Turntable got absolutely crushed by CD

Long story short, i've just brought home a VPI classic 1 mounted with a Zu-Denon DL103 on JMW Memorial 10.5 with the appropriate heavier counterweight. Had everything dialed in..perfect azimuth, VTF, overhang, with only a slightly higher than perfect VTA. Levelling checked. All good. 

I did a comparison between the VPI and my Esoteric X03SE and it's not even close. The Esoteric completely crushes the VPI in all regards. The level of treble refinement, air, decay, soundstage depth and width, seperation, tonality, overall coherence is just a simply a league above from what I'm hearing from the VPI. The only area the VPI seems to be better at is bass weight, but not by much. 

I'm honestly quite dumbfounded here. I've always believed that analogue should be superior to digital. I know the Esoteric is a much pricier item but the VPI classic is supposed to be a very good turntable and shouldn't be a slouch either. At this point I feel like I should give up on analogue playback and invest further in digital. 

Has anyone had a similar experience comparing the best of digital to a very good analogue setup?

Esoteric X03SE 
VPI Classic, JMW Memorial 10.5, Zu-DL103
Accuphase C200L
Accuphase P600
AR 90 speakers

Test Record/CD:
Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing (Redbook vs MOV 180g reissue)


Once you’ve been to New York or Paris, you can never go back home; or once you’ve been to the high end, you can never go back to "mid fi".

This is true, for me analog only getting better and better and it’s quite interesting process.


Well it IS about the music right? not high end turntables and exotic cartridges.. OH sorry, for you it IS about the high end turntables and exotic carts...

Well, i don’t want to buy 5 different pressings of the same record, but i can buy 5 different cartridges to make all my LPs sound better. However, some of my rare 45s cost more that very expensive cartridges (but it’s not necessary that i paid that much for rare 45s which is now cost 5 times as much than 15 years ago).

Anyway most of the serious collectors that i know all over the world will never pay more than $150 for a cartridge and more than $500 for a turntable with toneam. Thye don’t even know how to set up a cartridge. Also for some reason those people don’t believe they can hear the difference (i think they never tried to compare) and most of them considering audiophilia as some sort of illness. At the same time i am considering their hobby to pay $500-1000 for a very rare record in VG condition as some sort of illness too. They could sell a few rare records to buy proper equipment to enjoy entire collection on the different level, but they don’t want and don’t need this experience.

When I was in high school, we stacked 45's a mile high on a record changer at parties; this was in the 50's. In good condition, they would be worth big bucks now.
Friend bought a jukebox full of 45s. It sounds really crap; muffled and woolly. At a party when it was playing, everyone was cooing about how they love the sound of records. Go figure.
That’s the problem with audiophile types; they miss the forrest for the trees.

So much of our rich recorded heritage has been released on record and has never been, and probably never will be, released in digital form that to forsake LP and 78 playback is to cut oneself off from an enormous treasure trove of music.

And conversely, so much great music has been released only in digital formats that to turn one’s back on this leaves one in the musical dark ages.
It is never about being too old .Wisdom does come with age but it knocks on the door, most people do what they are always have done , refuse to let him in . .