Archive for Music Players

Crosley Rochester Entertainment Center- Paprika (CR66-PA)

$99.99

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I ended up buying a record at a Wilco show over the summer, so I needed a record player. The cheapest one I could find was this Crosley Rochester for about $100 at Target.

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It pretty much gets the job done. For only $100 you get an am/fm radio, a CD player, a tape deck, and a record player. Pretty nice. But when you try to do so much, it’s hard not to botch it in one way or another.

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The sound quality is pretty nice. It looks like there are speakers all around this thing, in the front and on the sides, and as far as I can tell, it really does. The only problem with sound quality comes in with AM radio. I listen to AM radio from time to time and when I do, it’s hit and miss. The antenna wire thing that it comes with doesn’t really deliver. KXLU is MIA on the radio, which is bummer city., but besides that, you’re pretty much set.

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Since it is a manual interface, I can’t digitally store radio stations, so when I listen to FM I have to spin to each station, looking for a good song. Luckily, I’ve all but given up on FM radio, so no big deal here.

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The CD’s work fine and listening to an LP is easy-breezy. Also, it has a MP3 jack, so that’s pretty cool, too.

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The only issue I really have with this machine is the way it plays my cassettes.

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So, the good thing about cassettes is that you can rewind and fast forward and record and stuff like that, right? Well not if you’ve got this guy. You can only play. You put the tape in, select “tape” on the format option, then it just starts playing, and it won’t stop until the tape is done on that side. You can’t fast forward through songs or rewind to hear one again.

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If you want to hear the same song twice you need to turn the tape over, listen to the other side for like…2 minutes or however long the original song was, then turn it over and listen.

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Why? How hard would it have been to add these functions? How can you even call this a tape deck? It’s like buying a car and then finding out you can’t put it in reverse or buying a TV and finding out you can only watch so many channels. Rewind and fast forward are inherent features to a tape deck. This is a crime against humanity.

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I looked online to see other people’s reviews and it looks like the turntable loses speed after some use (some report it slowing down and/or not working before a month of ownership. I haven’t had this problem). Some people say tape decks get stuck, other people say the CD’s won’t play. So I guess I’m kind of a lucky buyer in this case.

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I haven’t had any of these problems, but it looks like they’re serious, and it looks like they’re common. If you just want a record player, it does the trick, or at least it has for me. Just keep your receipt to be safe, and keep your eye on the turntable speed.

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I’m giving the Crosley a C+. It’s a good record player, MP3 player, and CD player, but it actually lies to the consumer about its cassette playing ability.

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