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?

Equipment:
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)



chadsort
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 . .
Apros of what I mentioned earlier in the thread:

I just received a copy of one of my favorite movie scores, Jerry Goldsmith's score for Start Trek the original motion picture. 
It was remastered by La La Land for both digital and vinyl release not long ago, both from a high quality digital master.

The vinyl version is just glorious.  It's clear, rich, huge sounding, silky strings, clear grain free top end, soaring horn section, and huge dynamics.  In some ways it sounds better than I've ever heard it before.This is why I'm ok with vinyl sourced from digital masters as well as analog.  If it's a great master, it's a great master. 


I seem to have somehow misplaced my original copy of this LP from the 70's, but I've ordered a (supposedly) mint version from discogs, so I'll be able to compare it when it arrives.  I may like some things better about the original anolog, I don't know, but in either case I'm extremely pleased with this version.

ALSO:  I don't really think it takes super expensive turntable/phono stages/cartridges for vinyl to compete with digital.  Previous to my current Transrotor table, I had an old Micro Seiki DD-40 Turntable, with the original arm, and an Ortofon MC 20 Cartridge which originally came with the table in the 80's (all bequeathed to me by my father in law, years ago).  Then through a cheap Rotel solid state phono stage.  It sounded so amazing it got me on the road to buying new vinyl (which of course led to the turntable upgrade bug).  The sound from the Micro Seiki set up
wasn't as accurate sounding as my digital source, bit it did all the magic vinyl things - warmth, clarity, organic quality.  In sonic terms it was a yin-yang thing between digital and turntable.  I wouldn't say one was "better" than the other, but there were certainly many times the sound from the turntable made me swoon with music in ways the digital did not.

Upgrading my turntable and phono stage brought more refinement, getting it closer to a best of both worlds presentation for me.  But I didn't have to buy my more expensive table to have experienced "vinyl magic."People's mileage will vary, of course.
That’s what I’ve been saying all along. It’s the digital playback system that’s the problem. We know it has many problems. The most critical part of it isn’t even digital really, it’s analog  - the optical reading of the data. The digital part is later downstream. The digital media per se is not really the problem. In the same vein I mentioned recently that digitally remastered cassettes sound great, too, unlike their CD brethren. Rich, full, dynamic and natural.