Re: Rather than like buying a BMW
I had an interesting Digital Epiphany a couple of years ago.
I have a HiFi cherry-picked from the high end of the budget part of the market over many years, with one weak element in that I used whatever CD player I could get (although I always bought a HiFi brand name, the last one was a Technics).
With this set-up, over several different CD players, I always preferred my vinyl copies over the CDs whenever I had the the same music on both formats.
I took the attitude that a CD player was a CD player because, when all is said and done, prior to the DAC in the player it was all digital, and modern DAC chipsets were cheap and good enough to not matter any more!
One car boot sale, I found someone selling a Marantz CD player with digital output, and a Cambridge Audio DACMagic 2 at a very reasonable price.
Now, this is not a high-end DAC, and got rather mixed reviews when it was first produced. But the difference it made when playing my CDs compared to the Technics was absolutely astounding! And I also found that the DACMagic was better than the DAC in the Marantz CD player as well. I could not believe my ears at the clarity and instrument separation, pretty much identical to the vinyl, and spent many hours repeating the comparison of vinyl to CD, much to my wife's dismay ("why do you have to listen to the same track more than once?")
As such, I've realized that my preference was not really a vinyl vs. CD, but a good turntable/cartridge compared to a mediocre CD player. I wonder whether there are other people here who have has decent turntables and cartridges, but merely adequate CD players?
I still listen to both, but now the surface noise issue on vinyl, which I accepted as a necessary evil is actually more of an issue than it used to be with the old CD players.