PC (flac) -> Sonica (black gate mod) -> Custom Interconnect -> Pimeta (MisterX) -> CD3000 (AKG 271 for closed)
My alternate source is a cheap sony PCDP running into the Pimeta through it's line out.
I'm feeling that the CD3Ks are being let down by the rest of the system, especially in the bass area, so i'm wondering if an upgrade will make much difference. Do people think a source upgrade would help much?
My choices for source upgrade would be a PCDP (I can't have a full sized player at work, it'd look stupid) or a DAC vi the Soncas' bit-perfect optical SP-DIF output. Which would be best? My preference is for DAC, as I have a lot of music on FLAC, but I have the CDs too of course
I know this won't do you much good, but I haven't found a dedicated headphone amplifier that beats the amplified output of my D-321. Unfortunately this player is so old and worn out, it barely works, but when it does, it gives me the smoothest most engaging sound I've ever heard from any system regardless of price. I know a number of other people on this forum also feel similarly about the D-321. They just don't make 'em like they used to...
Personally, I think you should go with a DAC simply because of the bidding wars you'd have to engage in if you want to get a nice PCDP. I'm going from the $$$-concious POV. That's unless you could snag a really sweet deal with a PCDP. But a DAC probably has the potential to sound better and would be a less pain to get. Maybe even cheaper initially and with the potential for upgrades.