For the last 15 years my collection of old vinyl LPs has been gathering dust in the garage, as I have had nothing to enjoy them on. You can imagine my delight then, when the Crosley Player Tech Turntable arrived for review. The outside of the box shows a retro looking record player complete with big control knobs and vintage looking speaker grill.
Packed in thick polystyrene to ensure safe arrival, I was pleased to see on unpacking, the turntable looked as good in the flesh as it did on the box, the mahogany finish really setting the unit off. Included in with the turntable, was the necessary power lead and slip mat to fit to the turntable.
The Crosley is not solely a record player; it is also a dual band radio (or wireless to keep the retro theme going!) and also features an aux in port allowing you to connect external devices.
You have the option to use the built in speaker or to connect external speakers to the rear of the unit.
After choosing some old classics from my record collection, I set about putting the Crosley through its paces. The first thing I noticed was that the lid for the turntable is not actually connected to the deck itself and when playing a 12” single or LP album, the lid needs to be removed and stored to one side.
Unfortunately, after choosing my music and lining the record up to play, I found that the transformer supplied was not actually working – not a very good start. Eventually I found a replacement transformer and was able to continue the review. I listened intently to the hissing, crackling and popping that you only get with vinyl and drifted off to relive my youth for the afternoon.
The Turntable sits around 15cm high, including the lid and at 310mm x 280mm it is roughly the same size as a standard LP album, when viewed from above.
The sound quality is superb for such a small unit, the sound is perfectly clear, although there is no option for adjusting bass and treble levels. The sound produced from the internal stereo speakers is perfectly balanced but is way to quiet. At full volume the sound does not distort in anyway, but for any scenario other than a small quiet room, this turntable will struggle. There is no way it could cope with a crowd at a party, and that really is a shame. I also tried using external speakers and although sound was perfectly acceptable, it was still too quiet, even at full volume.
Even when using the Crosley as a conduit for my IPod with the volume at max on both devices the volume was inadequate for a social gathering.
The Tech Turntable is capable of playing discs at three speeds – 33, 45 and 78RPM so there is no reason for your singles or your vintage shellac to feel left out. The playing arm is adjustable using a lever fitted to the right hand side of the player and this lifts and lowers the needle as required. You can also choose for the turntable to stop when the record finishes or for it to continue revolving with the needle staying down. Unfortunately the arm does not return to its resting position, as with the record players of old.
So overall the Turntable does exactly what it claims to do, it is compact and has a great look and the sound produced is clear and acceptable. However I do have a few gripes that have marred the experience a little. Firstly you don’t expect to, and shouldn’t have to, source and replace the transformer before using the Crosley for the first time. The lid, although adequately protects the turntable when playing singles, has to be removed completely to allow playing of LPs. And finally, no matter whether you opt to use the internal or external speakers there is just not enough volume produced.
My daughter found the turntable fascinating, as she watched me carefully lowering the needle to the spinning disc and bombarded me with loads of technical questions, that I couldn’t answer, such as “How does the music get off of the record?” She also revelled in the option of increasing the LPs speed and listening to the chipmunk sounding Beach Boys!
The Crosley Turntable is available for $99.95 direct from the Crosley website, where you can find more information on the Player and also check out other models in the Crosley range.