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
@soix said it all. I second that.  I’ll add that we did a comparison of three separate streamers on the same system and the difference was quite remarkable.  Obvious improvement, well, the more you spend.
+1 On the Audio Mirror Tubadour MKIII SE DAC
For streamers, give Innous a look
mid-fi-crisis
Buying a DAC when you can’t try it first

Schiit Audio gives 10 days on their products the have some great dacs.
https://www.schiit.com/products
And their dacs are designed by Mike Moffat the man who made Theta Digital one of the best.
If going the GUNGNIR model go the Multibit option.

Cheers George
Topping D10 to replace my Philips CD630 refrence Cd player did read only the testing bought it compared it an found it in the lows way more tight an precies.
And it is no coincidence that this 79.- euro DAC had the same outcome in numoures independent test.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-topping-d10-da...
https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/dac/topping-d10-usb-dac-and-usb-spdif-converter-review/
I think the streamer element of the Chromecast Audio is amazing, but it needs to be run through software like Roon rather than casting to it. Casting to CCA is not so good.  Remember they made these in their millions so the costs were stripped back through mass manufacturing.   The DAC on the CCA is not so good sounding. 

So streaming with the CCA via say roon then via a good quality DAC would be the best way of spending your money. If you are keeping the blue sound then just buy a better DAC.  

I was in the same situation as you I found the improvement from CCA streamer to better streamer (using roon) a subtle improvement but the leap from an average to a good DAC a large improvement.