24/96 has more than 3X the data density of 16/44. Buy middle of the road DAC (e.g. Stello, Benchmark, Lavry, PS Audio), buy 24/96 downloads, and be happy. NO amount of buffering, reclocking, 'miracle' (substitute your favorite DAC chip) DAC, class A/Tube/Zero-feedback output circuit, massive over-built power supply and whatever circuit improvements you can think of, will will make your 16/44 on your $5k DAC sound better than 24/96 on the average $1k DAC. Edit: in light of some of the comments below: The purpose of this PSA: To help those with limited funds to maximize their enjoyment of the music. 24/96 tracks are, on average, more expensive than 16/44. You will get a much bigger bang for your buck by getting 24/96 track than by upgrading to the next new shinning DAC. No DAC can generate 2/3 of the missing data from nothing. If it's not in the data stream, its not coming out on the analog output, period.