>Crosley Cruiser – Vintage-inspired portable turntable

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And when you get tired of the cheesiness of this low-cost plasticky item, you can get really good hi-fi record players these days that behave properly and treat your records nicely. They were made in the eighties, which was the pinnacle of audio equipment quality. Ebay, for not many dollars.


I was shopping around for a cheap portable (i also have a high fi setup at home) and was disappointed to realize all of the ones currently on the market use crystal cartridges as opposed to magnetic. The sound quality is considerably better with a magnetic cartridge and that is what is in most hi fi and DJ setups. I guess if you don’t mind imperfect fidelity, these portables are fine. But the hard to describe tinny-ness has always turned me off.

There is one model of crosly portable taht has a magnetic cartidge called the “spinnerette” but weirdly it doesn’t have a headphone jack so you can’t listen privately or export to yourhome stereo or computer from it. But if you only plan to use the built in speakers, I’d recommend that model.

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This things are complete garbage. If you’re into the “authentic” sound of an analog recording, just forget it – something this cheap will never bring it out. If you’d like to play your records more than once, I’d also give this a pass. Cheap equipment is rough on vinyl. The only thing this is remotely good for is giving a stack of moldy old records one last listen or deciding whether a thrift store find is worth cleaning and playing on a better TT.


The One Direction model is only $56!

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Portable ones?

I saw one today and asked the store if they could demo it. Wow, the sound on it was horrible. And not even “cheap headphones” terrible, this is honestly worse than the fisher-price portable record player I had as a tot.


Orange, right? That little set had good sound!


I went for a job at Garrard in the early 1970s but they folded…coincidentally and I was pretty unhappy because I had wanted to work for them for years.
Although the 1980s may have seen the best possible vinyl reproduction parts, the prices were high. Garrard turntables of the 50s and 60s are still available, are being restored, and if you are an audio engineer rather than an “audiophile” (the distinction being similar to that between an astronomer and an astrologer) you will know that, with suitable arms, cartridges, preamps and plinths they will get as much out of the vinyl as is likely to be there.
Of course in those days the wars, rather than between iOS and Android, were between the supporters of common-base preamps, jfet conversions and the Old Believers in a really good pair of EF86s. I have experimented with all three at different times. It was fun…and stopped being so when audio reproduction became digital and virtually perfect, but the audio material itself was so compressed and tweaked that the human input was largely lost. The writing was on the wall when the Beatles sound was created in the labs at EMI in the mid 60s.


These crosley portables are always going to be kinda lousy. But you don’t need to buy a 1000 dollar vintage turntable from the 70s or 80s and crazy tube amp setup to get good sound. If you want fidelity your main concern in the stylus. almost any modern turntable designed for DJs can use interchangeable styluses and will give you great sound reproduction.

If I were looking for hi fi and quality on a budget, I’d get this one. It has direct drive (no belt to wear out), a built in pre-amp (no need for extra equipment - you could plug it into any stereo or even computer speakers) and it has USB output if you want to digitize records. If you get a extra special stylus you can even play 78 rpm records (the grooves are wider on 78s and need fatter needles). http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP120-USB-Direct-Drive-Professional-Turntable/dp/B002S1CJ2Q

Another one of my failing eyesight free-associations - I thought it said “Wesley Crusher’s Vintage-inspired portable turntable”. Let this precocious youth show you how to land twice the shuttles in half the time!

I read it as a Crowley Cruiser Vintage Inspired portable turntable.

I was wondering who made an Aleister Crowley themed turntable.

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The perfect turntable for people who hate their record collection…


I got hold of a boxed, never used Garrard transcription deck last year for a hundred quid. I love it very, very much indeed.

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This product really doesn’t warrant a boingboing post. It’s disappointing because you folks at BB are supposed to do your homework and warn us about garbage products, not endorse them. Please don’t become Catch of the Day. Luckily, the ever-reliable BB community has rallied to let you and everyone know to avoid Crosleys at all costs, especially if you care about your vinyl. I reckon, the only portable turntables worth considering at all are the little Sony PS-Q and PS-F series although the latter is very expensive/hard to find - they both have headphone sockets that you can (obviously) attach to any modern speaker, and magnetic cartridges with reasonable tracking weights that won’t damage your records. Nobody’s making new record-pressing machines and the old ones are slowly packing it in, so vinyl records are precious. We’re only minding them for the next generation anyways. They deserve better than Crosley.

Kinda hoping that the new ‘Keepsake Deluxe’ model will be a bit less destructive to records. I want a portable (albeit mains-powered) vinyl option, just can’t find a decent one.

Can you feel your ears burning from the raw envy I’m generating?
Incidentally, it was the union killed them. I am sorry to say this because there is a need for unions (and indeed I am still “on leave” from one since 1979) but it was the union in Swindon that killed Garrard. When I went there for interview I was left (in between interviewers) in a room with the production records; output was continually way below target and, as we all know, quality declined towards the end. But I do not know the extent to which management contributed, because (as noted above) I didn’t get the job.
A day or two after my interview my father came home from the office, waved the business pages of The Times under my nose, and asked “Is that where you went for interview?” It was an article about the Garrard strike - which went on till the company folded.

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Had a play with one in a local record shop and Crosley make the nastiest, plasticky, wobbly pieces of shit I’ve ever seen. Why are you recommending them BB?

I worked in a place that sold this turntable. One of my coworkers was a card-carrying audiophile, and I was admonished that there are better turntables out there for the same price, that won’t eat your records the way this one does. Audio-Technica was one suggestion.

I have owned these Crosley portable turntables, and I can’t say I recommend them.

The Numark or Vestax portables are actually more reliable if you are really looking for portable units, though they don’t look as cool, and are actually housed in cheaper plastic cases.