What you say you are missing when listening to vinyl is what should be there and is one of the reasons vinyl sounds better than CD. If you are missing presence and whatever you mean by human-ness with the analog, and your digital has a taller soundstage, then I would tend to think that something isn't right with the table setup rather than having an issue with component matching. Is the ss height a dramatic difference? Are you confident your cartridge is aligned properly? Are you confident the table and arm is setup properly, doesn't have any mechanical issues and is setup properly? As for things to try, you seem to be trying all you can and getting a tube preamp is a good idea. If your 834P is new (BTW, is it MC/MM or just MM?) then you will really want to punt the stock tubes and I would recommend some of the Mullards from Upscale Audio to get some emotion. I would also consider trying a good 5751 in the front valve position (v3) rather than a Mullard. This combination results in a really nice balance of warmth and detail IMO. If you like what the EAR does, and its the MC version, then you might want to try the Denon DL103 if your arm can handle it. I have the DL103 and a Shelter and if you like rock, female vocals etc, then the DL103 is a much better value for your money than the Shelter and it will work great with the 834P. I have not heard a Clearaudio before, I have read that some of there stuff can be kind of cold sounding and maybe thats what your problem is. The Denon or even a Shelter if you have the $$$ sounds like your cup of tea.
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