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Samples from USB Turntables: Crosley CR249
Knowzy
post Mar 27 2009, 22:02
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Turntable Details
Crosley CR249 (The Keepsake Turntable)
Street Price: $125 (US)
Ceramic Cartridge
Belt Drive
Semi-Automatic
Wow and Flutter: Not published
S/N: Not published
Platter: Plastic
Tracking force: 4.62g (Measured personally)
More
in turntable guide

Photos








The Sample Clips
For background on the clips, see the "Preparation" thread.

All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.

Music
  • CD LP Peg, Steely Dan, Aja
  • CD LP On the Run, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
  • CD LP Dare, Gorillaz, Demon Days
  • CD LP Dum Diddly, The Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business
  • CD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Dusty, scratched and skipping album)

Test Tracks



Musings
Here's the one we've all been waiting for: A ceramic cartridge USB turntable. It didn't disappoint. smile.gif

The Crosley did a particularly bad job with the digitally mastered records. The Gorillaz sample sounds like someone applied a crude flange effect.

Worse yet, it skipped five times in the Gorillaz track (two can be heard in the sample). I replayed the track on the Ion turntable just to make sure it wasn't the record. It wasn't.

It made me wonder what's responsible for the skipping. The tracking force seems appropriate: 4.62 grams where, according to Garage 'A Records, the range is 2 5 grams. It could be poor anti-skate adjustment but the channel balance, while by no means perfect, seemed a bit better than the AT turntable.

I'd love to hear your insights on why skipping is such a problem on this loudly recorded LP. Skipping is not a problem on any of the other records I tested with.

The playback is so bad, I wonder if all ceramic cartridge turntables are this bad or just Crosley. I'm inclined to run out and get a different manufacturer's ceramic cart turntable. Grace Digital Audio, I'm looking at you!

Playback problems aside, the Crosley also arrived with serious defects.

As I moved the tonearm over the record to do my first needle drop, a funny thing happened: The platter didn't move.

The power light was on; I could hear the motor running. But the platter wouldn't spin.

I suspected the problem was the belt, which is not accessible without opening up the case. I had a choice to make: Should I play the average consumer and send it in for warranty repair or should I crack it open, voiding the warranty, and see if I can fix it myself?

I opted for the latter.

Sure enough, the belt had slipped off. I reattached it and the platter was rotating once again. I also got some good photos inside the box.

Another problem was the hinges holding the dustcover to the main unit. The metal was bent and the dustcover would fall off unless rested gently. I took it off for the samples.

So far, the Audio-Technica was the only turntable that I didn't have to fix anything on. The Ion turntable arrived with the cartridge and stylus detached.

One last note: The Crosley has built-in speakers along with a tone and volume knob. These knobs have no effect on the analog to digital conversion. I believe they split the signal before it hits the A/D converter. Of course, if you're interested, you can see the two circuit boards in the photo (I have more if you're really curious).


This post has been edited by Knowzy: Apr 23 2009, 22:46
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bilbo
post Mar 27 2009, 23:13
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I was recently given a Crosley, one with a radio also, and to be kind, I wasn't impressed. The radio and CD player sounded OK, but unlike you, I couldn't get any good sound out of the turntable. It sounded like blown speakers, but the speakers were fine when used with other input. I noticed an oscillating sound and determined that it the inability of the tonearm to follow anything other than a perfectly flat record. This could be your problem. Like you I checked the tracking force which was OK. I am thinking that there is not enough freedom of movement in the tone are to let it track properly.

The unit does have a line input, so I am going to find my old DUAL turntable and amp to see if that works.


--------------------
Glass half full!
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Knowzy
post Mar 27 2009, 23:50
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QUOTE (bilbo @ Mar 27 2009, 15:13) *
I noticed an oscillating sound and determined that it the inability of the tonearm to follow anything other than a perfectly flat record. This could be your problem.

Good observation. I'll look at the record closely when I get home tonight.

Gorillaz and Steely Dan are the only two cuts that come from the first track on the record, where warping tends to be most pronounced, IME.
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Knowzy
post Mar 28 2009, 02:05
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I looked at the Gorillaz LP from all angles and can't find any deformities. This is a new, 190 gram LP in great condition.

