I would agree with you, JD, on the 'voicing' of early turntables, for most (if not all) were housed in wooden cabinets, resplendent with fancy veneers, and also containing the amplifier/radio and speaker/s. I have such a system, and it does produce a lovely sound, but nothing like a real orchestra! More modern decks also seem to fall short, even Rega has a range of decks of ever increasing price, with every step up the ladder comes a (hopefully) better plinth material.
I fail to understand the concept of an 'overdamped' plinth, though. Even on a panzerholz plinth, one can still detect the rise time of a scratch on the vinyl akin to a bandwidth of at least 10kHz, so there does not seem to be a cause and effect scenario between a well damped plinth and the reproduction of fast transients.
Panzerholz plinths have worked well for SP10's, not a deck associated with agricultural vehicles.
'Panzerholz' and 'resonant body' do not go together, and as Kelvin has observed, violin bodies (and other stringed instruments) are meant to vibrate, else we would not hear them.
People who have plinths made from materials fit for purpose say they are more than happy with the results, observing they are providing uncoloured rhythmic sound. What I suspect happens when people say the sound is lifeless is that all the vibrations that contributed to the lively sound have been banished, and what remains is the stark truth, which many cannot abide by. They need 'enhancement' to give them the excitment that the music is lacking.
If you need an olive to give you excitment in a glass, maybe it's time to change your drink.
kind regards, Cats