...Actually the title was supposed to be "Digital cables/sources do make a difference", but I think this fits the mood better.
So far I've tried two f-ed up combinations for the transport - stock cable + on-board Realtek, and $7 cable on Audigy. Both sucked in different ways.
Finally I got the 3.5mm male to 2x RCA adaptor to use the stock RCA coax with the Audigy's fukked up digital out. And wow, it sounds very nice. I'm definitely hearing more instruments and details, and the most WOW part is that the noise in certain noisy songs (caused by interactions between instruments + use of SRS WOW effect) has reduced by a whole lot to almost nothing (but still there). Dynamics also improved back plus extras, highs feel more normal now, and the overall feel is more... natural.
Natural... why is it that the better equipments will always sound more natural? And how does it sound more natural despite the increase in dynamics? Audio is wierd.
And sadly, this isn't getting back the loss in 8khz that I'm experiencing. I've recently found my second song (or perhaps 3rd or 4th) that has a clear difference between 320kbps MP3 and FLAC - Reflectia by eufonius. And this song is very good for frequency testing because it has distinct notes at 4, 8, and 16khz. Especially the 8khz one at the chorus, which I am very fond of. Anyway, changing back to the NeoMini DAC didn't help, so I can be sure that the loss is due to my ear.
Just last Wednesday I was exposed to some very loud high-pitched noise. It was some bugger knocking something off a final drive like no tomorrow. After that, my tinnitus grew to include a very obvious hissing, and my 8khz frequency band was pretty much screwed up - I definitely lost a lot of hearing of that note, although it was more like 9-10khz when I measured it using a sine wave generator software.
So fk the MO specialists and consultants for saying that tinnitus is alright, there's no problem, I'm going to sue you all when I get the chance.
While we're at it, please donate to the "Help-tinnitus-sufferers-cure-tinnitus-through-buying-a-healing-laser-Fund". Basically there is a very potential cure for tinnitus called the healing laser, which when shot at cells stimulate the release of energy which triggers and aids cell restoration and growth/division, attacking the fundamental problem of tinnitus - the nerve cells don't grow back naturally. Off course, being the guy who discovered and thought of the idea, I will be the one using it first to... *ahem* test for safety and effect. Then after that I'll be calling out to all the innocent tinnitus sufferers who got tinnitus through the fukked-up SAF and NS. And I'll cure them in place of the incompetent, complacent, and apathic doctors that we have in the army. In this way I'll gather enough support to sue and hopefully overthrow the evil organization. Everybody hates the SAF, they know that too, just that nobody. is brave enough to shout that out in the public against the human-rights lacking government that we have.