ReMusic interviews Alfred Vassilkov from Estelon

14.06.2019..

To begin, congrats for your naming, I’ve been an advertising Creative Director and Estelon is one of the best solutions of the last years, carrying the meanings of luxury and your country roots together.

 

Question: I read that you had been designing loudspeakers for other companies for more than 25 years, participating in the birth of more than one hundred different speaker models: would you kindly introduce the most important models/brands to our readers?


Alfred Vassilkov: I have been growing up, living and working with audio equipment my entire life. Over the years I have worked on many different models. During the Soviet times I was part of the team building the Estonia 10" loudspeaker produced by RET, the Soviet Union loudspeaker manufacturer. This was one of the best known models and was appreciated around the whole Union. After Estonian re-independence in 1991 I started consulting for Estonian manufacturer Audes among some other design projects. Maybe one of the most exquisite models that was born from this time period was the Audes Poseidon, but we worked on many more. All of this experience has led me to Estelon where my entire focus is now directed.

 

Estelon family

 

Alissa Vassilkova, Alfred Vassilkov and Kristiina Vassilkova, the "Estelon family"...

 

Question: What about the current Estelon production?

 

Vassilkov: Since 2010 we decided we should work as a family to creating the best loudspeakers possible. That was the birth of Estelon. We currently have seven different models, which are divided in the Estelon Classics and Estelon Flagship series. Our latest model is the Estelon Forza, which we introduced in the Munich High End Audio Show this year.

 

Question: In few years, since just 2010, Estelon reached the top of the High-End audio market among the loudspeakers’ manufacturers: now what you have to do more or better?

 

Vassilkov: We are constantly innovating. The Hi-End audio industry is very competitive and to stay in the race you have to keep on getting better. Estelon is always looking to the future and continues to work on new technologies in order to meet the high expectations that we have set ourselves.

 

Estelon YB

 

Question: IMHO several loudspeakers manufacturers think at their models’ lines in a schizophrenic way. Their entry level lines are evidently cheap, their top lines are gorgeous, with the best and most expensive solutions, and both sounds obviously completely different! Not the same with Estelon: the YB for instance conveys the same “sound” of the Forza, just in a smaller scale. Why and how you struggle for such a result?

 

Vassilkov: That is true. Estelon loudspeakers have a very similar sound signature. This is possible due to the fact that the philosophy and some of the technology behind creating the loudspeakers are the same. The engineering concept is unique to Estelon for all of our models.

 

Question: Let’s be more “technical addicted”, please describe freely your choices about:

 

the cabinet, shape and materials

Vassilkov: Cabinet shape/driver maximum performance requires more difficult cabinet. In order to meet the high acoustic requirements, the cabinet shape is very complicated. We worked very hard to finding the right cabinet material that would be strong, stable and have good internal dampening.

 

the drivers, Accuton VS high efficiency

Vassilkov: Accuton has been a great partner for Estelon over the years. Their innovative and top-quality products are an ideal match for Estelon loudspeakers. Drivers with high efficiency are sometimes not so stable. They have more irregular characteristics, which can bring colorization.

 

enclosure, sealed VS bass reflex

Vassilkov: We are using both, most important is that it is correctly designed and adjusted. Both have positive and negative aspects. Bass reflex concept usually has higher efficiency, sealed box gives better step characteristics.

 

internal cabling, solid core VS multistrand

Vassilkov: We are using Kubala-Sosna multistrand cabling. The multistrand cable decreases the “skin” effect allowing for more even and stable signal flow. It also decreases vibrations. We always test all of the components before deciding.

 

Me and Alfred Vassilkov, Estelon room, Munich High End 2019

 

The writer and Alfred Vassilkov, Estelon room, Munich High End 2019

 

Question: I really appreciate Estelon because your products are definitely luxury, but they all come with performance and it’s not so common in the luxury market, where often the price is just a matter of materials: is there room in this for some "sustainable luxury" Estelon speakers?

 

Vassilkov: Thank you for the kind words. We are not defining ourselves as a luxury manufacturer. Our main goal is to produce best sounding loudspeakers without any compromises. But it is great to hear that people admire both the performance and design of Estelon.

 

Question: I guess that one of the most appreciated value of your brand is the tailor-made service: could you reveal us some of your best achievements?

 

Vassilkov: Indeed, we are very customer orientated. The customer relations and satisfaction are very important for us. We always try to fulfil special requests, be it a unique finish or some other detail. Loudspeakers are usually displayed in the living space and therefore they should connect well with the surrounding interior architecture.

 

Question: I guess too that the Ultra High-End niche has to be very demanding, it’s the kind of live-or-die market: what are the challenges and what are the pitfalls?

 

Vassilkov: There are many great manufacturers and the market is very small. It is crucial to stand out among the competitors and reach the market. Different events where we can introduce our products are a good way of telling our story and giving people the opportunity to hear Estelon loudspeakers. Similarly, important is to continue developing new models and using the latest technologies.

 

Forza loudspeakers, Estelon room, Munich High End 2019

 

Forza loudspeakers, Estelon room, Munich High End 2019

 

Question: What are your personal musical tastes? What kind of music do you use to test your loudspeakers and what just to have fun through them?

 

Vassilkov: We always test and play the loudspeakers with different music genres. A good speaker must perform in all conditions. We love good music, so it is tough to bring out one genre, but maybe classical music plays the most.

 

Question: At last, what’s the Estelon “best kept secret”?

 

Vassilkov: The best kept secret is usually the one that is in front of everyone without them even knowing. It is made up of many small visible and invisible details, in Estelon it is the creation of the unique 3D sound image.

 

 

For further info: to Estelon website

by Giuseppe Castelli
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