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Roberts Gemini 10 review: Roberts Gemini 10

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If you move the radio to a new location and you notice the reception getting a bit choppy, the Gemini can retune all its stations if you press the 'Auto Tune' button. Unfortunately the Gemini doesn't store your favourite stations as presets.

With no preset option, Roberts may have taken the Gemini one retro step too far. On the other hand there's no room for confusion. The Gemini is simplicity itself. Roberts have eliminated the possibility of the Gemini 10s throwing a newcomer, and purged it of anything that is not essential to basic radio listening.

Features

Curiously, the Gemini's strength is its lack of features. It really does let you listen to the radio and little else. The only luxury on the Gemini is the 'Info' button which lets you read a little more about the song that's currently playing -- provided the station you're listening to broadcasts that information.

The only other feature worthy of note is the Gemini's LCD crisp 16 x 2 character display. This is backlit by a delicious amber-coloured glow and is perfectly in keeping with the overall style.

Performance

Switch the Gemini on, and aside from the instant warm-up, you're back in 1940. Jazz FM had no right to sound so good through the Gemini's Lilliputian 1W speaker, but it did. We listened to a double bass solo and the Roberts handled it easily, although the radio did distort when we increased the volume.

Roberts shouldn't have allowed the volume control to be turned up to a point where the Gemini's internal speaker starts making curious fuzzing noises instead of reproducing low-frequency transients. Unfortunately this situation is all too common even on new digital radios and integrated HiFis. We're not sure why manufacturers don't limit the volume of their amplifiers to a point below distortion.

Aside from this small annoyance, the Gemini sounds superb at medium volume and produces some of the vintage warmth its styling promises. The low end sounds rich and rounded without becoming muddy, and vocals come across distinctly -- the single speaker dutifully providing both treble and bass ranges.

This really is the perfect radio for listening to jazz music on. You expect a warm bass and a frisky treble from a jazz performance and the Gemini delivers. There is a certain old-school charm to the Gemini which makes it easy to forgive its fairly noticeable colouring of music. There definitely was a vintage edge to the sound the Gemini produced which is not ideal for modern pop music, but really shines with the spoken word and more dynamic music like jazz and classical.

The Gemini holds a radio signal extremely well -- we noticed no static during our auditions. Its batteries last around 20 hours.

Edited by: Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by: Tom Espiner

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