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my setup/gear/players, if I'm setup properly then what would next upgrade be?


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First I wanted to make sure I've optimized the setup of my current gear. Then I would like to get suggestions on a next upgrade (Dac? Soundcard/converter? tube-pre-amp?)


Here is my setup:

Hp p4 media center PC

EAC ripped FLAC files

m-Audio Revolution sound card set to 44.1

Foobar2000 w/ASIO: revo card selected, R/L mapped and bit debth at 24-bit. I assume I did this right. master volume tray icon slider bar has not impact on sound but WAVE slider bar can adjust volume.


Emotiva DCM-1 pre/pro

cheap Best Buy AR cable

Emotiva MPS-1 amps

Onix Ref 3 speakers

I also have a PT P1a w/SOCs but I've taken it out of the loop for testing.


My Denon 2900 in pure direct mode connected to pre/pro iin 8-channel mode is my benchmark. they are very close but I'm not sure the pc sounds equal or better. I've been comparing the Denon R/L connect vs digital coax vs Foodbar....all close but I'm not sold the PC is the best/equal...maybe equal. I thought my pre/pro DAC was better than 2900 but I may be wrong. WOuld cables make a big difference?


I also have meedio which I tried to configure with winamp module and ASIO...would that bypass kmixer?


I also have Microsoft ZUNE player...does that use kmixer? I'm trying to tell if I can hear a difference between the players.


i would like to equal the Denon in 8-channel mode with confidence and ideally do better. My main concern is that I don't want my jukebox to sound like a computer (i.e. that compressed mp3 sound is an exagerated example).


I'm trying to delay my eventual purchase of DAC, tube pre-amp, etc all which seem to be $1k+ upgrades.


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