The Crosley CR6010A-Re Collegiate USB Record Player is another one of Crosley’s best quality units for the price.
It’s a great choice if you’re new to vinyls or you have an old collection you want to bring out or retirement.
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Although it’s considered an entry level record player that won’t give you high fidelity sound like a high-end turntable, this unit has a lot more to offer than other record players in a similar class and price range.
The look and feel of the unit are eye-catching with a sharp, retro look. And this all-in-one solution won’t damage your vinyls because it comes with a much higher quality moving magnet cartridge made by one of the biggest names in the audio sound market – Audio Technica.
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It’s also portable which makes it super easy to move around the house to wherever the party is and, even take it along when you’re on the go. It’s not however battery operated, which would be a nice feature for Crosley to add in the future.
This record player also comes with a USB interface and free software for easily converting your vinyl records into digital format.
So, if you’re shopping around for high quality, a self-contained record player that’s got style and won’t damage your records the Crosley Collegiate an excellent choice at a more than a reasonable price tag.
Features of the Crosley CR6010A Collegiate USB Record Player
But before you go out and buy one of these record players let’s look at the most important features, this way you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to get the most out of your record player.
This self-contained record player has a 3 speed transmission so it will play at 33, 45 and 78 RPM. And it can handle 7″, 10″ and 12″ records. There’s a 45 adapter included for playing your 45’s.
Considering the overall size of a record player is important since the bigger it is the more power it has. Bigger is better when it comes to all-in-one record players because more size means more power.
The Crosley CR6010A Collegiate USB Record Player is very well built. Most all-in-one solutions are flimsy and rickety but the Collegiate has a solid design and it’s sturdy.
When you handle it you’ll immediately notice the feeling of durability with this record player, but it’s not to heavy to move around and it has a handy built-in leather strap for easy carrying.
The dimensions are; 14 x 13 x 6 inches and it weighs about 10 lbs.
Most record players in this class are designed with a belt drive and the Crosley Collegiate is no different here.
The upside to a belt-driven unit is that the belt acts as a shock absorber, keeping the vibrations resonating from the motor away from the stylus and tonearm.
The downside to a belt drive is that the platter speed is not as accurate as a direct drive unit and start-up time is longer.
Unfortunately, Crosley didn’t include a pitch control function for fine-tuning speed, which would be a nice to have featured in future upgrades of the Collegiate.
The record player is almost completely manually operated. So you’ll have to cue the tonearm at the beginning of the record. This is a handy feature for cueing specific tracks but users with a less than steady hand might find this a drawback.
The unit does have an auto-stop function which means once the final track is finished the motor will stop turning the platter. This is great if you have a habit of falling asleep while playing music since it reduces the wear on your vinyl.
Because it’s not fully automatic, you’ll still need to return the tonearm to its place. It’s worth noting here that the auto-stop function does not work as reliably when playing 78’s since the tone arm jumps back and forth meaning the motor will keep running.
Some users have also complained that the auto-stop function turns the motor off halfway through 45 and 78 RPM records. This can be annoying but there is a simple fix but it requires that you open it up and cut off the node that causes the auto-stop to kick in.
The video below will show you how. The downside to making this mod is that when the tonearm reaches the end of the record the motor will keep spinning. It’s a trade-off really, but this is something to consider before buying this record player.
Cartridge and Stylus
Almost all self-contained record players come with cheap ceramic cartridges that can be very heavy on your vinyl records.
But Crosley hit a home run with the Collegiate by factory fitting it with a moving magnet cartridge and an Audio Technica NP5 diamond stylus.
This feature alone makes this record player my first choice.
Considering the speaker size of a self-contained record player is an important factor – bigger is better. Again, Crosley made a slam dunk with the speakers on the Collegiate.
Although the large aluminum grill looks like one mono speaker inside there are two 4ohm dynamic full range speakers. And the sound they produce is more than decent, playing even at full volume with no sound distortion.
An added benefit of the Crosley Collegiate record player is that the tone knob will give you much more control over the sound. Depending on which way you turn the knob, either the bass or the highs will be accentuated.
The positioning of speakers on a self-contained unit is another important feature to consider. Record players with front-facing speakers like the Crosley CR6010A Collegiate are the best because the sound is more direct.
There is also a headphone jack and RCA jacks so you have the option of connecting it to external speakers that will provide even better sound.
If you do want to use external speakers they need to be self-powered or plug into a power source.
The record player also comes factory fitted with a built-in preamp so it’s literally plug and play, you don’t need to add external speakers but it is a good upgrade.
The Crosley Collegiate has no silly and unnecessary extras like a CD player or AM/FM radio. I like this because more moving parts means more vibration on the stylus and tonearm.
Crosley did a fine job of keeping this record player as simple and uncomplicated as possible. It’s for playing records or ripping vinyl tracks, if you wanted to listen to a CD or the radio there are better options to do that.
USB and Connectivity
This record player comes with a USB interface, so you can use it to copy your favorite vinyl tracks to digital MP3’s for listening to on the go.
Just hook it up to your PC and use the free Audacity software included to start ripping those tracks.
It’s worth mentioning that the software on the CD included might be an older version.
But since Audacity is open source you can head over to their website and download the latest version.
The headphone jack is also a great option to use if you’re considering external speakers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I hook this up to better speakers if I need to?
This record player can operate in a couple of ways. You can hook it up to your PC via USB and play it through your computer. You can play vinyls through the built-in-speakers.
Or, you can plug self-powered speakers into the headphone jack. For this to work, the speakers will require an outside power source.
Can the cover close while playing records?
No, the cover should be removed completely while playing records. This can easily be done by unclipping the retro style cabinet clips at the back of the record player. It can just as easily be clipped back on again after use.
What is the replacement needle for this record player?
You can get the Audio Technica NP5 diamond stylus specifically for the Collegiate. They cost about 5 bucks on Amazon.
Is the software compatible with MAC?
Yes, you can use the software on a MAC or a PC. Just check for the latest version on their website – you can download it for free.
Should You Buy the Crosley CR6010A Collegiate USB Record Player?
The Crosley Collegiate is one of the best quality all-in-one record players on the market. Considering the class it’s in, the Collegiate stands head and shoulders above its competition. Rivaled only by the Crosley Nomad.
The sound quality from the built-in dynamic full range speakers is more than decent with no distortion at top volume and you have the option to hook it up to external speakers for even better sound.
With the high quality moving magnet cartridge and diamond stylus from Audio Technica, a solid build and sharp retro look this record player should be a top contender if you’re in the market for an affordable, durable and stylish all-in-one record player.