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.
Matt,if I had to sit and listen with such intensity as you do in your dac listening comparisons..." I think my head would explode". Sit,relax and enjoy your blessings. The music is what matters,not all of the subtle nuances.

Just a side... I would bet when your child plays the piano that the sweet music generated is not picked apart, note, by note.

Life's to short.
I enjoy my critical listening sessions as much as my relaxing lost in the music sessions. And I feel the good people who have followed the thread this far deserve the same passion and intensity through each of my auditions. It's all good to me.

And I do love listening to my kids play. But I can tell you it's way better on the new Yamaha then the old Otto Altenberger. And now it's obvious how badly the music room needs a carpet and curtains. Lol. Always the audiophile.....
Mattnshilp- "The Romulus Sig, Allnic and Berkeley DACs are all on my list to eventually try. The usb/SPDIF conversion being the biggest hurtle to overcome.

Is the consensus among those that know the Romulus and Allnic that the internal usb input is top tier and lets the unit perform its best?"

Don't know anything about the Allnic,but if you want to listen to DSD on the Romulus/Pandora Signature you have to use the USB input, otherwise, IMO, the USB and AES/EBU inputs sound the same.

PS- there's a Pandora Signature w/volume control listed for sale on Agon.
Kana813, I wonder what that seller may be moving towards to for his next digital?, Now that is interesting!
Matt/Guido: Thank you both for all the data on your listening experiences with the K-01. If anyone has a chance to hear the new K-01x, please let me know. I'd like to know if it is worth waiting for or if the K-01 gets it 100% and the x is simply a newer approach to things....