Progress is such a strange thing. It has eradicated certain things forever, such as video, cassette tapes, Duo Tan, typewriters, polio and calling for a cab.
Yet some outmoded things, which did in fact briefly teeter on the brink of extinction, don’t just survive this relentless march of modernity, they thrive. I’m thinking of course about hard copy books and Royal Mail. And, of course, vinyl.
I never owned a record player, obviously. I don’t own a single vinyl record. I don’t know anything about vinyl, or music, or how vinyl is better or worse than CDs or any of that crap. My parents, like many people, got rid of their record player – a really handsome brown thing – many years ago. I wish they hadn’t, but it’s no good my saying that now.
My husband still has some vinyl records somewhere but we have nothing to play them on. Recently I think it might be nice if we did. I remember the vinyl records my parents had: I loved the smell.
In our house in Gloucestershire I often think it would be nice to have music on – but the only music we have is via our phones and a speaker. We have no AV “system”; say “Sonos” to me and I will say “I think you can get antibiotics for that”.
And I always inevitably need to wander off somewhere else with my phone, (usually to check the weather, to direct lost visitors – “turn left at the tree that looks like Oprah Winfrey” – or report a riderless horse that has just trotted past the window), thus disconnecting the music and ruining the small puff of atmosphere it has created.
So I wonder if it might now be time to invest in a new record player, something like this very handsome portable number by Crosley (above). I have dreams of putting the Inkspots on the record player on a cosy night while I mix myself a white port and tonic. Or something. In reality would it sit in a corner gathering dust? Perhaps the thing to do is make a little mark somewhere every time I wish I had a record player and if it’s more than 30 times get one. Or something.
Crosley is an American company – they sell via their website and shipping to the UK is done by special request. Urban Outfitters and good old John Lewis also sell a small selection of Crosley turntables – it’s always more appealing to me to buy something for this sort of price that I can actually go in and have a look at.
There are now going to be 400 comments about how Crosleys are no good by music nerds.
No music nerd here; we survive with two shitty radio/cassette/cd players in this household (though I have just tried to buy an ipod, if only John Lewis could work out where the hell they’ve sent it to… another, very sweary, story) BUT I do have a Crosley record player which would be fine, probably, if I could get a new elastic turn-y thing – ah, drive belt – for it. I have tons of vinyl from my mother’s brief and unconvincing ‘cool jazz cat’ phase. It is also very plastic-y though it looks nice from a distance. If I were you I’d go to Richer Sounds in Cheltenham, about which I have always heard great things – kind, understanding music geeks – and see what they suggest – and please report back; I shall probably be wanting the same thing.
JULIAN prouse says
I have similar players as this one. I play often. There are some that say vinyl is the only way to listen to music. See attached pic. Have been reading Spike since started and enjoy it. It keeps me sane-ish.
Oh Julian that is great news! Thanks for reading. Stick around! xx
Tales from the middle ages says
It’s a lovely looking record player. I wish I’d kept my cassette player as I still have all the mix tapes I illegally did from the top 40 every Sunday complete with the bits where you could hear me and my next door neighbour hissing “shhhh!”at her little brother. “Home taping is killing music” they said.
I saw a turntable in Tiger of all places last week! I almost bought one. ThenI looked through my vinyl and found my Wet Wet Wet album and my elder sisters’ Abba and motown records. They had much better taste than me. NOSTALGIA
Skipping lightly over the turntable subject, because I have one or two in the loft and that makes me old, along with the millions of LPs and singles. You’ll soon get fed up having to get up and flip over to the “B” side and revert to iPhone music 🙂
Anyhow, I’m more interested in the White Port and Tonic. Is it good? And is that what you’re supposed to do with it? I brought a bottle back from Portugal last year and it is still sitting on top the fridge collecting dust, and I’ve been wondering what to mix it with. I was thinking along the lines of a white sangria type thing…..
no with tonic! over ice with lemon. delicious
Great, I’ll try that. Hopefully with a side order of sunshine, and a dish of olives.
Leslie Wood says
I would also say try Richer Sounds for people that know what they are talking about, if you don’t have a branch near you they are on line too ( and they will not try to sell you the dearest )
Susan Clifford says
Yes, white port and tonic! The local wine shop introduced me to it and now I am hooked. Have drunk loads of it this Summer and been telling everyone. I also serve with a mint leaf whilst listening to music from any old source.
Could Sonos not fix something for you (without antibs)? You might get fed up of the vinyls and would they survive frisbee? The Port sounds lovely.
Vinyl is everything. Inconvenience is a virtue. DON’T buy Crosley.
Mary Miller is that you?
I know nothing about music or vinyl, but my brother is an up to date, London based tech and music geek/ expert and he has lots of vinyl and a record player. I still have no technical advice, but wanted to say I think sitting in his living room with a glass of wine listening to records, with all the ritual that goes with selecting, sliding it out of its cover, putting it on, turning it over, selecting another and so on is incredibly pleasing. I’d buy one if I were you, it’s exactly the sort of thing I’d want in a weekend home. Elaine x
Thanks Elaine, this is in fact very GOOD and helpful advice, if not technical. But I can find technical people, lifestyle advice people are harder to find xx
Eilidh McFlurry says
The Crosleys are very pleasing to the eye (and inner moustachioed nitwit) but if you already have leftover speakers from an old hi fi and an amplifier it might be worth getting a cheapish but better turntable. A portable one will always sound tinny and render every song muzak. We have a Pioneer PL990 and for its price point – pennies on amazon, really – it’s a reliable good quality record player.
Eric E. says
I like that bit about Sonos, that was funny. I’m the same way with much of the new stuff these days. You can call me a record nerd of you want, but please allow me to set things right and provide some info you may find interesting.
While it is true that those portable Crosley record players and the like will ruin your records in the first play, did you know that Crosley now makes better players than the ones you see in Urban Outfitters and the like? They have three new models in fact, the C100, C10 and C200. The least expensive of the line being the C100 at $200 US which I think would be $152 UK. In fact, the tonearms are made at the Project factory, so if the drive stability and everything else checks out (no reason not to), then any of those 3 can be considered a proper turntable.
The main reason why some “record nerds” say the Crosleys are no good is because it is true of those models like the one you picture. The reason is that those models cannot be “set up”. Yes, in order to not ruin your records, you must set up your turntable. It is important to have the table level, the right cartridge mounted (many to choose from) and aligned properly and have the correct tracking force, just for basics. It sounds like a lot and complicated, but it really isn’t. After you do it once, you don’t need to do it again until you change your cartridge.
The Crosley players like the one you picture are disposable basically. Not only will they ruin your records because you can’t adjust anything on them, but once the stylus (needle) wears out (which will be a short time as well, because you can’t set them up) and once that happens you go out and purchase a new player. With the three Crosley models I listed, you just replace the cartridge.
I see you are in the UK and that gives you some other fine choices. Rega and Project for starters.
Of course, if you don’t have an amplifier and speakers that would be a problem as those bits are required for the turntables I just mentioned.
Eric that was genuinely instructive and useful, thanks
Eric E. says
You are welcome. It’s my whole point to helping folks re-engage with their music and navigating the murky waters of Hi-Fi. It doesn’t have to be expensive to get very good sound quality, but what is important is engaging with music no matter the format. I don’t buy into all the arguments. In fact, I attempt to clear the air so everyone can have music how they like.