Simple question, best sounding inexpensive DAC.

I have a second system with a CD changer and would like to pick up an inexpensive DAC that would sound better than the DAC in this Denon changer.

If it helps, I listen to Jazz and female vocals. Using a Magnum Dynalab receiver with Quad bookshelf speakers..all Wireworld cables.

Happy Thanksgiving...j
The Micromega Mydac has been reduced from 399 to 249 at Audio Advisor. Makes sense since I paid full price not too long ago...
You should buy any DAC with a Wolfson or Sabre DAC chip.

I know you don't use computer audio but I do and I even lean toward USB powered DACs because I bypass the power, and those are generally inexpensive, and since they don't plug into the wall you don't have to deal with noisy power there.

Noisy power is one of the chief causes of digital woes, and that means your DAC is affected so long as its plugged into a computer, and even into your wall outlet. It's hard to believe at first but it makes sense when you understand the properties of electromagnetic radiation and interference. Something I'm not ready to describe here!

But most importantly You should properly implement USB audio by outputting WASAPI with Windows - it's a setting in your music software. I use JRiver 19.

Since you're using a CD player you should get a good quality Toslink cable and a DAC that has a Toslink input. For newbies that's fiber optic cable. You send the digital signal from your CD player to the DAC via the Toslink cable. And in doing so you completely bypass the dirty power from the wall that is clouding up the analog outputs of the CD player. Power doesn't travel down the optical cable, it's light! So it's the cleanest thing imaginable, to me anyway. It's just flickering light, how genius, just one's and zero's, light is on or off, so simple.

Now, you need to get this pristine signal to your DAC chip and then to the analog outs of the DAC and to your Pre, and so on. If you have your DAC plugged into a standard shared outlet you have noise leaking in. That is why well engineered power cords make a sonic difference. They reduce the noise by what I think is inducing an electromagnetic pattern. The wires are typically configured in helical winds, perhaps that shapes an electromagnetic field that is somehow more stable than a straight wire in terms of noise. In a way it's more organized, more measured, so perhaps the noise is reorganized into the dominant signal or maybe diluted is the proper way to consider it.

Bottom line, they make a difference so you should spend at least $150 on a power cord, maybe $200 on the DAC, and with that you might have a really great sounding setup, sounding as good as other DACs at many times the price. I'm serious, the sound you'll get at 16/44 for you paying $350, maybe $400 with the Toslink cable and a Sabre or Wolfson DAC, I would bet might equal or even best a $1200 DAC out of the box.

Make similar power cord upgrades and add a USB Disruptor to the $1200 DAC, serve it 96/24 music, and it would would really take an expert listener to tell the difference between that setup and really any other DAC, at any price. And at that point, the testing isn't exactly objective. In the Digital game implementation is HUGE! Get it wrong and your expensive gear doesn't perform its best.

Get it right though and you get sound as good as anything at any price. You can always spend more on bigger amps and speakers but that's just going to be louder. Things can sound pretty darn awesome at 75 decibels. Orchestral crescendo's measure about 90 decibels. Sustained listening at 95 decibels causes irreversible hearing damage, just as an FYI. Live rock music 120 decibels. You can get these levels from most 50 watt per channel amplifiers with two to three driver speakers.

Hope this helps.
No wonder so many people get frustrated with audio and give up on it. That's some of the worst advice I've ever read.
+1 George. If not in need of a USB DAC and my budget went beyond that of a used MF V-DAC, I would consider the non-USB Bitfrost. Or a older used DAC as there are many very good one that can now be had at inexpensive cost.
Slap, Bam, Biff!! Ouch, ZD. So, it's the Elgar/end of discussion? That's pretty harsh from someone with generally good, helpful, informed advice. Frankly, I'd say your's is some of the worst advice, ridiculously inappropriately overpriced overkill. -Not to say the Elgar wouldn't be the best choice for a more expensive system. And, you may still feel it's a bargain....but:
Getting back to being helpful, digital is the area of fastest changes and the price for good sound is dropping "daily". I'll second the Schitt as being a great choice and add the Ifi gear for his strong consideration for this system at a very affordable price. (Further; power distortion corruption considerations do prominently figure in the ifi design.)