So I finally caved. I figured that there wasn't anything in particular I could do as an upgrade to my system that didn't involve a lot more money than I can justify spending right after the holiday season. So I started looking at DACs as I run most of my music from a larger tablet, straight out from the 3.5 to the preamp. I didn't figure there could be much that an expensive DAC would do compared to a cheap one. Most of the recommendations I see for DACs are either trying to get less noise because PC mobos have tons of interference, or people claiming a huge jump in quality and then explaining how much better 192khz sounds than 96khz...which really isn't physically possible. But I had a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket and figured EVERYONE out there posting reviews can't all be suffering from buyers confirmation right? So I just did a little dip into the waters. Got an FX-Audio DAC-X6 because it was cheap, and I figured there wasn't much to lose if I bought from Amazon. I could just return it if it made things sound worse, made no difference, or just didn't make enough of a difference. Got it today. I'll say I was somewhat impressed. I wasn't at all sure that it would function with Android, but I plugged it into a full sized USB port and it was off to the races. No drivers or anything. Tablet automatically cut off the 3.5 output and it shot right through the DAC. I was fairly impressed because nothing ever works that way. And the sound...it quite possibly could have been some sort of coloring from the DAC or just a volume boost, but it DID sound better. Crisper highs, same mids roughly, and quite as bit of additional low end signal, as evidenced by my subwoofer walking right up to the door for a visit. I thought I could discern a bit more separation on "Aja", and Michael Hedges came through with a bit more vibrancy on Taproot. Then within 15 minutes I heard a definite "tap". It was like a digital metronome behind the music. Tuned my preamp down and my source all the way up and there it was "tk...tk...tk...tk...tk" Damn, I thought, it's already going to hell...or maybe I just didn't notice it before because of the way my volumes are setup. Full on my power amp. Half mast on my preamp. Use the tablet volume for actual adjustments. Then I hoped that maybe it was some sort of "breaking in"...but I know enough about digital to know that shouldn't be a thing. About 5 minutes after this it died. It turns on, but plugging or unplugging the USB cord causes the indicator light to flash momentarily and then go dark, and no signal is coming out of it. I tried with both my PC and the tablet and nothing. So back to Amazon it goes, and now I have around $65+whatever I add to it because I can't NOT get another DAC right? So what should I be looking at?