Don't be surprised! Not only is very expensive audio gear not usually better than common consumer grade products, often it's worse. I haven't owned a turntable for 15 years, so I'm out of the loop with that stuff. But my general advice is to stick with well known brands that sell products for normal affordable prices. Here's a little more I posted a while back somewhere else:
One year at a big New York City hi-fi show a company known for its pianos was showing a new line of loudspeakers costing $16,000 per pair. They were awful! They were skinny towers with two 5-inch drivers (only) so no real bass or treble. But the REALLY STOOPID thing was a thin "outrigger" wooden board spaced a few inches off the side of each cabinet, which they claimed added realism and clarity the same way the sounding board does on a fine piano.
Another vendor at the same show was selling a low power tube amp that he claimed had none of that nasty negative feedback that is so damaging to audio quality. All amplifier circuits have some feedback, even if this guy doesn't realize. He probably meant global feedback, which is never bad anyway. But assuming his amp really has no global feedback, its distortion has to be in the 5-10 percent range. Yes, amps like that certainly do have a "sound" to them. And I'm sure some people like that sound. This guy probably copied the circuit from a magazine article, got it to make sound, and figured that's good enough to go into business!
Real companies with real engineers know how fidelity is defined, and they know how to make products that are robust and don't blow up if a speaker wire falls off, for just one example. There's a lot of such incompetence in high-end audio. There's nothing like that from well known established companies. In my home recording studio I have a pair of huge old-school JBL 4430 speakers, bi-amped driven by a pair of Crown PowerBase amplifiers with just over 1 KW. I bought the speakers and amps in the early 1990s and they are still awesome. Loud, clear, flat, extremely low distortion.
I was in the Army the first time I heard a General Officer in full uniform and battle ribbons tell us young troopers that like us, he put his pants on a leg at a time. The point is that under all the pomp, circumstance and hype the basics are all the same.
The same thing applies to high end audio gear. If you look inside, all of the identifiable parts are usually pretty much the same as stuff in allegedly ordinary gear that has a lot less pomp, circumstance and hype. If you put the gear on the test bench, the measurements are either about the same, or they may have more leading zeroes, but in reality the leading zeros don't translate into better sound. The schematic diagrams follow the usual patterns for products of that kind. Given that some of the lowest distortion chips for audio cost $0.50 or less a piece, where is the beef? The wire is wire and the circuit boards are made out of the usual industry standard stuff that is really very, very good.