Are DAC's overpriced?


External DAC's are pretty expensive imho... BUT I don't know that much on how to choose one. I want mostly cd's in my small two channel system... I am rebuilding after selling my Logans and Mac amp to go back to "drivers"! The Logans wore me out with Maintenance.  Should I buy a new cd player or get a new DAC for my old player?  
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Man, the reply’s here are all over the place. After 40 years of the high end and also working for dealers and hearing everything out there, it doesn’t take long for me to decide to buy when I hear something great without the several thousand dollar price tag. 
My advice in your case is for to you to buy a really good value used stand alone CD player like Rega Apollo and start there.
If you want to play computer audio files, then you will need a DAC. Chord Hugo 2 and Ayre Codex are excellent value and sound and both available used this week on AudioGon for less than $2K. So far,  I have not heard a below $1000 retail DAC that I would buy.
I also find that tube output stages sound a lot more like live music than anything else. Wavelength DACS are wonderful in their musicality and soundstage. 
If you are buying retail through a local dealer, they should allow you to try at home before you buy, or pay for it and return it in a week if not wanted.

Oh, also don’t forget the wire and the power supply. They make a big difference. I use Audience cable, and it isn’t cheap, but their new budget cable Ohno is unbelievably good for the money. Battery power or upgraded switching power supplies for computer audio can make a big difference. 
I am really appreciative of the experiences shared here so I will hopefully throw out a DAC question that someone has a reference from which to share. I am considering inserting a PS Audio DSD in between my Oppo 205 and Hegel H300 to stream MQA Tidal through Roon. Worth it? Nordost Frey loom and Dynaudio 260’s. Thanks for any opinions.
If all your playing is Red Book CD's than look at some of the top of the line DAC's from the early 90's. They used R2R chips. Today a lot of the super expensive DAC's are going back to R2R topology but they have to do it the hard way because there are no more R2R chips made. Instead of precision laser trimmed resistor banks (Inside of the DAC Chip) now they have to use carefully matched SMD resistors and solder them to a circuit board.
Even one of the owners of Schitt lamented that these chips are no longer available and claims that the Burr Brown PCM63P DAC chip was the best ever made.Why? Because they sound so dam good!I have a Parasound D/AC1000 that uses the BB PMC63P chips, it has three analog PS, one for the digital section and two for the analog audio section. It sounds very musical and they can be purchased cheap. New in 1990 they cost 1000.00, not exactly chump change. 100.00 to 200.00 is what they sell for on Ebay.
So today the high end DAC's are moving back to the older technology to get better sound. The DS style DAC's just don't compete.

BillWojo
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