Buying a DAC when you can't try it first


this is a generic "advice please" post.
I'm driving magnepan .7's with a primaluna evo 400 with KT150 tubes.
Most of my music nowadays it tidal streamed via a chromecast audio (CCA) with the optical output going into the DAC of a MusicHall C-DAC (its a CD player with a DAC that can be used by external sources).

I'm planning an upgrade path and leaning toward getting a DAC like the SMSL SU-9 or Cambridge DACMagic Plus and running the CCA optical through the new DAC. But i have no idea if those DAC's or something else at that price is going to improve on the musichall DAC (which some reviews say is a decent DAC).

Or should I ditch the CCA and separate DAC go the streamer route....but I'm worried that tying a streamer and DAC together limits upgrade path. However i am not totally against it. 

I'm just not sure if i even will hear anything measurably better than what I have so thought I'd reach out to you people for your thoughts and experiences. 

....sigh.

mid-fi-crisis
At the risk of thread jacking (with my first post nonetheless) I am in the process of setting up a new "mid-fi" room too.  Prima Luna Evo 400 and Dynaudio Evoke 50s.  
Planning on running Roon with a Nucleus to a Merridian 218 as the DAC.
Curious if anyone would support that front end or strongly steer me in another way.  Thought this might inform the OP as well.
There’s an audio science review testing site that offers good tech data on specs and how well chip is implemented. Some Topping, SMSL, RME DACs score well.

Benchmark is great choice too. I like it.
op

Also ditch the stock power cord on your Node as an aftermarket or build your own will make a difference and you don’t have to spend that much. The DAC in the Node is decent but adding a DAC down the road will be a big improvement. 
Cullen Cable makes a good power cord for the Node at a reasonable cost.
I upgraded from a Node 2 to Node2i, and later added a Cullen power cable. I noticed a big difference going to the 2i, and a smaller but noticeable difference adding the Cullen cord. WIth that said the Node2i (as a DAC) was still the weakest link. I upgraded recently to the Schiit Bifrost 2, and that was the breakthrough for me...natural, detailed, more extended bass. I can't compare top the pieces above as I haven't heard them, so they may be good or better, but I love the new Bifrost. Good luck.