The Chase for a Gemini III has sort of been my White Whale really - as I’ve been on the case for several years now - but the going prices of the 2011 originals were just stratospherically ridiculous - in fact there are a couple on Ebay right now - ’Used!’ For $1,800 and $1,975 respectively! I feel those prices are going to come down somewhat significantly now though as the new version - albeit in a larger medium-vertical enclosure - has a notably superior feature set. Whenever I personally came across Gemini III’s for sale on Reverb.com they were always around the £1,000 equivalent mark - and all of those were based in the USA - which just did not make sense in the slightest - let alone with delivery fees and customs charges added!
The Original Gemini III was priced from new at $349 to $389 with the Black Edition and Copper Edition at either end of the scale. It featured Master Volume, Filter and Ge|Si Blend Controls - alongside reverse filter sweep toggle, and 2 x 3-way gain-level toggles for each of the Germanium and Silicon Fuzz Circuits onboard. The key Ge|Si Blend dial allowed you to blend the two circuits in parallel any way you wanted to.
The newer Gemini IV is sort of similarly priced from $299 to $449 (again with Black and Copper versions at either end of the scale) - it gives you separate Gain and Filter Knobs per Silicon and Germanium Circuit, you have the same blend control - here the other way around = Si|Ge - you then have a small Level dial and a 2-way Phase toggle-switch which gives you even more extreme textures if activated when you blend the two circuits together. Spaceman Zak has really excelled himself here in producing something so superior to the original in almost every regard - the new features are well worth the slight jump in size.
I actually had a rather similar journey with the Mercury III Harmonic Boost - where I really wanted the original more compact version - but realised eventually that the newer Mercury IV had a somewhat enhanced feature set for more versatility than the original unit (in fact the only Spaceman Effect to have a permanent residency in my pedal-chain). When I was starting down the road of Spaceman Effects I drew up a list of my favourites under the title '9 of the Best Spaceman Effects Pedals' (per above image). With the Gemini IV added, my own tally is currently at 8 - but not really as originally conceived. My collection in order of acquisition consists of a Sputnik I Fuzz (Red Cyrillic), Aphelion Harmonic Overdrive, Titan II Fuzz, Spacerocket Intermodulation Fuzz, Mercury IV Harmonic Boost, Nebula Fuzz/Octave Blender, Polaris Resonant Overdrive, and now the Gemini IV Dual Fuzz Generator near enough all Black variants with the exception of the Sputnik - I love all and play all, even though they are not necessarily in constant use (bar the Mercury IV) - I have so many pedals overall that I need to keep rotating them to give each and every one a fair shake as such.
As mentioned before I have a certain love/hate relationship with Zak Martin and Spaceman Effects - in that I love the pedals generally and even the mystery of each launch. While I'm wracked with anxiety every time a new launch comes around! Of the existing bunch, the only one I am kind of sort of actively chasing up now is the Wow Signal Alien Fuzz Communicator - I obviously like the Boost/Fuzz/Drive pedals from the range. I also have something of a soft spot for the Explorer Deluxe 6 Stage Optical Phaser - while as it doesn't have a tap-tempo footswitch, it will always be a nice-to-have rather than an essential for my rig.
I will likely do another 9 Best Spaceman Effects Pedals feature when I complete my own collection of 9 or more. I guess the Gemini IV incident has encouraged my to exercise patience and just wait for the next new and improved version to come out of Zak's imaginarium! Every one of my Spaceman Effects pedals has been worth the chase so far - and this remains one of my favourite pedal brands - the combination of aesthetics, tone and innovation rarely fails to impress - although not every single effect produced is necessarily for me - or useful within my own particular rig!
There aren't a lot of demos out yet - those will come - but anyone who is familiar with the Gemini III will immediately know if this takes their fancy. Spaceman sometimes gets criticised for being somewhat elitist and pricey - yet more often than not the innovations and attention to detail on display warrants such outlay.
Even before I have received this pedal I have no hesitation in recommending it to others - I have long hunted similar parallel blending Germanium/Silicon full transistor circuits - but have only found switchable versions to date - nothing close or equivalent to the Gemini fuzz types. At one stage - per the above visual - I was encouraging Joel Korte of Chase Bliss Audio to use his Brothers framework to make a similar type of pedal. So I am utterly delighted that the Gemini IV is a reality.
It sounds rich and dynamic - with a huge variety of tones onboard - there really is nothing quite like it - so what are you all waiting for !
There were only a couple of demo videos at launch - as below - I will add more when they materialise: