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From your answer Mr10Percent, I understand that using optical (digital output) to the BL5’s, I will get better quality than using good quality PowerLink cables?
My experience of pumping Beosound 5 output to the BL5’s is that Coax to BL5 will give a superior sound over Powerlink alone. I would state with this setup ,the music output stayed in the digital domain right up to the BL5 DAC stage.
Looking at your setup, I would look at the capabilities of iphone and airplay in terms of digital output. A lot of phones downgrade their outputs depending on the codec being used.
If you were pumping sound from a purpose-built music server via the LAN, Im sure this would be as good as you can get from this equipment. However, I am uncertain what the Core does in terms of the “Line-in (analogue & digital combo)” and airplay or what Airplay and your phone is doing? From your last post, it sounds like the BL5s are playing unfiltered noise with the music signal from the 96 to 192kHz band. By selecting 48kHz, you are filtering the signal above 96kHz (aka 0.5 Nyquist).
Now, thinking on my feet, if you have a home network and a PC (better still, a NAS), I think you can make the PC (network search on) into a Music server and in the Beoapp select it as DNLA.
It will then collect all the relevant music files (Core does not support WMA if you are still there??). This should allow you to play files up to 96kHz to the Core and you can decide if the Core DAC is OK with Powerlink alone or if you should keep it in the digital domain a little longer to export it via Toslink/coax direct to the BL5.
This should give you a good indication if it is the Phone codecs, the core DAC or the BL5 internal fault.
Im sure there are plenty of people on this site who can review what i have said and see if the logic is good?