I meant its transmitted as analog to the receiver in my current set up. Of course you’re absolutely correct in all your points, but I guess without a better sound card I’m left with resampling. It’s definitely not a difference in brightness, more an increase in dynamic range. It brings out subtleties in the music and sharpens it, whereas I see brightness as increasing the highs and lows thereby creating an uneven sound that some people think is desirable. I’d say it’s much closer to the source material played across a toslink to my receiver, which is how I listen to CDs. I don’t have audiophile components by any stretch, just trying to get the most from my set up that I can.
EDIT: I did find the article I talked about here:
“The question of number of bits is another thing to consider. Does carrying extra bits increase the amount of information in our signal? Unfortunately, once we have sampled our signal, nothing can be done to increase the amount of information we have to work with. What carrying more bits does is that it prevents the loss of information. DSP algorithms and filters require additions, multiplications, and other math functions. If we are able to carry more bits in the results of these operations, we lose less information by chopping off fewer bits. Every truncation of a result will add noise to our signal. But now we can see that by balancing the number of bits we carry in our computations and by the amount we oversample, we can reduce the effect of this truncation in word length. One thing to note is that many products claim 24-bit word lengths, but yet only process internally at 20 bits.”
"There are basically two points of view regarding this upsampling an oversampling. The audio â€˜puristsâ€™ want no additional processing on their signal and want whatever comes in from the source to come out as analog. They talk about zero oversampling DACs and such that are completely filter free both in the analog and digital domain. That is one extreme that some may argue is the purest since it avoids any digital artifacts and it’s quality relies on human perception by arguing that the human ear in itself acts as a brickwall filter after 20 kHz. Whenever we get into debates of human perception, the math and theory go out the window. Does it sound better without all the digital processing and filtering even with the image of the signal sitting just past fs/2? The energy past 22.05kHz is still present and you are still sending it to the speaker’s tweeter. How will the tweeter react to such out-of-band frequencies that are present? Furthermore, sending such a signal that is not limited in bandwidth could cause stability problems with wide-bandwidth amplifiers that have a high unity-gain crossing. The overall systemâ€™s signal-to-noise- ratio will be adversely affected as well. The DAC will also introduce frequency spurs all over the place. If we donâ€™t filter them at all, what will their presence do to the sound? It’s a complicated problem and such a minimalist approach could introduce more non-linearities and negative effects, more so than the digital processing ever would. "