@AlanU Having the Creative x-fi connected to the Yamaha through the aux in with RCA cables is how I have it set currently. From what I've been told earlier, plugging the X-fi to the Yamaha through Audio optical would let me use the Yamaha's DAC instead of the DAC from the X-fi ? Could that be interesting to try ??
When I'm not playing music through the Yamaha's speakers I usually plug my headphones in the Creative's headphones out, maybe I should try plugging the headphones in the Yamaha's out to see if I can hear a difference.
I think it could be a good thing to wait, and when I have a nice budget to dedicate to audio I'll take the time to try and compare gear and see what kind of DAC I want to use and see if I want a clean amp or one that adds a colour and everything.. I went with a mini chain for the convenience of having everything in one piece of gear in the first place, and as far as I know the Yamaha I own does a really nice job amongst mini chains and it was the one I preferred over the other ones I tried (some Denon, Pioneer etc).
And same for the Momentum headphones ! Basically I bought the gear I liked the most within the budget I had, and right now I don't have more money to put into and I'm still happy with everything so that should do for a while !
What I was wondering about when I first wrote here was whether the creative x-fi could be a "weak point" in my set up and if an DAC upgrade could improve the result but I think the ODAC wouldn't really represent an upgraded, just something different (and I'm not even sure I'd hear a difference).
BTW, do you know anything about the Apogee Groove ? Does it have the same kind of plain and transparent philosophy as the Objective gear or does it have its own sound features ? Just wondering about it !
Sorry I was under the impression that you were using the yamaha headphone out and using the dac to feed the yamaha.
I would hold out as long as you can on any gear purchase. As you go up the ladder in gear you gain refinements and much improved SQ. Enjoy your current gear and build a dedicated headphone rig down the road to max out SQ for headphones.
IMO most dac's will sound different from one another even when the same DAC chipset is used. The ESS sabre chipset seems to have a very strong character sound that seems to have a house sound in many dacs.
The Dac seems to be the weakest link in most cases. Perhaps it's all about meeting our expectations to make happy subjective ears. The unfortunate thing is higher end dac's cost alot of $$$$
I've been concerned about my previous comments comparing my Burson Virtuoso and Jds amp. I did that comparison when my burson was virtually fresh out of the box. I just did an A/B comparison between my objective amp and Burson Virtuoso (now with more hours of breakin' time). Using the Burson internal DAC via Grant Fidelity vacuum tube processor feeding the 02 amp I find the JDS amp to sound less refined and edgy/raw. Using the Burson Amplification section while getting conditioned from my Grant fidelity vacuum tube processor the Burson sounds smoother. My previous comments were based on my fresh brand new Burson amp. I'll still comment by saying the 02 amp is a great amp for the inexpensive cost.
I'm entertaining the idea of buying an amp from Garage1217 for fun.
You can buy an assembled one. So many toys out there :)