Vinyl VS Digital

After 20+ years I broke out my turn table from the 70's again.  I have been mostly listening to CD and streaming music for the last 15 years on higher end gear in a dedicated and treated home theater room.  I also have a dedicated two channel system in the same room.  

All the hype surrounding analog has prompted to me to purchase a dedicated preamp so that I could once again hook up my TT.  I also purchased an Aurlic Aries to compare.  I'm ready to upgrade my old Technics SL 1600 MK2 running a Grace Cartridge.  But I have concerns.  

I could care less about the additional hiss, crackle and Pop thats not in digital.  I think its cool to put on an album and just listen to my 30 year old small collection from when I was a teenager.    

I started doing A/B comparisons by switching between the TT and the Aries (FLAC).  I even bought new vinyl to do so.  The thing keeping me from going "All In" is the imaging.  No matter what I do with (aligning the cartridge), I cannot get the imaging to match that of digital.  Specifically, voice and instrument that stems from center stage with digital cannot be reproduced with the TT as source.  One might say the stage is wider but its too wide to point where definition is lost.  Don't get me wrong it still sounds good but is it right?  Is it my TT or is it in the recording.  Or is this the difference I am suppose to be hearing?

A good tt setup will provide spectacular imaging and soundstage usually with more 3D instruments within that soundstage. You should go listen to someone else's good analog system to get an idea. Then you can decide if upgrading the turntable, cartridge etc is worthwhile for you. Cheers,
My opinion, says you would be better served by continuing with digital.
Do I doubt that properly set up vinyl sounds better, no.
But, with an average to better than average system, you aren't going to discern the nuances it can bring.
FWIW, I have recently discovered digital music and have pretty much left everything else behind. 
I can't even remember how long its been since I listened to a vinyl recording, its been that long. In fact I no longer have any albums. Don't miss them a bit. The only thing analog I have left in my system is a Sony TC-WA7ESA tape deck because I have 800 tapes from the early 90's that I haven't parted with yet, even though most of that I have in digital format and so I rarely listen to the deck. Once in a blue moon I will record something. I find turntables to be too delicate and not as fulfilling a listening experience as compared to digital.
Your turntable is not the greatest. Have a listen to a good one before deciding. 
Not having a centered image can be caused by phase reversal, which makes everything appear diffused.  Usually, this happens when the speakers are connected incorrectly, but I guess it is possible for this to occur anywhere in the chain.  Check this out again.  Even a cheap tt should provide a centered image.  
Imaging problems, no center stage, very wide and no focus ....  those are symptoms of one channel out of phase.   I would check the cabling.
Perhaps it has been asked and answered before, but is it possible to achieve as good a sound stage/separation of instruments spending $1,000-$1,500 on a turntable/cartridge as it might be spending that amount or less on digital?

Has anyone else heard a sound stage difference between the same recordings at the same volume vinyl versus CD.  It is so pronounced in my system. On digital recordings its as if I had a center speaker playing.  On albums there is no center speaker.  
i have both ,cd hits harder but i will play an lp 10-1 unless i,m being lazy . 

ap_wannabe OP
Has anyone else heard a sound stage difference between the same recordings at the same volume vinyl versus CD.  It is so pronounced in my system. On digital recordings its as if I had a center speaker playing.  On albums there is no center speaker.
You're comparing different recordings and different mastering, so you can't really call them the same. But if the difference is a consistent one, it's likely you have setup problems with your turntable/pickup arm/cartridge.

My comments are prefaced with the usual IMHO - but here's my two cents worth (as a first time poster on this great forum)

The problems you are encountering sound like as Chayro points out sagely "phase reversal". This can be caused by incorrect cabling set-up.

As for the analog vs digital debate, it depends a lot on the quality of the vinyl. First edition pressings in good condition are usually superior to remastered efforts. Particularly with mono 60's era jazz recordings (with a good mono cartridge), you'll notice great soundstage etc. Also a lot of great records have not been re-issued, which means it's mostly analog for me. For new music which is largely digitally recorded, digital is great, and it's mostly pointless getting a digitally made album on vinyl, apart from the coolness factor.

Good luck with the cabling!

If the source is recorded from analog tape originally, Lp should be preferred. Most newer material is not . And should not be used for comparison as it is then digital converted to analog . Defeats the purpose. 
I first had a Rega RP3 (400), Grado Gold cartridge (250), and NAD phonostage (200). Vinyl did not approach digital quality. A Clearaudio Performance se table (3000), ARC PH 5 phonostage (2500), and a Clearaudio Maestro (1200) came very close to digital quality. I now have the same table, but with a Stradivari cartridge (4000) and an ARC PH8 phonostage (7000). Finally I have surpassed digital. Not only did staging improve with the many upgrades, the amount of music taken from the grooves by the cartridge increased dramatically with every upgrade. I was taken with my ability to play all my records when I first got back into vinyl 10 years ago. If I knew how much music was being left in the record grooves with my first few systems, I might have sold my records, bought a great DAC, and saved tons of money. Point 1: It takes a lot of money to get CD quality out of a vinyl rig. If you are not spending a lot of money, you are listening to vinyl because you like to (that's me), not because the sound is "better" (IMO); far too much music is being left on the record. I now stream on one all-digital system (4000 all in) and have a main analogue-only system (40,000). Point 2: You have to talk about money invested if you want to compare digital to analogue. That's just my opinion, though; different ears hear the same things very differently. BTW, prices provided are new prices, certainly not what I paid or will ever be able to afford.