A comprehensive review of the Jensen JTA-230

A Comprehensive Review of the Jensen JTA-230

Are you a long time record player enthusiast or maybe you just sparked an interest in music and looking forward to owning one of these retro music players? Well, if that is the case, then you can be sure to find a wide range of turntable models for sale. However, this should not be a license to fall for just any turntable you come across. Notably, there are brands and models that have been tried and tested. One of these is the Jensen record player JTA-230.

Jensen is, no doubt a household name when to comes to turntables. Founded in 1927, the company has steadily grown through the years to earn the trust and confidence from its customers, thanks to their outstanding quality and dedication to making music lovers find just the right audio products. Being a customer favorite, the Jensen jta-230 3 speed stereo turntable with built in speakers may be just what you have been looking for. But what makes it stand out? We look at all that you may need to know before making up your mind.

Jensen JTA-230 Review

The Jensen JTA-230 stands out as a sensational value, thanks to its top-of-the-line technology and progressive features for a Jensen turntable.  This belt-driven turntable features a three-speed compatible motor and comes complete with tone, pitch and volume control. With its built-in speakers, you can be sure to derive convenience without any compromise on its portability considering it only weights 5.5 pounds.

At this digital age, you want to have a turntable that conforms to your digital preferences. Well, here you have one since the Jensen JTA-230 gives you the much sought ability to convert records into digital form, courtesy of its USB cable and port. What’s more, this product oozes versatility thanks to its software that can record, edit and convert MP3. With its auxiliary input jack, you can be sure to do even much more that includes connecting your MP3, iPod or just any other digital music device you may fancy. In fact, you can be sure to work even more conveniently with your audio, thanks to the stereo headphone jack and RCA line-out jacks that have been built into the system.

We also like the fact that the JTA-230 features a modern design, what with its sleek, black interior. Considering its labeling, this turntable can even be used by amateurs as can be seen with the clearly labeled auto stop and power switches. The same also applies for the volume, tone and output jacks that are easily noticeable right on the front side of the turntable. Well, in short, just the fact that this is a Jensen product is enough to tell you that you can expect to find a perfect combination of affordability, simplicity and functionality to give you a well-rounded product.

Well, even with this said, it should be noted that its inbuilt speakers have been built for the moderate sound and we can guarantee that you won’t be shattering any windows with its volume all turned up to the maximum, even if you wanted to. Its noise level is satisfactorily adequate either for personal listening or for simple parties with a few of your friends. For bigger parties, though, you may need to connect bigger speakers or amps but you can rest assured that the sounds from its inbuilt speakers is great for what it is meant to work for.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Supports all three speeds
  • Decent sound for its size
  • Clearly labeled and easy to use
  • No adjustments and set up needed
  • Convenient connection to a personal computer
  • Availability of stylus replacements from the vendor
  • 3.5 mm and RCA outputs
  • Ideal for casual or starter listening

Cons

  • Its small speakers may not produce very loud sound
  • It does not feature a lever for lifting the tonearm, you have to manually lower or raise it
  • No automatic start-stop available
  • Limited tone control
  • Cannot be upgraded
  • Initial impression

During our initial set up and use for review, we were impressed by the deck’s design and labeling. As much as we were skeptical of its ability, we soon realized that this his self-contained deck worked best for us especially considering we were vinyl starters. This works best for people who love to listen to a few records from time to time. If you are not too focused on high fidelity sound, then you can be sure to find a great helper in the JTA-230 when it comes to transferring your vinyl albums to a digital format easily. Need an easy to use deck that will not confuse you with the complicated set up? Well here you have it.

Outstanding Features

Tonearm, Motor and Platter -  As you may have already noticed, this unit is almost entirely manual in its operation. Its auto-stop feature stops the platter from spinning as the needle approaches that end of the record but it won’t return the arm automatically to its rest. Its tonearm is made of plastic and does not feature any lever and this means you have to manually lift it.

The motor is specifically meant to spin the platter. This can be done either by direct drive or belt drive. The belt, on the other hand, works as a vibration damper  to help prevent the stylus from picking up the noises that result from the motor.

Turntable controls –The Jensen JTA-230 features distinct controls that make it much easily to work with. Considering its labeling, this deck can easily be used even by an amateur. Some of its notable controls are:

  • Power on/off switch
  • Power indicator
  • Auto-stop switch
  • Tone control
  • Volume control
  • Pitch control speed selector

Body and look – The Jensen JTA-230 is almost wholly made of plastic. It stands out with its light, small and flimsy look and feel. It features a dust cover with its sides conveniently cut to make it much easier to close it during playback. At the bottom are non-skin rubber feet to hold it in place.

