Absolute top tier DAC for standard res Redbook CD

Hi All.

Putting together a reference level system.
My Source is predominantly standard 16/44 played from a MacMini using iTunes and Amarra. Some of my music is purchased from iTunes and the rest is ripped from standard CD's.
For my tastes in music, my high def catalogues are still limited; so Redbook 16/44 will be my primary source for quite some time.

I'm not spending DCS or MSB money. But $15-20k retail is not out of the question.

Upsampling vs non-upsampling?
USB input vs SPDIF?

All opinions welcome.

And I know I need to hear them, but getting these ultra $$$ DAC's into your house for an audition ain't easy.

Looking for musical, emotional, engaging, accurate , with great dimension. Not looking for analytical and sterile.
Erikminer - thank you for spending more of my money. Something I didn't need any help with... Lol.

I will look into the Aurilic. Does it pull files out of my iTunes folder or do I need a separate designated folder?
Service I got from resonessance was top notch. Ayon not so much. I only have experience with one piece and I won't be trying again. However, other stuff might be good. Too many brands to choose from and service is key. Anyway getting back to dacs resonessence invicta was preferred over ps audio in a recent dac shootout between some audio guys here in Texas.
"Sadly, my email to Aesthetix about an audition of the Romulus Sig bounced back as undeliverable. Can anyone PM me their email address?"


Aesthetix is distributed by Musical Surroundings,suggest you contact them about a loaner.

I celebrate you´re going to try the DACs with a superior transport (Esoteric). My experience taught me that my Esoteric UX-1 plus the Yamamoto YDA-01 DAC beat, by a large margin, a MacBook Pro plus the same Yamamoto. Conclusion: I quit computer audio.

My SPDIF cable is an Antipodes Audio Kokiri.


Matt - My customers have yet to find any S/PDIF cable at any price that beats my BNC-BNC coax with RCA adapters. Only $250.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio