Thinking of taking the plunge - advice please.
I have a Sony DA5400es av amp.
I also have a Sony 370 Blu Ray and an Arcam DV79 DVD/CD player.
Presently, I stream via Apple Airport Express from a Sony Vaio using iTunes mostly but sometimes for pure convieniance just my I iphone 3gs (quality not as good as Vaio though).
I miss the true hi fi sound. Have a big cd collection but not enough room to keep them out all of the time - they are mostly ripped via Apple Lossless and the cds are banished to a cupboard in the kids bedroom.
Front speakers are PMC GB1's and DB1 centre.
I have £500 spare to upgrade - was thinking Rega DAC or could save a little more and go for the Audiolab M-DAC.
I am a little clueless on DAC's and need advise.
I am purely interested in getting the best analogue stereo sound.
Firstly, does the transport matter ? Was thinking of selling the Arcam and if need be feed cds through the Sony Blu Ray, but as mentioned I think I will be going down the streaming route so this might not matter anyway.
Secondly, can I continue to stream through the Airport or would this be a waste of time with me being better off using the Sony Vaio direct ? I am not too savy on connections either or sample rates. I think I read somewhere that the Airport would be limited to a lower bitrate ? Also, if using the laptop direct what connection to feed it all through ? Again, read somewhere that a spdif via usb (what is that?) would benefit the Rega more (have got that terminology wrong but you experts will know what I mean). I do not like the idea of having to put my laptop near my rack/av amp - are their different solutions ?
I also have Sky HD - would this benefit going through a DAC ? Presumably not as I would lose the surround sound ?
Finally, just to throw a curve ball - would I be better off saving even more dosh and forgetting a dac to just buy a dedicated stereo amp - thinking Roksan Candy K2 and using the Sonys pre amp inputs and feeding the Airport through that ?
Quite confused as you can see ! Probably more questions to ask too but for fear of making you all nod off, i shall leave it at that for now.
Help most welcomed.
And thanks to the team for granting my request of a seperate DAC section.