Fashionably Functional: Estelon Extreme Speaker

Alfred Vassilkov’s latest sonic creation looks more like a sculpture than a speaker, which is why you can’t help but do a double take. But beyond its stunning looks are several unexpected—and highly practical—surprises. We asked Estelon partner Alissa Vassilkov, who also happens to be Alfred’s daughter, to tell us the story behind this unique, $239,000/pair speaker.

S&V: Tell us about Estelon—its origins and philosophy.
Alissa Vassilkov: Estelon is an Estonia-based high-end speaker manufacturer pursuing the dream of achieving aesthetic and acoustic perfection through the fusing of high art and cutting-edge science. At the heart of Estelon’s speakers are a lifetime of passion and the constant curiosity of technological challenges of our founder and lead engineer Alfred Vassilkov, who has been designing speakers for 30 years.

Nature is the leading source of inspiration for Alfred—particularly the way in which every part is perfectly in sync. This can be observed visually through the changing of seasons or by simply listening to the sounds when you take a walk through a forest. This pure synergy is what Alfred strives for in his designs.


S&V: How did your new flagship speaker, the Extreme, come into being?
AV: Extreme includes everything that Alfred has learned during his lifetime. The idea was to create a speaker that can perform optimally in any room. To solve the problem of varying room acoustics, Alfred designed a two-module speaker that can be adjusted to achieve the best performance. The goal was to achieve an uncompromised harmonic soundscape and provide a truly natural and pure experience by reproducing exactly what is on the recording.

S&V: What kind of adjustments?
AV: You can adjust the height of the upper module to minimize reflections from the walls, ceiling, and floor, which helps draw the soundstage in front of the listener. The module moves up and down and can be set to one of five positions, resulting in a speaker that sits between 5.8 and 6.8-feet tall. You can also adjust the height of the tweeter to help focus the sound at the listener’s seat; there are three positions to choose from. The tweeter must be positioned as close as possible to the height of the listener’s ears to reduce reflections from the floor that affect imaging.

S&V: Tell us about the drivers?
AV: We are using two 10-inch aluminum woofers, a 10-inch aluminum midwoofer, a 7-inch ceramic midrange, and a 1.5-inch diamond tweeter, all custom-designed by Accuton.

The woofers are placed symmetrically in the lower module, which means they are playing in equal conditions and capable of reproducing very deep and accurate base. Drivers in the upper module reproduce most of the sound so their positioning is most important, which is why you can adjust its height. Having two modules also isolates the upper drivers from vibration created by the woofers so the sound is clear and free of coloration.


S&V: What’s the story behind its sculpted cabinet?
AV: The form of the cabinet and the patented marble-based composite material it is made of play a significant role in sound reproduction by providing ideal condition for the components. The shape provides the unique visual aesthetics for which Estelon is known, but having no parallel walls also avoids unwanted resonances. Every cabinet is hand-built by expert craftsmen with the highest attention to detail.

S&V: How would you describe the Extreme’s sound—what sets it apart from other speakers in its class?
AV: The quality of the sound is the culmination of every engineering detail and design decision: the shape and material of the cabinet, the top tier components, and the engineering behind fitting it all together. Every aspect of Extreme’s sound is rich, dynamic, and immersive, providing a truly natural and pure experience. The sound of Extreme is an event on its own where the speaker itself completely disappears as a sound source, replacing its presence with the venue in which the recording was made.

S&V: Any other distinguishing attributes you’d like to highlight?
AV: Extreme is the first speaker in Estelon’s product line that uses two colors—matte black combined with copper, gold, dark silver, or gloss black—to complement the cabinet design. The curves and beautiful aesthetics combine to make these speakers the true heart and soul of any room.

notabadname's picture

That typo made it look like these cost $239,000/pair. I mean really, a home, a Lamborghini, a Cessna or 2 BMW M6's with Bang & Olufsen sound systems or these. Truly funny.