Processing Effects" that this AVR has, however when I am watching DirecTV channels I have the AVR set up to convert the DD 2.0 to output THX Cinema, however if the program is DD 5.1 it stays in the PURE DIRECT mode and outs in DD 5.1?

    So I am confused and unsure what is the best setting?
  14. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    I'm not sure what the difference between "direct" and "pure audio" and "pure direct" is... I thought they were all the same thing, but my older 885 could work differently, not sure.

    As I understand it, it'll remember your audio mode choice for different types of inputs; so yeah if you prefer some mode that takes DD2.0 and splits it out into the surrounds (like dolby plII or I guess THX, not sure what THX does exactly), then it'll remember to use that mode when it gets that type of signal, and will switch to a different mode for handling DD5.1 input, etc.

    And yeah, again as I understand, and I could be wrong - in these "pure" modes if the input is DTS-MA 5.1, that's exactly what you'll get in the output, with no re-mixing of various channels according to bass management, etc. If you have 7 speakers, the back two will be off. The LFE won't be mixed into the L/R, and, for example, LF range from surrounds will not get split by the crossover setting and mixed into the sub channel, etc. But different models may work slightly differently, and I may certainly just be completely confused because the terminology in these modes is not always clear, nor is the japenglish manual.

    In short, I don't use the pure/direct modes myself...
  15. heeman

    heeman Well-Known Member Famous

    What modes do you use/prefer?
  16. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Whatever most closely matches the input signal. If it's plain 2ch from the squeezebox, I use "stereo." If it's one of the DTS/Dolby streams from the BD, I use the corresponding DTS/Dolby mode, or simple PCM if it's uncompressed (or from the PS3 which only sends PCM). DSD mode when listening to SACD. On rare occasions, I might use Dolby PLII(x) to put stuff in the surrounds, but not usually; I used that more when I had 7 speakers but was listening to 5.1 sources.

    I never ever use the modes that actually "improve" the signal, like orchestra, etc. I don't know what THX does so I don't use it, maybe it just uses THX-standard crossover points or something, I'm really not at all sure.
  17. heeman

    heeman Well-Known Member Famous


    Thanks for your input!

    I changed back to Direct and you are right, the Pure Audio does bypass the gain settings for LFE. I immediately notices that my sub gain was up to high (Matt would be impressed).

    Anyway, like you the SB is set at 2.1 Stereo, so is my CD Player. The Blu Ray is set at Direct and Either DD 5.1 or DTS HD Master. The only processing I do is with the DirecTV signal when it is not DD5.1, then I use a THX Cinema.

  18. yromj

    yromj Well-Known Member


    I do essentially the same thing as you. I only matrix TV audio sources (the only difference between ours and Pauly's). I don't let the processor do ANYTHING to "enhance" the signal from CDs or BDs. I have also found that once I explain to people and show them how it works, the vast majority agree that it is better that way. A few like "All Channel Stereo" for music so they can have it as background around the room or even for TV so they can hear the voices easier.

  19. heeman

    heeman Well-Known Member Famous

    Over this past weekend, I was fooling around with different settings and now I have most set at Straight Decode for the DirecTV (except for DD 2.0) and BluRay/DVD. Stereo (2.1) for SB and CD Player.
  20. yromj

    yromj Well-Known Member

    I have gone back and forth and decided I like the extra surround effects for TV viewing (mostly sports); but other than that, that's why I do mine as well.


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