Valentina Active (zA2.1A): John Grandberg wrote a very comprehensive review of the powered version of the Valentina, posted August 2016 on The Part Time Audiophile site. "These JansZens sounded far better than they had any right to considering the lack of care that went into setup. I could have simply left them as-is for the remainder of my listening and they would have earned a very positive review." After setting up, "The resulting sound was among the very best I’ve encountered on any system, anywhere." John goes on to be very specific about what he means by this.
Carmelita (zA1.1): Tom Andry presented a talking review on his AV Rant podcast #476 in March 2016. It starts after intros and banter at 00:06:30 and lasts through 00:20:30 . ". . . absolute holographic imaging . . . If you're an audiophile and the rest of your family doesn't care . . . this is the perfect little solution right here.. . . and they're definitely something special."
Carmelita Passive (zA1.1): Robert E. Greene wrote a very detailed review for the Dec 2015 issue of The Absolute Sound (p148 - 154) also linked in the article's summary on the TAS web site. Among his many accolades was, "If you see them in someone’s house, you can be sure that that person is a true connoisseur, not just of audio as a whole, but of a certain kind of audio, of the pursuit of that almost mystical experience that one can have on occasion of leaving one’s listening room and moving into a world of ethereal beauty of sound, without giving up warmth and fullness."
Carmelita Passive (zA1.1): John Acton wrote a thorough review of the zA1.1 in the Dec 2015 on Positive Feedback, ending with, "With the zA1.1, David Janszen has accomplished a supreme feat of engineering in distilling the myriad benefits of electrostatic speaker technology down into a compact, attractive, easy-to-place package that just happens to sound like real music. Uncolored and transparent, and possessing extraordinary levels of clarity, the JansZen zA1.1 is a remarkable performer."
Valentina (zA2.1): Hiroshi Shigeru Onodera wrote, in Japanese, a review in his Pick UP! column in the Summer 2015 Stereo Sound (Japan):
“Because usually electrostatics create bidirectional sound with a back wave, [which these do not], the actual setup is easy. They have a normal loudspeaker look, but with the unique characteristics of an electrostatic. They speak with sensitive and delicate tonal expression.”
Carmelita (zA1.1): Thread on AudioCircle about a glowing review of this model in the Feb, 2015 HiFi News, where they made the cover and got a Commended star. Access to the review requires a subscription.
Valentina Passive (zA2.1): Steven Stone wrote in the March 2014 Hi-Fi+ about this model in comparison to normal speakers and traditional electrostatics, and concludes with, "Although not inexpensive, the zA2.1 ranks as one of the best I've heard in terms of resolution and overall realism. Especially for fans of minimally processed acoustic music, regardless of genre, listening through the zA2.1s is an experience that few other loudspeakers can match."
Valentina Passive (zA2.1) Robert E. Greene's (REG) review is in the January 2014 edition of The Absolute Sound, where he goes into detail about what sets JansZen floorstanding speakers apart from others, and concludes with: "One can hear something so like concert reality as to be almost mind boggling." For those who aren't familiar with REG, he's a concert violinist and math professor with a clear, reality-based approach to evaluation, and is rarely so effusive.
Valentina (zA2.1): Hugh Mandeson wrote a glowing review, published in the January 2014 edition of The Audiophile Voice, where he evaluates the speakers from a subjective viewpoint. A nice tidbit from him is, "Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me" on SACD was like butter and I was toast."
And here are a few older reviews, all of which are about the Valentina Passive (zA2.1):
From Peter Davey on positive-feedback.com (zA2.1/Valentina Passive): "I can't say enough good things about these speakers as David really got it right . . . " [This was the first review, and it gave me the nerve to formally reestablish the company -- DAJ]
From Roger Gordon on positive-feedback.com: "The zA2.1's [Valentina Passives] play music. Everyone who heard the zA2.1's loved the music. Even if you are not in the market for new speakers you need to hear these speakers for yourself. The Janszen zA2.1 loudspeakers are an amazing value for the money. "
From Marc Phillip on magazine-audio.com: Part 1 and Part 2 (in French; a planned full translation into English never happened): "I highly recommend the hybrid Janszen zA2.1 [Valentina Passive] speakers, which true to their promise, reproduce sound faithfully." ("Je recommande chaudement les haut-parleurs hybrides JansZen zA2.1 qui tiennent leurs promesses, reproduire les sons avec fidélit�.")
Nikolay Efremov reviewed in Russian an early pair of zA2.1 [Valentina Passive] in the March 2013 issue of the Russian magazine, Salon AudioVideo. We made the cover of that issue. A rough translation of one excerpt: "Powerful passing attack is a blow to the chest felt even at medium frequencies — so alters the perception of music that all test records are rendered in an entirely new way. Instruments acquire scale, real volume. String, especially if we talk about bass-guitar, shoots like elastic spring. Time synchronization is evident-how the system acts as one broadband emitter. Vocal sound is generally hard to describe. Perhaps we can say that the acoustics creates movement."
Nikolay Efremov's review
Sign up for articles by David Janszen about audio, plus the latest on new developments, show reports, and more…Original script code: