Product Type: Gemini turntables
Newest Review: ... 0% notch on the pitch control ( the slider clicks to 0% making it difficult to adjust the pitch around 0%) . The pitch control goes from ... more
Poor mans Technics ?
Member Name: nullpoint
Date: 21/08/00, updated on 12/12/00 (8684 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonably cheap , good build , nice finish , fast startup/stop
Disadvantages: Lacks quality tone arm , useless manual
I've got 2 of the original MK1 models which at the time were about £225 if you could be arsed to hunt around . Now you can pick up the mark 2's for under 200 each . So anyway - enough of the history - what do you get as far as features and what do they handle like head to head with other makes ?
As far as design I think most people have a pretty good idea of what they're going to get . Long known as 'the poor mans technics' Gemini are adding more features to try and break out of the mould . As far as design at least they're faithful to the layout of technics 1210s - which is going to be a plus to some people with the familiar layout .
You've got 33/45 rpm buttons , start/stop button , target light , an anti skating control and a connector for a goose-neck lamp . So that's pretty standard . On the MK-2 and MK-3 you get forward/back nudge buttons so you don't have to touch the vinyl while you're mixing . Also worth a mention is the quartz lock button which seems to be a feature not found on many turntables . While it seems a bit pointless ( it locks the speed of the turntable to either exactly 33 or 45 rpm ) it does get around the slight dead zone that you get on a technics deck around the 0% notch on the pitch control ( the slider clicks to 0% making it difficult to adjust the pitch around 0%) .
The pitch control goes from +10% to -10% which seems more common on decks at the moment .
As far as handling - startup and break of the platter is very speedy - at least rivaling 1210s . As far as the torque - it's reasonable , although it's possible to stop
the platter temporarily with a bit of heavy handedness . The PT1000 decks have the disadvantage that you can't make adjustments to the tonearm height and the arm seems the cheapest part of the deck . The anti skate dial is a small plastic dial - although I'm not a major scratch freak it doesn't seem to make too much difference to the handling or amount of skating at all .
If you're intending to scratch on these decks you'll probably find yourself a bit limited . There's a maximum of 5gs of weight from the counterweight so you might need a bit of blu-tac on the headshell . I think that a good setup to start with would make a good bit of difference to the handling .
Build wise I'd imagine that these decks would stand up to a fair bit of abuse . The plastic casing feels quite thick and they are weighty , solid feeling decks . They're not bad looking - a standard grey and black - although the slightly more upmarket PT-2000s are finished in silver , obviously providing an alternative to both technics flavours . The only thing that makes me slightly wary of these decks is a strange problem that one of mine has developed - sometimes when you hit start/stop to kill the platter it'll start spinning in the opposite direction when you start it again . It doesn't happen often at all so it's not a major gripe but it's just enough to make you question what's going on inside .
These decks are aimed pretty much at the middle range of the market and although they haven't received very good reviews in the past I think they're a fair bet . There are a lot of other decks in this category now and to be fair the PT-1000s dont look as good against them as they used to but they're still a decent product . Have a look at the Numark TT range for example .
What you have here is a solid turntable that probably isn't going to get you to scratch heaven but if you're more into straight
mixing you shouldn't have a problem at all . The only thing to bear in mind if you're thinking of shelling out for these is the difference in price between them and say a pair of 1210s . Although the comparing the two isn't necessarily fair the difference in prices between the two bundles in shops isn't that big .
I'd definatley reccomend PT-1000s to anyone who'se on a budget or isn't too sure that this might be their thing . In fact if you're just into straight beat mixing I'm sure you'd be very happy on these babies . You might want to weigh up buying other decks in this price range as the market has changed a bit now and bear in mind that most clubs will go for the standard +-8% pitch which might need a bit of adjustment to once you've been using these for a while . Still it's not a major problem .
The manual that came with the decks was pretty poor . Obviously you're not buying the decks for the manual but to someone who'se never set them up or had to mount a cartridge it seemed fairly daunting at the time . There's a basic section about adjusting weights but that's about it . I've not had any reason to contact gemini about problems so can't comment on what the after-sales was like .
In all , good looking decks and reasonable go for the price . Have a check around though as this area of the market is being flooded - might also want to check out the mk2 version although they are slightly more expensive .
As an added note I've now fitted mine with a pair of Ortofon concorde's , increased the counterweight to 4 grammes and I've got no complaints . Tracking is great , no skipping even with a bit of abuse - ( as a side note on cartridges I'd definatley reccomend the concordes for ultra clear sound , wicked bass and all round clarity ) . As I've said above if you're going to pick up a pair of these get yourself a decent set up and it&
#39;ll make that extra bit of difference . It's a shame that any deck will be compared to Technics 1210s because these are good decks in their own right - don't believe all the hype and try out a few of the lesser knowns before you decide on what to get .