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Not sure what the pure direct is but if it`s some nos mode it may be preferred for CD. If it bypasses the internal digital volume it will be also better if you use another preamp.
If it bypasses something else then it`s probably also good. The shorter the signal path the better.
From Maranz page:
But as with all Marantz players, musicality reigns supreme so you won’t be surprized when you find a “Pure Direct” mode, to ensure the best possible performance from CDs and even SACDs
It lists that the Pure Direct modes turn off Video on 1 HDMI and Audio on the other, or can turn both of them totally off. Thats the mode I leave it in while listening to CD's. Listening to music on this, I use the RCA outs to my Creek Destiny. I don't even turn the AVR on. Just wish it specifically stated that Pure Direct was to improve the output through the RCA's. Either way sounds great.