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Published on March 16th, 2012 | by Greg


Crosley Ranchero: Great Looks, Lacking Features

The 1950′s con­tin­ue to in­spire de­sign. Now, most of our staff (and a ma­jor­i­ty of our read­ers) weren’t yet around dur­ing the decade to ap­pre­ci­ate the style. But there’s no doubt that the old-fash­ioned, retro look grabs at­ten­tion. We’ve seen plen­ty of in­ter­est­ing in­te­ri­or de­sign and fash­ion that plays with the style of the era, whether they be fur­ni­ture re­pro­duc­tions or sim­ply vin­tage cloth­ing while wan­der­ing around Brook­lyn.

The lat­est from Crosley is the Ranchero, mod­erl CR3001A. A com­bi­na­tion ra­dio and iPod dock, it of­fers a lim­it­ed fea­ture set but serves up tunes with good looks. Ours was black, though red and white mod­els are avail­able, as well as a green one that ap­pears to be an Ur­ban Out­fit­ters ex­clu­sive. That last bit of in­for­ma­tion should tell you some­thing- this isn’t an au­dio­phile piece of hard­ware, but a hip show­piece. Vis­i­tors asked about it, but be­yond the pret­ty face, we have to ad­mit to be­ing dis­ap­point­ed.

We’ve seen Crosley gear be­fore- their Spin­nerette al­so put form over func­tion a bit but worked quite well. And we still bring out the Crosley Rev­o­lu­tion USB Turntable on oc­ca­sion, when we need to get our vinyl dig­i­tized. But the Ranchero felt a bit cheap- the knobs weren’t as sol­id as we would’ve liked con­sid­er­ing the price, and there was no re­mote, no in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­i­ty, no clock, and cer­tain­ly no wire­less or Air­play. The AM/FM ra­dio did pick up sig­nal and sta­tions rea­son­ably well, but au­dio was unim­pres­sive. We played back a few tracks from an iPod, in­clud­ing some clas­si­cal, hip-hop, and rock tracks and ev­ery­thing sound­ed a lit­tle fuzzy. Bass re­sponse was mid­dling, and sep­a­ra­tion as well. Pop mu­sic was pass­able, and jazz did sound re­spectable, but again we were look­ing for more oomph and clar­i­ty.

There is an aux­il­iary in­put port, for those who want to con­nect a de­vice be­sides an iPod or iPhone. But for near­ly $200, we would’ve liked a weight­i­er unit with warmer sound and bet­ter specs. The aes­thet­ics are great, and we cer­tain­ly like the look of the unit on our side table, but can’t rec­om­mend it for most users. Avail­able now.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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