Requesting help...fairly new to computer audio

I am about 6 months into researching, initial investment, and have ripped 11,000+ songs. I have tried to read most available (agon forums, CA, audio circle forums, WTC, etc) to self educate. I have settled upon ripping to apple lossless for a balance of sound and convenience. I dipped my toe in the water with an Arcam rDac using USB with macmini server. on some files it sounds great but on others harsh. The rest of my system is:
Bryston 4BSST amp
NAD M15 HD processor/preamp
New mac mini
B&W Nautilus 803's
B&W ASW 610

Does anybody have any suggestions about settings on the processor or mac mini as I have read about "MIDI adjustments? Room acoustics are not great.
What about an upgrade on the DAC...intrigued by the Wyred4Sound 2 dac. thnks
You might try downloading a free trial copy of Puremusic. It runs over iTunes and improves things a lot. If you decide to buy it, it's only $130. I use it with my iMac and am very happy with it.

You could definitely improve on the Arcam. The W4S is very nice. I'm using an Eastern Electric minimax which I love. As you are using USB, you may be having jitter issues with the Arcam. I'm using toslink/optical and find it works much better than USB. If you stick with USB, make sure your DAC is async.
Hope this helps.

You might want to take a look at the Optimization Guide for Snow Leopard that appears on my website. It is free. And, it really help with resolution, ease and smoothness.

Larry D. Moore, Esq.
Ultra Fi
(513) 417-0130
Meiwan, thank you for the Puremusic suggestion...I will try this today and respond with the feedback. I agree the Arcam could be improved but there are no jitter issues(yet!) and I assume so because it is an asynchronous dac. Thanks Meiwan!

Larry, the guide is tremendous! Thanks for your work. I did upgrade to Lion but the guide certainly points me solidly in the right direction to better understanding of setup options. I have also taken note of the Agon reviews of the Dac-41 and am intrigued. Thanks you as well!

You'll find a lot of what's there also applies to Lion. Rosetta will not however.

Further, Here's an interesting zip file you may download and install for controlling various things in Lion.

The W4S Dac2 is a superb component, punches way way above its price class. I have been using it since it came out and am highly satisfied. I use with a transport and Wadia i170 iPod dock so cannot testify as to USB connection performance.

Here is some non-advertising guidance:

Do not unerestimate the importance of the ripping software and drive, as well as the playback software.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Turn the EQ off in the Mini. With mine on, it was, as you said, "harsh".