Dear Macallan25: We have to understand where are the issues with the Redbook sound reproduction, this is not a matters of price/money. First, this technology is based on a 16 bits digital approach and this approach restrict the reproduction of high frecuencies to no more than 22kHz, at this frecuency the digital Redbook technology use filters of huge stepped order for that restriction and these filters create severe distortions on the signal and that's why the quality sound reproduction of a Redbook is poor and not close to analog one. You can't do almost nothing about.
What happen with a Redbook Player like yours: Emm Labs or the Esoteric or the dCs or Meiridan that uses up sampling 24/192 technology?, as its name tell us is only a " sampling " it is not real, the recorded signal stay at 16 bits. What do this up-sampling digital technology?, in my opinion makes the CD less agressive, less " digital " sound, try to extended/soft the high frecuencies given us a better soundstage: but nothing more: NO MORE MUSIC.
The analog technology has a wider dynamic frequency range, it goes at least to 40kHz and this figure do a huge difference between both mediums. The Redbook can beat the analog one in the low bass reproduction where the analog record technology has restrictions but in no other single area ( of course other than clicks/pops ).
Now and speaking of Redbook: the Emm labs/Esoteric/dCs/etc
can be beated not for a Rockport or SME 30, you don't need those audio devices, with a lesser analog rig you can do it if those analog rigs have synergy, equilibrium and are well set up.
Now, again, if you are talking about DVD-A or SACD the " things " are different. These technologies ( true 24/192 ) ( with a native recorded technology: DVDA/SACD ) can even the analog sound reproduction and in some areas other than low bass could beat it. But these technologies does not have any future about the release of software, any of the big recording companies is really supporting these mediums.
Well, the Redbook is really far from the quality sound reproduction of analog: it does not matters if that Redbook player has a 60K price, the problem is in the digital 16 bits technology that no body can change.
Now, 95% of the music that were recorded on the last 10 years were recorded on CD, this is the way to go and like you that invest on your Emm Labs digital player all of us that likes music must to invest in a great CD/Redbook player that is the medium where the music is recorded today and in the near future. Blue lasser technology?, that's another history.
I think that all the people that own a decent analog rig have it because we have some hundreds of LPs that never will be recorded on CD or at least not with the quality sound reproduction of the LPs. We are buying re-issues of old LP recordings, new LPs produced from the original master recordings and versions on better vinyl or at 45rpm instead 33rpm. But these is all we have, new recordings?, we can named with the fingers of one hand and this is the today analog reallity, Do you like it?, come and join us.
Regards and enjoy the music.