That did it
Thanks so much,
while i'm not an audio expert, i do have a new 103 and have a pretty nice setup (pioneer elite 53 + def tech speakers) and have been listening to a lot of hi res 5.1 flacs. i did notice a difference when i went to the 103 with audio, although it is fairly minor.. certainly not a 'night and day' improvement. i would characterize the sound as being more crisp and discrete with the 103 (admittedly a vague description - vocabulary breaks down when describing sound, IMHO).
i mainly got the 103 because it will play damn near everything i throw at it (SACD's, DVD-A, 5.1 flacs, etc) without issue.
i was disappointed that i saw no video BR improvement vs the $90 sony s590 that it replaces, and the lack of amazon instant play (which i knew about).
i'm starting to believe what i've read in many places, that the biggest variance in sound quality (if you have a decent set of speakers and AVR) just comes down to the source mix/engineering... listening to donald fagens 'the nightfly' is just plain amazing.. and thats 24bit 48k (with audio engineer demigod 'Elliott Scheiner'), whereas i just got a 'digitally remastered CD of SRV's 'in step' and it just plain sucks.
the 103's better DAC just doesn't make that big a difference IMHO, when compared with the cheaper ones i've heard (the s590, a netgear 550, and the elite 53).. makes me wonder what the 'truely high end' ($5000+) DAC's sound like..