Spaceman Gemini III: NPD & Initial Impressions

jimbugg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,888
Wow. Just wow.

I was able to pick up a Gemini III on Reverb recently, which came in the mail earlier today. Since it's a pretty rare pedal, I thought I'd share some preliminary thoughts on it, and maybe revisit them once the honeymoon is over and I've had some time to play it in different contexts than just by myself.

First thoughts are that the Gemini is really, really an incredible fuzz. I already have a Sputnik and a Spacerocket, and one of the first things I've noticed about the GIII is just how "tame" it is in comparison. I put tame in quotes because the Gemini can still get plenty raunchy, especially with the gain switches dialed up, but it's not crazy in the same way as the Sputnik, with its Sync/Drift switch, or the Spacerocket, with its swishy, spitty intermodulation (which I LOVE, but that's another story). In my eyes, the Gemini is more of a Swiss Army Knife of fuzz tones than either of the other two, and especially more so than the Spacerocket.

The Gemini is full of cool features: the Ge/Si blend knob, the Gain switches on each circuit, and the Tone knob with it's sync switch. The blend knob allows you to blend between two independent fuzz circuits, one Germanium and one Silicon. That's incredibly cool! Not only can you choose between fully one or fully the other, but you can blend the two however you'd like to combine their individual tonalities in complementary ways - this yields some really awesome and versatile fuzz sounds. Each circuit has a 3-way Gain toggle switch to control the saturation of the fuzz - in lieu of an actual gain knob, I'm finding that the 3 toggle settings are well-tuned to provide a nice range between high- and low-gain tones from each side. Very pleased.

Finally, the tone control is a really neat feature as well. Straight up at noon provides full-frequency response from both fuzz engines, while turning the knob CW yields a mid-scoop and CCW a treble cut. While fully CW or CCW results in an extreme tone setting, the sweep of the knob is, like the gain toggles, really well-voiced to give the user a useful and versatile range of tones to play with. The really cool part of the Tone knob, however, is the sync switch located just to its left. This toggle allows the user to choose whether the Tone knob affects the Germanium fuzz engine in the same or opposite direction as it does for the Silicon side, allowing for some really complimentary fuzz tones when the Ge side fills in the Si side's mid-scoop, and vice-versa.

Of course, I can only make so many meaningful conclusions about the Gemini in my first 24 hours with it, but suffice to say I'm really impressed and incredibly pleased with it thus far. As I mentioned, the GIII's ability to be a little more subtle than it's Spaceman brothers makes it a fitting addition to my fuzz collection; furthermore, it's versatility in combining Ge and Si fuzz circuits in a really usable, musical and complimentary way makes it a definite go-to fuzz pedal for me. I think I'd definitely feel safe having this be my only fuzz in almost any context, and I can't wait to get to know it more and see what all it's capable of in the days and months to come.

Let me know what you think, and if you've also got a Gemini, please share your own thoughts or tips about the pedal!

And of course, what would an NPD post be without a photo?

 

Kris Criado

Member
Messages
156
Just got my Gemini III a couple of months ago and I could only say "wow" for days. Super useful fuzz and made me forget about the Sputnik that I sold to be able to afford one! Excellent fuzz and getting one at a reasonable price is downright impossible nowadays. I really hope Zak at Spaceman reissues these eventually. But then again, it won't be as special to own one? ;)
 

jimbugg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,888
Just got my Gemini III a couple of months ago and I could only say "wow" for days. Super useful fuzz and made me forget about the Sputnik that I sold to be able to afford one! Excellent fuzz and getting one at a reasonable price is downright impossible nowadays. I really hope Zak at Spaceman reissues these eventually. But then again, it won't be as special to own one? ;)
If it's anything like some of his other pedals, I'd assume that a shortage of the same vintage parts it takes is the biggest obstacle to re-issuing the Gemini III. However, perhaps there could be a continuation of the "dual fuzz generator" theme with a different set of transistors or more easily available parts...a Gemini IV, if you will. Now that would be cool!
 

lavinci

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,655
another Gemini III owner...I've had mine for over a year now. maybe two..?
I have SN: 14/90.
the thing is, It always sounds so good.
I live in the northeast and some of my best sounding fuzz pedals can compete with the Gemini III on a good day. However they are somewhat weather depended... at least to my ears. BUT the Gemini III always kicks butt, if its cold or hot...

Sounds great with single coils, humbuckers and the p90. It sounds even better with bass guitar. I've even put soft-synth plugins through the Gemini III. It never lets me down.

Recently... I've been looking on reverb and the prices have been going up and up for the Gemini ... despite what the pedal is fetching I still won't let mine go... It should be a good investment...

To open the pedal up and look inside is awe inspiring. the craftsman ship is superior to anything that I've owned or seen. And it is all hand built. I'd love to hear from Zak and learn more about his craftwork.

The Gemini III covers a lot of ground. You can make it sound like a Fuzz Face, Tonebender, Big Muff, and its own voicing as well... Its all in there... The pedal stacks well. You can put it anywhere on the pedal board and it still sounds the same. It has a great gain range... plenty of gas in the tank if you want to go nuclear with it and molester your tubes with it.

welcome to the Gemini III club @jimbugg
What a great sonic tool to have in your box...
 

Stratobuc

Member
Messages
15,922
Thanks for the reviews. I'd love to have one of those or a Trombetta someday. I'm making do with my Kirkland built MK III Skinbender and Fuzz Factory, Black Glass and Apocalypse for now. I'm very tempted to enter the boutique fuzz stream! :omg
 

Sociophile

"Ignore" Button Aficionado
Messages
2,009
Sounds great with single coils, humbuckers and the p90. It sounds even better with bass guitar. I've even put soft-synth plugins through the Gemini III. It never lets me down.
So true! I am shocked how good it sounds with bass. It complements my high-gain BMP-1 as a mid-gain fuzz perfectly. Was not expecting that.
 




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