here is some background and details about what i like and what i have. fist off I am a 2 channel guy, i like music, and i am not into surround sound, its cool but i listen to music 90% of the time so the old stereo 2 channel is what i go for and it cost allot less than a good surround sound setup.
i have a set of energy C200 book shelf speakers ( not in use at this time but hanging on to them ) i figure if i ever get a new amp i can use them for a second stereo to put in a new location. i currently run a set of Definitive BP8B bipolar speakers. with a quality polk audio 8 inch sub, PSW 250 i think. my receiver is a Denon DRA 397. i have all my CD's stored on the computer, my computer has a Creative sound card with RCA outs and that is how i hook it to my receiver so i assume it acts as a DAC. I dont do lossless whe i rpm my CD, a lower grade but yet good quality rip seems to have a softer warmer sound and to my ears that sounds better.
as for the over all sound of my system it sounds pretty darn good to me, but i am thinking it could always sound better, i bought the denon receiver and the energy speakers 4 or 5 years ago when i was on a low budget and my old Onkyo receiver started loosing power and shortly after that my Mirage 590i speakers blew a crossover and the foam was coming off the speakers. ( those were the best sounding speakers i had ever heard to my ear they were 100% perfect. ) i have never been satisfied with the new set up, i just got the definitive speakers on close out for 200.00 each at new egg, this is the first set of speakers i have bought that i have not heard but at that price and what i read about them i figured they would be a huge upgrade and they are. so far i really like them but there not as good as my old mirage speakers were but i am very happy with the purchase.
I listen to Punk Rock, new and old Country, Blues, Bluegrass, Acoustic music, 50's music and real rock and roll (not the stuff they play on the radio). now here is my question
i am looking at either the outlaw RR 2150 receiver or the NAD 356BBE DAC model integrated amp. i know a good receiver can make a nice difference in sound but how much. i am wondering if moving up from a mediocre receiver to one of those models will be a small improvement or huge improvement in sound quality. from what i have read about that outlaw for the money it sounds like that is probably the one to get, i would just hate to spend the money unless its going to really make a difference in sound quality.