Do I need to recompile the kernel in order to change a single kernel configuration item?

I want to do the following:

CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE=y

Can I do it without the recompilation, and if so how?

I don't think so.

The kernel has both compile time (through compile time switches) and run time (through sysctl) configuration. Unfortunately CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE falls into the former category.

How should I go about recompiling it while changing the value of this config item only?

Manjaro kernels have this config option set to 'y'.
You can check it yourself if you open the kernel config with an editor:

/lib/modules/5.4.53-1-MANJARO/build/.config
/lib/modules/5.7.10-1-MANJARO/build/.config

Both have it set:

grep CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE .config
CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE=y

So what are you missing?

Or even easier:

zgrep CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE /proc/config.gz
CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE=y

I was unable to set an EDID preset for my monitor, the maximum resolution I can set it is 1600x900, where I want it as 1920x1080. I tried editing the grub config file with the boot option: drm.edid_firmware=edid/1920x1080.bin with no avail. I figured that
CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE must have been unset.

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