Devon-based Timestep has earned quite a reputation for its intelligent modifications of various iconic Technics turntables – not to mention winning a bunch of awards. Now, designer Dave Cawley turns his attention to a more affordable deck – the new Technics SL-1210 GR – to create the enhanced Timestep EVO GR.
The Technics SL-1200 has long been a legendary turntable and first choice for generations of vinyl fans. Earlier this year, the brand unveiled the new ‘standard’ SL-1200 GR, incorporating many of the technological highlights of last year’s ‘reference’ SL-1200 G, but at around half the cost. This was soon followed by the SL-1210 GR, a black version of the new GR deck and the first new SL-1210 turntable for a decade.
Having already created award-winning revisions of several earlier incarnations of the SL-1200, Timestep’s Dave Cawley couldn’t resist the challenge to dive in and get his hands dirty. The excellent new Timestep EVO GR is the result.
Like Timestep’s critically acclaimed EVO and EVOke turntables, the new EVO GR takes a Technics deck, makes a number of canny revisions then adds an excellent quality tonearm to deliver a superbly engineered ‘turnkey’ turntable package whose upgraded technical measurements make for highly impressive reading.
But why keep modifying these much-loved decks at all? “The standard Technics SL-1210 GR, while excellent, cuts costs in two areas: the tonearm and the power supply,” says Cawley. “The arm is derived from the original SL-1200 and it’s not what I’d call an audiophile arm.”
The EVO GR therefore replaces the tonearm with a Michell TecnoArm which, Cawley explains, “with its low resonance drilled armtube and under-slung counterweight, is just right – and to top it off, it’s black too!”. As to the cartridge, which is an optional extra, Cawley typically fits a Denon DL-110 high output moving coil cartridge which he says “works superbly well with a moving magnet phonostage, making it easy to connect to most amplifiers or AV receivers.” That said, he is equally happy to fit any desired moving magnet or moving coil cartridge, or indeed to leave the buyer to add their own.
Power supply-wise, the EVO GR replaces the SL-1210 GR’s internal switch mode with an external linear PSU designed by Timestep. “While the Technics’ power supply is very quiet,” says Cawley, “we noticed a ‘haze’, which our modified supply removes.” Constructed with the utmost attention to detail, the Timestep power supply’s cable exits the SL-1210 GR via a custom-made adapter plate. The PSU connectors are both gold-plated Neutrik.
The new SL-1210 GR is another master stroke by Technics and now, in its Timestep EVO GR form, it delivers an even more stunning performance at the most affordable price yet.
Should a buyer prefer the SL-1200 GR model (in silver rather than black), Cawley is happy to customise and supply this as an EVO GR edition with a matching silver Michell TecnoArm.