Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News

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BruceSB

Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« on: 28 Jan 2015, 03:54 am »
Very positive review of the JansZen zA1.1 in the February HiFi News.
Also got a place on the front cover!
On top of that they gave it a "Highly Commended" star.
HiFi News don't give undeserved complements.
They tell it straight, just like one other item in the same issue, which got an extremely ordinary assessment.
Very nice complement for JansZen.
Some quotes that would look very nice in a JansZen add!!!!
Very thorough assessment of this speaker (as is usual for HiFi News).
For any one considering this speaker (or even the zA2.1) this review would be a must read.
Bruce

mresseguie

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jan 2015, 04:19 am »
Bruce,

Thank you for the heads up. Unfortunately, one must have a subscription to read the review. Care to paraphrase what was said?

Michael

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jan 2015, 04:53 am »
Three pages of review, including background, technical matters, speaker set up, performance with different music, and a lab report including measurements and graphs..
My short one sentence summary is: sounds brilliant ("jaw dropping", "exquisite") with good recordings but bad recordings sound bad!
Here is the summary which HiFi News calls their verdict.
"This design is really the fruit of more than one lifetime's research and development, and it tackles the usual problems, particularly of room interaction, in unusual and effective ways. It produces all the loverly, natural purity that should be the hallmark of an electrostatic, without any real drawbacks. Perhaps not for headbangers, but a loudspeaker which, when used as intended can be endlessly rewarding."
Steve Harris and Keith Howard produced a review that was fair and comprehensive.
My summary really does not do the review of these speakers justice.
These reviewers were deeply impressed.
Like I said above, if you are serious about these speakers buy the February HiFi news on line if you have to!!
Just get it!!
For those with just a more general interest in electrostats I guess that it states once again what we already know, that a great electostat is great!!
Hope that helps.
Bruce


mresseguie

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #3 on: 28 Jan 2015, 07:42 am »
Absolutely, it does help!  :thumb:


jsm71

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #4 on: 29 Jan 2015, 02:51 pm »
I'm happy to see David Janszen getting positive press on these.  I've been enjoying my zA2.1s for a few years now and they are simply awesome.  They have urged me and rewarded me in spades to improve the rest of my system, little by little.  These smaller version speakers use the same basic approach and the same ESL panels.  I'm sure they are worth a hard look if you can't budget for the bigger model.  For some who like their speakers on stands, they may be a better fit.

Pryso

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jan 2015, 05:36 pm »
Thanks for posting Bruce.  For anyone with further interest in Janszens just search here for reviews and comments by jsm and myself.  My Za2.1s continue to delight me.

jaylevine

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jan 2015, 07:58 pm »
Bruce,

Thank you for the heads up. Unfortunately, one must have a subscription to read the review. Care to paraphrase what was said?

Michael

You can read the whole review via this link (which appears to be 'legal' and not a pirated copy of the magazine).

http://www.magastack.com/issue/1782-hi-fi-news-february-2015?page=44

mresseguie

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jan 2015, 08:30 pm »
Jay,

Thanks! That is an interesting site - didn't know about it till now.

+1

jaylevine

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #8 on: 29 Jan 2015, 10:21 pm »
Yeah, I never heard of it before---came upon it when I was googling the review. Has some motorcycle content as well--I assume these guys are paying the magazines for their use or have an agreement since it increases advertising circulation.

BTW: not kid friendly in some respects--good thing I am an empty nester  :evil:

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jan 2015, 11:15 pm »
Looked up the review, nice to see it on line.
But!!!
They left out page three (graphs, technical, verdict and the rest of the review stuff)!
Still, page three only said more or less the same sort of thing.
Good review, especially given the context of a magazine that does not give everyone a good (great?) review (case in point the Melco NIZ on page 56!).
Yes, David Janszen should be very proud of this speaker!
Yes, that was a good site!
Nice to see reviews of products that are not just the same old same old small group of favourite manufactures!
Wonder how long it will be before some of this review appears on the JansZen website?

jaylevine

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #10 on: 30 Jan 2015, 12:04 am »
i think all of the content is there. you just have to page forward past the adverstisment.

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #11 on: 30 Jan 2015, 12:11 am »
Thanks.
Yes, the rest of the review is there!
I guess this is another great example of how folks help each other here!!!
Thanks again.
Bruce

Pryso

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #12 on: 2 Feb 2015, 11:46 pm »
The HiFi News review included many complements on the sonics of the smaller Janszen.   :thumb:  However, the lab report appears to be in conflict with measurements posted on the Janszen site.   :duh:  If you are interested, find the link at the very top of that site for David Janszen's rebuttal.

http://www.janszenloudspeaker.com

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #13 on: 3 Feb 2015, 02:26 am »
The speaker had two "reviewers", the person who did the bulk of the review (Steve Harris) and the person who did the speaker measurements.
It appears that the speaker measurement guy may have taken some measurements in the wrong place and whatever.
Hey, why not send some comments to the Sound Off/letters to the editor and see where it goes?!!
But, by and large it was a great review.
Steve Harris had heaps of great things to say about the speaker.
It got a Highly Commended star.
All in all pretty good.
Even better when HiFi News do not say that everyone's product is great!!
Not everyone gets a star!!
The Melco NIZ (a similarly priced item), page 56, got a bad review and no star!!
David Janszen was obviously quite upset on his site, and I understand why, but the explanation is pretty clear, non-optimum measuring position.
Easy to explain and to understand.
But the review itself was a really good one all things considered!
If I was buying, and I am a strong potential customer, but for the zA2.1, I would find the review one to give me strong encouragement to purchase, and the measurement section is simply telling me what I already know, that is that the measuring position is really important.
That's my take on it.
What do you other guys think?
Bruce

jsm71

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #14 on: 3 Feb 2015, 03:56 pm »
I think having accurate and meaningful measurements are important and can often influence the buying decisions of other gear. 

