Questions about SACD vs.analog for classical music

I've just ordered a VPI Scoutmaster. A rather impulsive decision made at just the point when I was about to have my Sony 9000es modded. Not quite just at the point, but right after I removed my Hw-19jr/pt-6/Glider/blackcube rig from storage in order to get the parts ready for shipping to they new owners. I had what i thought would be my last night listening to the TT, after a several year hiatus, and you know what? There was that organic something, that harmonic coherence in certain recordings that I noticed only in the very best SACDs. In some of my LPs, that 'present' or 'real' feeling exceeded all but one or two of my SACDs (only the Rite of Spring on Telarc, a few tracks from the telarc classical sampler 2, and one other were superior to anything I heard on the VPI). OK, the SACDs were obviously cleaner sounding and more extended (I was using Stax sr-lambda phones) except when compared to a couple of the highest quality analogue productions lps I own, but it got me thinking: hey, if my humble jr. sounds this good now, I can only wonder how good one of the purportedly much improved high-end rigs would sound. The Sony mods would have cost upwards of $1300, but selling my jr. and lumping all that dough together and allocating it to a renewed involvement in analog looked, well, promising.
So I ordered a new Scoutmaster (at substantial discount) with the JMW-9 arm and am now by the way researching my options for cartridges and preamps. I've sold my blackcube, but have a Jolida JD-9 on load from a dealer, which sounds very nice with the jr. (the sold TT about to be shipped) - very vivid and harmonically satisfying, well articulated, etc - though it's not as quiet as the 'Cube and I even can hear some AM radio coming through my phones when I turn up my linestage preamp volume. But here I digress.
My main reason for starting this thread, aside from having some assorted questions about carts, preamps, and the like, is to ask for some objective and subjective opinions regarding the decision I just made. Bear in mind that my main interest is classical music, especially chamber (esp. string quartets, trios, wind quintets, etc) and piano with some orchestral, followed by classic rock and some Blue-Note era jazz. The SACD route seemed promising at first, and I told myself that, even though there were only a smattering of sacd recordings for many of my favorite classical performers (eg. Elly Ameling Soprano, Yo-Yo Ma, Rubinstein), there were so many truly talented lesser-knowns on the sacd scene (e.g. pianist Freddy Kempf on BIS, Csaba and Heisser on Praga digitals, and of course Paavo Jaervi on Telarc) that I deemed my chances of attaining long-term satisfaction with purely sacd (and a little redbook on the side) to be very good. Especially after sacd mods. As for classic rock, the SACD of the Police Synchronicity just blew me away (through Sennheiser HD600w/cardas cable).
But THEN it occurred to me that the only way to possibly hear my very favorite string quartet - the Vegh Quartet - in better than redbook fidelity was through vinyl. Ditto for numerous other performers who will never appear on sacd. Then of course there's always the Beatles, Stones, Jerry Garcia and others to sweeten the deal for vinyl. By the way, I sold my Ikemi redbook player in order to open up some new options and try something new. Even my girlfriend almost cried to see the Ikemi go, her having been converted just enough to an audiophile that she could absolutely see someone justifying having spent almost four grand on a source component (even a non-disc changer)
So what do you guys think? When my scoutmaster arrives, am I in for some visceral thrills and deep musical connection? I know that it's also dependent on the rest of my system, and so far I've narrowed cart choices down to the Lyras and the Shelters, leaning heavily towards the former. As for phono preamps I'm considering the Linto, Ear 834p mm/mc, and a few others including a modded Jolida JD-9 or something along those lines.

Is the scoutmaster, fitted with a $1000+ cartridge and a similarly priced phono preamp, going through Cardas golden reference into either a Bryston B60 integrated (and then to Sennheisers or B&wdm603) OR into a Stax srm-t1 tube driver of my Stax electrostats, going to 'knock my socks off' as suggested by Mike at VPI yesterday? How close can I get to SACD (especially to the 'pure DSD') fidelity through this setup? I know speed stability and noise floor will be drastically improved, giving tones accuracy and timbral accuracy, and i expect bass to be better and overall macro and microdynamics as well BUT... am I going to be able to achieve some of the same absolutely organic, sparkling, and pure sound of some of the better DSD recordings? What about the musical clarity per se of redbook, in particular when listening to string quartets and the like? Will I get a 'clean' sound in the tonal sense, not overly dark, but a sound that seems right? What about the upper octave of piano?
I once read an article long ago (i believe it was in stereophile) in which the author admitting to prefering cassette tape over vinyl due to it having cleaner and more pitch accurate upper octave reproduction. That was then, this is now. What do you guys think? (last time I'll ask that, I promise!)

