Janszen stats

I have a line array of 8 Janszen stats for sale with power supplies. Got the special transformer from Mr. Janszen himself a long time ago. Used them in a Tri-Amp Bozak concert Grands powered by a souped up Marantz 8. These are a pair. Still have the 8 and a pair of stock almost perfect Concert Grands.
 
All great equipment, in the day (OK, back in my day).

I sometimes wonder about the Lotus and Alfa Romeo cars I owned (and modified for improvements) in the roughly same generation as those great speakers. I wonder how they would compare in handling to my Subaru 5-door today?

Ditto for the Bozaks (a brand I also owned) and Janszens.
 
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You can't go home again.

What bothers me is - as I plainly asked - how much improvement has occurred? A lot or a little? I wonder.

My general POV is that it is a cryin' shame how little fresh invention is apparent in the 50-60 years since the arrival of td358's ESLs and Bozaks (with some drivers with aluminum cones, eh).

To take a favourite example, why can't I have some choices for woofer drivers with resonances below 20 Hz? Or full-range ESLs? Or dragon/gas speakers of some kind?

B.
 

mattstat

Member
2009-10-19 7:47 pm
There's a bit of vintage gear on Stereophile with modern tests and listening impressions.

Bozak Concert Grand B-410 loudspeaker, review from 2005
Bozak Concert Grand B-410 loudspeaker | Stereophile.com

While some of the top-shelf stuff from decades ago is still interesting, overall there aren't that many speakers that are likely to compete well with today's, unless you are only looking at specific performance aspects or are willing to have refrigerator-sized cabinets.

Similar trend in cars: some of the stuff I drove years ago was interesting in certain regards, but overall horrible handling and braking compared to a modern Honda Civic. And some of the old stuff was about scary.

Back to speakers: I have to side with significant improvement when looked at as a whole (though a lot of it is evolutionary): quality control, rapid and accurate measurements with much cheaper hardware which leads to flatter frequency response, crossover design software, carefully designed and optimized magnetic systems, lower distortion levels, better detail retrieval, smaller speakers that play wider ranges, better control of breakup and the understanding to staying away from it, more refined cone/dome/voicecoil/former design and understanding, etc.

I think where a lot of this winds up being evident is in lower priced speakers by good designers. They are far, far better overall than typical 50-year-old models from similar market tiers.

As the base technologies used in standard dynamic drivers improved and costs were driven down, it became harder to displace them with revolutionary designs. Now that measurement and comparison is so easy (comparatively), something new is really going to have to be ironed out to get traction.

Electrostatics in particular are an odd man out. Once plastics got thin enough to make a low mass diaphragm and reliable insulation, a lot of the inherent ability of the speaker was available long ago. That's a single technology that was ahead of its time. It did come with limitations though, and a fair number of compromised designs over the years. A few full-range ESLs are on the market. They are large and expensive though (those limitations again).

Large horn speakers also seem to hold up well for what they do. Their highly dynamic sound is in its own league. Again though, they have their idiosyncrasies.

My take on very low resonance woofers is that they tend to have limited sensitivity or other issues, which winds up making them a niche driver, expensive, etc. It's hard for a manufacturer to get excited about a unit/market like that.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.
 
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There's a bit of vintage gear...
Thanks. A brilliant post and written very well too. Can't even quibble about anything. But I think the Bozaks or my 1967 Lotus would still be in the top ranks today.

But still lamentable that we've just evolved rather than revolved in audio. Which is what I'd also say about cars such as 1960 (my Jaguar Mk II) to 2007 (Subaru)... but today, there is a big leap to a 2019 Subaru and electric cars.

Where's any big leap for speakers? Dome tweeters?

Ah... there's motional feedback. Or rather, there's the absence of motional feedback. Mattstat is right to think in terms of commercial markets. But there are lots of applications where manufacturers (an any motivated DIYer) could apply MFB easily and inexpensively enough to try it.

I wish I had more examples. But that's my point, hard to think of examples of revolutionary developments. I suppose DSP paired with "room" EQ is comparable to the new automobile safety features as current revolutionary new achievements
 
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The older speakers

What bothers me is - as I plainly asked - how much improvement has occurred? A lot or a little? I wonder.

My general POV is that it is a cryin' shame how little fresh invention is apparent in the 50-60 years since the arrival of td358's ESLs and Bozaks (with some drivers with aluminum cones, eh).

To take a favourite example, why can't I have some choices for woofer drivers with resonances below 20 Hz? Or full-range ESLs? Or dragon/gas speakers of some kind?

B.

The Bozak Concert grands I have right now are in perfect shape as they sat in a church for a long time . The ones I had before were Tri-Amped and cabinets made by my brother a wood model maker. I have yet to hear any speakers that sound as good as that setup. Some close but no cigar.The speakers I have now are mostly for home theater and have a total of 32 drivers just for the front-- side speakers are half size. 2 Sub 1 Paradigm subs and other assorted stuff for a 7.2.2 setup and by the way the stats still sound better than any tweets I have ever heard.
 
The Bozak Concert grands I have right now are in perfect shape...

In light of the interest to the core question of "progress", it would be quite wonderful if you could do some REW runs. Freq response (perhaps three locations on axis and averaged) and harmonic distortion would be nice. Even an ordinary uncalibrated mic can be used - not perfect but quite informative.

B.
 

Bondsan

Member
2015-09-08 5:51 pm
Ah, the mighty Bozaks. One of my all time favorite speakers I have owned was the Bozak CS-501a Concerto Vll. It was one step down from the Symphony series and had that magical six inch aluminum midrange driver. As much as I thoroughly enjoy my DIY Stats, I might be tempted to buy a pair if I could find them locally. I might also be tempted to save up some money and buy one of the new Tannoy Prestige speakers. Talk about old technology; their Dual Concentric driver has been refined over its 70 year history, but it's basically the same speaker.... and they still sound excellent!