Hi all. After doing the Adcom DAC upgrade on another forum thread and upgrading my speakers I decided to play around again with feeding my computer sound outputs to my sound system. So checkbook in hand I went, upgraded my PC motherboard and purchased an Asus Xonar DS sound card.
The results surprised me; into the DAC the computer digital output sounded more musical than the digital outputs of my Linn Genki and Oppo-DV970HD.
So for an expense of around $150 I was getting a more musically satisfying playback from the PC vs CD players.
Now that doesn't mean all is perfect... with the CD players (a) there is more dynamic range (b) better low volume clarity. But at mid volume and higher levels I hear more details with the PC source and I get none of the artifacts causing listening fatigue... I turn the system off because I must do other things instead of listening fatigue. And the external DAC is definitely better than using one on the card....no power supply limitations or noisy environment to overcome.
So my question to the forum, has anyone else had this experience and if so what have they found works to get the cleanest digital output from their PC to a DAC?
My solution so far
Foobar2000 using wasapi plugin, set to 24 bit depth
(Would use VLC if only it had an album view :( )
Asus Xonar DS PCI sound card for optic digital 24bit/48,000 hz SPDIF output
All music ripped in WMA lossless format under WIN7-64 bit
DAC modified Adcom GDA-600
My own ideas so far
(a) buy a better sound card like the Xonar Essence, hopefully that translates
into improved digital i/o but I'd probably only be using 25% of the cards functionality
(b) buy a USB DAC, something like the PS Audio Dlink III... but cant tell from their site if they support asynchronous USB or synchronous (jitter problem child)