You answered your own question - DAC1 is the solution. If you have the Powermac G5 Dual 2 Ghz then I have also experienced problems with the sound on that (or at least I had a faulty sound card on mine from day 1) With mine it would even cause crashes.
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For reference-I am using a Mac Mini(Snow Leopard)>USB>M2Tech Hiface>coaxial spdif>PS Audio DLIII. I am new to this but have experimented with this system for several months. My observations are these: I had a Maven and didn't like it. It seemed sterile and I didn't think the DAC sounded very good. I sold it and got a Decco for that room. I tried the PS AUdio and was sold on it. I am not saying that it is the only DAC, but the DAC makes all the difference. Adding another DAC and using analog inputs into the Maven may work well. I recently bought a DACMagic and it is a fine DAC for the money. Articulate, not tiring, handles multiple inputs, an overall good sound and something I could live with for a long time. The entry level Peachtree Decco2 is another fine performer. If you sold the Maven you could apply the funds toward a new Decco2 or iDecco. USB out from the Mac may be better than the optical depending on the DAC. You have to try both to compare. There will be many DACs coming out this year. Another inexpensive DAC that has very good press is the VALAB bought on ebay. Used DACs are the way to go. DACs don't wear out, are simple devices and work as well years down the line as they do when new. Good luck!
Keep in mind that your USB and Toslink "outs" from the Mac are only as good as the receiving piece of equipment. I have been using a Pop Pulse USB >SPDIF converter and the resolution (as indicated in the Midi Setup) is pretty poor - only because the Pop Pulse cannot handle the higher resolutions. The Pop Pulse also does Toslink >SPDIF conversions and as unbelievable as it might be, the Toslink resolutions were higher than USB. My DAC is built into the Krell HTS 7.1 processor so for me the solution is the M2Tech Hiface USB>SPDIF>Processor which raises the USB resolution up considerably.
Those that are recommending a better DAC are right on the mark depending on what the DAC can handle. For me, it is simply a matter of upgrading the conversion (USB>SPDIF).
Most USB implementations stop at 16/48 although 24/96 is possible. The Cambridge DACMagic is one unit whose USB connection won't go over 16/48. Toslink goes up to 24/96 on all units I know of. However my personal jury is out on whether Toslink sounds as good as coax at the same resolution.
My younger son uses a G5 Power Mac running Leopard as his music server. He takes USB from the computer, runs it to a HeadRoom Total Bithead and from there to a NAD C320BEE. Works and sounds fine, and would sound better with upgrades to his USB and analog cables.
I am playing with a Valab TeraLink USB-to-S/PDIF converter box and it sounds quite good, better than my M-Audio Audiophile USB at its 16/48 resolution limit. If you get such a separate converter, remember that your S/PDIF cable length will very probably affect your system's resolution. 1.5 meters is the best bet IME.
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There are several people that swear by those G5's, but they may be using a soundcard. Other people are using usb or firewire dacs.