So I had a bit of a smack in the head today. I got a 45 RPM vinyl of the same disc I have in 88.2/24 - an Emily Barker EP. I played it through and then listened to it via the Bridge and the DS. I was… still amazed by how much better my TT sounds. Now in reading how the vinyl and PCM versions of this EP disc were made it sounds like apart from RIAA on the vinyl there were "treated the same’… suggesting I should be hearing the same base content on either medium. And they do sound the same, but the vinyl struck me by how much easier it was to pick out the cues layered front to back in the soundstage, and how much more “balanced” the music sounded to me. The DS actually appeared to strongly “bias” toward the midrange in comparison, and the low end - which I spent considerable time trying to balance with a change to a more compatible IC - was clearly not doing the same kind of job “propelling” the music. My TT laid down a driving low end that seemed more in balance with the rest of the music, without sounding bloated or congested.
Funny, the DS really is a large step up in digital playback, but at least in my system (assuming the two things I listened to really were “the same”) it still can’t trump good vinyl playback. I had to shake my head and ponder.