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BK Gemini - The smallest of the family

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by janFIN, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. janFIN

    janFIN
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    Who is janFIN?
    Before I start writing I feel the need to introduce myself to you:

    I am a music/movie enthusiast who lives in Helsinki, Finland. Hometheater has been my hobby for a few years now.
    Like everyone else I struggle to find the equipment worthy of playing my source material.
    Sometimes it gets so bad that I feel the equipment is more of a hobby than the material I reproduce with it.

    I'm almost happy with my current system and I feel that I can actually enjoy the music and movies without getting distracted by the quality of the equipment.

    Here are the main elements of my audio system:
    Amplifier: Cambridge Audio Azur 540R
    DVD player: BBK DV 971
    Main speakers: Tannoy Sensys DC1
    Rear speakers: Tannoy Fusion1
    Subwoofer: SVS PC-Ultra EQ:d with Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro DSP1124


    Onwards to the actual review...
    My time with the Gemini was limited and I had alot to do the weekend I tested it so I have to keep it short.

    How does it look like?
    The first impression was rather funny, how cute and small can a subwoofer be? ;)
    Don't be fooled, it has a very good finish and looks rather serious instead of funny, but it is VERY small!
    I took a few pictures to show the size related to a few things you might be familiar with:

    Gemini and Tannoy Fusion2
    [​IMG]
    Gemini and PC-Ultra
    [​IMG]
    Gemini in front of PC-Ultra
    [​IMG]

    The pictures don't do justice to the small size, but they do show the good finish.

    The pictures probably made you wonder about those displays on the amplifier.
    It has separate lowpass filters and gain controls for both low and high level inputs.
    The high level input has a lowpass adjustment range of 30-120hz and the low level input crossover is 30-120hz/LFE.
    The amplifier is rated at 150W and there are leds to tell you how much of that you are using. The power usage leds are between the crossover displays.

    Here is a picture of the 8" driver:
    [​IMG]


    I used my BFD and TrueRTA for calibration and the FR looked like this:
    [​IMG]
    Large version
    The yellow, violet and green curves is the subwoofer at different levels.
    The turquoise is with the main speakers and the orange one is background noise.
    My listening room has a huge gain at 20hz so the FR looks good.
    These measurements where done with only one -7dB filter at 55hz on the BFD and are not comparable to anything. I just wanted to show them because I like measurements... :D

    I also did some THD measurements in room at 50cm distance:
    20hz was too distorted to be measured.
    25hz 87dB 10%
    32hz 95dB 7,5%
    50hz 105dB 7,5%
    63hz 110dB 2,7%


    How does it sound?



    I listen to many different artists like Genesis, The Police, Pink Floyd, Madonna, Metallica, Limp Bizkit... and my girlfriend is a technomaniac, so I had to try out that too. :rolleyes:


    Genesis and The Police are easy on the subwoofer, but they tend to point out the subwoofer if it has difficulties to keep up. I got the feeling of larger mains while still keeping the bass tones transparent. It could play harder than my ears would take with this music.

    Pink Floyd has some very low notes. The first track on "Dark side of the moon" is good to test the extension of subwoofers. The thumps in the beginning go as low as 25hz with great intensity. At normal listening levels it sounded natural and even shook my room. Trying play it really loud made it sound muffled and like it was choking.

    Metallica and Limp Bizkit have a lot of bass guitar and drums involved.
    Still nothing to complain about at normal listening levels. Bass guitar tones are easily distinguished from each other. Even very fast drumbeats sound like separate beats.
    When trying to wake up the neighbors the sound became monotonous and loose.

    At around 50hz it has enough output to play almost any basic techno song at levels that make my head ache very fast. The beats sounded snappy, just like with my PC-Ultra.


    I also watched Monsters Inc (I just love that Boo... ;) ). The Gemini added some feeling to the movie, but most of the real room shaking effect were unnoticeable. Not much more to tell about that.


    Conclusion
    The thought of testing sub that's smaller than the XLS200 was wierd, but it didn't take long for me to understand what it's all about.
    It is obvious that the Gemini is made for the WAF market and for music lovers.
    It has enough power for it's purpose and tonal qualities very close to the Monolith.
    With music it had no problems playing even the lowest bass in music at normal listening levels (my RS SPL meter needle is around 75-85dB normally) in my room.

    This could be a good choice if you are going to use two subs in stereo.

    If you like ground shaking and room pressurizing bass you should add a lot of money and buy something larger.



    I will gladly answer to questions if I have the answers. :)
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Thanks janFIN, a very comprehensive outline of what looks to be a very interesting product. Not necessarily the best option for HC but I can see it being very successful in the 2-channel market. :)
     
  3. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    That back panel looks too nice to be, erm, at the back...PJ :)
     
  4. Recopla

    Recopla
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    Can you tell the exact size of this baby?
     
  5. janFIN

    janFIN
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    The wheight is 12,4kg.
    Dimensions are 324 x 280 x 292 mm

    EDIT:
    Corrected values to prevent misunderstandings.
     
