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This was one of the first record decks that I got (for home mixing purposes.) I have dabbled with Gemini products before and enjoyed using their CD decks. This turntable is an option for people who like to listen to vinyl at home or for those who like to deejay. If you want to deejay, then you will need another deck or another source to mix out of of course.
The deck cost about £150 if I recall and is quite a big fellow. Due to the size of the thing, you will need to find space on a table or a rack to store it. The design remains sleek though with a stylish black and grey colour code to it and no obtrusive flashy colours.
The central point if the spinning deck which allows you play either large vinyl or small vinyl singles. The arm of the player is sturdy and the cartridge it comes with allows for precise pinpointing of a certain point in the track. It is quite delicate on the tip of the needle though, so you need to be careful when knocking the arm about. It is wise to move it back to the upright position after use and use the lock in system to keep it secured in place.
The main feature on this deck is the pitch control, allowing for a six percent variation. Not as good as a twelve percent, but it will allow you to master the basics of mixing with this facility and is ideal for first timers. With an illuminating system, you can use this deck in almost darkness and still see what you are doing, which is great for the night owl. Setting it up is also easy as it comes with a cable, which plugs into the mains.
On the downside, there are now much more advanced decks with better pitch variation, better slipmats and needles, but Gemini do make solid products and when I had mine it lasted me ages and also delivered decent sound quality for vinyl. Lightweight enough to carry and easy to unplug, this is a pretty fair buy.
I bought the Spinmaster DJ package from Gemini. It cost me $225 US. It came a mixer, two Gemini XL-100 turntables, and all the necessary cables. If you are a beginning DJ and do not know if you want to pursue it in the future, these tables are the way to go. When you want better tables you can probably get about $30-$40 a piece for them. The pitch controls look a little odd, but they work fine. Someone wrote a review saying that the pitch controls only go to whole numbers, but they are more variable (i.e. 2.1%, 2.2%). They only go from -6 to +6% though, which can make it impossible to mix certain records together. After spinning for 3 months on these tables I can beatmatch pretty well. But, I find that when I DJ on technics tables, and especially lower end direct drive, its harder to get the beat just right. It seems that when you push the record with your hand a little to speed it up to the beat it won't slow back down fast enough and throws my judgment off. All those people that say how shitty these tables are have probably never actually used them for more than a couple minutes. And every DJ that ends up getting really good buys technics or vestax and then the extra money spent on those lower end direct drive models wasted. One last thing is about scratching. If you are going to scratch at all then don't get these. The needle skips all over the place. The needle loves to skip without the counterweight in its heaviest position. And make sure to keep the antiskating at 0.
This is, without doubt, THE worst deck on the market today. I've never had the displeasure of owning one, but I have had the displeasure of using one at the home of a friend who has recently taken up DJing. Said friend is now wishing that he listened when I said I didn't think the XL-100 would be much good. It is very, very cheap, and I think that's what attracts people to it, but you shouldn't go and buy these just because you have very little money and want to start DJing. You will have wasted your money. Better value for money would be obtained by burning the £150 you would pay for a pair of these just to provide a few minutes heating. They really are that bad, you would be better off trying to DJ with a pair of 1930's gramophone's than you would be with these. The semi-automatic, belt driven platter is the thinnest that I have ever seen, and so it is very prone to vibration. Sneeze within the vicinity of the XL-100 and you will have problems. Hell, you'll have problems if you breathe near it. The motor has virtually no power. It will grind to a shuddering halt at the slightest hint of any pressure being supplied, and when you wind a record backwards, the platter will get wound with it. The start/stop time is laughable, or it would be if you weren't crying while you were witnessing it. You can try to throw the record to get it up to speed, but the trouble is that the motor is so weak you end up throwing the platter too, and it takes ages to come back down to the right speed. The tonearm looks like it has been stolen off of a very cheap turntable like you used to get on top of low-end cheap stereos, you know, the type designed to play 7" singles on, before the advent of CD, and it is badly affected by background noise and vibration. The counterweight is also woefully inadequate. It does not provide nearly enough weight to keep the stylus in the gro
ove during any sort of exertion at all. If you work the record, the stylus will skip basically. This poor excuse for a deck doesn't even have a proper pitch control. What you've got instead is this weird "speed adjuster" and there are different ones for both the 45rpm and 33rpm settings. This replaces the traditional pitch control slider, which is pretty much a requirement for a DJ deck. The trouble with these speed controls, is that they aren't progressive like a slider. What I mean is, you can't set the pitch to say, 2.5%, it is either 2 or it is 3. I just really cannot emphasise how bad this thing is. It's not really up to use as a DJ deck at all. Gemini and various retailers advertise it for DJ use, but it's really not up to the job. It falls a long way short of being any good, and really has no redeeming features at all. The price will be tempting if you are on a tight budget, but really, steer well clear, unless you have a real desire to waste £150. If you really want to waste that sort of money, send it to me! I'd be glad of it! :) Maybe if you've got some old Status Quo LP's or something and you just want to sit in a big armchair and listen to them, then these might just about do. (I still think you'd get better sound quality with those gramophones though!) But for DJing, they are no good at all.
Adjustable pitch control, Strobe illuminator, Anti-skate adjustment S-shaped tonearm, 45 R.P.M. adapter, Headshell & cartridge included.