Well a lot...but usually a price not commensurate with performance. What's your room like? Where are you speakers placed? Are you looking to spend money or keep this simple?
10 responses Add your response
Calibration? (From The Princess Bride) "I don't think that means what you think it means." In any case, you seem to have chosen some nice components within that price range and you're probably not going to better them without spending a lot more. Look into some good power conditioning. I prefer Audience, but there are others. I know - Do I have to spend more on my conditioner than my DAC? Yes, if you don't want to screw things up.
A lot better IMO. If you reduced the jitter of the source by using a quality USB converter and a good power supply. Also you could also eliminate a ground-loop by adding a good 1:1 signal transformer between the DAC and the integrated amp.
Beyond that, you would have to change out the DAC.
Look at your room . bass traps have never had a negative impact on any system i have ever heard . If you are a diy type at all they are simple to build . And it will save you at least half off of new.Search superchunk bass trap if you are at all interested in learning about them. In my experience some room treatment has had a bigger impact than switching amps and pre's in the same price range . Good luck !
I second Steve's suggestion. Even though the DAC supports async USB, it's worth trying out a top-notch USB/SPDIF convertor (on trial?) to see if it betters quality. If not, then the investment is worth going towards a DAC upgrade. In my experience power conditioning is a must on your source. Even a Tripp Lite isolation transformer makes a difference.
Steve, can you recommend any signal transformer to go between the DAC/amp?