Digital vs. Analog sonics

I had an incident occur this weekend that surprized me. I was playing Tracy Chapman on my Pioneer modded DVD transport with the Bel Canto DAC2 for a friend of mine. I wanted her to hear the Digital vs. Analog for herself and make her own conclusion. The analog rig is a VPI 19 MKIV with a ETII arm and Benz Gold cartridge. The preamp is the AI Modulus 3A Gold board, Bel Canto EVO4 amp NHT 3.3 speakers.
The differance was huge but different in a sense that doesn't seem to be reasonable unless one was wrong.

The digital seemed slow and dark compared to the open transparent and detailed Analog. Switching back and forth seemed to indicate a faulty speed, they were sonically too far part to have both be accurate. My understanding of the digital technology is it has to play and spin correctly to work therefore pointing to the analog as having to be too fast. The problem is the analog seemed correct. Could the Cd have been reproduced that poorly? How can I verify the VPI's speed? The VPI seemed more pace oriented than "too fast." I've not noticed any other deficiencies in my digital system and wonder if I would have noticed anything if I had not heard a direct comparison! Ideas?
Many older records and some cartridge test records have a band of lines on the outer edge of the label used to check rotational correctness. Of course, that's assuming you live where the electricity is 60 cycles. Put the record on and turn on the turntable motor. Turn on the lights. If the band seems to NOT move, your turntable speed is correct. Also, most cartridge test records have an A440 test tone. If you have a tuning fork and the ability to hear the accuracy you can use that. If you have a friend that is a long time guitar player he likely has a A440 tuning fork and will help you with the check. I hope this helps.
Yes, the CD could be produced that poorly. So could the LP. There's a lot of mediocre recordings out there. But the way you're comparing them opens up far more logical possibilities, including speed variation. You should definitely check your turntable. I've heard of turntable makers intentionally setting their tables a little fast, just to impress listeners.

Another thing to remember is that levels matter. If you were playing the LP even slightly louder than the CD, it might well sound better, as you describe it. And level-matching by ear doesn't necessarily work. Two things that seem identically loud can be off by several tenths of a dB, and that's enough to make them sound different. That said, there's no way to perfectly match levels between a CD and an LP, because of the inherent differences in the media. (Also, if you're the one with your finger on the volume knob, and you already believe that vinyl sounds better, it's possible that you're subconsciously playing the LP just a little bit louder. Let your friend do it.)

Finally, there are various aspects of vinyl which make it sound different from CD, and different in a way that often appeals to listeners. So that, too, probably played a role in your impressions.
Thanks for the responses and I also have just remembered a problem that is inherent to the Pioneer DVD players. When you place a cd in this transport and close the drawer you need to let the player find and indicate the cd format. If you push play prior to this ritual the sound is often similar to what I heard the other day. I can only guess that the dvd format is the default setting and thus the sound is deteriorated. I need to go try this agian for fun and I'll try to use my RS sound meter to make sure there isn't too large of a disparity in the volume.
I have gone back and followed the steps necessary to play a CD as I outlined above and the results were not surprizingly closer, as they should be. If anyone else incurs this problem with a Pioneer DVD try going through the steps listed before.

Thanks for your input.