$3-6K Source Upgrade: Digital vs Vinyl Again

Once again, I'm thinking of upgrading my source. What has always been holding me back of course, is cost. In the digital realm, I have always wanted to get the EMMlabs gear, but alas that is simply too expensive. But reading up on the performance of the Ayre C-5xe and the APL Denons with the new DACs, have made me think seriously of going with either one of these players. Unfortunately, where I live (Canada), these players are either not easy to obtain (who really knows when they'll get their APL players and I don't want to wait months) or way to expensive than what it's worth (there is one local dealer selling Ayre who never discounts and slaps on outdated exchange rates making it cost the equavalent of $7000US). The other option of course is to buy from the States and I'm not even sure if they're allowed to send a unit to Canada due to strict dealer restrictions.

So this got me thinking of again getting an analog rig and getting into vinyl (I do not have any software but I'm not too deep in my SACD/redbook collection either). I have been looking at the VPI Scout and the Scoutmaster because they come so highly recommended in terms of their value. Unfortunately, the cost of getting into Vinyl is not cheap. $2500 for the TT/Arm, $750-$1000 for cartridge, $800-? for a good Phono preamp not to mention cables and the cost is going to bring me close to the cost of where the digital players I'm looking at, depending on the analog gear I go with.

My current setup is as follows: Kharma 3.2s, Tenor 150hp hybrids, Placette passive preamp, Jena Labs cabling. I am currently using a Sony SCDC555ES w/Museatex bitstream DAC (modified) as my source. I pretty much build this system piece by piece and upgraded as funds would allow (which have never recovered from my purchases so I have to penny pinch here in the sense that every couple of hundred is a lot of money to me).

So although I feel I'm getting a good sound out of my system, I do think that getting close to a SOTA source would help complete my system. I have listened to vinyl and compared it to digital and do feel the very best vinyl is more enjoyable than the best digital. So I'm sure that if I get started on vinyl, I'll most likely buy mostly vinyl given the choice. Sound is very important to me. I'm big on instrumental sound as I play instruments myself and simply love hearing their sound (I'll pick the recording with the better sound if the alternative is to listen to a great performance but crap recording).

The extra cost of new Vinyl is a concern, but I tend to be selective about the recordings I buy anyways, so I'm wiling to do my research and pay extra to buy the best version out there.

Whichever way I go, I'll be tempted to buy/upgrade the one I passed over eventually. It's just a matter of whether to upgrade my digital source (which saves me the expense of getting into vinyl and simplifies my system) or vinyl (I'll finally have a vinyl rig while living with my decent but probably not giving me what my system is capable of digital system). One last issue is resale value. I like to buy something I really like and keep it, but in the event that I have to downsize my system, I do like gear that holds its value or if I suddenly get rich and want to upgrade.

I've been mauling over a source upgrade for well over a year now and think I may be ready to do it this time.
Omigawd, Raul is going to rate the Denon DL-103, run for the hills!!! Don't make me come over there and spank you Raul ;-), the Mighty Denon DL-103 is my own personal Sacred Cow (along with the Lencos, that is)!

If you want to get off the audio treadmill Howie, then look no further than the idler-wheel-drive Lenco, which does everything to an astonishing level of rightness and nothing wrong, and will cure you of a need to upgrade, (except tonearms, cartridges and phono stages, and later preamp, amp and speakers, and...;-)). Of course, takes a bit of the DIY. Since I believe (due to my ears) that analog is superior to digital sound reproduction, and you have already heard the special quality of analog, then any quality turntable will satisfy you deeply as compared with your digital source. Modern pressings and recordings are incredibly good, and the bins are filled with used gems. Join in the fun!
Hi thanks for the comments guys. Ya I'm madly researching various vinyl gear now. Table wise, I'm thinking of either getting a VPI Scoutmaster or Teres table. I already know some of the cartridges that go well with the Scoutmaster. If I go with Teres, I have to decide on a good arm and a compatible cart. So I'm trying to fill myself in on the latter. Then there's the research for phono preamp.
Yes go for the best vinyl setup you can afford.I just recently asked myself the same question.and after much A/Bing between SACD/VINYL....decided that Vinyl was so much more involving and enjoyable to listen to.My analog frontend consists of a Rega p9(2000$used)/Cary ph302 1500$ used/Ruby3h 1800$ with tradein.Played directly into modified Cary 805's with and without EVS passive attenuators.