TURNTABLES: Jensen JTA-230 – a review for music lovers on a budget.NOT for non-budget “audiophiles”….

I love music and LOVE music on vinyl..
The presentation, covers, sound, quality, the different pressings everything about them.
And NO for some(like myself) this isnt a “trend” or “fad”.

I’ve loved vinyl since a kid&remember begging my parents and family members for their records and/or record players & now I see why they said “no”(although now i bet all those records&players are in a dump since everyones moved on to cds&digital media since). I also remember as a teen begging my mom to drive me to the local indie record store so i could buy the newest smashing pumpkins vinyl that was released on limited edition clear gold vinyl(and yes I STILL own it to this day! along with 100s of other records that I now treasure!)
BUT this article isnt about record collections or my love for vinyl or proving that some people arent just jumping onto what some call “another hipster fad” or “music marketing tactic”. NOPE this is about turntables, one in particular, the Jensen JTA-230.

I’ve been through a couple turntables(particular brands that i can recall have been Numark&Ion)some got lost during moves,some i’ve upgraded from,but all have been on the lower end price margin of the turntable world because well, thats my budget! Some turntables can reach the price bracket of the THOUSANDS! Props to you if you can afford such a expensive wonder! Some of us though can NOT, YET still have a love&passion for music as those who CAN. This review is for those people.

I posted this review on Amazon a couple of weeks ago and thought I may as well share it here as well. Since I posted that review the turntable is currently sold out on amazon,but is still available from other vendors.  I recently moved back home to florida and my standard stereo turntable is in storage in NYC but I was able to mail home my Ion Duodeck(a great lil machine for what it is,I must say, that plays cassettes and records but best if used with an external speaker if you can still find it)and though I had some great times with the duodeck I decided it was time to upgrade just a lil and make it my backup once again.

This particular turntable I found on amazon was only 50 bucks but had some VERY favorable reviews, so I decided to go with it. But enough chatter, heres the review I posted:

I purchased this turntable because it seemed to have pretty favorable reviews&since im on a pretty tight budget&wanted to “upgrade”a bit from my Ion duodeck I had been using for years as my vinyl collection rapidly continued to grow&I began to truly enjoy the”vinyl experience”,ive been embracing since a child,yet didnt have nearly the budget some of these “holier than thou””audiophiles”that review on forums&sites like this seem to have…

I received the turntable quickly but the 1st one I received gave off a strong electronic humming sound as soon as the motor started.Thanks to Amazons great return policy, I returned it and was PROMPTLY sent a replacement. The new one still had a slight hum through the speakers when set at a high volume once the motor started, but it seemed tolerable for the price. the sound is much better than my old ion duodeck that i loved for quite a bit so I was happy with that. It has very loud clean open sounds,BUT it does lack a bit of bass response,luckily I have powered speakers though with a bass enhancer which made it a little better. And also the tone adjustment knob tends to help with that aswell.

One thing I did notice though was it seems the needle/stylus wore out quite quickly,maybe from improper handling or the quality of it. I looked into replacements and most I found werent specifically for this turntable(buyer beware)so i was reluctant to purchase one from those buyers on ebay,etc but remembered another reviewer on here mentioned that Spectra(the actual manufacturer of this turntable)offers replacement needles for only 5 dollars! So I went ahead, called their customer service&ordered two and was quite delighted by the quick shipment of them. I replaced the needle(which can tend to be a bit difficult but just be patient&careful)and was surprised at the improvement of sound once I played a record again! It was now more crisp,open and clear, and Kate Bushs high pitched vocals sounded much more delightful and clear. So i would suggest saving money&time by ordering needle/stylus replacements directly from the manufacturer by calling the customer service# within the turntables manual for even more enjoyment. Also the tonearm did tend to skip a bit on some records but MOSTLY on very BASS driven(electronic/hiphop) albums which at times causes the needle to vibrate even more&due to this turntables inexpensive mostly plastic construction thats somewhat expectant. I simply taped a nickel to the far back top end of the cartridge&it played splendidly.

In closing I must say I did enjoy this turntable during the short time(nearly 2 months)I’ve owned it YET i MUST say…..only purchase this turntable if 1.you cant afford a better one but love listening to records(like me). 2.are just starting with vinyl&need something to test the waters before growing a pricey collection. 3.just like listening to a few records you own casually. Its a GREAT turntable for all those 3 reasons!!!
BUT if you CAN afford a better turntable I would HIGHLY suggest spending 50bucks more and purchasing a audio technica turntable! Or perhaps you’ll be fortunate,like I recently was,and WIN a audio technica one at auction for under 50 bucks that actually works! Yes I acquired a (gently)used audio technica turntable and compared to this jensen(which will now become my backup turntable)…the sound and handling IS quite incredible. I was splendidly pleased. But if you arent quite as lucky to find one that works at a price you can afford i would go with this turntable until you can!! and DONT be deterred by those “audiophiles”out there who are able to spend upward to thousands of dollars on turntables&somehow expects everyone else to be able to aswell. Music is to be enjoyed&loved so enjoy it however you can on whatever budget you can ie:this turntable 🙂
so in summary…
PROS:
PRICE, decent sound quality,size,flexibility, Spectra/Jensen customer service needle replacement &its great for a starter or casual listening turntable until you can upgrade to better!

CONS:
noisy little motor,motor humming sound through speakers, low bass response

Happy vinyl listening people! 🙂

So theres that! SO if youre on a small budget like myself I would definitely try this turntable out. Definitely use external speakers though(good sounding computer speakers can even be an improvement from the internal speakers on this unit).

But as I said in the review.. if you can afford an Audio Technica turntable for about 50 bucks more..DEFINITELY do it! Or maybe you can be lucky like myself and win one from an online auction site like ebay or goodwills like I did. I won mine for under 40 bucks with box and everything(it was missing an adapter though for connecting to speakers but i found that for only a couple bucks on ebay!). The particular one I have is the Audio Technica LP2D and it sounds GREAT!!

It also has a built-in preamp,which connected to small speakers with a subwoofer is awesome. The clarity and bass response is superb compared to the Jensen and also has a sleeker look. The LP2D has since been discontinued and replaced with the LP60 which can be found from $99 and up! I highly suggest you purchase an audio technica turntable but if you cant the Jensen JTA-230 will do you JUST FINE until you can upgrade to better!

2014-12-25-10-17-37_deco

Happy Vinyl Listening people!!

-Jermaine Jagger

ps:if you have any questions or need some help, dont be afraid to reach out in the comments sections below or email me 🙂

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