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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".
I was surprised at how good a hotel room could sound. The new actives are very good but I do like my passives better with Linear Tube audio electronics.
I could be wrong but I think David was using an exaSound e32 DAC. The actives have built in amps but not a DAC, although if I’m wrong that’s an incredible bargain.
Well, alrighty, I think I should jump in here briefly.
In addition to both RCA and balanced XLR analog inputs, the active version of the Valentina, called the A8, does indeed include a DAC. Here's how it works:
A digital source gets connected to one of the three digital inputs on the right hand speaker. The input circuitry splits the data up into right and left, and keeps the right hand data for playback on that side. It sends the left hand data over to the left side through an S/PDIF coax cable, where it gets played back from there.
And wait -- there's more. The speakers include an IR remote control that handles volume, mute, preset selection, and remote selection.
Now, note that the inputs are sensitive enough that no preamplification is needed. Sources can be connected directly.
Furthermore, when the input selection is set to automatic mode, the speakers will play the signal from whichever source happens to be active at the moment. This eliminates the need for a preamplifier's input selection role.
As mpignone points out, these speakers are truly complete, truly high end systems -- just add one or more sources. Personally, I've simplified my own system to the point of being nothing more than a single source playing a HiFi Tidal stream. The result is to me indistinguishable from playing CDs through a high end DAC and a high powered class A amplifier. Gone are my DAC, preamp, amplifier, and speaker cables, and I don't miss them a bit.
As it happens, we're just about to list a demo pair at a 20% discount. It has cherry wood baffles. There are some tiny, nearly invisible blemishes in the cabinet paint as a result of shipping without stretch wrap, but this pair is otherwise mint. It has the latest programming already installed, and carries the full warranty. Taking some pictures today that I'll try to post soon.