Ted sez:
All the the most accomplished classical musicians I've ever known personally ... seem complacent with the worst low- to mid-fi sound systems
Quite naturally so.
If you love music, you don't need a superlative system to listen to music.
If you have your audiophile cap on, you're interested in improving the reproduction of music.
Fact is, most audiophiles happen to be music-philes as well!

IME there's one exception: some classical performances sound WRONG in a badly set up or inferior system. Case in point: a recording of Berlioz S-Fantastique sounded flat in one system.
Conclusion: the maestro was a softie and/or the orch was sleepy.
Wrong conclusion: the same recording played through another system showed that the conductor & orchestra were staccato & dynamic.
This is an extreme example, but factual nonetheless.
Robert Silverman, who recorded the Beethoven Sonatas using the Boesendorfer Reproducing piano for Stereophile, said that he is one of the few classical musicians who give a damn about recording technology.

I think that the mid fi systems give enough of the music in a clear enough way that the essence of the music itself is presented. And the ease of playing, random track acesss, and relative indestructibility of the cd made it "ideal" for most classical musicians, who want to hear the interpretive qualities of the performance, not the "air and space", so to speak.

Truthfully, we audiophiles, like sound, hence the word audiophile. We are basically aural hedonists who are willing to pay for our fix.

Last night I had both, a live performance of Mahler's 6th, by the Houston Symphony. They were inspired, asnd I also got to hear the excellent acoustics if Jones hall, whereby I could hear an individual soloist amongst the dense orchestration, all of course unamplified. There will never be a substitute for the coming together of close to 100 musicians playing together live. We search for the holy grail in vain. Keep going to concerts guys.

Nice try but I'm not going to chase rabbits and type out a laundry list to help you argue for EMM labs digital over analog. And what difference does it make? Vinyl has a different sound than digital. When I heard all the excitement for the EMM labs stuff, I had to hear it. My dealer had the setup on a much higher end system than I have at home. He also had the VPI TNT Jr. - don't know what cart, arm blah blah blah. I did listened to both and by far preferred the addictiveness of the TT. Then I went home and listened on my Scout with Dyna Karat cart - expecting to be embarrassed after hearing my dealers setup with modest components downstream and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the organic sound that analog gave me. The EMM labs sounded softer than most digital (I will admit it's amazing), but the digital sound wasn't eliminated completely like some state(this is with a high end tube set up no less)- it just seemed to be softened.

The EMM labs had more audiophile qualities than my scout, but my modest setup was more enjoyable to me in the end which made me warm and fuzzy knowing that I saved a lot of money. If this wasn't the case, I'd sell all my TT stuff and save myself the hassle of cleaning, flipping, storing LP's, Setting up the Cart., having to buy a new cart. to replace the warn out one, etc. But until a Digital setup will give me that "realness" that I feel with vinyl, I'm sticking with it.

So, you can pick out words in my post and form a monumental argument or go the immature route and call me an $%#& lol, but that won't make digital sound any better. And I listen mostly to digital now, because I don't have a lot of time because it's more convenient. So, I'm not a vinyl evangelist. I just chose it over digital for the sound that I ultimately like.
the income most classical musicians see from recordings in any media is non-existant. the numbers of units sold in cd, sacd, and lp of most classical releases continue to decline at a greater pace than even pop and jazz. steady employment is the name of the game for most musicians, and rightfully so. the arguments for the advancement of sacd technology become more hollow as the recording industry as a whole is racing to new media and the internet. ANY 'workman' turntable that spins accurately with a nice cartridge/arm combo will compete with the most expensive digital front end hardware. apples and oranges of course, but to proclaim sacd superior in sound to most analogue sources is entirely based on faith in a dead end software.
Robm321: You, originally, made a very clear statement about the superiority of a vinyl rig you are, presumably, familiar with. When asked for specifics you decline to or cannot be bothered assembling the information. How are we to take you seriously when you so freely throw out opinions, but cannot back them up. I don't care what you listen to and I don't care if EMM LABS or XYZ LABS is better or worse than whichever vinyl rig you're so enamored with- I'd just like to know what vinyl rig YOU ARE so enamored with !! Additiionally- If I made a "monumental argument" I don't know what is was, I'm unclear how anything I said was "immature" and finally, I have not and do not call people names.