Okay, so I'm glad @Guidostrunk brought up Fidelizer again! I'd tried it some time ago and perhaps a bit early in my headphone audiophile upgrade journey. I found no difference with the free version before with the HD800 powered out of a Lyr with a Bifrost. So I cast it aside and meh.
I gave it a whirl again and thought WOW. My modified XDA-2 can OBVIOUSLY benefit from a better transport, especially from SPDIF optical I'm using. So my money was instantly separated from me for the pro version. WindowsX had a link up for me next day. Now, I have to point out a couple things.
- I'm a pirate at heart. I generally just don't afford software.
- The CAN to US conversion rate SUCKS right now. I paid almost 1.5x.
- Its worth it.
I haven't been able to grab a couple minutes to sit in a quiet room and just listen to see if the pro version was worth it. When I finally found 5 minutes, they stretched to 10.... 15... 20. Oh my. I quickly jumped through the 'golden oldies' of my collection. Apparently I've never heard them before. There's nuance and detail creeping out everywhere.
I love electronica. I love well recorded electronica even better. Mostly because its possible seemingly skip the mastering process and basically plug your headphones into the performers synth. Bluetech is a particular favorite of mine. I randomly hit Bluetech's - Leaving Babylon from the Prima Materia album. I was shocked. I found the primary riff that kicks in at 0:38 has a different halophonic character and texture on every beat. I've heard it how many times? Never noticed that. I also can't hear that particular detail on other systems now. So its not just being pointed out and directing your notice to a particular nuance. The nuance is entirely missing from other systems.
So turning your PC into a better transport is simply a good idea. Apparently its terrible in its raw configuration. I suspected it was bad, but not this bad. I'm looking forward to rediscovering my entire collection.
In addition, I think you get this 'de-crappifying' quantity on expensive DACs like the yggdrasil as a major selling feature. But if you can improve your existing transport (PC) and get improved performance by manipulating the software - go for it. It was worth the money on my system for certain.