A recently-revived Technics classic gets an after-market upgrade, courtesy of UK designer Dave Cawley, whose outfit Timestep has made a name for itself hot-rodding iconic Technics turntables.
The latest subject of enhancement is the new SL-1200 GAE turntable, which was launched earlier this year – the modded unit is designated the Timestep EVOke (the earlier EVO used the classic SL-1200 as its platform).
Note that the mods are approved by Technics, which invited Timestep to soup up the SL-1200’s latest iteration.
Cawley calls the Timestep-Technics EVOke a “tour de force, its technical measurements almost equal those of the iconic Technics SP-10 MK-III deck.”
So what was done?
“The standard Technics SL-1200 GAE, while superb, cuts costs in two areas: the tonearm and the power supply.
“The arm is derived from the SL-1200 MK-IV and while it’s better than some, it’s not what I’d call an audiophile arm,” says Cawley.
The EVOke gets an SME IV which, he says, “with its tapered magnesium armtube and silver finish is a match made in heaven.”
The EVOke also replaces the SL-1200 GAE’s internal switch mode power supply with an external linear PSU designed by Timestep.
“While the SL-1200 GAE’s power supply is very quiet, a number of reviews have mentioned a ‘haze’, which our modified supply removes,” Cawley reveals.
The Timestep power supply’s cable exits the SL-1200 GAE via a custom-made adapter plate. The gold-plated power connector is made by Furutech while the PSU connectors are both gold-plated Neutrik.
An Audio-Technica AT-33PTG/II moving coil cartridge with gold-plated solid boron cantilever rounds up the system.
The standard SL-1200 GAE costs £2,700 – for the EVOke, add £1,860 for the SME IV, £90 for the tonearm mounting plate (which accommodates any nine-inch SME arm), £495 for the Timestep PSU, £419 for the Audio-Technica cartridge and £200 fitting cost… that makes it £5,764 for the whole package.