The Gemini CDT-05 is a hybrid professional turntable that features a CD player and an analog turntable all in one unit!
Review By: DJ BLAZE (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gemini is the first company to produce and distribute a true Hybrid Turntable which is an elite combination of CD Emulation as well as classic vinyl playback. The kicker is that the CDT-05 can do both simultaneously! Straight out of the Box, the Gemini CDT-05 delivers in a big way. The entire unit really stands out as a high quality piece which is contrary to many people’s beliefs of Gemini as a whole. The shiny-silver-heavyweight platter and straight chrome tone-arm really makes the unit look sexy as well as functional. At first glance, the face of the turntable may look like a lot of buttons and confusion, but in reality it isn’t that complicated at all. Unfortunately, the location of the CD drive is right on the front of the unit, so battle position is out of the question if you plan on changing CD’s constantly (but if you are playing vinyl, battle position is still a go!). The Gemini CDT-05 boasts a pretty powerful 3.6kg motor which is more than enough to handle the abuse of the scratch junkies out there, and still light enough to appease the mixing DJs.
As mentioned earlier, the Mix Mode is one of the hottest functions on this deck, which allows you to play vinyl and CD at the same time from one deck! The Mix Mode of the Gemini CDT-05 operates by using a separate Phono output and a separate Line output. With two outputs, you can put the CD Line output on channel one, while you plug the Phono output into channel two and spin your set on one single deck!
On the vinyl side of the Gemini CDT-05, the tone-arm is very similar to Gemini’s moderately successful TT series Turntables minus the anti-skate adjustment option. The height of the tone-arm is adjusted by these tabs found under the tone-arm. I was really worried about this product when I first heard about it because I didn’t know whether or not you would be able to switch between CD (vinyl emulation) and analog vinyl super quickly. But on this unit, the CD controller stays on the platter the whole entire time. All you have to do is put the poly-type slip mat (included) over the CD vinyl controller and put your desired playing material on top! Very simple indeed! You can rest assured that a couple of my scratching buddies came over and we put this thing through the paces! We setup a few mini battles where all of us agreed that the Gemini CDT-05 can definitely hold its own amongst the other top turntables on the market. We even got to the point where we were deliberately trying to make the thing skip by being very heavy-handed and it was still difficult to pull off, even with some Stanton AL-500 needles on there! The Gemini CDT-05 simply doesn’t skip. The secret is undoubtedly in the straight tone-arm and strong motor.
The CD-Deck of the Gemini CDT-05 can identify audio CD, CDR, CDRW, and MP3 CDs. You control the CD with a blank vinyl with a Blank white label on it (You can also use your own vinyl as the template for drilling the appropriate holes is included). The design of the whole CD/Vinyl emulation mechanism is pretty much exactly the same as the Numark CDX/HDX players. You can change CD tracks using the small rotary Track Skip knob or by using the rubber search forward or backwards buttons (when these buttons are held for more than two seconds they act as a track search). The unit also came with an original Gemini LOGO cloth slip-mat which I used for this review. This thing is right on the money with its true to vinyl feel, I guess that’s because the unit actually really does play vinyl! Well, this motor is truly a beast and it can take everything I have been throwing everything at it from tears to chirps and many other platter demanding scratches. This thing doesn’t skip a beat just as vinyl playback exhibited…
Both the vinyl function and CD-Deck use the same play/pause button which has a high quality feel. In Mix Mode, motor on/off button controls the vinyl platter while the play/pause button controls the CD. In CD or Vinyl Mode, the platter can be set to reverse by using the reverse knob found on the unit. In Mix Mode the reverse toggle only corresponds to vinyl playback (instant reverse button works in CD mode only).
In the upper left hand corner of the Gemini CDT-05 sits the LCD screen which is nicely backlit and displays Track Information (time, track number, etc…) BPM, and a separate Pitch percentage for the playing CD and for vinyl playback. I found this screen very easy to read and also very useful when playing in low light conditions.
The pitch control area of the Gemini CDT-05 comes in iterations of 4, 8, 16 and 50% adjustments. It also comes with the (+/-) pitch bend buttons for fine-tuning your mix speeds. Both the CD and Vinyl operations use the same pitch control functions. In Mix Mode the pitch bend buttons will control the pitch of the CD deck, while the pitch slider controls the pitch of the vinyl platter. There is also a key lock button right above the pitch percentage buttons which works awesome for chop and screw mixes! The unit also has options for 33, 45 and 78rpm.
In the upper left hand corner of the unit, the Gemini CDT-05 comes with a CD only looping function. You simply press the A button to begin the start of the loop, and press the B button to signal the end of the loop and that’s it! It will be in an automatic loop. The unit also gives you the option to edit these loop points using the platter CD emulation control.
To the far left of the platter, the CDT-05 has three memory/cue buttons. These buttons allow you to pre-define hot start points on your CD where you want the action to begin. To set a hot-start point, simply press the memory button and press one of the cue buttons exactly where you want that particular cue to begin. Unlike the Technics SL-DZ1200 unit, when you remove the CD, the set cue points will be gone forever.
The Gemini CDT-05 also comes with three effects which only work when used in CD Mode which are: Echo, Filter, and Flanger. I have never been much of an effects DJ, so I didn’t fully unlock the potential of these features at the time of this review. However, this is a great addition to any top-notch CD deck.
In Conclusion, Gemini Delivered BIG-TIME on this unit. Big shout outs to my people at Gemini for giving us a BRAND new factory fresh unit to test (as always) and for allowing us to skip all of the politics to bring us this highly anticipated and unique piece. There isn’t much to say bad about this unit at all. The build quality is excellent, the CD playback and scratching functions were right on the money. The analog player is also as good as it gets with the anti-skip straight tone-arm and the steady platter. The only thing that I wasn’t able to find out about this unit was how it held up in the field for mobile DJ’s or how long the unit would last before needing repairs. So I took this into account as I wrote this review and determined that the only reason this unit didn’t get a perfect 10 out of 10 is because the technology isn’t proven to last just yet, and we still aren’t 100% sure about the reliability and long-term functionality. All in all, this unit is a BEAST and is a SERIOUS contender in the CD-Deck, Analog Deck, and Hybrid Deck markets. I can honestly recommend this product to anyone who has enough money to pay for a pair. You have the flexibility to play vinyl and use CD’s at the same time. So if you are that DJ who is considering leaving vinyl behind for CD, then this unit makes it so you don’t have to! You can use both, together in harmony. True Innovation…