@chinese, yeah I was looking at the HRT Streamer II. I mean the setup does NOT have to be really portable if there is a desktop model that is better for the price I would go that route.
I really want it to be like when you get an amp for your speakers there is just this huge difference of feeling across the entire range. Each tone is more pronounced from the baseline and everything is more controlled and powerful. I don't want to buy a USB/DAC/AMP and have it not feel any different than plugging my headphones into a plain soundcard. I would do my budget up to the HRT STreamer II + O2 if it would make a big difference over the E17.
Anybody have this particular setup? I browsed around the component forums a little and peeked at some of the setups. The only reasonable DACS under 150 or so (just dac) seemed to be theirs [HRT's]. Everybody else is 350+ for just the DAC and I wont spend 500$ to drive a 170$ pair of cans (I dont think at least!)
Thanks all of you for helping me get into this the RIGHT way and not the ****ty way!