Unfortunately, no matter how perfect the musical signal from your equipment, you're still left with a problem:
The only way for loudspeakers to make music is by vibrating diaphragms, which is not how musical instruments work (except percussion, sort of).
Sure it can sound very good, but to be completely honest, it can take some imagination to believe you're hearing the real thing, and not a reproduction.
And now the good news:
In a very real sense, electrostatics are almost the same as having no diaphragm at all.
This is because electrostatic diaphragms are the only ones that are lighter than the air they vibrate against, which makes them almost literally open windows into your recordings.
For electrostatics, it doesn't matter that they make sound in a different way than musical instruments. The music comes through just as it was when it first reached the microphones. (You can read more here about how lightness matters.)
To that electrostatic goodness, we add deep, impactful bass by seamlessly integrating fast, low distortion woofers. And since the crossover is at a very low 500 Hz, even the woofers are free of breakup coloration.
Between the low distortion, the lack of coloration, the use of sealed (acoustic suspension) cabinets, and our careful attention to crossover design, the woofers give no clue that the entire loudspeaker isn't electrostatic.
When you put it all together, the realism is profound. Every recorded detail is revealed, and there are no phantom sounds competing for attention. The difference is instantly obvious. You hear more deeply into the music. You feel its meaning more completely. Hearing these speakers is like cashing in a special privilege card every time you sit down.
Last but not least, the attractive cabinets suit a wide range of decor, so arbiters of household furnishings tend to welcome them into the home. They're also easy to place, mainly because they're not dipoles, so they produce no back wave.
Controlled dispersion minimizes room ambiance, for a convincing you-are-there experience. It also further reduces the consequences of putting a priority on living space considerations over acoustics.
You get the best of big electrostatic performance, without the drawbacks, plus the deep bass and concussive dynamics of a traditional loudspeaker, all in a deceptively compact, space-saving design. The soundstage is tall, deep, and wide, and projects realistic instrument sizes. There's basically no reason left for anyone to make or own gigantic, full range electrostatics, anymore.
Our stand mount loudspeaker is called the Carmelita.
Both the Valentina floor-stander and the Carmelita stand-mount are available in passive or active versions. Both models are compact at only about 40" [1m] tall. Both have the sonic hallmarks of much larger speakers.
The actives feature a high grade, on-board DAC and five independent inputs -- two analog and three digital. The analog inputs are sensitive enough not to need a preamp. The inputs automatically self-activate, based on which one has a signal, A remote control comes standard for volume and other functions.
Imagine eliminating your amplifier, preamplifier, DAC, and speaker cables, all at once, and getting not only more convenience, but also exquisitely clear and natural electrostatic sound.
There's a new special option available on the Valentina, called Sound Everywhere (SE). You get real-time, remote control selection between directive vs. omidirectional sound dispersion. In the sweet spot, the difference is between a you-are-there vs. a they-are-here experience. In omnidirectional mode, the sound is uniform throughout the room, so you still get great sound when you're not in a listening seat.Let us hear from you
The keys are:
JansZen invented and patented the first practical electrostatic speaker in the early 1950's. Our modernized electrostatic transducer technology is the basis for delivering incomparably natural midrange and treble, while fast, ultra low-distortion woofers fill the room with deep, commanding bass and concussive drum impulses. These loudspeakers also project a detailed image across a soundstage that's strikingly wider, deeper and taller than the speakers, thanks to controlled dispersion and high phase accuracy. Beyond all that, JansZen loudspeakers create an impressively dynamic sound field that belies their modest size, thus contradicting the supposedly dainty character of electrostatic speakers. Top to bottom, their exceptionally high clarity, rounded fullness, and silky smoothness carry you to unexpected musical horizons.
For more information, have a look at the pages under the TECHNOLOGY menu above.
Our compact, closed-back (non-dipole) designs disprove every criticism of electrostatics we've ever heard. These loudspeakers are reliable, solidly built, beautifully finished, easy to set up, require minimal space, and can rock with the big boys, all without losing that natural electrostatic nuance and inner detail on complex, serious music.
If your restorative bliss involves reliving the original musical moment, frequently hearing new details, never feeling fatigued, and always wanting more, then JansZens are the speakers for you.
All modern JansZen Audio products extend the technology of Arthur A. Janszen, inventor of the first practical electrostatic speaker at the dawn of high fidelity audio, with later credit to Arthur's friend, Edgar Vilchur of Acoustic Research Corp., inventor of the acoustic suspension woofer. For the last 15 years, David has been at the helm, developing new designs and making them available to discerning music lovers worldwide.
JansZen loudspeakers are individually hand crafted to order by attentive artisans in our Columbus, Ohio workshop.
About the Valentina A8:
"The clarity and imaging of the JansZens is outstanding. The images had excellent depth, and the presentation was effortless, with no sign of strain. In this position [sweet spot], the image is almost holographic. However, the speaker sounds wonderful no matter where you sit. In my room, the bass is solid to the high 20’s, and there is absolutely no discontinuity between the midrange and bass. This seamless integration holds even at a volume high enough to be uncomfortable. In short, the speakers felt as if they had limitless dynamics coupled with very low distortion."
