Shane's not wrong... A good old one IS good ime, but a bad 'un now with knackered main bearing is absolute shite! Until the mid 80's, no two were quite the same, but bit by bit the quality control of the plinths improved, the Cirkus kit plus sub-chassis updates transformed the colourations for the better and despite the silly-high prices, a current one IS a good record spinner.
Ivor didn't get along with everyone and some were hugely jealous of his success with what was basically a blue-printed Thorens 150 (a lot of parts were almost interchangeable). The early history of the deck is suspect as well as the first Ariston RD11's were so alike (the main bearing and switch were different it seems but everything else..... Not for me to say more here)
I now look at the various samples of different ages I set up still with renewed affection - and this has amazed me frankly as five or ten years ago, I grew to despise the effin' thing. I could write pages and pages about it, but none of you really want to know, so I'll shut me noise...
Over rated, over hyped and over priced by a huge amount is why I hate them. I use a Thorens TD150 personally... one of the decks, along with the AR 77 and Ariston, that Linn basically copied! Ariston even took them to court!
I had one years ago. It had the red neon push button for power. It was no better than a well set up Thorens TD150 or 160 but kept going out of adjustment with regularity.... I had a Walker CJ55 after that! A deck you never hear about these days.
A Roksan Xerxes will piss on a Sondek!! Until the top sags anyway!