Why spend £2700 on the Technics SL-1200GAE turntable when you can spend double that on an upgraded version aimed at audiophiles? Enter the Timestep EVOke...

The new Technics SL-1200 turntables have caused quite the stir since they were unveiled at the start of the year.

From the initial high price tag (now confirmed as £2799 in the UK) to the special edition model selling out in Japan in just 30 minutes, it's clear our collective appetite for Technics '1200 decks hasn't abated over the years.

Which is no doubt where this modified and upgraded model from Timestep comes into play. Not content with what Technics has to offer, this modification, called the Timestep EVOke, aims to further improve the sound quality on the Technics SL-1200GAE.

There are two new Technics decks for 2016, the standard SL-1200G and the limited edition SL-1200GAE - and it's the limited edition model with which Timestep, a company based in Devon, England, is concerned.

More after the break

The main upgrades come to the tonearm and the power supply. Designer Dave Cawley is the man behind the upgrades and explains his thoughts as follows: "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.” 

MORE: Technics hints at new, cheaper turntable

The EVOke version instead features a tonearm from SME Audio, an English company that has been making specialist tonearms for more than 50 years. Cawley claims the SME IV tonearm used here "is a match made in heaven” for the Technics deck. Alongside the new tonearm come another modification, the Audio Technica AT-33PTG/II MC cartridge.

Elsewhere the modified EVOke deck also features an external power supply designed by Timestep. Upgrading the power supply is fairly standard upgrade path for higher-end hi-fi components, and the addition of an external power supply here claims to remove a 'haze' from the Technics' audio performance.

The best Technics deck ever made? Timestep would probably say so. Not least as Technics has already told What Hi-Fi? it believes the SL-1200GAE is a huge upgrade on previous '1200 models. For twice the price, the EVOke certainly needs to be pretty impressive...

The Timestep EVOke is available now. It costs £5,764 for the full package or you can buy the upgraded components separately. Find out more on the Timestep website.

As for the new Technics decks, we're still waiting for the UK release...

MORE: Best turntables 2016


Botswana Jones's picture

Re: Global Economic Meltdown!


Remember to keep buying things citizens. Don't worry about the Brexit, it's important to be a good consumer and spend all of your paycheck if you still have a job. We've got to keep this global economy from melting down! The mega corporations of the world thank you for your cooperation. 

spiny norman's picture


I'm not sure Timestep is a mega corproration. But it does seem a bit bizarre to buy what is apparently a sought-after Limited Edition, and then have it modded. Won't it be worth more to the Technics fans of the future unmolested?

NSA_watch_my_toilet's picture


How this guy try to use the inexperience of the public. Some fans of the 1'200 will probably go for this extreme. But you will have a real "stellar level" turntable for 5'000£. Ask in this forum what you could get for this price and forget this article.

Plattenfan's picture


My first turntable was a Music Hall mmf 2.2. Now I think I'm going to buy a Technics. Not this one, because it costs to much, but an other one

Amclaussen's picture

Too much noise!

When the ORIGINAL Technics turntables were fabricated, people quickly found their best use was for Disco's: "DJs" playing all kind of mechanical manipulations in order to stop the record, move it rapidly forward and backwards to play effects, period!

Any pretention of its use by a serious and knowledgeable audiophile was entirely risible, as the Direct Drive geometry makes any turntable prone to acoustic feedback!

The original arm was stoopidly designed too, as it was curved, which increases mass and reduces rigidity. Only Dual brand turntables used sensible straight arms back in those days (the 70's)... Almost all the Japanese MID-FI companies (like Panasonic), preferred curved arms for looks and easy of manufacture, only the very best (and expensive) ones, like Grace, produced correct designs: straight ones. But not Panasonic.

Thus, the assumption that the SL-1200 is a quality, audiophile oriented product is absurd. Only young, unexperienced persons that ignore the true origins of this design believe it is an audiophile product... nonsense!  A much more correct design is the old but elegant sub-chassis/belt driven design developed from the very first Acoustic-Research turntable, improved by Thorens, Linn and several others. Any thinner, slimmer design will suffer from a too short platter shaft and insufficient lenght of its main bearing.  This allows the platter to move in a "teeter-totter" mode, which produces more low frequency noise ("Rumble").  That is THE reason why the direct-drive, electronic motor design is not a true "Hi-Fi" design. Additionally, the rigidly mounted motor-platter-base assembly is incapable of sufficient mechanical decoupling, so that any footstep or mechanical vibration will be direcly coupled to the cartridge, muddiying the sound(unless, of course, you build an entire building floated on springs, so that no vibrations reach the room, which in a city are unavoidable). The properly decoupled Belt-Drive turntablesub-chassis won't.

The only thing that a Belt-drive, subchassis turntable DO NOT do well, is the Disc-Jockey witchcraft!  Evidently, the writter of this highly promotional "article" does NOT know ANYTHING about proper turntable design at all. Recommend the editor of this publication to hire a knowledgeable writter, engineer or not, there are plenty of turntable connoiseurs that would NEVER consider a desigh like this one as an "Audiophile" level product, even when the modifications are in the correct direction, as the SME arm is of flawless design, but then, Why WASTE such an elegant straight, tapered and exquisitely crafted arm in such an innapropriate turntable??? Amclausssen.

swc461's picture

Fantastic Audio turntable,

Fantastic Audio turntable, not sure about this upgrade though, would prefer to keep the original arm, it would appear that the worlds best has been made even better, no wonder it has sold out so quickly!

Julian Stevens's picture

Technics SL-1200 GAE

Personally, I'd look first to a British classic such as a Michell Gyrodec for a lot less money.