Gemini CFX 30 CD Player

All right, all the DJs out there… vinyl or CD? But what if I scratch? Well, the question still applies because now you can do everything you could ever do with vinyl and even more with CDs.
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Fast FactsApplications: Live reinforcement, installation

Key Features: Compatible with all types of CDs; pitch control; antishock buffer memory; DSP effects

Price: $579

Contact: Gemini at 732-738-9003, www.geminidj.com.

Plus

+ Antishock buffer

+ DSP effects

+ Digital output

Minus

- Not MP3 compatible

The Score

Overall an amazing DJ CD player at a great price.

Review Setup

Urei 1620, Yamaha M2000 24-channel mixers; QSC amps; dbx DriveRack 480 processor; Teac CD 1400 CD player; Apple iPod; EAW KF 850, KF 300 speakers, SB850 subwoofer.All right, all the DJs out there… vinyl or CD? But what if I scratch? Well, the question still applies because now you can do everything you could ever do with vinyl and even more with CDs. Scratch, sample, loop, reverse, phase, filter and anything else you can think up. Welcome to the new era with Gemini and their series of totally flexible CD turntables, such as the CFX 30.

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Features

First of all, unlike older CD players, the CFX 30 will play CD, CD-R and CD-RWs. This makes it extremely versatile since you can burn your CDs and mixes at home and be able to play them back at your gig. As with other players of this sort, the CFX 30 features a well-executed antishock mechanism, using buffered RAM memory. There are eight DSP-based effects including: filter, zoom, echo, panning, reverse, transform, brake and scratch. The effect parameters are variable from dry to wet along with start and brake rotary controls. Gemini has incorporated five on the fly cues and four sampler memory buttons.

The vinyl/CD jog mode function works just like an old turntable so you can access cue points in tracks. Once you have reached the cue point you desire the master cue has an instant "hot start" feature. The cueing of any track is frame accurate through search and cue recall functions. The seamless looping and relooping/stutter function is applicable for on the fly editing. For time or beat matching you have a BPM (beats per minute) clock and a variable pitch control with ranges of 4%, 8%, 16%, and a full 100%. If you just want to get a little funky, there is a pitch bend controlled by either the jog wheel or separate buttons.

All controls and buttons are well-lit with bright LEDs. The LCD display is also backlit with a large blue light that has its' own dimmer control. On the display is the time function that has three very functional modes: total time, track time and track time remaining. The outputs of the CFX 30 are dual RCA (analog) and a single coaxial digital output sampled at the same rate of the disc that is playing; 44.1 kHz/16-bit standard.

In Use

I had the opportunity to play/use the CFX 30 on several DJ gigs. The first thing that impressed me was the durability. The antishock was excellent. I picked the CFX 30 up, with a disc playing, and literally shook it furiously. It never skipped. In a rocking disco with a high dB level and the subwoofers shaking your spleen loose, it's good to know that at least the CD player will take the abuse… even if your body does not. The DJs that were using the CFX 30 were not the "scratch" type DJs.

Even with that, the players' total functionality was still impressive. Many remarked at the ease of time and beat matching and found the effect functions to be superb, even if it was a little over the top for what they were doing. The hot start cueing and looping was a stellar hit with everyone the touched the unit.

As for myself, I'm about as "hip" as Eddie Murphy in a country bar. Even with that said, I do know a quality piece of gear when I use one. The well lit, easy to read buttons and screen are excellent bonuses considering most uses are in a dark club. The ease of all the looping and sampler functions provides an easy and intuitive unit that even non-DJs, like me, can use. The only downfall to the CFX 30 was that it is not MP3-compatible. In this day and age with more and more music ending up in the downloadable MP3+ format it was disappointing to not be able to use those CDs. Long story short, if the DJs are happy then I'm happy; and everyone was quite happy.

Summary

The absolute power of the CFX 30 makes it a well-worth piece for any style DJ. Vinyl turntables can go to the recycle bin and a new era can now emerge with fully functional CD style turntables. If you are looking for a new way to "mix it up" play around with some of the new CD turntables Gemini has out. If think you will be as amazed as I am.