Originally Posted by Thommohawk
I might be wrong but I think it's more to do with the actual players on both PS3 and laptop. There are differences with each, slight differences between different music software's on the laptop side, also differences between hooking the PS3 up directly to the Fiio E9 amp via it's line in (sounds harsher on the highs) but the base line difference between PS3 and laptop overall is still there and for me it sounds a lot better through the PS3.
As you say it might be coloured in some way I'm not sure, and for the record my equipment is relatively modest and I've never heard expensive sources or Dac's before. I just see a major difference in my audio quality and/or enjoyment via my hardware when played through games console vs laptop. Laptop just sounds dry and lacking by comparison, either there's something seriously wrong on the computer end or my PS3 knocks it out of the park.
So I take it you guys are getting a lot more out of your music when listening on computer ?
Not really. I used to have an HP and another desktop that had a coaxial output, feeding a SuperPro707 and a DAC-AH, and I can't tell the difference between the PC and the Marantz CD80. The 707 sounds thin next to the DAC-AH, but if I used the USB input, it sounds a lot like it. That's because the Superpro could take more voltage out of a better PSU, and when you use the USB, it takes 5V there to power the DAC section and leave the PSU to power just the analog output. In short, given comparable PSUs, they actually sound much closer to each other. Given the DAC-AH was using recycled Philips DAC chips that were used in Marantz CDPlayers from the early 90s, and the 707 was using the same chip used by Marantz in their current players, then basically the analog output circuit and PSU design can account for a lot more than the digital sections, unless there really is a disparity that - for the lack of a better term - "chokes" the digital signal feed.
Right now my only sources are a laptop and an iPad2, feeding the USB of my Corda Cantate. I only use the laptop when the iPad is charging, planning to get a portable/battery DAC-Amp for use when I'm out with the laptop. But I'll get a CD player again in the future (like a Meridian 16-bit), but given the frustrations of transport dying on me and I can't find anyone to fix them or the right parts, it's more likely I'll get a wireless DAC instead. That's probbly going to stir up as much debate about source quality given the ones out now also use different wireless protocols, aside from everything else different in the circuits.