Jensen JTA-230 Review
Cons: Poor sound, difficult to use, flimsy construction
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$55 List||$400 List||$250 List||$250 List||$250 List|
|Pros||Inexpensive||Exceptional sound quality, high quality construction, easy to use||Great sound, high quality construction, easy to use||Good sound, fully automatic cueing, great vibration resistance||Good sound quality, fully automatic cueing|
|Cons||Poor sound, difficult to use, flimsy construction||Susceptible to skipping if bumped, expensive||Expensive||Expensive||Somewhat prone to skipping|
|Bottom Line||A very inexpensive option that sounds correspondingly bad||Superior sound for a model in this price range, a perfect first player for discerning listeners looking to start their vinyl journey||Great sound and user friendliness make this turntable great for almost anyone||Great for those that want good sound and something that won’t skip if the vinyl inspires some dancing||Great for those that want fully automatic cueing and good sound|
|Rating Categories||Jensen JTA-230||Pro-Ject Debut...||Audio-Technica...||Fluance RT81||Audio-Technica...|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|Component Quality (25%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Vibration Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Jensen JTA-230||Pro-Ject Debut...||Audio-Technica...||Fluance RT81||Audio-Technica...|
|Cartridge||Jensen 222NDL||Ortofon 2M Red||Audio Technica AT95E||Audio Technica AT95E||Audio Technica AT91R|
|Operation||Manual||Manual||Manual||Fully Automatic||Fully Automatic|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Jensen JTA-230 was quite underwhelming in our testing as it was difficult to use and didn't sound very good. We would strongly suggest spending a bit more if you're looking for a budget record player, as even a slight increase in price can bring a huge increase in quality. .
The Jensen JTA-230 was one of the worst overall performers in our testing. Below we detail all of the testing results that led to that low score.
The Jensen JTA-230 was close to the bottom of our sound quality scoreboard, earning a 3 out of 10. This bested only the other sub $100 model we tested, the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed. Almost everything we listened to on this turntable sounded somewhat muffled. It also had a very narrow dynamic range, making the music sound thin, weak, and tinny. Overall we much preferred listening to mp3's than listening to records played on this machine.
The Jensen JTA-230 only lists for $50, and it shows. It received the lowest component quality score of any of the models we tested, a 2 out of 10. It uses a flimsy plastic platter with no soft material to insulate the record from vibrations. The tonearm is also flimsy plastic, as is the majority of the player body.
The Jensen also fared poorly in our user friendliness testing, sharing the bottom score of 3 out of 10. It does automatically identify what type of record you're playing and adjusts its speed to 33, 45, or 78 rpm as needed, but unfortunately that is where the convenience stops. It has no tracking force adjustment and no cue lever. This means you have to move the tonearm and set the needle to the record yourself. In general this isn't a difficult skill to master, but in the case of the Jensen the tonearm is a bit sticky when it moves around, making things a bit difficult. It also means you can't adjust the tracking force if things aren't sounding right. It does offer digital conversion, which is nice. Unfortunately the resulting mp3 files sound like the Jensen does, which isn't so good.
The Jensen was again at the bottom of the leaderboard in our vibration resistance testing, earning a score of 3 out of 10. In our testing it skipped if we even grazed against the table that it was sitting on, while all the other models were able to withstand at least moderate bumps without skipping,
Although the Jensen's list price of $50 is very low, its performance is correspondingly poor. This makes it a bad value. If you want a budget record player and can handle spending a nit more there are far better valuesto be found.
The Jensen JTA-230 offers a shoestring price point but fails to provide solid enough performance to be worth even that low price.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata