JansZen....

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capwkidd

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JansZen....
« on: 19 Jul 2013, 07:39 pm »
Any thoughts or opionions on there current offering, the 2.1?

jsm71

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #1 on: 22 Jul 2013, 11:41 pm »


I have had these speakers for about 9 months and love them.  My prior speakers were Maggie 1.7s, and were everything they were touted to be, a true value.  I wanted to get away from big dipole panels however and I really wanted a quality ESL.  The problem with all the ESLs that I liked were once again big dipole panels or models you can't buy anymore.

The JansZen zA2.1 is a sublime design.  First, the ESL panels are monopoles in sealed substructures that eliminate the panel's natural backwave.  This improves transient responses and allows for cabinet placement flexibility.  These do not need to be way out into the room although they will work this way just fine.  The monopole approach takes away the comb filtering issue with dipoles.   The ESLs are super and the latest design from the Janszen family.   The speakers are modest in size, just over 3' tall on the bases but can play with good volumes.  They will not shake the house however if massive volume is your thing.  If amazing realism and great tonal balance is, keep these in your sites.

The twin woofer approach is a line array that blends better than ANY other hybrid ESL design I've heard.  David Janszen really hit a home run in this area.  The two 7" woofers give you about the same cone area as a 10" woofer but they are super fast and have a sound quality to them that seems to simply extend the ESL panel.  Bass is flat to 40Hz but reaches I'm guessing to about 30Hz, albeit with roll off.  Deep bass is there better than with my Maggie 1.7s.  More importantly, the bass has far more weight than the Maggies, even the 3.7 model.  With the right amp that can "link up" to these woofers well, bass is outstanding.  My current amp (Sanders Magtech) was perfect for the Maggies but is not the right amp for these speakers.  The Janszens are much more easily driven despite their 87db sensitivity rating.  The Magtech is too much power and needs to be turned up too much to get into its best sound.  I'm in the middle of addressing that.  I can explain if anyone is interested.

The website can explain everything else like the tweeter and woofer controls better than me, but they really allow you to tailor the sound to your room and preference requirements.  Build quality is first rate.  Cardas single action binding posts are used.  The front baffles are 2" solid hardwood, as is the base.  The speakers are mounted on the base with a backward tilt for time alignment and to raise the soundstage over the distance of the room.  All aspects of the sound presentation are superior to the Maggies and more natural sounding.  These are list priced slightly above the 3.7 model but are fully worth it IMO.  These will be my retirement speakers.

DavidS

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #2 on: 14 Aug 2013, 01:18 am »
not sure if you saw this review - my first great speakers were maggies that I loved for many many years until my boys using them to learn to walk had me trade them for Thiels :(.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue59/janszen.htm

may have to un-retire so I can afford a pair of these as my retirement speakers!

MGbert

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #3 on: 14 Aug 2013, 01:52 am »
Any thoughts or opionions on there current offering, the 2.1?

I got to audition a pair at the DC Capital Audiofest earlier this month.  Very nice, but the room was a challenge so I can't say I heard them at their best.  One thing that did impress me was that, even though they are fairly low to the ground and angled up, they did not have the "soundstage in the orchestra pit" effect angled MMGs suffer from.  Very good (as in seamless) integration of the ESL panels and woofers.  And David Janszen was a very personable fellow to boot.  Would I get a pair?  If my situation was that placing a traditional planar in my room would not fly (ie, they HAD to be close to the walls) the design philosophy is great.  Otherwise, I'd be sorely tempted by Maggie 3.7's and save some change.

MGbert

jsm71

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #4 on: 16 Aug 2013, 08:43 pm »
Here is a more recent review by Positive Feedback that delves more into some of the design features.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue68/janszen.htm

I understand from David himself that the DC show was better than some others but still not his best showing.  I am not sure what the challenge is with show rooms because I find the setup to be pretty flexible.  As to a choice between the 3.7s and these, well, I have these and I have heard the 3.7s a number of times.  Good to have choices.  For me I wanted to get away from big planars.  I wanted to increase the sweetspot and good listening positions.  Lastly, I was set on getting an easy to live with ESL.  These are the first hybrid ESLs that didn't sound like hybrids.

Phil A

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #5 on: 16 Aug 2013, 08:54 pm »
The rooms at the Capital Audiofest were a little on the small side and the hotel was not the newest.  I thought they sounded good.  I  brought a thumb drive with lots of music, CDs, hi-rez PCM, DSD files which he played on the PC to an Exasound DAC to Bryston Power Pac monoblocks.




Pryso

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #6 on: 18 Aug 2013, 07:34 pm »
I find the zA2.1 to be a fascinating speaker.  David brought a pair to demo for our audio club at a member's home last spring.  I thought they showed great potential but were not fully satisfying.  Fortunately I arranged with David ahead of time to bring them home after that meeting for a better trial.  It was almost a different speaker!  The large sound stage, detail, and reasonable bass weight were not just retained but were much improved.  Most importantly for me, the sense of natural musical tones improved along with a real connectivity with the music.  At least six friends came by over the next week or so (including Roger Gordon, which convinced him to arrange his own audition, the review of which just posted on PFO) and every one was amazed by the improvement beyond the formal demo.  I can't say why my home experience was so much better, both rooms are decent sized and open into other areas of the house so both played into large areas.  Electronics?  Maybe.  And the demo played digital files and CDs while I listen to analog as much as CD.

Several weeks later I attended Newport THE Show so again heard a formal demo.  David admitted he had lots of problems with his room, and all I can say is how grateful I was for my in-home experience.  I ordered a pair which have now been delivered.  The more I listen, the more I appreciate both the obvious and subtle musical connections they provide.

