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.
Metralla - I meant no disrespect. I happen to have an intense fascination for the linguistic origin of expressions (and curses). I was just sharing another of my passions. Although I question some of their accuracy, I have amassed a tidy collection of expressions/curse origins. It's fun....

Thanks for posting.
I believe I read the Antipodes software is based on Fedora Linux.
With the Hex, there is no need for anything to "sever the USB power" to the DAC, since the Hex does not need or use USB power from the source because the Hex has its own internal USB power supply. Also, the Antipodes DX provides two USB outputs, one that is powered and one that has no power (which is the one I use with the Hex). For now, I also run the (non-powered) USB through the ifi Power for galvanic isolation (not sure if this is needed but it doesn't seem to hurt), outputting signal only, and then through the ifi filter then into the DAC. With the Mojo mini set-up, I also took the USB power out with the ifi Power to feed the Hex only the signal side of the USB.

I have actually been using a mouse and screen to run the Mojo mini. I use the Pure Music player because I thought it sounded better than the other two and I like how it interfaces with iTunes. There is no particular reason why I have not switched to a remote control to run the mini, since I have both an iPad and iPhone. After using the remote (iPeng8) with the Antipodes DX, I will probably go ahead and download a remote I can use with the mini, while I further compare the two servers.
02-16-15: Mattnshilp writes:
Metralla - I meant no disrespect. I happen to have an intense fascination for the linguistic origin of expressions (and curses). I was just sharing another of my passions.
Absolutely not a problem. I am just surprised given your passion you have some software that changes what you write. I'm just on a browser (Chrome) on a laptop and nothing I have changes what I write. All spelling mistakes are my own. ;)

I am not familiar with auto correct - but I know it happens and you are not the first to mention it; hence my interest.

We do share a similar passion and I am guilty of looking up phrases I don't quite think are right - and then getting lost in entymology. I come originally from Australia and we have a huge range of colourful expressions that many here would not know, but were part of my growing up. I sometimes fall back into incomprehensible jargon just to scare the locals.

Carry on - I very much enjoy your thread and don't mean to derail it.

Mitch - a good USB interface requires special attention to power supply, power delivery, ground-plane integrity, impedance matching, logic family choice, clock oscillator choice, minimal gate-level design and of course implementation of the circuit board. These are all design skills that are not taught in college.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
"The Antipodes is Unix based, while the CAT is Windows based. Any advantages to either?"

As I said before, the only OS that will give you the sams SQ for wav and FLAC is Linux.

"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?"

Short Block may improve things for him, but it will not reduce jitter to really low levels like the Off-Ramp.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio