Mac Mini vs Squeezebox Touch

My system currently consists of a Decware Mini Torii amp and Cain and Cain Abby loudspeakers (with Fostex 166e). I have $1000 in my budget right now to spend on a digital source. I have been evaluating the EE minimax dac over the last couple months and find it quite enjoyable with a dose of Mullard 12au7's (one in the minimax and 2 as signal tubes in my amp). I have been feeding the minimax with a sony dvd player using black cat veloce cable. If I keep the dac, I have enough left in my budget to purchase a Squeezebox Touch. Or, I was thinking I could take the route of a Mac Mini (control it with my existing iMac G5 or with iPhone) and then maybe purchase a NOS dac such as Valab. I realize the Valab will probably not give me the detail or expansive soundstage of the Minimax but it may give me more midrange liquidity -- which I do prefer. Just wondering what your thoughts are and whether you have any other recommendations that would fit my budget and system. I am looking to get away from cd's and have the convenience of a music server. Thanks
Having owned the VALAB, and currently owning the EE Plus DAC, I would think that the VALAB would be a step down from the EE Minimax. I still have the VALAB and love it, but I don't think that it would give you enough midrange liquidity to make up for what you'd be losing. I use the Touch through the EE Plus and am very pleased with it. The Touch is a fantastic little device and I have been camping out with it for about a year and a half while I figure out my next digital source. It is a great place to camp out.

Perhaps one of the MHDT DACs would provide more of what you're looking for, but I've never owned one. I wanted to own one, but couldn't resist the EE Plus for it's USB input abilities/Sabre DAC/ability to alter sound signature with tubes/opamps/no tubes/etc. I'm still only using it in stock form and like it very much. But it's nice to know it has flexibility should I ever get bored and want to change things up.

Anyway, it sounds like you have an awesome system. I bid on some Abby's but lost and have long been interested in Decware amps. Someday. Someday I'll probably own an MHDT DAC too. :)

Like I said, I really like the VALAB, but the limitations of the USB input made it preferable as a SPDIF based DAC, and it went well with the Touch. I just happen to prefer the EE Plus overall. As I should, considering it was 4 times the price.

BTW, you can often find VALABs for sale on Audiocircle and Head Fi for $150 or so, so it wouldn't be too hard to try it and see if you like it better than the EE Minimax before committing to a decision between the Touch and the MacMini.

I'm considering purchase of the of Black Cat Veloce cable in the future. How do you like it? I've only heard good things.
I am loving my combo of Squeezebox Touch and Vortexbox Appliance music server. It only handles hi-res up to 96/24, but the sound, through my K-Works SuperBerry DAC, is fantastic. And this combo is about as cheap as it gets for a server/wifi player that you don't have to build yourself.
I had the Decware mini torii and now the Tori combined with a Mac Mini and an upgraded Tranquility SE DAC from dB Labs. The upgraded Tranquility is not being marketed yet, but if you want midrange liquidity, you cannot beat it! I just saw several sell regular SE's sell on Audiocircle for $850 or so. You can buy one used and ship it to Eric at dB Labs and upgrade it for a few $$ or just buy a new one from him. Regardless I bet that you will be very happy with this combo. The Tranquility was voiced to pair with a Mac Mini. If you go to Audiocircle there is a 40 plus page thread on the Tranquility and Mac Mini.

This combination with the mini tori had unbelievable tone and timbre especially with guitar, mandolin, etc. Vocalists were in the room.

I have not heard the EE, but I do know that the majority of people on AC with a Mac Mini have the Tranquility.

Has anyone out there compared the Tranquility to the EE?