Newbe PC audio

I have a big time Cary Audio Tube amp and pre amp and really like the tube sound but would love to hook up my PC Audio internet through a lite DAC that I have to my tubes. I am totally ignorant as to how to get from here to there. Can anyone help????
Probably the simplest way would be to buy an Airport Express base station, connect to it from your PC (it works for PC's or Macs as a wireless access point or can be installed on your wired ethernet network.) Then connect the Airport Express and your DAC via their digital optical connectors. The analog output of the DAC connects to one of the inputs on your preamp.

A lot of people use the Squeezebox products but I have no experience with them.
Airport Express would work, but the sound wouldn't be up to your standards -I think- based on the rest of your system. And you don't own own Mac.

Really, your best bet is to go wired somehow. There are lots of possibilities! Here are links to informative manufacturer sites with information pages on computer audio to get you up to speed on available options.

If you like tubes, I wholeheartedly recommend Wavelengh Audio.

Wavelength Audio

Empirical Audio

Also, here is a really good site dedicated to computer audio run by a guy in Minneapolis, MN:

Computer Audiophile
Lots of possibilities. The best, but expensive option would be the Empirical Audio stuff. Alternatively you can go with a DAC that already looks after the jitter issue to a decent degree such as the Benchmark. Unfortunately the sterile DAC-1 probably wouldn't be to your liking (it's not to mine). I have a Paradisea+ tube DAC connected to my Vista desktop via a FOCUSRITE SAFFIRE Le.
The DAC1 USB will work more than fine. It can be a bit clinical depending on setup and what it's paired with, but handles jitter very well. Like most resolving gear, it reacts to power cords/ICs and reveals weaknesses elsewhere.
I have found the benchmark to be not sterile or analytical at all with very good power cabes, power conditioner and interconnets. I know spending a grand each on both PC and IC on a 1,000 dac isn't for everyone, it does make it sound quite nice.
Sorry-one more issue. USB is very poor for PC audio. Go the firewire route-a world of difference.
True, but then you need to compare the DAC-1 to units costing three times as much that may sound as good or better without all the tweaking.

While firewire is preferable to USB I wouldn't say a "world of difference". Enough though for me to choose a firewire product in the Saffire LE.
RWA Isabellina DAC with MacBook Air and iTouch as a controler replaced my $3200 Consonance Droplet .....which is collecting dust at the moment.
I will keep my Droplet for sentimental reasons but I really start to question present technology and what direction & form it's going to choose.
Musicman, The Saffire is a great little rig. I'm perplexed why the majority here are going USB rather than firewire.
I should add that Isabellina dac is a buid in feature in my Isabella tube preamp.
Mac usb-out •DAC USB-in • iTunes controled wirelessly by iTouch and "remote wiglet" (free download from Apple).

Don't have that much exp. with "FireWire" but to my ears USB sounds pretty least in this configuration.

How would you describe the differences and what gear did you use? Just curious .

Cerrot - I have been wondering about the new Firewire DiceII chip and how good it is, as you tout this with almost every post you make. I read the AES paper on the JET jitter reduction and it was very interesting. Well a friend finally brought over a Konnect, so we did Firewire to S/PDIF with a 2-foot Firewire cable and compared it to USB to S/PDIF with a 5 meter USB cable, both 24/96 and 44.1. Not even close, sorry.

Steve N.

My biggest issue with going from USB to firewire were dropouts. I tried the utrends usb to spdif into MF Dac 3 and had dropouts (using J River/flac. vista, asio4all, high performance PC, Cayin A50T and B&W 685 speakers, Nordost cables). I also tried a friends Benchamrk with USB and still had dropouts. The music was good but the dropouts were too annoying. Going to firewire, the dropouts were gone and the music was better, to my ears. I have a better sense of where the instruments are and it seems there is more resolution. The music is close but the dropouts were just killing me. (the lack of dropouts definately effects my perception of the resolution, etc. as I can listen w/o annoyances). I also had my sigmatel soundcards spdif out into dac (sorry, left out all into monarchy dip and than into dac) and the dropouts were nasty. Mind you, these dropouts are probably a millisecond or so but just enough to ruin the listening experience. I have had absolutely no dropouts with firewire. After researching, I attributed the dropouts to USB's packet transmission as opposed to firewire's streaming of data. I am very interested to hear others experience with firewire and usb interfaces. Does anyone get any dropouts?
I have no experience with firewire but have used USB connections between both an iMac and Macbook Pro to Peachtree Decco and NuForce Icon amps with built-in DAC's. I've never experienced dropouts in any configuration with that gear.
Same here > no problems
Appreciate the input.