Ext. Dac. - is it worth it?

yes you are correct, i have not tested this myself.
i just wonder if it is worth all the extra cash to use a transport and an ext. dac. Say you have a Wadia 861..latest version, upgraded with whatever.. is there that much more to experience in the music using the 270 transport and the 27 dac? or using a Burmester 979 with the 980dac rather than the 001 cd player..? i know i have to listen to this myself, and of course it has something to do with the rest of the system.. but really, double the cash for that last percent of exstacy..? or is it many percent extra..
how about a aloia 11.01 cdp and a scott nixon dac...depends, hifiman, on how good your current all around player is.. for $3000 total, i've got an insanely good transport and a dac that equals it... the two together my friend are religious...cheers, brent
Or, you could look at it another way... To me, the DAC makes more difference in the final quality of the sound than the transport. Although, I do admit that I find some transports sound better than others.

So my strategy would be to skimp a little bit on the transport and buy a really great sounding DAC. If you approach it like that, it is certainly possible to put together a transport/DAC combination that would outperform a single-box player of the DAC and transport's combined price... And the DAC and transport don't even need to be the same brand. For example, I'm using a Rega Planet CD player in one system with a Benchmark DAC1, and a Parasound CD/B-2000 transport with a Monarchy M24 DAC in another system. Both combinations sound excellent (though different) to my ears.
I'm running an older Rotel RCD-1070 with a Levinson 360S ... I have had more than a few comments from people who don’t know jack about audio gear regarding the clarity and smoothness of my new setup. I started with the Rotel just to get by and then decided to go for the gold and spend the cash on a DAC/transport combo. Man, what a difference. I agree totally with Plato; the DAC is what makes the biggest contribution to the quality of output, so that is what I have spent the lion’s share of my money on.

Sure, I drewl over the Levinson No. 31.5 transport, but that little voice inside my head is telling me that for my system, it would mostly be for looks and bragging rights. As for digital cables ... I have a pretty modest setup. I have tried a few different combos but the differences so far were modest.

I have to admit I was a little paranoid about the DAC split from the player. I read a lot about jitter and the problems with separating the DAC and transport functions. I listened to a couple of jitter tracks on some test CD's to get an idea what I was in for ... and as far as my ears can tell, my setup suffers from none of that. In fact, high frequency is quite excellent.

I don’t suggest spending what I did unless you can afford it ... to my ears there doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation between DAC cost and sonic improvement. The good news is: as soon as you find one you like it can move with you from transport to transport. I figure Redbook is here to stay, I have a lot invested in music - I might as well get the most out of it.
If we believe german magazine "Audo" then the answer is NO.
This magazine tests many different audio gear and publishes the results in points.
The test results are showing that dacs are usually much higher prized. For example I show some test results from "Audio".
The highest points for digital source were given to DCS Verdi/Purcell/Elgar plus = 140SACD/125CD
Burmester 970 = 115
Mark Levinson 360S = 110
MBL 1611 D = 120
MBL 1511 = 100
Same 100 points gives Marantz CD17MKII for the third of the prize of MBL.
CDP list
Burmester 001 = 115+
Accuphase DP-67 = 125
Accuphase DP-85 = 135SACD/125CD
Wadia 861 = 125+
Linn CD 12 = 115
Krell KPS5s = 120+
Marantz SA-1 130SACD/115CD
Marantz SA-11 S1 = 125CACD/115CD
Meridian G08 = 115
Of course this is not absolute truth because sources with same points may be sonically wery different, but these tests are wery useful for showing approximately the performance/ prize ratio. I hope this helps.
if you have a wadia 861 and to try a "new" sonic signature then yes it is worth it..

add a reimyo, audio aero, or lecteur dac (totally different signature than what you have now) you have a world class transport..

or if you like the wadia sonic signature and wanted more the
send it to steve huntly at GNSC to push the sonics of your wadia to the limit..
I agree 110% with Plato.