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Crosley Radio CR8005A Reviews

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Crosley Radio CR8005A

Crosley Radio CR8005A

1/10 by almabes

Yep. We regularly murder them with an axe because they ARE that bad.

2/10 by BMRR

I recently won a Crosley Cruiser (model CR8005A) 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 a thrift shop. These are records that basically belong in the garbage 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 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.


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