Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

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dantenatarelli
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Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by dantenatarelli » 02 Feb 2014 23:34

Hi Everyone,
I got a crosley cruiser turntable (yes I know they're bad, but it was free and I'm broke) and I was wondering if there's anything I can do to improve the sound. I replaced the stock rubber mat with a DIY cork one, and that's improved it slightly. I also obviously don't run it through the built-in speakers as they're just terrible. I've never modified a turntable myself as I grew up using my dad's setup. I'm wondering if there's a way to replace the cartridge as it's quite heavy and I don't want it to damage some of my better albums. From what I could find, it's a poorly made ceramic cartridge that was only used because it's louder. Can I just buy a moving magnet cartridge and install it?

Thanks!

tubewade

Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by tubewade » 03 Feb 2014 00:00

There is no simple answer. Please do not think I am being rude when I tell you that you cannot get decent performance from it. You will spend less money buying an older Pioneer or similar and be far better off in the end.

Others will chime in, I am sure.

Regards,
Wade

musicmn
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by musicmn » 03 Feb 2014 00:41

I agree with wade don't waste your time or money upgrading this thing. Save your money for something else.

dantenatarelli
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by dantenatarelli » 03 Feb 2014 00:50

Thanks guys! I understand that it isn't worth upgrading, but hypothetically could I upgrade the cartridge, or would the circuitry prohibit it. I'm just interested because I've never seen a ceramic cartridge, and it's noticeably louder at the price of sound quality. I'm guessing it's just to save money on the internals.

BMRR
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by BMRR » 03 Feb 2014 00:57

I'm pretty sure the cartridge is permanently attached to the tonearm. I don't think there's any way to replace it without destroying the tonearm. I guess you could replace the tonearm but then you're looking at a level of time and investment ($$$) that would be greater than just buying a better turntable. #-o

I totally understand how frustrating it is to be broke. :( My best recommendation would be to save your pennies until you can find something better. Seriously, I've seen $20 turntables on craigslist that will blow the Crosley completely out of the water, AND they won't damage your records. (bonus, it'll most likely include a moving magnet cartridge already installed... certainly a better bargain than spending money to rig a MM cartridge onto your Crosley.) If you can put away $5 a week, you'll have enough money for a $20 turntable in a month.

dantenatarelli
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by dantenatarelli » 03 Feb 2014 01:21

Awesome, thanks BMRR.

Coffee Phil
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by Coffee Phil » 03 Feb 2014 06:54

Hi Dantenatarelli,

I for the most part agree with what the others have posted. You will not make a great record player out of this machine, however If you just want the challenge of "Hot Roding" it to see what you can do it may be possible. I don't know if the arm takes standard 1/2" mount cartridges or not. Certainly if it does that makes it easier but if it does not it then depends on your skill. You best luck will be with a "grunt" heavy tracking DJ type cartridge with lower compliance and higher tracking force. Here is a good example:

http://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/ ... ategories=

I am successfully using one of these in an old RCA 45 RPM record changer. There is even a 78 stylus available for it.

You will also need to add a phono stage. In addition to the much higher output voltage ceramic cartridges respond to amplitude as opposed to velocity as magnetics do. Magnetic phono stages address these issues. You will be able to find a cheap one for about $20.

Keep in mind this is something to do just for the challenge of seeing if you can do it. If you just want a decent turntable, try to score something like a Pioneer PL 115 on eBay.

Phil

dantenatarelli wrote:Awesome, thanks BMRR.

vinyl master
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by vinyl master » 03 Feb 2014 08:30

Hey, Dante. BMRR's right. You can find a decent TT on the cheap, if you know where to look. And you're talking to a man who has seen more than his share of days being broke over the years. I understand if that's all you have, but I recently got a Dual for $45, a Philips for $40, and I've seen TT's on Craigslist, estate sales...They are out there, and many for LESS than what I paid! A belt, some lube, and a few tweaks might be all you need. Sure, there may be a little time and work involved, but you CAN have a good vintage system on the cheap! Know where to look, and keep looking!

Now, regarding that Cruiser, you can send that one to me. I've been looking for a long time for something to sling from a catapult, and I think yours might do the trick! :lol:

That is, unless you're planning something else with it (maybe you already have a catapult?), but in all honesty, it's just not worth it. Believe me, I know. I learned the hard way! #-o

vinyl master
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by vinyl master » 03 Feb 2014 08:39

Where are you located? Maybe we can keep an eye out for anything interesting that might pop up in your area?

