DAC suggestion for PC

Need some help deciding on which DAC to use with a few changes I will be making for my PC audio setup. Currently I am using a iFi Audio Zen DAC v2 connected by USB (and a Fosi Audio Tube amp). Right now I am using some PSB Image bookshelves (but I'll be changing these as well) and a Velodyne Subwoofer. 

The change I will be making, is I'm looking at changing my amp to a used Cambridge Audio CXA61 which has its own DAC. The Cambridge has the ESS Sabre ES9010 DAC model. If this isn't a better DAC, then I'll look at the Cambridge Audio AXR85 instead which doesnt come with a DAC instead and keep the zen dac.

My questions are the following:

1. Is the CXA61 dac better than the Zen DAC v2? It would be nice to eliminate an extra piece of equipment.

2. Might be a bit out of my budget, but how much of an upgrade would the CXA81 with the ESS Sabre ES9016 DAC be? Is it worth paying the extra?

From what I understand, the model of the DAC alone doesnt tell the whole story, but how the unit is built and setup around it that also matters. Hence why I am looking for some feedback as Ive never compared or auditioned them with an A/B comparison. Thanks


@lanx0003 - I should rephrase my statement by saying, "and finally went to a higher quality USB cable".  I am using an Audio Quest Carbon USB-A to USB-B cable.  There are certainly higher quality cables than what I'm using, so my apologies for the poor phrasing. 

Each step up in USB cables made a difference for me.

@milpai Correct I am using directly from my PC, sitting in front of the screen. I should have mentioned from the beginning, this is my office desk setup. 

Fidelizer could be very interesting. What about using the Roon app on pc, does that help any?

Got it @skads_187 . I am not sure if Roon lets you control Tidal's app on the Desktop PC. I understand that most people use Roon to stream Tidal/Qobuz directly to the DAC/Streamer. But since you access the PC directly, I don't think you need any "control/connect" software. You can control the app directly on the PC.

Since I sit away from the server and want to control Foobar2000, I use MonkeyMote on a tablet and control the Foobar playback. The audio server is directly connected to the DAC using USB. So I have o need for Roon.

Try the free Fidelizer and see if you benefit from it.

I was steered to an Audio Alchemy DDP-1 as a DAC for my mid / hi-end audio system.  An audio guy who sells and installs very very big money system uses its related product the DMP-1 in all his installations.  When people who can’t afford bazillion dollar systems ask him for recommendations that was a brand he would recommend..  I had an opportunity to upgrade to a Berkeley Audio DAC Series 2 and put the Audio Alchemy DDP-1 at my computer.  it works great there and sounds great there.  Check out the reviews as they are uniformly outstanding.  .  It is no longer manufactured so look for it used where it is priced very reasonably though you’ll have to be patient to find it.  Be sure to get its separate linear power supply, the PS-5.

I run my office system from my PC using a Schitt Gungnir. Schiit makes very good budget DACs. Worth investing at least to this level to get relatively natural sound.