Full review posted to AudioCircle
— rfertel, 20 May 2020
About the Valentina P8:
"The original wonderful sounding but bass shy zA2.1 Valentina has had an impressive upgrade. Slam, bang, these woofers are delivering the goods. I have always considered these among the sweetest sounding speakers I’ve ever heard with very few short comings. With the most significant short coming removed, they are the sweetest and complete full range speakers I’ve ever heard."
Full review posted to the Audiogon Forum
— Lance E., October 2019
About the original Valentina Active:
"I love it!
"Lol, it's been a journey to get to this spot in listening pleasure, I still have a room mode to crush but these Active Valentina's are a pure joy to listen to. I can now understand why some who listen to Electrostatics won't go back to standard driver designs.
"The thing I love best about the Janszens is how resolving and fast they are when complex Orchestrated passages are run through them. They present the sound in a beautifully layered ethereal form as ethereal as the notes move through the air at a live large concert hall or orchestra pit, all in my little room as long as the recording is good."
— Brian H., November 2017
Florida Audio Expo attendee remark on Audiogon Forum about the Valentina A8:
"Lance, I never post here on Audiogon, or at least not for years, but I just posted a lengthy Capitol Audiofest trip report on another audio site and may post it here as well. The Janszen room was my favorite, and the only other room I thought was outstanding was the Genesis Maestro room.
The Janszen active Valentinas were shockingly good and with built in DAC and built-in biamped 500watts of Hypex Class D (which I thought I would hate...) nothing came close at $12,750... again for the whole system. It's unbelievable. I listened to many many rooms before coming to that conclusion. If I owned the JansZens, and I probably will as soon as I decide to make the investment, I would need about $50k for the whole Genesis Maestro system before I considered an 'upgrade'".
— Marco P., November 2019
About the Valentina A8, in heavily treated room, referring to playback of Mahler's 8th:
"I'll close by again telling you how amazing it seems to me when flutes play alongside soprano and they sound so natural and smooth all the time. Add in violins playing in a high register at the same time, and the overall presentation is thoroughly realistic.
"These speakers are perfect right out of the box -- no tweaks needed. That is the right way to do business, in my view: completely satisfy the customer's need on the first try.
"Attached PDFs show me selling my power amp and buying more music featuring soprano and flutes."
— Michael H., August 2020
About the original Valentina Active, paired with a subwoofer:
"In fact, the zA2.1a often makes instruments sound like 'the real thing.' By that, I don’t just mean that the tonal balance of instruments seems correct. Rather, I also mean that I can easily hear the way that sound resonates in and emanates from the bodies of instruments and vocalists.
"Another friend, who has long held that quality of reproduction has no impact on his enjoyment of the music he prefers, recently dropped by with a few CD’s in hand. About 15 seconds after I started playing his first CD, he turned to me and said, with a smile, 'Thanks for ruining my life.'”
— Barnet F., March 2016
Discussion thread about the second professional review of the original Valentina Passive (zA2.1):
"As another happy customer of these speakers I am thrilled to see this review. It has stressed the most important design elements of this speaker, the most notable for me being the perfect flow between the ESL panels and the woofers. The ESL panel qualities are almost a given, unless the designer doesn't know what he is doing. This is not a problem for the Janszen family. Making a hybrid ESL not sound like a hybrid is the tricky part, and these are the best I've heard in that department."
— jsm, August 2013
Discussion thread about an owner's in-home demonstration of the original Valentina Passive (zA2.1):
"I must say I was extremely impressed with the JansZens; powered by two Parasound A1 mono blocks, they were lightning quick, fluid, and displayed a cohesiveness typically only found full range drivers (the JansZens are two-way).
Although relatively modest in stature (I'm estimating 3' tall) the JansZens projected an image that more than filled his 17x20 room. Upright bass (my personal 'litmus test' so to speak) sounded magnificent and dead on the money."
— Green Lantern, July 2014
About the original Valentina Passive (zA2.1):
"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."
— jsm71, July 2013
Forum review of original Valentina Passive (zA2.1):
"Personally I believe David must be either a wizard or a genius. He has created something unlike any speaker I've ever heard. First, contrary to other hybrid speakers I've heard, I cannot find any sonic clue where the crossover occurs between electrostatic and cone, it is absolutely seamless. Next David damps the back wave from the electrostatic mid/tweeter, so it is not a dipole. This makes room placement much easier and avoids the need for placement well out into the room. That along with the size must rate high on the WAF scale. Yet somehow, even without the dipole projection this speaker is very spacious and presents a large and deep soundstage.
As Quad lovers will testify, loud playback levels are not the typical forte for electrostatics. All I'll say here is the Janszens will play back louder than I'd ever care to listen. Then there is the bass. Not only has he blended it so well that it is seamless but the quality and impact from the bass is simply amazing for two 7" drivers per channel. A friend brought over his Phonic RTA and after taking a measurement with pink noise proclaimed it to be as smooth a frequency response as ANY system he has measured, including usable bass response down to 31 Hz." JansZen's comment: Note that this model has since then been revised with larger (8") woofers, giving even deeper bass and more palpable impact.
— M3 Lover, November 2013
Because JansZen loudspeakers are built to order and have optional features, and the delivery time depends on the number of orders in our build queue at the moment, on-line ordering is impractical.
Our on-line store can be used, however, to get pricing.
For more detail, just give us a call or drop us an email. Once your questions are answered and your preferences known, we can give you a firm price that you can mull over, including shipping, cable lengths, wood species and finish, footer type, etc..
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