Are Crosley Record Players Good or Bad? Check Here

james williamson author James Williamson
|
  April 4th, 2024

The Crosley record players are a super hot topic in the vinyl community right now. A lot of people are sharing their thoughts on these record players, both online and offline.

If you have landed on this article, then you should be having multiple questions in your mind, like, Are Crosley record players good? Is it good to buy a Crosley record player as the first record player for a beginner? How’s the sound and build quality? and much more.

Well, I did a lot of research online, talked with my friends and vinyl lovers, and also read multiple forum threads, after which I drafted this article in which you will get answers to all your questions.

Before going further, I want to let you know that here we are going to talk about the all-in-one suitcase record players manufactured by Crosley, we are not talking about the turntables manufactured by them.

Now, let me first answer your most important question.

Are Crosley Record Players Good?

Are Crosley Record Players Good

The answer is no. These all-in-one suitcase record players are not considered good for anyone, not even beginners, for multiple reasons.

Don’t worry, I will explain the facts on which my answer is based. I won’t recommend anyone go for this unit without checking all the aspects mentioned in this article.

Now, I am going to share the points that are enough for anyone, whether he is already in the vinyl community or a beginner, to make their decision about whether they should go for this record player or not.

Reasons Why Crosley Record Players Are Bad:

Note: I have drafted this article by taking the Crosley CR8005F-HA cruiser plus record player as an example. I again repeat that I am not talking about turntables manufactured by Crosley. If you don’t know the difference between a turntable and a record player, then I suggest you check out this article about turntable vs record player.

Platter:

crosley record player small platter

The platter is built with plastic, and it is very thin and undersized, which is going to wobble a lot while playing.

Also, due to the smaller platter, your records are going to stick out of the platter, which means the stylus is going to run over your record while it is in the air, which is not a good thing.

Shorter Tonearm :

The record player comes with a shorter tonearm which is also non-adjustable. This directly affects the sound quality at the end of the records because, as the tonearm is short, it can’t reach the end of the record easily.

So, what happens is that the tonearm puts more pressure on one side of the groove, which results in record damage. Also, the tonearm is built with plastic, not metal.

Ceramic Cartridges:

ceramic cartridge on crosley

According to audiophiles, ceramic cartridges are considered to produce less accurate and refined sound compared to moving magnet or moving coil cartridges because ceramic turntable cartridges need high impedance input so they usually require heavy tracking force to produce a better sound quality which directly hurts your records.

So, we can say these record players come as a double-edged sword i.e. either get better quality of sound by increasing tracking force or save your records by putting less tracking force but suffer sound distortion.

Also, ceramic cartridges are less durable than mm or mc cartridges.

Sapphire Stylus:

The Crosley CR8005F-HA cruiser plus has an NP6 needle with a sapphire tip. The sapphire stylus is considered a lower-quality needle compared to the diamond stylus.

The sapphire stylus lasts not more than 50 hours of record playing and also produces less quality of sound compared to diamond ones.

And, the sapphire styli is cheaper than the diamond styli so the cost-cutting can be one of the reasons for giving a sapphire stylus with this record player.

Cartridge Alignment:

The cartridge alignment plays a very important role in the sound quality. Well, these record players come with a bad cartridge calibration which directly affects the sound quality.

On top of that, there are no options or features to perfectly align the cartridge so you can’t do much about it.

Tracking Force (No Counterweight):

no counterweight on crosley

Well, you can’t adjust the tracking force of the record player because it doesn’t come with a counterweight adjustment feature.

The average tracking force of these record players lies between 4-6 grams which is way over the recommendation limit i.e. 3-3.5 grams.

So, with this feature away, your records or stylus are not going to last longer.

No Anti-skating:

no anti skating feature on crosley

Well, the anti-skating feature plays a very important role in the smooth vinyl experience. The anti-skating feature forces the stylus to stay inside the grooves and without this feature, you can experience a lot of record skip or record looping issues.

No Height Adjustments:

There is no height adjustment dialer under the tonearm which can come in very handy for adjusting the tonearm height according to thick vinyl.

Bad Quality of Built-in Speakers:

crosley speakers

The output quality of these built-in speakers output is very bad. I have tried playing my favorite track i.e. “Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash and as I said, the sound quality is very bad. There is no proper bass and the vocals of Johnny Cash are also distorted.

I don’t know what you guys think about the sound quality but for me, it is very bad.

I have seen some people commenting in the forum threads that if you don’t like the built-in speakers then you can use the external speakers through RCA cable as the manufacturer has given the external speakers support.

But here my question is, if I am going to opt for the external speakers then why I am going to buy this all-in-one suitcase record player? I can buy any entry-level turntable with an inbuilt preamp and then use active speakers which can make my turntable setup complete without compromising on the sound quality.

