To Dac or not to Dac

I have a NAD 525 BEE in a room with a second system. I would rather not buy a new CDP, but would like to try an outboard DAC, thinking I could always use the DAC on another digital device. What do you guys think of the Jolida tubed DAC (FX series) or the Micromega unit? I would like to stay below $500 new.
Can't comment on either of your choices but there is a like new Peachtree Audio "MusicBox"currently for sale here on Audiogon(NOT mine)priced just under your budget.I have one driving a pair of Sonus Faber Toy Monitors with an Asus laptop as source & it sounds AMAZING!
The "MusicBox" has Multiple Digital Inputs,Direct Digital iPod Dock,a 12AX7 Dual Triode Tube that not only drives the PreAmp section(with PreAmp outputs to feed your NAD)but also drives a wonderful sounding HEADPHONE Amp AND even includes a kick ass little 20wpc.Mosfet Amplifier!
I would look for DAC that also have USB. Past century DACs wouldn't make a sense to me nowdays, when I download several gigabytes of music every day and listen. I picked Mytek DSD, but in your case for lower budget I would look for Cambridge DACMagic special deals on sweetwater, b&h photo-video, fullcompas or similar pro-audio sites.
Thank you,
My choices were not etched in stone, but were price driven models. Thanks for your input on the Cam and the Peach.
Dac it up. Stay away from tube DAC's, haven't heard a good one yet.
As living techie I can tell that tube DACs are only for audiophile community. All they do is show glowing tubes inside the chassis. They've been placed on the output stage, but all we perfectly know that to make a computer processor out of tubes takes a space larger than fridge in your kitchen!
Put that $500 towards better speakers or save your cash.
If you're just looking for improvement on your CD player, I'd say it's not worth it. I don't think you can get any significant improvement putting a $500 DAC on your approximately $350 NAD CD player.

For me, to use a DAC on my Cambridge Audio 650C (bought for $500), to get any significant improvements would've cost me at least $1800 new (Simaudio Moon 300D), plus the money for a good S/PDIF interconnect. I tried the Moon 100D ($600) as well as the Cambridge Audio DacMagic, and neither delivered anything close to significant differences. For the two less expensive DACs, if it was a blind test, I would've offered maybe $75 for the improvements I heard.

Unless your CD player is terrible, or you know of a DAC for $500 that outperforms the $1800 Moon 300D, save your money for something that actually makes a difference.

If, however, you just want access to other formats from other sources (e.g., audio from a computer), then perhaps the Cambridge Audio DacMagic would justify itself for you (whichever model you choose). You should be able to find one of those under $500.

I got more out of my CD player from a LessLoss DFPC Signature (power cord @ $1149) than I did from the $1800 Moon 300D.

At the time of these auditions, the rest of my 2-channel setup looked like this:
Focal 816V (floorstanding loudspeakers)
Kimber 4TC (loudspeaker cable)
Yamaha RX-A3010 (amp)
Kimber PBJ (interconnect)
Cambridge Audio 650C (CD player)
2 LessLoss DFPC Originals (power cords: 1 on source; 1 on amp)
Well I settled on the Micromega MyDac because it had 3 different inputs and I got it new for $369. Got it today and will try it out tomorrow. It will also help me with my old laptop that I want to try as a music server. Always good to have new toys to play with. I don't know if I made clear, but this is a 2nd system in my exercise room.
Looking forward to reading about what things you hear.