Focal Elegia - what do you think?
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OK. Mine just arrived. These sound GREAT! They came with stock pads and Dekoni Sheepskins. I'm rocking the stock pads for now. Currently bumping "How I'm Feeling Now" by Charli XCX. Fantastic detail retrieval for a closed back. I own the CLEAR and it's pretty much my favorite headphone. More listening is needed to compare it with my Denon AH-D7200.
 
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OK. Mine just arrived. These sound GREAT! They came with stock pads and Dekoni Sheepskins. I'm rocking the stock pads for now. Currently bumping "How I'm Feeling Now" by Charli XCX. Fantastic detail retrieval for a closed back. I own the CLEAR and it's pretty much my favorite headphone. More listening is needed to compare it with my Denon AH-D7200.
Just as a suggestion if you try the sheepskins and find the base a little too heavy, I ended up EQing mine -2db at 63hz and -1db 32hz, and then they sounded incredibly balance to me with a little bit of warmth. more balanced than with the stock pads where they feel a little bass light.
 
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I've never really used EQ. I have heard that a good one is APO. I don't really know how to do the adjustments, but I might give it a try.
 
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cel4145

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I've never really used EQ. I have heard that a good one is APO. I don't really know how to do the adjustments, but I might give it a try.
My Fiio X5 MKII has built in graphical EQ, so I used that.

Equalizer APO is good to use on a PC, as it's a system wide Windows EQ. Be sure to download Peace GUI, which is an interface that makes it much easier to use Equalizer APO.
 
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Based on ASR's measurements, if someone doesn't need XLR, MQA support, or the extra inputs, the Atom stack or the Topping E30/L30 is more accurate (but would likely sound the same) for considerably less money.
Maybe close but I find that the AK4493 chip has a warmer more smoothed out ir relaxed sound. The M500 uses the 9038Pro chip. So I find it to have a bit more treble energy up top with slight mid bass bump. Check out the Audioscience review of the M500 V2. :)
 
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TL/DR - Elegia strikes me as very similar to the A900X, DT1990 generally hits a bit harder and has more verticality but Elegia is similarly more detailed and resolving. Pros and a few cons to all 3 headphones.

Finally found a position on my head that the headband isn't painful; it's sort of resting on the back of my scalp, right before the top of my head starts to round down. It's not uncomfortable or painful but I'm definitely aware it's there.

Regarding sound I'm actually surprised by just how much it has in common with my ATH-A900Xs once I applied that bit of EQ I mentioned. Without EQ the Elegia has much more forward mids but with just those minor changes that now have very similar sounds, like the Elegia is the next evolution of that headphone. I find the A900X to be a nicely-balanced and resolving headphone and the Elegia is, to my ears, 1 or 2 steps more refined in nearly all sonic aspects; imaging is more precise, soundstage a bit wider, mids and treble more resolving, and the couple of very minor cup resonances that I pick up on at times with the A900Xs are not here. The A900Xs also have a bit more mid-bass but that could be a matter of pad fit; I can't rule out that the way I have to wear these isn't 'ideal' to the Elegia tuning. Considering that the A900X price, unless someone is tied to the Elegia's looks/Focal brand I definitely can't say they're worth 4x as much in a strict improvement sense. If one is willing to pay for the better performance though it's there for the taking.

With respect to the DT1990s (I use the A pads and no EQ), the Elegia's overall presentation is a bit further away but provides a bit more detail while the 1990 sound leaps at me in a more 3-dimensional manner but loses just a bit of detail. On Big Yellow Taxi by the Counting Crows, for example, Vanessa Carlton's part is a bit deeper in front on the 1990s but I lose some of the echo and reverb on the 'bops'. The guitars are also spatially higher and more enveloping on the 1990s but have a bit more texture to them on the Elegias. On Theory of a Deadman's "History of Violence" his voice is more recessed in the horizontal soundstage but is consistent depth on the Elegias while on the DT1990s he moves to the front during the verses and then back into the overall sound during the chorus.

Sticking with the imaging and detail differences the circular motion of the synth sounds at the start of KMFDM's "Krank" is tighter and easier to place visually. The rhythm guitar strums at the start of each verse of AFI's "Miss Murder" comes through more clearly on the Elegia but once again the sound is more a horizontal wall with the singer not moving quite as forward and back as the DT 1990s. On Pressure 4-5's "Beat the World" there is a strong left-to-right bounce effect happening and there's something about the Elegias that get 'confused' in a way that I don't hear on the DT1990s, making the sounds seem off-time. It could have something to do with superior control of the sound, could be the Elegia not being able to keep up... who knows, but I mention it since it's about the only time I hear the Elegia producing something that sounds potentially technically-incorrect.

Sub bass is a bit better on the DT1990s and things hit with just a bit more visceral impact. N.E.R.D.'s "Everyone Nose" is a great example, where the DT1990s have a notably more impactful feel. The Elegia isn't lacking but it's a harder-hitting feel even if the sound isn't that different. Ester Dean's "Drop it Low" is another example where there is satisfactory and balanced bass and sub-bass but the 1990s just present it with a bit more authority. Kanye's "Love Lockdown" is my personal litmus for bass and the Elegia clearly has sub bass, not flinching in the face of these notes though the lowest hits get buried once more is happening in the mix.

In terms of negatives, while the examples are few sthere is some stuff that I listen to is not as satisfying on the Elegia. HELLYEAH's "Love Falls" just has no guts and is surprisingly sibilant - not the case on the DT1990s. Device's "Vilify" doesn't have the same guttural grind, though the drum hits still pop, and the guitar tone on Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People" has no low-mid crunch. That said there are other songs that sound sufficiently crunchy, if still missing only a bit of guts, such as Dark New Day's "Outside", Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe" (might seem a weird place to reference Maroon 5 but this song has one of my favorite guitar tones and fantastic guitar/bass guitar layering), KMFDM's "Light", and Flaw's "Endangered Species".

