Janszen Z-30 electrostatic? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-24-2005, 01:31 PM
Hi - I came across a pair of Janszen Z-30s in my grandparents garage from the late 1970's - maybe even 1980. Anyone know anything about them? I almost threw them out until I looked underneath at the name. Now I figured I would try and sell them since they're in good shape but know very little.

It looks like they have a 10" woofer in each and some sort of electrostatic panel on top. They are about 12" wide and deep, and stand about 40 in. tall with cloth all the way around. Any help? Thanks....

02-25-2005, 04:54 AM
Yep, they are electrostatics and henceforth have a power supply in 'em. If theuy don't work, you won't get any highs at all.

Janzen was known for their electrostatic arrays and first came to fame in the late 50's or early 60's when they offered an electrostatic array to work in conjunction with the AR-1 speaker, which was only a woofer, but a GREAT woofer for it's time.

As time went on and the highs in speakers became less of a problem, they branched out and, I think the late 60's or early 70's started making their own full range speakers incorporating their 'static arrays.

They were fine, nothing special but, as with all speakers, are a matter of taste. Now, your problem is finding out if the power supply works and, after about 30 years after their manufacture and sitting unused for Lord knows how long, may be an issue.

Brian Levy
03-07-2005, 06:02 PM
These were the early units using Neshiminy (sp?) woofers. Art built what amounted to be 1 of the best tweeters of all time with the electorstatic arrays. With these hybrids he tried to develop a better intergrated woofer/electrostatic combined speaker than was possibly simply by adding his array to either the AR-1W or the KLH1, though the KLH 1 was better than the AR in combination. Techology was the problem at the time and there was difficulty at the crossover between the systems that could not be overcome until M-L some years after Art went out of business. His later acoustic suspension units did better but only with the bi-amp'ed Z412HP and Z824HP was he able to overcome almost all of the limitations. That said these are still really decent units provided the PS is fuctional to spec. and for most persons the x-over issue is not overwhelming. I still have a pair of the Z412HPs that I bought used back in '81 or so and 1 day I'll rebuild the supply and refinish them.

04-26-2005, 10:10 PM
hi all! i'm new here, and i have a question: i have a pair of theese Z-30's, and they require alot of work (i assume) to be done to them to bring them at least to a normal-sounding condition: both woofers have to be reconed, and the paper thingies in the tweeters section are all loose, and even the electrostatic tweeters are hanging by the wires there. the extrenal condition of the speakers is decent: some chips on the wooden bases, and little tears here and there on the fabric. so, my question is, if they worth it, or to let them go? and becides, are good and working units will sound good, or special in some way (because of te electrostatic tweeters), and will they value be high if they are good?

04-26-2005, 10:16 PM
oh, and by the way: as far as i can tell, the power supplies work. at least when i connect the speakers to the wall the tweeters work, but what i noticed, they are quite abit more quiet than my other speakers (Jamo D 160, 8Ohm, 160W)

04-28-2005, 05:48 AM
Techology was the problem at the time and there was difficulty at the crossover between the systems that could not be overcome until M-L some years after Art went out of business.
A more direct lineal descendant would be the successful Acoustat line of the eighties and nineties. Jim Strickland readilly acknowledged Arthur's work and adapted the same "sheathed panel conductor" design to full range operation.


05-01-2005, 01:27 PM
any opinions about my Z-30's? anybody?

Brian Levy
05-03-2005, 05:48 AM
I am referring to the hybrid electrostatic/dynamic driver combination arrangement. Infinity with the 2000A used the RTR tweeters arrays had a decent hybid but the bass was lacking to get the combo to work. Another design was the speaker that was 1 of the oddities of life and I don't think sold in any numbers. M-L with their hybrids, as a line, overcame the problems, though I personally liked their full range the best. Acoustat and Koss 1 both used the JansZen design in their units and actually they were based on the KLH Nine that Art had designed. My intro to "real" hi-fi speaker systems was the early JansZen and to this day I find most dynamic systems distorted and muddy in comparison. In this regard the horn systems are better but are far more forward and have other colorations to deal with.