Lauson CL506 Turntable, CD Recorder, Stereo Review

Lauson CL506 Turntable, CD Recorder, Stereo Review

December 4, 2019 2 By Kailee Schamberger


Thanks for tuning in. I’ve got something I consider to be fairly
special today, one of those trendy, yet old-timey/modern conglomerations with the turntable, CD recorder,
radio, all thrown into one unit kind of deals. It’s the Lauson CL506, and we’re getting into
it… right now. It arrived in a manner of packaging I’d expect
for something like this, and all I had to do was set my own stereo receiver to the side
and put the Lauson in its place. The Lauson won’t power external speakers,
but it will output through RCA jacks to a receiver, which is a feature I deeply appreciate. More on that later. The first thing I noticed after I setting
it up was the old-fashioned styling, which was neither under nor overdone for my taste. A pair of sort of whispy, curvy wooden trim
flanked by the cloth speaker grilles I’m used to seeing on vintage electronics compliments
the solid, almost intimidating control panel between the two speakers. I don’t think this panel is made of metal,
but the distressed brass appearance certainly is convincing enough for me not to give a
care what’s under there, if I’m honest. My only complaint about the appearance of
the CL506 is its plasticky-looking red radio tuner needle. I’d much prefer if it were either black to
match the dials, or some sort of silver or brass veneer. Then again, I may just be too young to remember
if in fact there were red needles on radios during the time period this product is emulating. The controls feel solid though and the power
button is very satisfying to press, so I think I can forgive the red needle. Sound quality and volume are both respectable. It’s enough to fill my average-size bedroom
where I set up this unit, and I expect it’d do just fine in the typical living room. It’s not the best sound I’ve ever heard, but
it’s good enough that I’d say you probably don’t need to connect any external speakers. Up top is the main event, the most important
feature on the CL506 – the turntable. I daresay they didn’t skimp up here. Short of making it fully automatic, I don’t
think there’s anything they could do up here to make it any better than it already is. There’s a convenient lever for raising and
lowering the tone arm, a switch to turn on or off the auto stop feature, and a selector
which provides all three major speeds – 33 1/2, 45 and even 78 RPM. There’s even an adapter for records with larger
holes, and a slot to accommodate large albums that still manages to keep them from sticking
out the back of the machine, reducing the dust that may fall onto the vinyl when the
player is not in use. Sound quality from the turntable is darn good,
and I can confirm from the recordings it makes that it’s stereo output, which is crucial,
and great to see. Speaking of the recordings, it can record
your vinyl onto a flash drive or SD card, though I wouldn’t say this is an audiophile’s
vinyl recorder. While it does record in stereo, which is the
first thing I checked, the recording is in 128kbps, which is far less than is required
to sate the discerning ear of a vinyl fanatic. It does record in stereo though, and at 44100
khz, which is decent, so I’ve got to give it that. For my tastes, I’m pretty hooked on big speakers,
so I’m hooking this thing up to my receiver so I can rock my albums on my system. And the Lauson is great for that – the RCA
outputs on the back make it dead simple to hook up to a bigger system, turning this into
a perfect addition to my setup, which lacks a CD player or a record player. It’s a win-win for me. Overall, I definitely recommend the CL506
to anyone who wants to listen to their vinyl or CD collection and either isn’t overly picky
about speakers, or has their own to connect to it. It looks super classy and feels solidly-built
– for sure, a welcome addition to a setup where form and function are equally important.