I've come here in the seeking out of your guidance. My current audio situation isn't cutting it for me, and I'm looking for ways to go about uplifting the quality, or rather, completeness of it.
Now, starting from the audio signal's most original sources, onward, here's what I've got currently:
The audio file itself. All of my music is ripped with E.A.C. It's all encoded into the lossless .WAV format, ripped from non-pirated audio discs. However, some of the albums weren't mastered too well, Breaking Benjamin's "Saturate", for example, couldn't have been recorded at any higher of a bit-rate than 128kbps. I've tried several different renditions and re-labelings of the album, and they all sound the same: poor. With that in mind, I'm aware that not all albums are mastered equally. This is equally true with digitally-produced music, like Dubstep, and video game soundtracks. The samples used in the soundtracks or albums may not be of high-quality, as such, an album may be recorded, and produced, and exported into .WAV, however, the poor sample quality still makes for a poor listening experience.
Next, since I use a computer for my audio output, I've gotten myself a sound card. It's an Audigy 2 ZS, to be exact. I've configured it with the control panel at the best settings: 4.4.1 speakers, 24-bit 192000Hz signal. Volume maxed out. I understand that this sound card isn't high-end anymore, likely wasn't ever. But it's doing great so far. I haven't made any Equalizer adjustments, everything is as flat as can be. Should I get an upgrade from this card? If so, please post a link to something that's higher-end.
The cable running out from the card is a typical 3.5mm to red/white cable. This, of course, is where my first question is: Would a better cable actually make a difference? I've read that pure-silver cables are better for .WAV files. Is this true?
I don't want to go any further from that point until I verify that my gear listed above is the highest-end, or does not need further upgrading. Thanks for the help!