The systemdek with acrylic platter sounded better than the Linn of the time
I'd like to know who said that because it is far from the truth. A brush with a Systemdeck last year left me thinking it wasn't all it was supposed to be and I wouldn't have thought an acrylic platter would have moved it in to LP12 territory.
I am not a great fan of the LP12, but it's made its mark in TT history and made its stake in terms of importance. Very few other turntables have had the same impact whether they are better or not. A lot of clever marketing, but so what, Isn't that the back bone of a lot of company's? You need some blurb in there to make it sell otherwise you may as well not be manufacturing.
My detest is more the aggressiveness of the marketing and the way it was bullied through at the dealers and the press. The death nell for many a good TT out there. Plus of course it was near enough a straight copy of the RD11.
There are better turntables out there and there has been throughout its existence, but none have lasted the distance to the same effect and very few have had such reliability. You rarely hear of 12's going seriously wrong unlike quite a few I could think of. Simple, well-engineered and built to last......much like the RD11 (and Ariston's in general) it was copied from but that is now confined to history.
Over hyped definitely, but deservedly so. It set the standard all those years back and continues still to be a reference point to many ears. I understand the present full Monty at some £14,000 (and so it should be) is one very formidable set up.