The Gemini is assembled around a carbon-fiber beam that, according to Gander, eliminates the need for a trussrod while making the body-to-neck and neck-to-headstock areas extremely strong. Hardware details include Grover tuners, Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers, dual Volume and Tone controls and a 3-way selector, a Schaller roller bridge, and a Gander-made vibrato tailpiece. The latter is a flush-mount affair that yields plenty of upward bend but can only detune a minor third at best (make that a half step on the high E string) before squishing the rubber pad that limits the bar’s travel. Minor niggles include nut ends that jut out far enough to feel and fret tangs that are visible in the edges of the fretboard. The frets ends are smoothly finished, however.
The Gemini plays well thanks to its satin finished “C”-shaped neck and low action. The intonation is satisfyingly musical, and the tones though our test amps (a Cornford
Carrera and a Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25) are clear and robust with nice sustain qualities. The overall sound—warm and fairly resonant, with good sense of mass behind the notes—puts the Gemini in the familiar humbucker/ maple/mahogany camp. But the sideways/ opposing layout of the controls is decidedly odd. The knobs definitely look cool hidden in those deep carves that flank the pickups, but this configuration makes it impossible to use them normally—as in pinky volume swells—and extremely easy to change their settings inadvertently (particularly on the upper set) as you move your right arm around. No cigar for this aspect of the Gemini’s individuality.
If you’re the type of player who appreciates guitars that meld old-world craftsmanship, exotic woods, and lots of design chutzpah, the Gemini is but one example of what Ray Gander can do for you. The instruments you see at ganderguitars.com all look as suitable for art gallery display as stage use, so if you’re in the market for something unique in the 6-string realm, you need to take a look at the Gander line.
Gander Guitars, (204) 785-1521; ganderguitars.com