BMRR
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by BMRR » 20 Sep 2014 19:16

I recently won a Crosley Cruiser from a local record store that had a prize giveaway for their email subscribers.

Some first impressions:

It's cute! The cosmetic design is really quite charming and I can see why people are attracted to them.

It weighs nothing. Seriously. The dust cover on my Technics weighs more than this thing.

It's completely plug-and-play. Easy to understand why vinyl newbies find Crosleys less intimidating than "real" turntables. You literally just plug it into a power outlet and start playing. There is absolutely no setup required.

I tested it with a few old beat-up records that I found at Goodwill. These are records that basically belong in the garbage can but I bought them because the album covers would make attractive wall art.

Sound output is pathetically weak. Even with the volume turned all the way up, the Cruiser isn't as loud as my cell phone's built-in speaker.

The quality of the sound is also substantially worse than my cell phone. Stereo 33s sound like mono 78s.

None of this is new information, of course, but having never owned or used a Crosley I wanted to see and hear for myself. And it was free, so I had nothing to lose.

Out of curiosity, I dug out my digital stylus force gauge to find out if the tracking force is really as heavy as many reviewers have claimed. Yes, folks, it is. So heavy, in fact, that it wouldn't even register on my gauge (which maxes out of 5 grams).

The sapphire stylus (attached to a crude plastic cantilever) is enormous compared to even a 1mil DJ stylus. There are a handful of Crosleys that come with a gentle and respectable AT-3600 cartridge/stylus (0.7mil diamond), such as the Collegiate, the Advance, and the Spinnerette. It would be safe to consider that a MAJOR upgrade over the crude cartridge/stylus used on the Cruiser and most other Crosleys. (Also, the tracking force on the Collegiate/Spinnerette/Advance can be adjusted, but I can find no practical way to do this on the Cruiser or its similar siblings.)

There are "upgrade" stylii that you can buy for the Cruiser, including some that have a diamond stylus and metal cantilever... but they'll run you about $20. If you're already planning to spend $80-$100 on a Cruiser, plus $20 for a better stylus, you might as well just buy the Collegiate instead, thereby getting the much better AT-3600 included in the price AND the ability to adjust the tracking force.

Better yet, spend an extra $70 on a nice hand-built Made In USA U-Turn Orbit... or, if you don't mind pre-owned stuff, find yourself a good vintage turntable, easily obtained for less than the price of a Crosley.
Attachments
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Crosley Cruiser and stylus force gauge displaying 0 grams.
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Crosley Cruiser and stylus force gauge with 5-gram test weight.
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crosley3.jpg
Crosley Cruiser and stylus force gauge displaying "FULL" -- exceeding the 5-gram limit of the gauge.
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ginniegatrit
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by ginniegatrit » 20 Sep 2014 21:34

My advice for what its worth...

READ any threads on this forum relating to purchasing a new or used turntable, especially the vintage models. Also, threads regarding members who have purchased vintage very cheap and armed with a little knowledge (most of which can be learned here) ended up with very nice, reliable and good sounding turntables.
I picked up the following turntable VERY CHEAP: Dual 1009SK ($20), Dual 1015F ($15) Pioneer P-S50 ($10) Rotel RP2400 ($15). The Duals didn't have a plinth, but you can play them without one, or build a plinth yourself.
In most cases you will have to buy a new Cartridge/Stylus.
You can get entry level MM cartridge/stylus for as low as $25 (e.g. AT 92E). Better would be the AT95E at around $40.

My whole stereo system cost me around $150 (excluding cartridge and stylus). Sounds pretty good to me.

The more you frequent this forum and asking questions and reading posts you should be able to put together a decent, good sounding stereo system for not much investment. Take your time, don't rush out and buy anything. Peruse the local thrift shops for equipment, write down the model numbers, post here for advice on buying them, check out their values on the net etc.
It really becomes fun putting together a system over time and trying to get the best bang for your buck.
I've bought two sets of speakers for - Szabo 525's ($3) and Boston Acoustics A40 ($8) - incredible deals. I did have to refoam the woofers and I had never done that before and was very intimidated but when I attempted it found it not difficult. The foams for all four woofers only cost me $11. Glue was $12.
I added a subwoofer from an old home theatre system. Thrift shops have them all the time and you should be able to get one for $10 or so IF YOU NEED ONE. My speakers are bookshelf speakers with smaller woofers so the subwoofer provides some extra boost in the lowest frequencies.

