Wandered into my local dealer to-day in search of a cartridge and we fell into discussion about all things turntable, during which I mentioned that the best one I had heard was an LP12. He led me into the listening room, sat me down and put a record on the LP12 sitting there.
The system was all Linn, but don't know what model the amp or speakers were, except the latter were large floorstanders. No matter, the sound wasn't bad. Not perfect, given that I thought I heard a touch of hardness in the some of the brass, but otherwise it was very good indeed. Not quite like having the artists doing their thing in front of you, but not far off. Certainly the piano, which can be a failing on vinyl, was the best I'd heard outside of the real thing. Depth, realism, you name it, the system, and above all the turntable, had it all.
At the end of the session, the dealer asked me what I thought, to which I replied that the Linn was better than my memory of it. I asked him cautiously about the price, to which he replied obliquely that they started at the 3000€ mark. He paused, smiled, then told me the one I'd been listening to came in at 15000€.