As a follow up to my own thread, at price level would I need to be at (include phonostage, arm, cartridge, table, etc.) in analog to match CD quality. I know this a vague question but, hopefully you guys know what I mean.
As someone who's owned both a Rega P25, & a Cary 303-200 for years, I think it's such an "apples to oranges" comparison it's almost impossible to get a definitive answer (like "SS vs. tubes"). It's great if you can own both. I could live w/o vinyl (for awhile) if I had to, but not CD &/or SACD. Also, like you say, by the time you add a cartridge, phono stage (& don't forget a good record cleaning machine like a VPI), it can be complicated & expensive to get into vinyl.
I'm really happy with my P25 with a Benz Glider. It took me a long time to pick up a nice used phono stage (CJ-EF1) at a great price. In the same system, I'd say my Cary CDP beats it out on most recordings. And my Sony DVP 9000-ES is terrific on SACDs & DAD's, probably better than either CD or vinyl.
But then, nothing "sounds like" vinyl. Tho IMO CD's are a lot more consistant, & way easier to deal with.
Steveaudio, that's some good practical advice. Those were my initial biases and, I hoping to either validate or dissprove them in this post. I guess it's like that classic convertible; it's a great third car.
What would you do with all your CDs? You need something to play them. If you are into this for music, this should be a big part of your decision. If you are a gear collector, (and I don't think there is anything wrong with that if you are) or don't have many CD, you might go all analog, but if you enjoy the music on your discs, you shouldn't get out of digital entirely.
The classic convertible analogy is valid but a bit flawed. If you can afford to have a classic convertible sitting in the garage and take it out a few glorious days a year it's a blissfull experience. If you live in Southern California you can experience lots of bliss. Keeping a classic ragtop up is a pain and they are not everyday drivers so they are limited. You can however, spin vinyl everyday. But you can't play it in your car so I guess that's a limitation. Never heard the 303/200 though I drool to own one, but a good clean record on a turntable well set up for half the Cary's cost will sound heavenly. Also, I have never set a CD spinning and sat and reverently held and read the jewel case. But Steveaudio is right about the "accessories" needed run the cost on up there toward the price of a good CD player. I sure miss my 71 442 Olds ragtop. I don't however, miss the trouble it was to keep in good shape. But that being said there is no experience like either and my record collection is still growing even though the convertible is gone. The extra time and effort vinyl takes for enjoyment is worth it for me. IMHO strings and piano keys almost always sound better on vinyl. My advice would be before you catch analogue flu (make no mistake, it is a very serious disease), hookup with someone,if possible,who has a nice TT setup and ask them over to play it through your system and see what your ears tell you. Another option would be just buy a modest rig like a Rega P3, MH MF 2.1 or MF5 and a few good pressings and live with that a while to just to wade into the water before you dive in deep with a VPI Scout. I think modest TT setups will give you the highest % of all the sound that's there and moving up buys you incrementally less than as you move up with CD front end. A modest rig would help you decide if you like the vinyl experience/culture and you can always sell the modest rig for not much loss and move up if the flu is caught. I think steveaudio is saying he enjoys both CD and vinyl, and I do too, though they are different experiences.
I do not own the Cary 306/200, however I have owned the Cary 303/200 and the VPI Scout for several years, and what you are asking is really a matter of taste and personal criteria. They are both excellent pieces of equipment, however they, in and of themselves, will not answer your question. Whether you want to go the LP or CD route is something that only you can determine, and this gets down to whether you want to get into the LP, cleaning and maintenance that they require, versus the relative convenience of CDs.
This is a choice that you must make. If you are going to go one way only then you have to decide which route is best for you.
Thanx all. I don't really mind the maintenance at all. Actually, I like the hands on relationship I have with my equipment. Also, I'm not intentially limiting my self to only one source permanently, just indefinitely - dicated by my financial resources. This fork in the road has come up since I will have about $2k burning a hole in my pocket soon.
Let me try to rephrase my question another way. I'll bet a turntable system and a CD system both costing $10,000 will both sound incredible an most people would take either one. On the other end of the spectrum, I'll also bet that a $75 CD player would sound markedly better than a $75 turntable system. At what price point will the two start to be comparable in sound?
It is an apples to oranges comparison. The VPI is a bargain at it's price and will give you quality vinyl sound which should rise above and CD, SACD close to it's price range if you like the organic sound of vinyl.
Sorry about the repost. I just wanted to say the K1000 headphones are the best investment I've made on that end. They are so amazing I'm actually thinking of buying another pair because they are discontinued. There is nothing out there like it for headphones. I have them and the VPI and the Cary 308T (which is not as resolving as the 306/200 but has a soft tube sound that I prefer). And the K1000 goes very well with vinyl.
Not to get off topic but I have the Cary 306/100 and was wondering how much of a difference there is between that and the 306/200?
Undoubtably, the VPI with the right cartridge, phono, and good records will sound much better than than the Cary. Of course you will need to do all the maintainence, and a vacuum record cleaner is a necessity. The CD vs vinyl debate is futile, but most experienced audiophiles do agree that all in all, vinyl is the superior medium in terms of communicating the essense and emotion in music.
With that being said, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't buy either of those. I would buy something like a Jolida JD100 as well as a Rega p3/P25 or something. In other words, I'd much rather have a very good CDP AND a very good TT instead of only an excellent CDP or only an excellent TT. That way you can take the time to come up to your own conclusions on the superiority of vinyl, grow your music collection in both formats, and derive the most enjoyment because you won't be locked in to one format or the other.