Worthy Alternative-Well, we understand that you may now necessarily fall in love with all the features of the Jensen JTA-230 and there may be that one or two features you wish it had. You need not worry as you can still find befitting options that will meet your needs. One of the best alternatives to the JTA230 is the JTA-222. As much as it may be smaller than the JTA-230, it still shares most of the functionalities like the RCA outputs, 3-speeds, integrated speakers and headphones jack.

Looking at Jensen jta-230 vs JTA-222, however, you will notice that speakers for the JTA-222 are front facing and this may explain why it produces much cleared sound its counterpart that has its speakers facing the sides. What’s more, unlike the JTA-230, the JTA-222 functions as an AM/FM receiver. As such, you may not even notice that you are losing the iPod connectivity in case this happens. Its wooden case is classy in design and look. So if you are looking for better sound and more affordability, this may be your best bet yet.

The Jensen JTA-230 Buying Guide

Criteria used

Well, now that you are looking for a turntable that can specifically fit to your needs, it is important that you get to understand how we settled at the Jensen JTA-230. This will come in handy in helping you decide if indeed these are the parameters you would look out for when looking for just the right record player for your musical needs.

To start with, we looked at its operations. With the realization that the modern turntables user either direct drive, belt-drive or digital systems, were keen to take a closer look into this aspect. The belt-drive operation is an older operation that makes use of an elastometric belt that helps spin the record. The direct-drive option on the other hand moves the turntable by using the power of a motor. Lastly, the digital operation system involves speed and volume control coupled with digital readouts.

The other criteria that came to play when selecting the Jensen JTA-230 is the turntable’s compatible rotational speed in regards to it being either automatic, manual or semi-manual. Modern decks either fall in the 2-speed or 3-speed category. 2-speed options are known to play 33 1/3 and 45 RPM while 3-speed options can work with up to 78 RPM a speed most preferred by vintage records and which the JTA-230 works with.

Things to consider when selecting the JensenJTA-230

Cartridge and Stylus – If you are looking for a turntable that may fall on the range of under $100 will most likely come fitted with a ceramic cartridge.  The JTA-230 falls in this category. Ceramic cartridges are preferred by many due to its affordability and the fact that this does not compromise on its toughness.  Since you are looking for a low end-but durable turntable, then this is what you would go for. Most cheap record players are made of lightweight plastic, something that may be detrimental while using it since it is greatly affected by vibrations and are less sturdy.

Getting a great stylus plays an important role in your deck’s usability. As such, the JTA-230 features a standard 0.7mm diamond-tip stylus. This works best in playing records at 35 RPM and 33  RPM.

Software – Well, if you are out to digitize most of your vinyl collection, then you know you need deck that will do a pretty job at that. Well, the good news is that the Jensen JTA-230 offers just that. In fact, this is one of the top features in this deck that will most likely make you take a second look at. The Jensen team saw the need to include a USB port directly into their record player and still went ahead to include a USB cable in the box. This basically means that you will not need any special adapters or drivers to get the job done and all you have to do is plug in and start ripping.

However, in order to use this software conveniently with the JTS-230, you will also need the audacity software. For this, you can easily make a free download online and you will be ready to go. In case, this becomes a challenge, Jensen still got you covered, thanks to its handy CG download of the program that comes with the box.

It should, however, be noted that the Jensen JTA cannot be updgraded. As such, it is advisable that you go for a new unit rather than a used on since then, you can be sure of getting the deck still in optimum working condition and its software still working. What’s more, the JTA-230 comes ready to play since it is factory adjusted. By going for a new deck therefore, you are sure that you are getting a unit that has not been tampered with in terms of its settings, especially if you are a rookie in turntables.

What Other People are Saying About the Jensen JTA-230

Overall, the users of this unit have been generally satisfied with its operation. However, most of them agree to the fact that the sound that comes out of its speakers is nothing to write home about since it does not have much bass and is not too loud. However, this same aspect has been praised by users who are only looking at using this for personal use. On the other hand, some users love this type of sound owing the fact that it is almost similar to what most people had been used to prior to the digital era.

There have also been opinions from users who attest to the fact that this unit works best on sound quality if connected to external speakers. In consideration to its price however, this deck generally meets and even exceed most consumer expectations.

In regard to its characteristics and features, users of this turntable have praised its convenient size and weight that makes it easier to store.

Aside from this, there have been report that is a favorite during the festive season if the report by Fact.com in 2015 is anything to go by where it reported to have noted records-breaking sales of the Jensen JTA-230 over the Christmas holiday season.

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