What’s Better Than A Crosley? Budget Turntable Reviews

This video is rather lengthy, but included are the basic nuggets one needs to know before spending cash on a record player. I’m making the assumption that the prospective buyer a) loves music enough to want to investigate vinyl, the highest quality music reproduction media currently in existence and b) is not a gadget freak and therefore doesn’t currently own a setup. I’m wary that someone who is thinking of buying a Crosley probably doesn’t have a huge budget. So although I could say, “You don’t want a Crosley mate, you want an SME-Model 10!” I won’t because I don’t want to put people off buying something that will play records to a fair enough standard to be able to appreciate their quality. Similarly with my amp and speaker recommendations, they are of the “good enough to do the job” without heading into true audio Nirvana. The good news though, is that having bought the basic set-up any component can be upgraded at any time and the sound quality improvement will be immense. For example, the most immediate upgrade would be the cartridge/stylus on any of the decks I show here. The tiny Tannoy speakers I recommend for 70 quid would also be a prime candidate for upgrades. But in terms of “doing the job nicely for not much money”, you can’t go wrong with what I suggest. To put the Rega RP1 Performance Pack into perspective, it’s the price of a Beatles or Queen vinyl box-set. As such, it represents the bare minimum standard for playing records. By contrast, the Crosley Cruiser was best summed up in a What Hi-Fi Review, which said that although they really wanted to like it because it looks quite cool, it’s best kept as far away from your records as possible. Make no mistake, it will cause irreparable damage to records, and also damage the equipment of second hand vinyl enthusiasts, because I suspect that Crosley owners will be so disillusioned with vinyl that they will give their damaged vinyl away to charity shops!


rednecktech70 says:

Pleas use caution with Crosley they will destroy your cherished LP’s

the dark lord says:

just bought the rega rp8.must say WOW.

Majinga Zetto says:

Thanks Mark. I have a modified version of the basic project turntable that came with my Klipsch power speakers. To tell you the truth, with the entry level cartridge (OM5e) the TT sounds just a little better than a Cd or Spotify streaming on a DAC. You can hear the extra detail but is not that much.

Since I enjoy vinyl so much I am planning to upgrade the TT in a couple of years to a Rega P2 or maybe a P3. In the meantime I will upgrade the cartridge to an OM20 or OM30. And maybe I will get a Schiit phono which I heard is basically the best you can get for an insane price of 120 dollars.

See You In Mist says:

what’s better than a crosley…………….anything!

thudeets says:

I’ve been using a Rega Planar 3 with the RB300 tone arm and a Goldring 1042 cartridge for twenty years (Actually, not the cart; just the turntable and tone arm). I can not overstress how fine this setup still sounds. Everything has held up and withstood the test of time amazingly well. That’s another reason not to cheap-out when getting a turntable. If you don’t buy a quality unit (many times translating to a bit – or a lot – more money when talking about turntables) you will end up having to spend more money down the road when you become dissatisfied with the sound of a cheap unit, or when it breaks because it was not built to last. I can see enjoying my Planar 3 setup for another twenty years.That RP10 looks soooo sweet though.

Ashley Cox says:

I think the main reason to avoid the Crosley (and similar) turntables is because they cause irreparable damage to your vinyl. Their flimsy tonearms with their inadequate bearings, heavy-tracking cartridges, and improperly cut, badly shaped styli. It’s also worth noting that the machines with a small platter can cause warping of a 12″ record as the record hangs over the edge of the platter. Oh, and that table doesn’t have a counterweight at all – the weight of the tonearm is equivalent to the tracking force.

Mr. Rich B.O.B says:

If I can’t find a pre-ampless Turntable, or simply one with just a preamp(i.e. no speakers, or radio, or tapedeck or anythin,) for $40 or under, I am going to make my own…

steven knight says:

I have a retro bush record player it plays 78 very well I went bk to 45 very good I only spent 40 pound so I can’t expect much for it auto stop doesn’t skip records if you don’t have much money so I got one

Kevin Hosford says:

Actually, I think Pyle is even worse than Crosley.

mrtheoden says:

jolly good video Mark – very enjoyable, if a bit long. Sadly, the youth of today won’t even look at your video – they’ll go “tldr” (too long, didn’t read) and close the window/tab. Younger people tend to want everything for nothing too. When you try and educate them, they get all angry (cos they know it all) and tell you where to go. Most will happily spend 500 pounds on a mobile phone, but not the same on a quality audio setup like what you’ve shown. For many, music is a background distraction, not a serious listening investment/hobby. They don’t care about quality and I firmly believe that this is because of the throw away mentality that has been bred into the younger generations. Good effort on your part though!

MarkPMus says:

I was talking absolute rubbish about the RP1 Prices. The RP1 basic MRP is £229 and the Performance Pack version is £298. Turntable World were not offering any special deals. There is a Queen version of the TT and a British flag version which are more like the £400 mark which I was probably muddling it up with.

George White says:

what’s NOT better than a crosley??

Blake Kersey says:

What’s better than crosley? A real paper shredder! Hahaahaa!!

baldmetalnerd says:

Great video Mark I’m not a vinyl fanatic like many. But I share a very similar approach to hifi as you do. That is focusing on the whole system rather than just whiz bang features for a cheap price as you will get low quality stuff with that approach. I think “good enough” audio is fine in a lot of applications but for vinyl? No way as a cheap record player will damage the vinyl.

dqvolskashterka says:

Thank you, I learned a lot!

the dark lord says:

great video mark.well put.

BionicJohn says:

Whats better than a crosley? anything else but i would recommend an audio technica lp60 that is only 19 dollars more and it DOES NOT kill your records

Foreversouth0 says:

Turntable and vinyl 101

mrtheoden says:

PS you can certainly add an expensive cartridge to a cheaper arm/turntable. I used a Lyra Clavis on a SystemDek IIX/900 (not the 11XE/AP version sadly) with a Rega RB300 tonearm. Hell, I’m still using the same tonearm and cartridge on my new turntable (Clearaudio Champion Level II). The project turntables are very good, and have a solid reputation. Rega is a UK manufacturer and is a darling of the UK audio media and has been for many years. It’ll always get a better review than non UK manufacturers sadly. I no longer trust the audio media btw. The plinth bit is a bit misleading imho – it’s not critical to have a plinth for better sound quality. Plinth–less designs can, and do sound excellent – the Michell Gyro for example. Just as some designs have suspensions and others do not, both are valid ways to produce a turntable. There’s no such thing as a perfect turntable design, and each design idea has its merits and bad points. I eventually hope to upgrade my Rega arm to a Kuzma Stogi reference when I have some money, and a shiny new Lyra cartridge (I’m a fan of MC designs and prefer them to MM cartridges). I’ve subbed to your channel 🙂

Jim Goebel says:

What’s better then a Crosley?………..a sewing needle with a paper cone attached.

Blake Kersey says:

Wrong! You DO need treble and bass controls.

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