It seems almost a universal opinion that all soundcard output is junk when compared to outboard equip. Whether it's internal power supply noise/interference or whatever...(wouldn't the soundcard power supply regulation filter just the same degree as what the PS regulation for outboard euipment does?) So, after reading posts on other forums/blogs I've got to ask the question... "Assuming proper impedance ratio (damping factor) matching between amp section and heaphone, adequate voltage output, etc....is there any real world sonic benefit to running seperates (dac and/or amp) vs. output from an onboard soundcard?" Reason I ask is in the limited comparisons I've done so far I've found the sonic improvement gained from running JRiver MC (with WASAPI exlusive & everything forced to 24 bit depth with source sampling rate vs. non-optimised PC settings) is far greater than the improvement above and beyond what I've heard thusfar with adding an outboard dac/amp under the same JRiver settings. I'm running ATH M-50's and maybe I've got tin ears(?) I'm wondering if stepping up to AKG K550's would offer a bigger difference vs. the same money spent on outboard seperates?