CongratsI am new here and was reading all the posts regarding DAC / USB and using a PC as a transport for Flac. A few days back I got a brand new NAD 356 BEE with inbuilt DAC modue.
That rock concert sound from the demo CD player was in a treated room maybe ?As I listen to heavy metal and rock mostly so I took my amp and checked out Klipsch. The sound was horrible and I know there is nothing wrong with the speakers, as it played like a dream on the Demo CD player.
I have not tried out VLC for bitstreaming from a flac source. In my understanding if you are able to control volume you are not delivering an untouched bitstream to the DAC.
I have gone from burn in sceptic to believer thrice. So have you had ten - twenty hours on the new rig ?
I have also figured out slowly that swiping card, unpacking speakers and hitting play does not automagically result in nice sound. There is that dastardly thing which comes in the way - your room. If you have not attacked that beast you will not hear what you desire. Then there is the power source you are feeding your PC/ amp and dac with.
FLAC vs .wav is probably not your big worry as long as you have ripped your CDs correctly with EAC.
Take things step by step and slowly. It is a long journey (and in case kind of convoluted too but I think someday ....)
ciao and happy listening.