Switching to some Beethoven Around the World, the Elegia's dynamics shine through alongside the resolution and spaciousness. You feel the reverb of the hall, hear the small vibratos at the end of a note, and can place exactly where the players are sitting via their breath. The space in the Stray Cats remasters really comes through impressively (if a bit bright compared to their original recordings) and the imaging on "Hell" by the Squirrel Nut Zippers makes it clear they were in the same room and where everyone was at.

These are some thoughts on the Elegia vs DT1990 with a bit of A900X as well. I'm enjoying the Elegia and recognize and appreciate the extra resolution and detail but am wrestling with keeping them given my perceived similarities with, and unquestionably-better comfort of, the DT1990s.
 
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Are the cables of other Focal headphones (or other brand headphones) compatible with Elegia? Been looking for a reasonably priced balanced cable, but nothing comes up specifically for Elegia. I looked at some that were listed as being for Clear but judging by the photos the ends going into the cans looked longer than those of Elegia's.
 
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Are the cables of other Focal headphones (or other brand headphones) compatible with Elegia? Been looking for a reasonably priced balanced cable, but nothing comes up specifically for Elegia. I looked at some that were listed as being for Clear but judging by the photos the ends going into the cans looked longer than those of Elegia's.
Beyerdynamic T5p 2nd works fine for Elegia too.
 
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Are the cables of other Focal headphones (or other brand headphones) compatible with Elegia? Been looking for a reasonably priced balanced cable, but nothing comes up specifically for Elegia. I looked at some that were listed as being for Clear but judging by the photos the ends going into the cans looked longer than those of Elegia's.
The Clear, Elex, Elear, and Stellia all use the same cable termination that the Elegia. The only Focal set that has a different termination is the Utopia. Also searching for "Meze cable" can yield results when looking for Elegia cables, as they also use the same connector termination. Just look for 3.5mm connector termination, in general.

Edit: For reference, here's a link to the cable I have--you will see many headphones that share the same termination listed in the product name/description.
https://www.amazon.com/NewFantasia-Replacement-Compatible-Headphones-1-2meters/dp/B07PY5YYZN/
 
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The Clear, Elex, Elear, and Stellia all use the same cable termination that the Elegia. The only Focal set that has a different termination is the Utopia. Also searching for "Meze cable" can yield results when looking for Elegia cables, as they also use the same connector termination. Just look for 3.5mm connector termination, in general.

Edit: For reference, here's a link to the cable I have--you will see many headphones that share the same termination listed in the product name/description.
https://www.amazon.com/NewFantasia-Replacement-Compatible-Headphones-1-2meters/dp/B07PY5YYZN/
I can second that cable. I have two of them. I have one for my Elegia and one for my Elears.
 
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Are the cables of other Focal headphones (or other brand headphones) compatible with Elegia? Been looking for a reasonably priced balanced cable, but nothing comes up specifically for Elegia. I looked at some that were listed as being for Clear but judging by the photos the ends going into the cans looked longer than those of Elegia's.
I have been using MMCX IEM cables terminated in 2.5mm, as I have ended up with several extras over the years. I use an XLR to 2.5mm adapter on one side and 2 MMCX to 3.5mm adapters on the other side. Pretty sweet, IMHO.
 
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You can get cables that fit Beyerdynamic T1, Denon 7200, newer HiFiMan sets, most Focal or anything that terminates in dual 3.5mm, I think.
 
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Regarding sound I'm actually surprised by just how much it has in common with my ATH-A900Xs once I applied that bit of EQ I mentioned. Without EQ the Elegia has much more forward mids but with just those minor changes that now have very similar sounds, like the Elegia is the next evolution of that headphone. I find the A900X to be a nicely-balanced and resolving headphone and the Elegia is, to my ears, 1 or 2 steps more refined in nearly all sonic aspects; imaging is more precise, soundstage a bit wider, mids and treble more resolving, and the couple of very minor cup resonances that I pick up on at times with the A900Xs are not here. The A900Xs also have a bit more mid-bass but that could be a matter of pad fit; I can't rule out that the way I have to wear these isn't 'ideal' to the Elegia tuning. Considering that the A900X price, unless someone is tied to the Elegia's looks/Focal brand I definitely can't say they're worth 4x as much in a strict improvement sense. If one is willing to pay for the better performance though it's there for the taking.
Interesting, I love the A900Xs. Never would have thought they sound similar to a pair of Focal's. Would you say the treble is brighter on the Elegia's?
And does the Elegia have a slight metalic timbre, some people mention? I know the A900Xs can be a bit metalic in their treble at times, And yes, they have a slight cup resonance as well, which can result in 'ringing' with female vocals. But a more comfortable and updated pair of A900Xs is always welcome.
 
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My only minor gripe so far: I noticed on certain albums that they can sometimes sound slightly sharp or "honky" in the upper mids/lower treble region. I might try to lower that area and boost around 200Hz to see if I can get the stock pads to sound the way I want. If not, I will try the Dekoni Shepskin pads and the recommended EQ from a page or 2 ago and report back. The Focal Clear is my favorite open-back, hands-down. I've read that they designed the Elegia to kind of be a closed-back version of the Clear. Overall, I really do like the Elegia. They are extremely detailed and if I can tame the sharpness and fill out the 200Hz bass drop, they could end up being my favorite closed-backs. Focal Rocks!!!
 
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