Estelon Model XA Speaker

Who would have thought that Estonia, a tiny republic on the Baltic Sea in the far northeast corner of the European continent, is home to a high-end speaker maker? Estelon was founded in 2006 to bring the vision of designer Alfred Vassllkov to life. His first product—the Model XA—is still the company's flagship.

The unusually shaped cabinet—dubbed E-Ion—was developed over a five-year period to easily couple with even difficult room acoustics and virtually eliminate internal standing waves. The construction material is a marble-based composite that undergoes a special casting process and is stiffened with sub-structure spars to break up resonant modes.

An 11-inch, inverted-dome bass driver at the bottom of the speaker is made from an ultra-stiff ceramic-sandwich material with an FEA (finite-element analysis) optimized, underhung motor design.

At the top is a 7-inch, ceramic-membrane, inverted-dome mid-bass driver in its own acoustic enclosure, and just below that is a 1.2-inch ceramic-dome tweeter. The recently announced Model XA Diamond replaces the ceramic tweeter with one made of diamond, and it will include many other refinements when it starts shipping in October of this year.

With an impressive frequency response from 25Hz to 28kHz, the Model XA commands an impressive price—$43,900/pair, and $2000 for an optional premium finish. The Model XA Diamond exhibits the same low end while extending up to 45kHz for a cool $64,000/pair. If that's a bit too rich for your blood, the slightly smaller, 3-way Model XB is $31,000/pair, and the 2-way Model XC stand-mounted monitor is $24,900/pair, both with E-Ion cabinets, ceramic drivers, a high-end response up to 28kHz, and a low-end of 35Hz and 45Hz, respectively.