I learned from measurements in a Stereophile review that my preamp performs best (widest frequency range) with amps that have input impedances up around the 100k ohm level, similar to all tube amps.  That caused me at the time to buy a SS amp that had that rating.  I now use a tube amp that also mates well.

Seeing a truthful frequency response curve for the speakers can augment what your ears are telling you.  This provides good data for subwoofer decisions.

When I first heard a 25 watt tube amp easily driving (with volume limitations of course) my JansZen zA2.1s with surprising bass I wondered how that was possible.  I believe the answer is the benign impedance range of the speakers.  The amp wasn't stressed in any way other than wattage.  I now run with a 40 watt/ch tube amp from Decware and it gives me all the volume I need.  I know of another zA2.1 owner running the same amp.  David's speakers are easy to drive when compared to other ESL or planar choices.  They aren't in the HE realm, but tube amps are fair game.  I never considered one when I had Maggies.

Buying prospects for the zA1.1 can benefit from having David's charts.

Pryso

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #15 on: 3 Feb 2015, 11:23 pm »
Bruce, your points about the positive comments coming from HF News are reasonable.  However I'm not sure others would see it as "I would find the review one to give me strong encouragement to purchase" if they were concerned about sensitivity or impedance load.  For example, would jsm71 ever considered trying a 25 wpc tube amp if he only read that review?  I happen to know he came at that from a different direction but I suspect many potential buyers could be dubious and even eliminate the Janszen with concerns for one or both of those lab findings.  I suspect that is what may have bothered David so much.  And how many months would it take to get his rebuttal printed in the magazine?  That may be coming for all we know, but I think it was reasonable for him to post his reaction right away on his own site.

Now as I mentioned previously I have the zA2.1 (and have never heard the 1.1) and I can tell you they are delightful with many types of music, not just classical.  I also listen to jazz, both small group and big band, as well as classic rock and blues.  Two nights ago I put on an Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughn album and I've never heard them sound better.  It was smokey and funky, just the way I like it.  :thumb:

Russell Dawkins

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #16 on: 3 Feb 2015, 11:50 pm »
Pryso, I think we can take comfort in one thing, and that is if anyone's curiosity was aroused by the HFN review, they will find David's website and then presumably see David's response to the review (as well as the 30 day satisfaction guarantee) and be reassured.

Nevertheless, the measurements errors were extremely unfortunate for the reasons you mention and if I were David I would be livid, especially in  light of the fact that at HFN manufacturers cannot see an advance copy of the review and respond to errors. I don't think this would happen in the litigious USA because this could be valid grounds for a lawsuit. After all, a reviewer could skew the measurements any way they wanted if the intent (for whatever reason) was to discredit a product, then claim innocent error. If the manufacturer OK'd the review there would be no grounds.

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #17 on: 4 Feb 2015, 01:29 am »
Yeah, I am sure David Janszen is in a bind.
One thing I would hope that he would do is to make the rebuttal even more prominent on his site.
Yes, I can understand that certain low powered valve/tube folk could be discouraged.
Actually I am the opposite, I like high powered, low impedance solid state amps so I sort of forgot that others could be so discouraged!!!
Silly me!!!
Funny thing that this problem could only happen with speakers.
The HiFi News editor is some sort of super careful, ultra expert when it come to measuring HiFi but he does not do speakers!!
I do hope that David does write to the HiFi News editor.
Maybe the speaker measuring guy needs a bit of a kick up the pants?
Maybe the editor might make the speaker measuring guy re-do his measurement?
Anyway it would be good to set things right!
I guess this is the down side of a high profile HiFi mag doing a review.
If they get it right you are laughing but if they get it wrong you are crying!!
Still, the JansZen speakers do have a strong history of good/great reviews and a good reputation for great speakers.
David Janszen himself, and I am also speaking personally also, has a good reputation for being personable and responsive to his potential customers.
I think that counts for a lot in a specialist market.
In my own case, as I work though a lengthy process of preparing for my next upgrade, I am very pleased (& maybe it is no coincidence!!) that my two possibilities are from state of art electrostatic manufactures who are absolutely great to deal with!
By the way, I have notice lots of JansZen speakers adds in HiFi News recently.
Wonder, after this, whether those adds will continue?!
Just some additional thoughts.
Bruce

BruceSB

Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #18 on: 28 Feb 2015, 03:56 am »
Just got the latest (March) HiFi News.
First off I turned to the Sound Off/Letters to the editor page.
Thought David Janszen might have responded to those measurements problems.
Nothing!!!!
Don't know his reasons for not responding, but, I will admit I was looking forward to to seeing the reasons offered for those measurement problems.
Even more I would have liked to see the editor's (Paul Miller) response!!
As I read further in that February issue, I noticed in this same Sound Off section Paul Miller commented that he does not miss anything.
I suspect that Mr Miller is probably already aware of the issue and very likely the appropriate kick has been dispensed, but that does not help those review problems!!!!
Just some extra thoughts.
Bruce

Pryso

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Re: Review of JansZen zA1.1 in HiFi News
« Reply #19 on: 28 Feb 2015, 11:59 pm »
I contacted David as soon as I read the posted links and he was quite frustrated as you might imagine.

He may feel posting his retort on his own site was sufficient but I would think a polite letter to HFN might reach more people and then suggest they visit his site for clarifications.