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Recently reviewed for the first time by Pete Davey at Positive Feedback. Here's a bit of what he had to say:
"They possess the best of both worlds; electrostatic panels that give off an amazing soundstage with focus, clarity and realism; and bass drivers that appear out of nowhere, almost as if they are an exact extension of the ESL driver."
"These speakers can get loud!" (This comment for those who think all ESL's are quiet.)
Your questions answered here
Welcome to JansZen
where true colors come shining through
The Model One speaker system is so aurally transparent and voiceless that every musical nuance is experienced in the original moment and place. Nothing comes closer to a live performance, regardless of the type of music or recording. The JansZen electrostatic has evolved. High fidelity, high definition, high end. You'll hear the true colors shining through with exceptional clarity.
Many listeners can share the experience, because The One maintains a full range stereo image throughout a large area.
Each side has three ideally matched amplifiers built-in, which simplifies equipment decisions and eliminates heavy cables. The response is adjustable for accommodating the acoustics of any position in a room, so audiophile grade results are ensured without moving furniture or adding treatments.
Just add music; the One will bring forth the true character of the original sound, and do so with simplicity, faithfulness, and beauty.
Unique Among Electrostatics
Placement near walls is not a problem
Newly Developed ES Line Elements
These panels achieve wide dispersion and high sound pressure levels without the sonic compro- mises required by curvature and facets.
JansZen Integrated Electrostatic Panel Each has a tweet/mid element (left) and two mid/woof elements. The Model One has three of these panels.
Esoteric and Practical
Although esoteric in nature, durability and con- venience are on par with any purely dynamic system. Built-in amplifiers and active, analog crossovers provide an ideal match to the speaker elements, optimize driver integration, and prevent panel overload.
The systems are designed to be exceptionally immune to room acoustics. In addition, there are controls to adjust for placement near walls and for acoustically very lively rooms.
These controls also let you boost or cut bass as a matter of personal preference, roll off treble to adjust your "distance from the stage", and cut sub-sonic output to reduce turntable rumble or keep a downstairs ceiling steady.
There is a detailed and lifelike soundstage on axis, yet the listening area is wide due to the low drop-off of the cylindrical sound field. A convincing stereo image floats between the speakers, even for listeners who are outside the area direct- ly ahead of them.
While capable of quite loud play, their 19" x 16" (48 cm x 41 cm) footprint is sensibly modest.
Audiophile Sound for the Home Theater
Employing audiophile front channel speakers in your home theater can bring you the additional enjoyment of spectacular musical performance while also sharpening the realism of your video experience.
JansZen speakers are unsurpassed in this role as audiophile grade surround front units, delivering fantastically thrilling soundtrack playback from A/V sources, and helping to deliver that convincing "living the movie" experience. The added realism and immediacy of musical soundtracks will also connect you more intimately with the emotional content.
And with flat, low distortion response down to 20 Hz, and appreciable whump even at 10 Hz, stereo subwoofers are built in.* Furthermore, because of the cylindrical sound field, the stereo image is so well conserved that a center channel speaker is not required to pin the sound to the screen.
100 dB peak SPL at 3m with negligible distortion
Powered system, with line level input jacks for single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) signals; 20k input impedance; 1V RMS for full output;
Wide sweet area produced by 80 degree tweeter dispersion angle and cylindrical sound field
Relatively easy placement and setup -- monopolar
150 lb (68 kg) (each side)
Power requirement (each channel) 600W max. (adapts to any mains voltage/frequency)
Three built-in switching amplifiers per side. Woofer damping factor: 800 nominal.
Tapered border for diffraction peak suppression
Electrostatic Speaker Basics
The same elemental force that clings balloons to walls can be harnessed for producing sound. This force is generated by electrostatic charge. Opposite charges are attracted together, and like charges are repelled apart.
All modern electrostatic loudspeakers have three main parts: two flat panels separated by a narrow space, and a very thin membrane similar to plastic wrap stretched in the center of the space. An electrostatic charge is applied to the membrane, which can then be pushed and pulled by varying charges on the panels
These varying charges vibrate the membrane almost exactly like the original sound waves that reached the microphone during recording. Holes in the panels let the sound through.
Properly designed electrostatic speakers sound better than electrodynamic speakers for two main reasons: 1) The membranes move much more easily and uniformly than cones or even ribbons, because they are lighter than their air load, and the force is spread evenly over their surfaces. 2) The force on the membranes is created in a way that is the exact inverse of the how the microphones recorded the original sound.
Has mid-fi caught up with the high end and rendered it irrelevant?
Many people think the gap between mid and high end stereo has been closing. Certainly, under less than ideal, in-store listening conditions, in- cremental and subtle improvements in both may mask the differences between hi-fi and the best mid-fi. Confusing the issue, in seeming despair for ways to get an improvement, there's a certain amount of snake oil masquerading as high end technological advancement.
Multi-channel audio has been looking promising, but hasn't really delivered the goods for music reproduction. This is due to the complexity of a proper setup, multiple standards, the usual use of acoustics and seating that are specialized for A/V playback, and the extreme difficulty of cap- turing lifelike ambience on a multi-channel musical recording.
We believe that, even though everything has been getting a little better, year by year in mid-fi and hi-fi, it takes a breakthrough to really push past the old high end limits. At JansZen, we've got one such breakthrough. You'll know it when you hear it.
iPod: Killing Hi-Fi or Sustaining It?
At JansZen, we think the iPod is one of the best things happening in audio. With the cost of top flight engineering spread out over tens of millions of units, it's a great value, and a great bit of engineering.
We're not indifferent to the charms of vinyl, or the pristine accuracy potential of the SACD, but when vinyl records were superceded by CDs, this was because of improved fidelity, durability, and convenience. Now, when you can carry the equal of hundreds of CD's in your pocket, on the player itself, actual CD's have lost much of their appeal.
What's more, with good sound files, the iPod can reproduce music with better fidelity than most CD players. It's not the absolute best in signal quality, but it's close, and the convenience is amazing.
Once you've loaded high quality files on your iPod, the next problem is finding gear that can play back the music with fidelity that matches the iPod itself. JansZen's are not only up to the task, which is rare to begin with, but they do it better than any other systems. Connect your iPod (not other players) or hi-fi dock directly to them, and you'll get sound so unimaginably realistic, it will make your jaw drop.
JansZen One White Paper
We've written a detailed, hype-free White Paper with technical details about the JansZen Model One, written with skeptics and the technically curious in mind. It includes:
PDF Version of the White Paper (341K)
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