Crosley Nomad turntable review
Street Price: $159
Sound Advice Vinyl Product Points Review ™ By Don Lindich
Manufacturer website: http://www.crosleyradio.com
- Single-piece, “suitcase” turntable just like we had in the old days.
- Burlap-like finish feels durable and has a nice feel.
- Available in brown or green.
- Hinges and handle are brass with a nice patina that complements the green burlap finish.
- Power is supplied by a wall-wart plug.
- Lid comes off on hinges for playback of LPs.
- Speakers radiate sound from the sides.
- On-off and volume controlled by a single dial.
- Manual plastic tonearm which is a bit hard to handle because it is so lightweight.
- Has line-level analog RCA output, so it can be used with an external speaker or sound system. A miniplug-to-RCA cable is included.
- Small switches next to the tonearm control playback speed.
- USB connection for digitizing vinyl to a computer.
- The Crosley Nomad uses an Audio-Technica moving magnet cartridge with 3 grams of tracking force, unlike the ceramic cartridges used on most products of this type. A moving magnet cartridge is much gentler on your records than a ceramic cartridge. Ceramic cartridges will degrade your records after only a few plays (some say after the first play) due to their poor quality and high tracking force.
- This is one of the only suitcase all-in-one units worth purchasing, by virtue of its moving magnet cartridge.
- Using an external speaker like an OontZ Ultra will improve sound quality somewhat.
- When a record is not playing there is a bit of a gritty, electrical hum sound that goes up as you increase the volume. When you play a record it is masked fairly effectively.
- Side-firing speakers sound flat up close, but there is a slight sense of spaciousness when you back up a few feet. In a normal listening environment where there is at least five feat between you and the Crosley Nomad, the sound will be spread out but there is no real stereo imaging.
- The sound quality is not very good, but is comparable to like-priced products.
- Despite its sonic shortcomings, this is one of the few all-in-ones I can recommend as it won’t damage your records.
This is kind of a tough product to rate. Sonically, it is not impressible and for the same price you would be better off with a $99 Audio-Technica AT-LP60 and a $39 OontZ Angle 3 Ultra speaker. It would not have the same type of portability, requires two plugs and lacks the USB connection, but it would sound better and offer automatic operation. Despite the low scores, there is definitely a place in the world for this turntable and I can conditionally recommend it. If you want to get your turntable for your kid that they can take from room to room and listen to records (some of which may from your own collection) you can get them the Crosley Nomad and know it won’t degrade your records by causing premature wear. I commend Crosley for caring enough to make something like this with a moving magnet cartridge.
Additional images from unboxing and setup are below.
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