I keep rereading the P3-24 review and a comment made by Peter McGrath keeps getting to me. "For piano, vinyl sucks!"
This has not always been my experience as I have some very fine sounding LPs of jazz and classical music that I find the piano sounds excellent. I pulled out an old London recording of Beethoven's Piano concerto No 1 C major Op 15 with Mehta and Vienna Philharmonic and Vladimir Ashkenazy that I find very enjoyable and full bodied. Album # 411 900-1 from 1984. This is not some 180 gram virgin vinyl disc, just a consumer grade pressing from London. The recording is digital from 1984, I will admit. If anything it should/could sound bright. I also have a vinyl release of David Benoit's This Side Up which is a great TT demo disc if there ever was one.
Yes, I do have some that are awful, but maybe Mr. McGrath did not mean to paint with such a broad brush...or maybe he did as MF pointed out. It may be that his speakers and systems are so revealing that all the possible sonic "warts" of vinyl piano recordings are thrown in his face, or ears, as it were, and just not his cup of tea.
I have had numerous very good TTs in my home from Rega P3s, Thorens 850 and an old 145, Music Hall 5s and 9s, various Duals from the old 1209, 1219, CS 5000 to a recently refurbished 502 I will use at school (it also plays a 1000 hz tone at 1007 and is very stable), Philips 212, and the venerable AR XA, and even older Technics SP 10s with SME arms, and I always found some vinyl that sounded great and, yes, some that was thin and lifeless. I have also heard thin and lifeless on CDs as well.
Maybe MF will throw a comment on this issue. If there are any great, or even good piano vinyl discs out there I am sure his old Simon Yorke or his Continuum would pull it out. the P3 pulled out some excellent sounding piano vinyl for my money.