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Samples from USB Turntables: Crosley CR249
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
Wow and Flutter: Not published
S/N: Not published
Platter: Plastic
Tracking force: 4.62g (Measured personally)
in turntable guide


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

All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.

  • 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

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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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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