Janszen offers a home trial and I strongly recommend anyone with a serious interest to take advantage of that.

TNRabbit

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #7 on: 19 Aug 2013, 03:10 am »
I heard the pair at the DC Capital Audiofest as well; was very impressed with them!

Video:


capwkidd

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #8 on: 19 Aug 2013, 04:08 am »
1 problem with an in home trial, is the default finish is ugly, the gray I mean..... a custom finish is not that expensive, but it's also not returnable... Hmmm...

Pryso

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #9 on: 20 Aug 2013, 06:31 pm »
Default finish?  Which is that?

I believe the most common zA2.1 has natural walnut baffles.  I've not seen anything in gray, on the Janszen website or any photos posted online, or are you referring to the cabinet rather than the front baffle board?  I ordered cherry baffles and find them very attractive, plus I've received complements from visitors on their appearance.

I would suggest contacting David directly if you have questions about options.

capwkidd

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #10 on: 20 Aug 2013, 09:08 pm »
Default finish?  Which is that?

I believe the most common zA2.1 has natural walnut baffles.  I've not seen anything in gray, on the Janszen website or any photos posted online, or are you referring to the cabinet rather than the front baffle board?  I ordered cherry baffles and find them very attractive, plus I've received complements from visitors on their appearance.

I would suggest contacting David directly if you have questions about options.

I am talking about the gray finnish to the back of the speakers and the stand/plinth .... If it where just black by default.... and I have talked to David, problem is, if you get somehting other than the default finish, they can not be returned.... I suppose I could order a pair, if I like them, send them back and order the finish I like....

Pryso

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #11 on: 21 Aug 2013, 08:18 pm »
Well, visual appeal is such a personal thing.  I was very particular about the wood selected for the front baffles on my pair.  And the cherry as delivered is beautiful.

As for the dark gray for the overall cabinet and base, here is something to consider.  Due to the design of the zA2.1 (enclosed cabinet) there is no need to place them well out into the room as with most dipoles.  So depending on the layout of your room, you may not be as likely to see much more than the fronts.

Now the demo pair I had at home were walnut which I thought matched well with the gray boxes.  Also David may offer a black ash front which would also minimize the contrast.  I will admit when viewed from the side my lighter front baffles do stand out more but that is not a perspective I see all that often.  I can't help more than this since I don't know what your specific objections are, other than possibly not liking gray.

Anyway, I hope you do find some opportunity to hear them in your room or a similar one.

capwkidd

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #12 on: 22 Aug 2013, 07:08 pm »
Well, visual appeal is such a personal thing.  I was very particular about the wood selected for the front baffles on my pair.  And the cherry as delivered is beautiful.

As for the dark gray for the overall cabinet and base, here is something to consider.  Due to the design of the zA2.1 (enclosed cabinet) there is no need to place them well out into the room as with most dipoles.  So depending on the layout of your room, you may not be as likely to see much more than the fronts.

Now the demo pair I had at home were walnut which I thought matched well with the gray boxes.  Also David may offer a black ash front which would also minimize the contrast.  I will admit when viewed from the side my lighter front baffles do stand out more but that is not a perspective I see all that often.  I can't help more than this since I don't know what your specific objections are, other than possibly not liking gray.

Anyway, I hope you do find some opportunity to hear them in your room or a similar one.

I guess not liking gray is a big one :) .... Also, in my room, I would always be walking by the side of either of the speakers, as 1 would be next to my front door, and the other next to my hallway door to the bedroom/bathroom.... so I will be seeing them from the sides as well....

jsm71

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #13 on: 23 Aug 2013, 07:32 pm »
The cabinet is a black smooth finish but not piano glossy.  It kind of depends on how the light hits it.  I don't feel like I'm seeing gray with mine.  My picture near the top of this thread shows Cherry baffles with the black cabinet.  There is flash effect with this picture for sure.  This picture below is the Cherry wood (before it naurally ages and gets a little richer looking) and the standard black cabinet taken from the web site.  Notice how the surfaces look different based on the lighting.  These cabinets are not gray.


capwkidd

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #14 on: 23 Aug 2013, 09:13 pm »
Pictures from the show in June....



daj

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #15 on: 23 Aug 2013, 09:43 pm »
Please give me another call, Captain. New policy: custom color on trial okay, but there's a restocking charge on return that you might find acceptable.

David

I guess not liking gray is a big one :) .... Also, in my room, I would always be walking by the side of either of the speakers, as 1 would be next to my front door, and the other next to my hallway door to the bedroom/bathroom.... so I will be seeing them from the sides as well....

Pryso

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #16 on: 24 Aug 2013, 05:48 am »
Interesting about jsm's pair.  Mine are definitely a dark gray, satin finish.  I might call it charcoal, but certainly not black.

But none of this matters now since David has taken another step to please his customers.  :wink:

SteveFord

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Re: JansZen....
« Reply #17 on: 15 Sep 2013, 11:10 am »
There was a very positive mini write up in this month's TAS.
What's this opening up the side tweeters bit?

jsm71

Re: JansZen....
« Reply #18 on: 16 Sep 2013, 08:12 pm »
I haven't seen anything official on the side tweeters.  I think David was doing this version of the speakers perhaps as a future prototype option.  These speakers are line source by nature and tend to project forward.  Set up well I like the soundstage just fine however.  In my room I get good width and depth if the recording has it in it. 

The side mounted tweeters appear to support a widening of the presentation by projecting the upper frequencies out to the sides.  The upper range affects directional imaging the most.  This would likely work but complicate the total package by adding the additional driver and require another crossover I would think.  David's a pretty clever guy so I doubt he would show this if didn't sound solid.