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.
Mitch - as I said before, it is a good USB interface that makes the Antipodes rise above everything else.
Ok then, in generic terms (without listing manufacturers) please describe what makes a good USB interface. What are the important factors of a "good interface?" Is it converting USB to S/PDIF ahead of the DAC, having additional clocks before the DAC, filtering, or all of these? Is there more?
Steve, have you ever heard the British CAD stuff?

I believe their CAT transport/music server is the only other usb only music server truly designed from the ground up for primo USB output, besides the Antipodes.

I understand their CAD usb only DAC is your competition (although not directly available in the US), but you and CAD seam to share similar design philosophies regarding the advantages of a good USB input.

The Antipodes is Unix based, while the CAT is Windows based. Any advantages to either?

Also, couldn't Mitch simply use your Short Block to sever the USB power to his DAC? Or do you feel that the off-ramp is also needed to significantly improve his USB input stage? I'm not really familiar with his DAC.

Mitch - keep it coming. What you are doing is priceless for me! I just wish you had an ODSE as it would have removed a huge variable (USB input stage in the DAC). Lol. But the comparison should still sound true. As such, I wait with baited breath for your next update.
As such, I wait with baited breath for your next update.
Hook, line and sinker.

Metralla - to correct a common misconception. Auto correct corrected my "bated" to "baited". Bated here is a contraction of abated through loss of the unstressed first vowel (a process called aphesis); abate means “reduced, lessened, lowered in force”. So the expression "bated breath" refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion, such as terror or awe. It's not, as commonly thought, a fishing reference.
Mitch, did you use a remote app to run your mac mojo? Did you use Amarra or another? Thanks.