Hands-on with Crosley’s extremely limited edition Commonwealth C10 turntable

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Crosley has teamed up with renowned leather maker Moore & Giles to release a limited edition of its high-end C10 turntable. The special version of the C10 features a leather slip mat plus a layer of leather on top of the base. And it’s extremely limited. In fact, only 40 were made, and TechCrunch was able to get its hands on the very first unit.

From a technical perspective, this is still the same Crosley C10 that was previously released. The specs are as follows:

  • Belt-driven turntable that plays two speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM
  • 8.6″ Aluminum tonearm with sapphire bearings and adjustable counterweight
  • Pre-mounted Ortofon OM5e cartridge
  • Low vibration synchronous motor
  • Shock absorbent feet
  • Audio-grade MDF base (birch or mahogany)

And yes, this is a sharp-looking deck. Crosley sent the mahogany wood version, and it’s easily one of the better-looking turntables I’ve ever seen.

The topography of the land between Lynchburg and Louisville has been laser etched into the leather, giving the deck a unique and abstract look. The geography is a nod to the area shared by Crosley and Moore & Giles.

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The audio quality on the C10 is excellent, but it lacks a few playback features that other turntables in this price range often have. First, the C10 doesn’t come with a built-in pre-amp, so you’ll need to provide one yourself. A quality pre-amp will run you about $100.

Second, there’s no easy way to switch the playback speed from the exterior of the deck (from 33 1/3 to 45 RPM). Typically turntables in this price range will have a switch on the base to easily change speeds, but that’s not the case here. If you want to switch speeds, you have to remove the plate, adjust the band on the motor and then put the plate back in place.

It’s a bit burdensome, as demonstrated below.

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Third, there’s no auto-return arm, auto-lift or motor shut-off feature. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but I like some sort of safeguard that lifts the needle off the record at the end of a session.

The Crosley Commonwealth C10 turntable costs $840 and is available for pre-order on Moore & Giles’ website. That’s about double the price of the original C10. I’m not an expert on leather prices by any means, but that’s a pretty big premium for a purely aesthetic upgrade. A couple hundred bucks over the original C10 price seems more reasonable.

The Moore & Giles / Crosley Commonwealth C10 is a fancy turntable with amazing sound and a sleek look, but it’s quite expensive for what you get. There are a few features that it lacks that I wish it had, but none are deal breakers. Given that the tech specs are the same as the original C10, it really boils down to how much you are willing to pay for the new look.