Dilemma: LP or SACD? Try analog only to give up?

I have just received all of my grandfathers LPs, somewhere around 200 of them seemingly in good shape. Mostly music from the 50s and 60s. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out analog; I would even buy a few current offerings to see how they compared. I got excited about learning about turntables. It's a very interesting area full of mechanics and industrial design. I asked around about and demo'ed several turntables and I've kind of honed in on the VPI Aries Scout. Not the cheapest but it gives me a good taste of higher-end analog and I really like the design of it.

But then I got to thinking: there is the expense of the turntable, arm and cartridges. Then there is the expense of a phono preamp which I again would want something decent. The EAR 834P kept popping up as an option. Plus the cost of a few other accessories. And the clutter of more stuff in my headphone system (where the TT would reside for now).

And what if analog is a bust for me? I might get lazy with the extra effort it requires. I might prefer my CD system instead. Who knows. Then I would need to sell everything too.

Finally, in the back of my mind I've been watching the number of SACD releases increasing. I tried it out last year, then gave it up for the time being, lack of software being the chief reason plus having to decide whether to buy the SACD/hybrid or redbook version of a CD. But software seems to be increasing so maybe I'm interested again. I could put the money I would invest in an analog system towards an SACD player (and use a DAC I already have for redbook playback).

Anyone want to offer up thoughts to discuss this matter? Also, did any of you try out analog only to go bust with it (if so, why)? Do I have realistic observations about SACD software or am I just dreaming? Will I kick myself for not trying out analog in my own system? Plus, we're on the cusp of digital audio though i don't consider that a "hi-rez" format.

Well, I looked at your system and it seems that you do have the audiophile affliction. All audiophiles must at least give analog a try IMO or this will nag at you for ever. I think you may already know that.

I just went through this. I bought all the analog stuff and pretty much just let it sit there. The sonic differences in my experience were not great enough to merit the extra work required to spin the vinyl. I'm going to use the money from the sale of all my vinyl rig to buy a nice SACD player. Like Sogood said, it's an itch that probably needs scratched before it can go away. Buy your analog stuff used to avoid taking the financial hit if you end up selling it.
In a previous post, I mentioned the real good reason to get into vinyl. All the stuff being dumped into the market, and common folks toss out the vinyl. Ditto the usual someones' estate has vinyl. Most of the time it goes to the local charity thrift. If someone notices it is a lot of good stuff, a professional buyer picks it up for nearly free.
The point here is that to get into vinyl NOW, you either have to like surfing eBay, or wandering around grungy thrifts, digging through piles of junk, hoping to find one LP you might pay $0.50 for.
All the fun in this is one of the best reasons to 'go-back' to vinyl. If all you want are a few pristine LPs to dabble with, I think you will go back to Cd/SACD.
I have jumped in headfirst. Since last July, I have aquired about 4,500 LPs. all at least VG++ a lot M-. and good stuff too. (that is: Not Mitch Miller) Lately I have been surfing eBay... Right now I have about 90 LP in transit. Media mail IS slow, but CHEAP.
Why do you have to go "all or nothing?" If I wasn't sure: I would buy a classic used AR PH-3 here, and if you burn out sell it for what you paid. Get a common TT. A Rega P3 is excellent used and has the exact resale value again. Cart, Shure V15 V. All this is not that expensive. but then you can see if you'll actually use it????
Then, IF you get really excited about LPs. wait for a year, and then upgrade. If it blows out, sell the stuff and get more silver demons. (CDs)
Hello Budrew,

I bought my first Convenience Disc (CD) Player in Oct 1993, & my first real Turntable in Sep 2003. I spent quality time in the Sacd camp since 1999. I auditioned every class A sacd unit under $7500 in my system since that time. I actually bought the Scd-1 twice retry it as my system progressed. As a Classical listener, my problem was more with the mastering of Sacd software that the players. 85%+ of all titles to my ears wheren't any better than their Redbook siblings. I think the only Sacd's that I truly enjoyed where the Bmg Hong Kong RCA Living Stereo Imports. So my pillow of comfort with cd over the last few years was chopping away at the entire Jvc Rca Living Stereo Xrcd catalog. I am a Vpi Aries Scout / Dynavector 10x5 owner, as this table was also the least in my mind to scratch the itch. I can & have recommended this table highly, as I truely enjoy it! Even for a Analogue novice like myself. However locating quality vinyl today may be a drag? It was for me as I came back to analog w/o any Lp's.
I got Lucky prior to Xmas, as a 1400+ Classical Lp collection was listed on Agon by a seller I knew. So was it worth it??? Yes, as I find myself only listening to Cd when I'm in another part of the house, as background music. I too wasn't sure if I wanted all the maintenence of cleaning, etc. Yet Vpi's 16.5 has made that part kind, & simple also. Even in the era of Hi-Rez, I'm hooked & finally satisfied! Vinyl sounds the closest to live music my ears have yet to hear!