My bet is the sheer volume level at which this album is recorded plays a role in the skipping. The waveform on HFN002's "torture test" (at +18dB) is so erratic, the stylus must have been jumping all over the place!
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uart
post Mar 28 2009, 18:27
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Wow those LP recorded samples sound pretty anemic, there really is quite a noticable lack of bass. While I don't know for certain I guess that's related to the ceramic cartridge. I've listened to some other cheap USB turntables with ceramic cartidges and I noticed similarly lacking sound.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 6 2009, 17:51
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QUOTE (Knowzy @ Mar 27 2009, 17:02) *
The Sample Clips[/b][/size]
For background on the clips, see the "Preparation" thread.

All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.

Music
  • CD LP Peg, Steely Dan, Aja
  • CD LP On the Run, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
  • CD LP Dare, Gorillaz, Demon Days
  • CD LP Dum Diddly, The Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business
  • CD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Dusty, scratched and skipping album)

Test Tracks



I surely don't want to sound critical or show a lack of appreciation for the valuable work that has been done.

However, I believe that one of the indicated files (silent groove) is missing, and the other (no record) has two links posted to it.

Also, there's a lack of consistency of naming files related to the same musical track. In some cases the album is mentioned first, in others the track is mentioned first.

A reasonable goal is to have an alphabetical list of the CD and LP versions of a track sort adjacently when put into alphabetical order.
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Knowzy
post Apr 7 2009, 02:28
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 6 2009, 09:51) *
However, I believe that one of the indicated files (silent groove) is missing, and the other (no record) has two links posted to it.

You are correct. Great catch! I updated the original post with the correct link for the silent groove track from the Ultimate Test LP.

QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 6 2009, 09:51) *
Also, there's a lack of consistency of naming files related to the same musical track. In some cases the album is mentioned first, in others the track is mentioned first.

A reasonable goal is to have an alphabetical list of the CD and LP versions of a track sort adjacently when put into alphabetical order.

Also true. I always insist on long, detailed file names and they always come back to bite me. You'd think I'd learn by now. smile.gif

In this case, I stopped putting the album name in the tracks when producing the Ion Audio clips because I came across a file name size limitation in Windows Media Player. I didn't think anyone would notice the change.

I will go back and remove the track name from the rest but not tonight. It's a bigger job than it appears since I've also created MP3s and M3Us for an upcoming page on Knowzy showcasing these samples.

If you can't wait, the FLACs are extensively tagged. foobar2000 can rename them in an instant.
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Knowzy
post Apr 23 2009, 23:14
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It took several lunch breaks worth of work but it's done. I've gone back and consistently named and tagged all of the samples and updated the links on the four "Samples" topics.

You can now download all the files to a directory see them grouped together.

Here's what's new:
  • File names are now <artist name>-<song name>_(<turntable name>).flac
  • Corrected inconsistencies in tags (i.e. "Black Eyed Peas" vs. "The Black Eyed Peas")
  • Filled in track, years and genre on some files that were missing it
  • Title tag omits "Clip from" before the turntable name. This makes it easier to tell what you're listening to on a player with limited space for the title name (like WMP).

In case anyone's interested, I remembered specifically why I changed the naming scheme half way into the project: Windows Media Player could not handle the longest file names in an M3U file. A direct link from a web page to the file worked. Put the same URL in an M3U and it refused to play it.

I'm not sure where the exact limitation is but it seems to be an arbitrary number. The longest file name was 119 characters and the shortest 76. So it's not like is crossed 63 or 127 boundary.

Even when factoring the path in the length, the longest is 209 and the shortest is 167. Both over 127 but below 255.

Perhaps 200 is the max length for the URL.

Longest file name (Doesn't work in an M3U)
http://www.knowzy.com/Computers/Audio/Digi..._Turntable).mp3

Shortest (Does work in an M3U)
http://www.knowzy.com/Computers/Audio/Digi..._Turntable).mp3

A cautionary tale for those trying to make WMP happy.

This post has been edited by Knowzy: Apr 24 2009, 04:16
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dizzie
post May 22 2013, 19:16
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The Keepsake actually has a magnetic cartridge, not ceramic. Some of Crosley's other models like the Cruiser have a ceramic cartridge.
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