|A good value scratch deck for the beginner and up
If you’ve been after an affordable straight tonearm turntable in the past year or two then, prior to the arrival of the Gemini TT-02, your choices in the sub-£150 bracket have been pretty much restricted to the Stanton STR8-30. This new deck, however, is the most affordable direct drive in a whole new series of straight tonearm turntables from Gemini.
These aren’t the first straight-arm turntables the company has produced, with previous models including the SA-600 and the SV-2200, with vertical layout. It is the first time, however, that they’ve put together a series of such decks, and perhaps more importantly it’s also the first time they have brought this type of turntable to the budget end of the market.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that you can buy a pair of these for less than the price of one high-end straight tonearm deck. Bearing that in mind, the overall performance of the TT-02’s is impressive.
Whether you’re looking at this turntable as a first-time buy or whether you’re on the hunt for an affordable no-frills scratch deck, then the main thing you’ll want to know about here is the tonearm performance.
Now, considering the 02’s market position and taking into account its general lightweight feel, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d have to overload the counterweight to even get close to a skip-free scratch, but this really isn’t the case and at the recommended levels of counterweight pressure only the most vigorous scratching would jump the needle.
The start-up time of the 02 isn’t particularly quick, but there’s no sluggishness when you let go of a scratch. The only worry is that the motor makes a hefty clunk each time it’s turned on and off, but this doesn’t really impair its DJ use.
For beat-mixing the TT-02 performs adequately, although the pitch adjustment fader is a bit loose for comfort. It does its job, but would benefit from being tighter, plus a more detailed scale for the fader would further improve things, allowing more accurate judgement of any adjustments.
The TT-02 doesn’t have pitch bend buttons, although fine tuning a mix is manageable manually. The platter’s edge is good for applying differing levels of pressure when slowing a track down, but speeding tracks up is a more risky affair, as too much action on the spindle and record label can wildly affect the pitch, to the point where you might need to re-cue. It is do-able though – you just need to learn to go easy in that department!
Overall, though, the TT-02 is a decent deck for the price. It’s simple in specification and layout, so won’t suit the super-league scratcher, but is therefore ideal for the beginner as well as the budget-conscious turntablist and, considering you also get a cartridge thrown in for good measure, certainly represents good value for money.
|Direct drive motor
+/-10% pitch adjustment
|33 and 45 rpm
Replaceable target light
Price: £132.00 RRP inc VAT
Tel: 0870 870 0880
This review is courtesy of i-dj.co.uk