Vibration Isolation:

The surface is made of plastic and the section where the drive motor comes in contact with the belt under the platter is also surrounded by plastic with no separation with rubber (now, they have added a small separation with rubber) or any other isolation technique. This will directly transfer the motor vibrations to the platter which results in distorted sound or causes the stylus to take a jump on the grooves which is also known as the record skip issue.

Light Weight:

The all-in-one record players are marketed as lightweight portal record players which I think is completely wrong. Vinyl record players or turntables are never meant to be lightweight or portable because if a turntable or record player is lightweight, then they become more prone to vibrations due to which you can encounter record skips or looping issues casually.

So, these are some points through which you can imagine the quality of this record player or I can say how cheap quality materials and cost-cutting methods are used to build a Crosley record player.

Now, I am going to share how these points are going to affect your vinyl experience.

How Crosley Record Player Can Affect Your Vinyl Experience:

These record players can affect your vinyl experience in these ways:

Bad Sound Quality:

According to me, the sound quality of this record player is very bad. The reasons behind its bad-quality sound are very obvious and are listed below:

  • The sapphire stylus is used instead of a diamond stylus.
  • Bad-quality ceramic cartridges are used.
  • Built-in speakers are not of good quality.
  • More vibrations due to every component in a single box with the least vibration isolation techniques implemented.
  • Missing important features that can improve sound quality like counter weight or tonearm adjustment, anti-skating feature, short tonearm, cartridge calibration, and much more.

Record Skips Due to Vibrations:

According to me, if the separate components of a good quality turntable setup like a turntable, speakers, preamp, and amplifier are placed near each other then the vibrations in the turntable can occur but in a suitcase record player, all these different components are placed in a single box with least vibration isolation techniques followed so you can think the vibrations that this record player will send to stylus while playing the record.

Heavy Bass Records:

I have tried playing a heavy bass record but what I got is distorted sound and record skips. This record player is not meant to play heavy bass records.

Troubleshooting:

The bad build quality of these record players makes them more prone to encounter issues like Crosley not turning on, Crosley not spinning on, and much more.

Damages Records:

This is the main concern of almost all the people online. I have read multiple threads in forums, had conversations with my friends and some vinyl lovers, and also read multiple articles online, and guess what?

Nobody likes their records to be placed on one of these all-in-one turntables.

Well, the reason behind this is simple i.e. the quality of the record players is not up to the mark.

Think for yourself, you are getting this record player for around 60-70 bucks while some vinyl cost the same or half the amount of this record player.

So, would you like to play your vinyl on this record player which sells for almost the same or double the price of your vinyl?

Well, I don’t know about you but I won’t play it myself or allow anyone to play my records on these record players.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1- Will a Crosley record player ruin my records?

The answer is yes, Crosley record players ruin your record a lot faster than good-quality turntables.

Well, the truth is that every turntable or record player will damage your records in the long run, no matter, whether you are using the best quality turntable along with the best quality cartridge in the market.

But, the Crosley record player does that process a lot faster. I have seen people start noticing the wear in just 25 plays on these record players.

Q2- Why do Crosley record players skip?

The major cause of record skips in Crosley is vibrations due to all components being placed in a single unit, no anti-skating feature, undersized platters made up of cheap plastic, etc.

There is one more thing that I want to add: not every time a record player is responsible for skipping issues, sometimes, a vinyl record itself is damaged to warped.

Q3- Is it better to get a record player or turntable?

My recommendation to everyone is to go for entry-level turntables. This will cost a few bucks extra but trust me, it will be worth it.

You can go for Audio-Technica AT-LP60X which will cost you around $150 along with a pair of active speakers.

Conclusion:

If you are looking to buy a Crosley record player as your first record player then I simply recommend you reconsider your choice and go for a turntable with an inbuilt preamp and buy a pair of active speakers. This will cost you a few bucks extra and trust me, you are not going to regret it later.

Or, if you already own one of these players, then I recommend you upgrade because you don’t know what you are missing in your vinyl journey.

Well, I have shared my thoughts with you and now, I want to know your answer to the “Are Crosley players good or bad?” question. Let me know in the comments.

james williamson
About Author: James Williamson

I have been a music enthusiast since childhood and I love talking about music bands, artists, vinyl, and music equipments. I have launched TurntableWave to help people avoid the mistakes that I had made while entering the vinyl world. In my free time, you will find me fishing or playing basketball.

2 thoughts on “Are Crosley Record Players Good or Bad? Check Here”

  1. Finally, someone has shared the actual reasons why everyone is tell me to avoid crosley record players. You have explained everything beautifully and after reading this article, I have finally made my choice to buy a turntable instead of a suitcase record player.

    Reply

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