EXCLUSIVE: Estelon Arrives in Australia Setting New Benchmark in Luxury High-End Audio
A few years ago, in the pre-COVID world, we journo-audiophile folk were fortunate enough to be able to mix business and pleasure with global hi-fi shows. In 2017 I enjoyed extended demos of Estonian-brand Estelon at both the Munich High End Show and then again at the Audiotechnique Hi-Fi Show in Hong Kong.
I recalled at the time that Estelon had a bright future. The brand had only emerged less than a decade earlier, but chief designer and engineer Alfred Vassilkov's story began a long time before that.
At a very young age, according to Alfred, while growing up in the Soviet era, he began to dismantle radios and adjusted their components to improve the sound quality. He took his interest to university, professionally studying electro-acoustics in St Petersburg. Building upon that formal education, Alfred went on to design speakers for over 25 years before realising his ambition to take his passion further.
It was a lovely Sunday morning having breakfast with my family. I had long held the ambition of creating the world's best loudspeaker. I knew what the concept would be, but instead of selling my idea to a company, I decided to build it on my own. Luckily I already had the best key executives in my family, my daughters Alissa and Kristiina. That same evening we decided to set up the company.
Estelon now sees Alfred and his daughters travelling to all corners of the globe (before COVID of course), demonstrating its masterful creations that are as much a piece of art as they are a music reproduction device. Estelon truly captures the essence of high-end luxury audio, a brand that listeners will aspire to own, albeit attracting only those fortunate enough to justify the admission price.
Australian audiophiles and discerning music lovers can today rejoice with the news and highly anticipated arrival of Estelon on our island. Advance Audio, one of the countries leading distributors and indeed no stranger to some of the very best brands available in the world today, has been appointed as Estelon's exclusive Australian distributor.
Estelon's range starts with the YB MK2, a stunning floorstander with the brand's distinct design that starts at $32,999 RRP. The cabinets are moulded from a marble based composite material and shaped to optimise sound quality. The placement of the drivers in the cabinet is also well thought out: the mid-woofer is positioned above the beryllium driver to minimise sonic reflections from the floor. The wider speaker base accommodates the bass driver with an aluminium diaphragm. Since the woofers are angled towards each other, they can be placed close to a wall, even in smaller rooms, without having to cope with overlapping sound. The passive design features an 8-inch Seas woofer, along with a 5.8-inch Scan-Speak Revelator mid-woofer, and 1-inch ScanSpeak Illuminator Tweeter. The frequency response is quoted as 30-40,000Hz.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Estelon Extreme, starting at a staggering $299,999 RRP in Australia. The signature speaker stands tall with an adjustable height between 1.7m and 2m and weighs in at 250kg each!
The system comprises an upper and a lower module, with the former fully adjustable to best suit a room's acoustic attributes and the listener's personal preferences.
One look at the handcrafted cabinet and sleek two-tone finish, there's no doubt that the Extreme model is a statement piece. Extreme has been designed to perform a smart disappearing act when in use: instead of having your ear drawn to the speaker, the listener is immersed in sound, experiencing music afresh in all of its nuanced splendour. And this, folks, we can attest to from our listening sessions with Estelon, even in substandard show environments.
Nigel Ng, General Manager, Advance Audio, told StereoNET:
Estelon fills an essential role in our high-end portfolio very well, offering an alternate aesthetic design and sound to our other statement brands such as Wilson Audio, at similar pricing.
We're thrilled to bring one of the world's leading brands and innovators in high-end audio to Australia and will have our first stock arriving around mid-year. We can't wait for audiophiles to hear Estelon. Combined with our suite of high-end electronics and cables in our portfolio, we'll be able to bring out the best in Estelon.
Estelon will be available for audition at selected specialist retailers around the country, along with planned launch events later this year.