Are DAC's overpriced?

External DAC's are pretty expensive imho... BUT I don't know that much on how to choose one. I want mostly cd's in my small two channel system... I am rebuilding after selling my Logans and Mac amp to go back to "drivers"! The Logans wore me out with Maintenance.  Should I buy a new cd player or get a new DAC for my old player?  
The CD player is a Denon DVD 2900... she has served me well... I'm thinking about selling my Mac pre and buying a Parasound P6... has all the features and (I think) a great DAC built in. It's confusing for me... 

I think you could rather say, is all HiFi overpriced? My answer would be yes. Having said that, DACs may be one area where there are bargains or relative bargains. Companies like Mytek,, Metrum, Rega. Chord, and others, make some great kit at reasonable prices.

Looking at HiFi from a business perspective, the problem seems to be about scale. The golden age for Hifi, the 60's to 80's say, then every home aspired to a good HiFi system, now only a small %. If you are spending money on R&D, tooling production facilities and you only sell a few 100 or 1000 units, it is going to be expensive.

I am sure the Mac pre is better than the Parasound P6.  Doesn’t sound like a good move to me.  I owned Parasound, a Halo Integrated.  While it was ok for the price, it didn’t move me the way the Mac integrated did.  The Parasound had less body to the music than the Mac. 
You can get better performance from a Transport and DAC compared to the CD player, providing you minimize the jitter from the Transport.  There are essentially three ways to do this:

1) Buy a really expensive transport, say $15K
2) Add a Synchro-Mesh reclocker and a good BNC cable to your existing transport and add a DAC with good SQ
3) Buy a DAC that is immune to jitter like the Benchmark DAC3

My recommendation is to get a Metrum or Border Patrol DAC and add the Synchro-Mesh and my Reference BNC cable.  These combinations will enable the extremely low-jitter of the SM to benefit the DAC sound quality because these DACs have no internal reclocking. When you use separate transport and DAC, the only consideration is the jitter and minimizing it.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio