Importancy of DAC's analog section

Hi folks, many times I see in advertisements how proud the manufacturers are of their DAC's specific D/A conversion architectures, using the most advanced technologies, algorithms and chips (like the Miracle DAC chips). I think one thing is often overlooked and that is a DAC's analog section. How important is in your opinion a DAC's analog section? Could one make a musical sounding DAC consisting of a not very refined/advanced D/A conversion system but a SOTA analog section? Or just the other way around?

Good topic. Based on my experience modifying a Sony SCD-1 (which doesn't use the most current DAC chip or paralleled DACs or upsampling techniques) I would assign equal weight to improvements made in the digital & analog domains. But I'm talking about a host of mods other than changing the DAC chipset itself. It's surprising how much sonic improvement can be teased out without changing the underlying DAC. Most current-production CDPs with the latest DACs are compromised in so many ways that it's pretty much useless to compare players based solely upon choice of DAC or upsampling technique. And yet some forum posters never get beyond this point.
I think both of you make excellent points. Leaving aside the subjective side, I'm curious about the measurements. If you take a look at a reference input vs. the output measured on the same scope, how similar is a scope load vs your own system preamp input's? I suppose they are both high inpedance but I wonder how the load affects the dac output. You can find some excellent DAC measurements both in jitter and noise floor as seen on the spectrum analyzer. I wonder how this translates to the actual sound. I assume good measurements are at least an objective way of seeing how good a job the DAC is doing.
One of the things that the modification people are replacing are the output OPamps chips in the analog section of the CD-player/DAC. These OPamps are often of inferior quality. It is better to replace those OPamps with good sounding ones or to use discrete OPamp modules. What is rationale of using the most advanced DAC chips and algorithms but to implement cheap bad sounding OPamps? To those "high tech digital audio" manufacturers: We (audiophiles) are interested in sound, not technology!

The digital section used to be the most important factor during the infancy of CD technology. But now pretty much everyone from $100 Denon CD player to a high end design uses state of the art BB or Wolfson DAC. I agree with others, the analog section is much more important now that the digital section is more matured.