When the Estelon X Diamond Mk II loudspeakers ($78,000 USD per pair in standard finishes) arrived at my home, they were in two flight cases stacked atop each other and sitting on a plastic skid. Although the plastic skid had minor damage (most wooden ones do after a transatlantic flight from Estonia in northern Europe and truck delivery after landing in the US), the speakers’ flight cases and the plastic wrap surrounding them were perfect. Once I removed the wrap, I noticed a couple of interesting details.
First, the cases are wider than I’m used to seeing (29.5″), so in all likelihood they will just squeeze through most domestic American doorways, which average 30″ to 36″—but measure first. On the plus side, the cases are fitted with wheels on one end so that, once they’re standing, you can roll them into a room without a hand truck. You will need a hand truck to get them up a flight of stairs, though—the included wheels are too small to be of much help traversing stairs.
I love flight cases, and these are nice examples. I’ve noticed more and more companies using them as of late, and why not? They’re durable, you don’t get splinters moving them, they typically stack neatly, and they can have any number of features such as wheels, handles, straps, and locks. You also don’t need to get out the cordless drill to open them. (Of course, most guys don’t mind any occasion that warrants the use of their cordless drill.)
Once the Estelon X Diamond Mk IIs (54″H x 17.7″W x 25.1″D, 190 pounds each) were out of their flight cases, getting them into place was easy. They come fitted with wheels preinstalled on the bottom of each speaker, and that made moving the slippery cabinets a cinch. The wheels were large enough to roll smoothly across my medium-pile carpet, and of course you can use the wheels to rough-in placement before fitting the speakers with the included spikes or flat footers.
I also liked the fact that each speaker came with a tight-fitting cloth covering to protect the finish. In addition, there were two sets of cloth gloves included. Estelon understands that, although you can move the speakers into place with the cloth covering still around the cabinets, once you start fine-tuning the placement of each speaker in the listening room, there are going to be hands on the paint. I immediately noticed that the Silver Pure Alu Liquid Gloss finish looked absolutely beautiful on my review samples as I unwrapped each speaker—you certainly don’t want fingerprints anywhere near your new babies.
Getting music playing through the Estelon X Diamond Mk II speakers was hassle-free. The single-wire Furutech binding posts were a joy to use and provided a very secure fit with only hand tightening.
Next up will be some rough placement in my room, about a week of break-in, and then a series of acoustic measurements to get the locations of the speakers pretty close to their final resting places in my room. Then will come the fine-tuning stage, meaning micro-adjustments by ear, and dialing in the toe-in for the best soundstaging and image placement these speakers are capable of.
Read the review on SoundStage! Ultra in a couple of months to see how all this turned out.