I had a woodworking friend build me a nice plinth that fits either Dual's - FOR FREE.
I've acquired older vintage receivers relatively cheap. 1971 Pioneer SX-770 ($50), 1986 Fisher CA-35 ($10, needed a new fuse), 1978 Kenwood KR-3090 ($45).
And you can hook up DVD, CD or Ipods to these thing too.
The Equalizer was $8. The Cassette Deck was given to me by a friend who was getting rid of it.
My speaker stands were $3. My stereo rack was $3. I didn't put this together overnight but was it ever fun.
https://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb1 ... nauch2.jpg

Regarding your Crosley - you can still have some fun with it until you upgrade. Visit the thrift shops and pick up those 24 Hits/ 24 Stars LP's for a fifty cents or so. They're fun to listen to for now. They don't sound too good, but neither does the Crosley. And because you didn't pay much for them, it won't be a big loss wrecking them.

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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by creepshow83 » 20 Sep 2014 22:08

I feel for you being broke - it sucks! That being said, if you can save a little cash you can find a decent vintage turntable fairly cheap these days....

I can't afford the pricey Rega, Project, etc turntables and decided to go the vintage route, picking up a used Technics for around £50. Upgraded the cart/stylus and i'm really happy with it. Plays everything I chuck at it real nice.

Good luck whatever you decide!

vinyl master
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by vinyl master » 21 Sep 2014 02:07

BMRR wrote: If you're already planning to spend $80-$100 on a Cruiser, plus $20 for a better stylus, you might as well just buy the Collegiate instead, thereby getting the much better AT-3600 included in the price AND the ability to adjust the tracking force.

Better yet, spend an extra $70 on a nice hand-built Made In USA U-Turn Orbit... or, if you don't mind pre-owned stuff, find yourself a good vintage turntable, easily obtained for less than the price of a Crosley.
Eh, WRONG answer, BMRR...The correct answer IS...If you're already planning to spend $80-$100 on a Cruiser, you do what I did, and buy a vintage turntable ($45), a nice receiver ($40), and some Baby Advents ($8.99) for the same price OR LESS...AND better yet, send ME the Cruiser...I've got a very hungry trebuchet that NEEDS to be fed! One good toss, and SCH-WING! Hey, it'd be fun! I'd even let you join in...And just before we throw it, we could tie a stick of dynamite to the chassis to make things even more interesting!! :twisted:

I know, I know...But, it's a neat thought!!

I hate having to be the Crosley-basher all the time, but as you so eloquently proved, these are definitely NOT what they're cracked up to be...At least now you know...Maybe you can save another poor soul the heartbreak of finding out the truth too late...

BMRR
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by BMRR » 16 Oct 2014 16:21

A trip to the local book store last night yielded the discovery that Crosley has added another product to their lineup: the Crosley Nomad. It's not on their web site yet, but I took a picture of the box in the store:
crosley_nomad.jpg
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I'm sure it's no better than the rest of their record players (sorry, I refuse to call them turntables), BUT I was pleased to see that it uses an AT3600 MM cartridge and diamond stylus, as is the case with the Advance, Collegiate, and Spinnerette. Hopefully they'll continue to move in that direction, and their brutal red-stylused monstrosities will fade into extinction. For the sake of our hobby, I think it's very important to remind people (especially newcomers) that there is a distinction between a $#!tty record player that destroys records, and a $#!tty record player that doesn't. If someone is forced to choose between the two, obviously the non-destructive piece-o-crap is better than the destructive one. Fortunately it's simple to tell them apart: Crosley with WHITE stylus = probably won't kill your records. Crosley with RED stylus = record murderer.

fscl
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Re: Newbie Question: Crosley Cruiser

Post by fscl » 16 Oct 2014 17:19

Keep an eye out on freecycle: https://www.freecycle.org/

Just retuned and gave away an Onkyo tt via freecycle to a friend. Sounds great !

If your town has an electronics recycling station. Came across a dumped saved Thorens TD 280. Retuned and also sounds great !

What is your Dad's setup...... :-k :-k You may be sitting on gold with a new stylus and / or cartridge.

BMMR, don't know if you caught this:

29667

My digital bottoms out @ 3.0Gr, so I had to resort to the old AR..... 5.5Gr=2.5USP + 2 + 1 Gr AR plastic weights. Wondering if this actually varies from Crosley to Crosley even as a cruzer since it's dependent on the spring..... :?: :-k :-k

Happy searching and other tales of dumpster / street abandoned tts on VE..... :)

Fred

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