Digital vs. Analog a reasoned comparison

This is not meant to be a "which is better" thread. But I'd like your thoughtful comments on this. It is more an observation about price/performace ratio.

We have all read the various digital vs. analog threads. The analog side of the thread usually can be summed up, "ha ha! analog has been the best format this whole time and now with SACD you digital people are just starting to get close to what analog can do..." The digital side of the thread can usually be summed up as, "well, digital is a lot easier and there is lots of music out there..."

Having both a pretty good SACD player (Sony XA777ES), regular CD player (MAC MCD 205, and an average turntable (Denon DP-47F).

I would like to make this comment:

In the sub 1K reaIm think you have to spend a lot more time, money, and effort to make vinyl sound really good, than you do with digital.

All I mean by this is, assuming a reasonably good system, I think you can get some really good digital sound (redbook even) for $500. Put that same $500 into a vinyl rig and I don't think it will sound better than the digital. But in my experience, the only time I have heard really awesome vinyl is when the analog gear (table, arm, phono amp, various fluids and brushes, and a very clean not played too often and well cared for album) were of extremely high quality (many thousand dollars). And in that case, the music sounded as good as I have heard. I mean that. Great sound. But tricke down a bit, say to my Denon and the phono stage in my MAC 6900 integrated, and it does not sound as good as even 1K CD players I have owned.

For my taste, and level of effort I am willing to exert, digital is easier and the better players offer more good sound than an analog rig FOR AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT OF MONEY. Another way to convey my thoughts is that a 1K CD player will sound better than a 1K turntable. In my own experience this bears out. I am curious of the thoughts of others though.....
Music: some LPs $$$ less, some more... than CD.
The different point I would bring up is from the 'software' side.
I got back into LPs only because they are so plentiful... and cheap! The average cost per LP for about 4,000 lps has been $0.40. I could never have gotten CDs at anywhere near that low cost per unit.
I do have to say I have recently purchased a pile of CDs (against my stated position of no RIAA connected purchases...???) Those CDs were some of the best Jazz I could get. On LP they run $20.00 per LP, up to stratospheric $$$.. and the CDs have additional material.
So it was in my financial best interest to aquire the CD at @$7 average and perhaps I will find some of them on LP at a decent price???
Another point is that many classical performances will never make it to CD. The companies re-record the same standard fare, and the unusual music never gets recorded anymore. On the other hand new music often is never put on LP anymore, so CD is the only way to go.
For about 15 years I listened to LP only - no tuner, no tape, just LP's. Today I've got LP, cassette and CD working in my system. I use the CD daily. I play tapes maybe once a week. I spin LP's maybe once every three months. I have absolutely no urge to buy and baby another LP. Sometimes I dream about getting some more blank tape, but I'll probably re-record when the need arises. Finally I feel no compulsion whatsoever to upgrade my LP or cassette playback.

If we must compare, I'd say the best format for any individual listener is the one he/she uses the most. The real war is not over formats; it's between the open and closed minded people.
Rockvirgo, I agree with your post up to the last sentence. I think the format war has much more with those who see audio as a hobby, and those who want to spend their time listening to music. Playing CD's isn't much of a technical challenge. Buy a good CD player, tune your system once, and you're done. But the challenge of selecting matching analog components, learning how to tune these components and keeping them in tune, then finding quality LP's that you want to hear and to play is a daunting one that can consume a huge amount of time. Now thats a hobby! Either format can produce excellent results, and each format has some huge warts on is its nose you have to be able to look past if you are going to enjoy it. As much as I love good LP's I've given up trying to find new one's - there is just too much new stuff on CD's to explore.

Pardales, I think in the 2000 to 3000 range either format should be giving you a good return for your money.
I appreciate the thoughtful comments thus far. Just to reiterate, this was only meant to compare price/performance ratio at the relatively inexpensive level. I know both analog and digital front ends can sound awesome. My post was only meant to put forth the proposition that it is a lot more expensive (and time consuming) to do analog right than digital, and that at the lower price point it is less expensive to achieve good sound from digital.
Elizabeth rocks! Again! I would only add that an entire audio system takes a great amount of time and effort to optimize. My recent experience in improving power delivery alone bears this out. A turntable is no different. A stuffed dog never pisses on the floor, requires a vet or needs to be fed. A real dog is high maintainance. The vacuum tube issue is quite similar in this regard. Like many hobbies, you will only get out what you put in (don't you like how I skirted the "which is better?" part of the discourse?).
High end is who you are, not what you are. TTs need to be properly set up & matched and there are no belt drives in the sub $1K category that will give the pace, clarity and dynamics of a properly filtered $1K digital rig. Now, I have a KAB modded Technics 1200 with outboard power supply plus tonearm fluid damper and that's a whole different animal for around $1K.
Before I purchased my VPI scout,I had a MMF-7 and found that I was listening to music. Not a copy of music. It's hard to explain. Kind of like looking at a digital picture compared to 35mm film. The scout sounds better than any digital front end I have ever heard. Digital is closing in some,but it's not there yet.

I bought used MMF-7 with cartridge for $550 (New is $999)on Audiogon and it was better or even much better than my $16,500 Accuphase DP85 playing my favorite Jennifer Warnes FBR.

There is ghost on the groovvveeeesssss.......

I agree. What cart. did you get?

Accuphase must be shuddering! Let's not get UNreasoned...!
psyschanimal i would have to disagree with you.

i have a friend who is selling a vpi jr, audioquest arm( 9 model), cardas neutral phono cable and cartridge and creek phono stage for $900.

that combo sounded better than the marantz sa-1 and the tubed BAT cd player ( + 4k player- not sure of exact price).

the PRAT with analog cant be touched by digital units.

i am forced to belive that class c analog is still better than class a digital

my next purchase will be a turntable than sacd. there is simply more software ( cheaper i might add ) and still sounds better than sacd.

imo, the analog guyes have been right all along....
Tim,i was using the standard Goldring cartridge than came with the MMF-7.

Subaguru,my DP85 was better than all my previous CDP's : SCD777,EMC1,and AA Capitole MKI and MKII.

Try it and peace brother !!