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.
Audiowoman, great to hear from you!

My wife got a kick out of your use of the word "nay" and said that was enough for her to think about it.

It seems like Aesthetix isn't going to send you a Romulus/Pandora Signature for your test.

After you pick the winner from the ones you've listened to,
you could send it to me and I'll compare it to the Pandora
Signature here.
Hi there Agear! I loved your description of your wife's comments. I showed them to my wife and she asked if she could have her email.

She looked over as I was typing this (she calls it Audiogon yellow) and asked:

"do all the audio dweebs come out at night"?

My 11 year-old son saw this and said "But you're not a dweeb dad". So there is still hope for me.
Ah hah Grannyring- there you have it - the power of words. Tell your wife I'll be looking forward to the next installment!