One of the tried and tested makes of deck, Gemini was the first brand of deck that I was introduced to many moons ago. I have gone on to use the decks for club work and also home bedroom mixing. Gemini have a vast range of decks to cater for different tastes and this particular model is one of the older ones, meaning that you should be able to pick it up for somewhere around eighty to one hundred pounds. Just keep in mind that to mix you will need two!
Belt driven, as opposed to direct drive, meaning it runs from a belt. This usually means that the deck is cheaper in price as the technology used to power it is not as efficient. I have heard many people say that belt driven decks are not as good and that you cannot mix on them. This is not entirely true. You can mix, but you need to have your wits about you and you might need to keep tweaking the vinyl to keep it running smoothly. I used this one some time ago and recall it being a very hands on approach, so you do need to keep the vinyl in check as you work it.
The design work is impressive though with a chic silver and black colour scheme offering something for the sophisticated and arty type and the layout of the buttons on the deck is pleasing with easy access to key features. The key features are the dust guard which will keep the needle free from dust and also keep the slipmats clean and speck free and we also have the basic pitch control. It should be noted that the six percent variation here is not as high as one would hope for from a newer model. I would be commanding eight to ten percent at least to give you that extra creativity while mixing. The six percent is alright for starters but could soon prove restrictive.
East to transport thanks to a lightweight design and run from the mains, this is a stylish piece, though it is let down by very basic features and has been superseded by many better models which are of a similar price these days.
I made the mistake many beginners do - buy belt driven decks.
When belt driven decks operate, they do not keep the record at a constant speed. this makes beetmatching/mixing almost impssoble.
These decks are often flogged by the manufacturers in kits such as Numark DJ in a box or gemini mixmaster. These should really be avoided because they either contain belt driven or extremely poor standard direct drives.
My first set of decks was actually the XL-120s and a PMX-20 mixer - the simplest set up ever (I think these are discontinued now but there are still some flying around on the web). Since I was 13 at the time, I found the whole concept of having turntables cool so I wasnt particularly bothered - and didnt have anything else to compare it to. However after a couple of months, and a go of other turntables - i realised that I needed some new decks. The whole construction is cheaply made and low quality. The pitch control is horizontal, and there is a different one for each RPM. The tone arm is plasticy, and the sound quality is awful.
Next, I moved on to the gemini XL-300s - just because they were direct drive. At the time I paid 300 pounds for two decks and a mixer. For an extra hundred I could have got myself a nice pair of PTs. The 300s were barely better except for an obvious increase in torque, but still the platter would stop even with the lightest of touches.
The next decks i got of eBay - yes shame on me... Although I loved them! they were the Gemini PT-1000 MK2s and a great citronic mixer, these are what I should have bought in the first place. since I have bought these i can notice the change in the rate of progress, they are just so much more fun to use. Now I am just saving up for my Technics 1210s!
We're all going to buy Technics one day, so buying other decks is just wasting money along the way.