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HTPC to HIFI - Highest Resolution/Sound Quality

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What are the best options out there to move high-res audio from a HTPC to higher end seperates?


One way would be to go out of a 24-bit/192kHz sound card like a HT Omega/Asus/Onkyo card straight out of the RCA jacks. These cards get high reviews, and the better ones have shielding to block out all the "noise" inside the computer, but i'm skeptical that that would net any kind of real HiFi.


Probably a big step up would be USB to DAC to Preamp. Obviously the DAC thing is a slippery slope. Respectable seems to start at $500 and go all the way to the top of the food-chain McIntosh D100. Asynchronous USB will do 32-bit/192kHz, so there's no chance of loss if it's a solid DAC.


And the final way is Ethernet, through a Network Audio Player like the Marantz NA7004. So then you're just streaming it through something with a DAC and then to the HiFi.


Has anyone played around with the different options and seen the real differences?

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