  6. Recopla

    Recopla
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    Oops. I thought it was a bit smaller thank the XLS200. The dimensions of the XLS200 in BK webpage state: Dimensions: 390D X 295H x 295W
     
  7. fatrich

    fatrich
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    does any one know the date of release of these babies ?

    cheers

    richard
     
  8. janFIN

    janFIN
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    Hmm, I got the wrong measurements. :oops: I'll see if I find the right ones.
    It really is smaller than the XLS200, you can tell if you look at the picture with the 8" driver.

    And look at picture with Fusion2 and Gemini. The Fusion2 are 380H x 204W x 275D mm.
     
  9. MarekFIN

    MarekFIN
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    The wheight is 12,4kg.
    Dimensions are 324 x 280 x 292 mm (from the manual)

    This is from the manual.

    I think that they might be shipping now, but I am not sure.
     
  10. fatrich

    fatrich
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    should hopefully be shipping in about 2 weeks time, not sure to go for the Gemini or the xls200, it will be mainley used for home cinema rather than 2 channel.

    regards


    richard
     
  11. janFIN

    janFIN
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    Thank you for that.
    I stand corrected... :smashin:
     
  12. Julio V

    Julio V
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    It is really ashamed to ask but please let me know what does WAF market stand for? :rolleyes: Does it mean budget market?
     
  13. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    WAF = Wife Accepance Factor


    For those who may be offended don't read below :p (your wiped)
    When men feal they need to get womans permision to get something. Not suprisingly womans opinions of what looks good differ quite a bit from a man's although you don't get many men complaining about those hidous ornamonts that they insist on collecting (what plates you don't eat off and you stick them on the wall, horse shoes you put on the wall, little tiny ornaments orniments of silly crap, you belong in the mad house woman :p) Atleast the sub serves a purpose
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I hope that I don't offend anyone but whenever someone posts that their wife won't allow them to have a large subwoofer in the house I always wonder how dainty, ornate and decorative the wife is herself.
     
  15. Nimby

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    It is one's own attitude to your wife's/girlfriend's decorative objects, furniture and musical tastes which often dictates Her attitude to your AV ornamants and ability to "welly" your volume control on action films. . :lesson:

    Just for safety's sake we'd better mention SWMBO. :rolleyes:

    SWMBO= She Who Must Be Obeyed. This is a name given to his wife by an old Britiish TV character and this term is also is much used on the forums.

    If you want a free hand in selecting your own kit encourage your wife to share your enthusiasm and never critcise her choices. (unless her choice cuts too badly into the AV budget. Or blocks your view of your floorstanders) :devil:

    Remember that it is a "turf" war in most living rooms. You may win the odd battle. But She will always win the war. :D

    Nimby
     
  16. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Alas poor Ian. We knew him well. RIP. :devil:
     
  17. Gary_W

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    WAF can be used to your advantage when wanting to upgrade speakers.

    The fact that the old speakers were black ash and didn't 'go' made the hard sell on getting new speakers a lot easier as I played the 'they will match each other and the rest of the furniture' card.

    I came unstuck due to the fact that Acoustic Energy and SVS obviously used a totally different cherry tree (AE's version being a glacier cherry, SVS being morello :D ).

    Gary
     
  18. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Dam those elephants with painted nails :rotfl: .
     
  19. Julio V

    Julio V
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    I can't stand laughing about WAF :rotfl: Thanks you
     
  20. alek

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    Seems to have gone a bit OT, but I must point out that the BK XLS-200 df also has a very high WAF. I mated a pair of XLS with Epos M 5s (also a cute little thing) and was able to replace two floorstanders with five speakers and two subs without any kind of argument! The Epos "light cherry" is a bit darker than the BK "cherry", though :)

    Also a childproof (if there really is such a thing) system with down-firing subs and tough metal grilles on the M 5s, so this is an ideal "familyman setup" :)
     
  21. eviljohn2

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  22. alek

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    Thanks, Evil :) . They do indeed, and integrate very nicely. I think with the Epos' (Eposes? :rolleyes: ) the sub needs to be of the tight and controlled sort as the XLS in my opinion is (been listening to a lot of Weather Report lately and Pastorius sounds fantastic through this system). And if one can relatively freely set the mains distance from the back wall (affecting of course the upper bass response) this system's bass response can be tailored to suit almost any taste, methinks. But I think the "Gemini" could do just fine too with the M 5s (and definitely does WAF-wise :) ).

    At the moment (until I can afford five channels of amplification) I'm listening just a pair of those M 5s with the BKs (high level input) in stereo through an integrated amplifier I've had for the last fifteen years or so (I don't get upgraditis very often, Thank God!).

    Aleksi
     
  23. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    The BK Gemini page:
    http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/Gemini.htm

    frequently refers to it as the Gemini 1. I wonder how long it will be before we get to see the Gemini 2, 3, 4 and so on. A whole range of subs with these dual filtering networks would be great. :)
     

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