Of course it can. One can also have expectation biases of how a $100k TT would sound like even before hearing it.1) I would be the first to also guess expectation bias too. The expectation bias held over from before digital? Funny, how it can last a lifetime?
Here we go, the game of bingo again. I am right you are wrong because a/ you don't have good enough equipment, b/ you don't know what to listen for - I'm just waiting for c/ your ears aren't good enough.2) Certain people do not own the equipment to fully delineate the value of analogue compared to digital. Their coming to terms with their own personal fidelity in playback being key here. This concept is also very applicable to the understanding of headphones and IEMs as a whole. Basically you can’t write about the quality or lack of improvements till you hear the TOTL headphones. But somehow people think they can? The fact that there has been a full revolution in IEM sound the last 4 years, yet it could be arguably false (here in SE) by people who never heard them. Such delusional behavior does not boarder on the ridiculous, it is the very definition on the word!
They are not getting themselves (the opportunity to hear) the window to fully ascertain is what’s going on. Meaning I actually do not hear a difference at low volume and/or with marginal equipment that I own. I feel it’s pertinent to the observations here. I myself am only fully hearing only the beginning of analogue sources, only having the basic gear. Such other individuals are experiencing a much different extremely profound development of analogue sound. I myself have been lucky enough to have a very special demonstration of a 100K TT system on numerous occasions which cemented my opinion fully. Again maybe a whole glass of expectation bias? It’s very hard to distinguish? Such playback is beyond the means of almost all but the very well equipped 10%.
It’s impossible to judge equipment/files of playback based on numbers and graphs. Music is so much more. Remember too, western music has only a very short window of time being recorded. Only the past 122 (or so) years has mankind had the luxury of actual playback. Before that it was only live. We have only had a small window of 30 (or so) years of digital playback. So in so many ways it’s in it’s infancy.
As for you other points, sure price does scale to quality more so in the analogue world so one can expect (though not always the case) that a $2,000 TT (and cart) may be better engineered to finer tolerances so can sound better than a $200 set up. One can also expect a $20k analogue Rolex watch to be more precision engineered than a $200 analogue watch and keep better time. But no-one could legitimately argue that the $20k analogue watch would keep better time than a $50 Casio digital watch.
As for the $100k TT, it would be extreme audiophoolery if it is not considered anything other than a luxury good. I doubt it would sound better than a TT at 5% of its price and certainly would not be more accurate than the laser TT I once owned at a fraction of that price. After a certain point of engineering, say around the $2k price point, any the TT would be limited by the compromises in the actual LP.
Digital recordings started in earnest in the late 1970s, ie 50 years ago. That is hardly what I'd call infancy. Even so, the equipment of the early 80s would surpass the fidelity of your $100k turntable.
I enjoy playing vinyl too (sometimes). Some of my vinyl records sound better than their digital version and vice versa as it depends on the production and mastering choices. All things equal though, the difference is clear, just as it is with other digital media like video, broadcasting etc.3) You say the answer is within my mind? But you fail to come to terms that it’s not just me? A lot of people are enjoying vinyl.
Anyway, as Bigshot has asked, why on earth are you posting here? Do you also post on medical science forums claiming naturopathy is better than modern medicine, and that is true because thousands of thousands of people feel that way despite objective evidence otherwise of its efficacy outside placebo effects?