Good Luck, & Enjoy!
I am right there with ya........
If you don't hear magic in the vinyl with a Scout someting is wrong.

SACD is just another stepping stone before you go Analog.
If you want to get a little closer to analog then skip right over the sacd & try the JVC XRCD's.
Elizabeth & Audiobugged have the right idea and I'm for that.
I got into analog this last Oct. with the purchase of a Scout and it has been pure bliss & pleasure in playing vinyl. VPI makes it easy for you. Analog is as close as you will get to natural sound
You guys aren't much help! I want clear black and white answers. I'm only kidding : ) Actually, this is what I was looking for; personal thoughts and opinions from experience.

I keep going back and forth. I don't know that SACD is the answer because I really like my redbook DAC, and any advantage that SACD would offer would still depend on mastering. In the past some SACDs sounded spectacular while some sounded equal to redbook while others sucked. I think any format will have this issue. So either I stick exclusively with redbook or dabble in vinyl too. As Sogood51 puts it, sometimes the itch just has to be scratched for it to go away. I'll probably try it out and see how it works. When the kids come along I'll probably give it up simply because I need something fast and convenient. But at least I would know what to think about it.

What phono preamps do you recommend? Audiobugged, what do you use?

Thanks everyone!
Hi Budrew, last year i went through the same thing you did.I love my CD player and think the people on here are crazy using analog turntable.i could never get myself to get up to flip the record over every 1/2 hour and have to clean it before each play,but i am curious to see why so many people on here like analog so much,so i went out and got myself an analog rig and thanks god that i did,because i havent really touch my CD player ever since and now i love to clean all those flea market records.so,if i were you give analog a try and if you dont like it,just send all your records to me....


How about some purple & orange answers instead? I was running a full tubed system to warm up the sound of digital. My phono preamp is the Phono stage option on my BAT VK-3i, which is solid state. My cousin told me don't buy that pre-amp w/ phono rca's on the inputs. As this way the temptation to connect a analog rig will not accur.

For years I was a interconnect & speaker cable of the month member. Always trying to tame the brightness of the metal tweeters w/ Violin highs, & force a Piano out of my speakers. To me the piano on cd sounds so bad, that I no longer own any piano related music on cd.

With Vinyl for the first time Heifetz's violin is playing to full extent, & gosh their is a baby grand piano being played in my listening room for the first time ever!

Budrew, as Mikey the cereal kid - try it, you may like it???

VALLEYPLASTIC, Dave thanx for joining in on this thread. As another Vpi Scout fully satisfied user, & recent analog re-visiter:0)~
Considering only the stereo aspect of SACD, vs Analogue, it's no contest, except on 1 SACD. Alot of the quality of SACD is in the disc, and who mixed it. Sound familiar???

With a lot of SACD I am highly underwhelmed.

On vinyl if you have em, invest in a decent rig, if not let it go. Vinyl is hard to come by. I have thousands so for me, it's not an issue, and yes it sounds better, but I also have 2 Keith Monks machines for cleaning. A real difference.

If your just kicking the tires: Try this: An older Denon table with a decent Ortofon, say an X5MC will get you there, it's output is high enough to play in most decent pre-amps, and like everything, what ever you change is audible, but be ware--- once you go down that slippery slope you may not quit until you have the price of a decent automobile tied up in the system, biased around analogue.

You choose.

One other point I have been thinking about: music most enjoyed? Now JAZZ has a HUGE following in LP. Many things cannot be had on CeeDee in Jazz yet. The collecting of Jazz records is, in itself a fine art. Vintage Jazz LPs are like fine wines!!!
Ditto enjoying early recordings, or original recordings... Can't be done in CeeDee land.
Playing CeeDee's is a hobby,
Enjoying LPs is a life.
It seems to me that one factor to seriously consider is what is on those 200 some records. If it's interesting enough, it would probably be worth getting at least a modest turntable. I, myself, plan to continue playing records for the rest of my life. Even if something comes along that completely blows analog away, I will still have records that I will want to hear.