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Focal Stellia Review, Measurements, Interview - Head-Fi TV

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Feb 12, 2019.
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  1. walakalulu
    I’ve been searching for reviews of the Arche but nothing so far.....
  2. BiggieBig
    I would seriously consider the ibassio dx220 beautiful paring with the Stellia you have the options of module amps with amp9 nu-tube sound so natural
    I also have amp8 which is high powered both amps give just massive sound stage and clarity


    + it's portable you will struggle to find a pairing at this price as many firmly believe this amp punches well above it's weight.
    doboo57 likes this.
  3. doboo57
    Totally agree. Stellia with the DX220 (even with the stock Amp1 mk2) is a very good combo. Can't wait to try these with the Amp9...
  4. doboo57
    From what I've read, the Arche is using AK4490 DAC chip (probably with standard filters). But since implementation is going to do a big part of the job there, I'll wait for some reviews before judging it.
  5. BiggieBig
    heheh with Amp8 and even more so with amp9 you won't look back
    once burn't in it's just so natural bass impactful controlled and excellent high's (sorry not very good at describing sound :)

    since I got amp9 I don't think i'll ever go back to amp1 maybe swap out to amp8 occasionally for a change
    teknorob23 and doboo57 like this.
  6. GreenBow
    If you're not going portable, I'd say think about a used Hugo2. That's because while the Mojo is still outstanding, the Hugo 2 is in another league.
    adcustom and xxx1313 like this.
  7. joesuburb
    I just drive mine with a Dragonfly Cobalt and they sound great. Very efficient. Sounds like your budget is higher than mine, but these do great with little power. But then again, I just don't believe that high end DAC/Amps really have much improvement to offer if the headphones don't require the amperage.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    jooonnn likes this.
  8. dleblanc343
    I tried the Arche last Friday at the store, and we’re deciding not to stock it. I absolutely think Focal nailed their product line up in headphones, but having tried Arche with Clear and Stellia for 35 mins, I tend to find it a bit steep of an asking price.

    Tonally it is very inoffensive, a bit on the smoother analogy side of things (I.E Chord mojo type of sound). I found the optimization DSP’s for headphones hit or miss, mostly miss on Clear, and 60/40 with Stellia. I think keeping it on stock “Voltage” mode sounds best in most cases.

    I wish we had an Utopia in stock however, I think this amp would truly correct that headphone the most, with the softening up and headphone optimized eq opening up the sound staging.

    The headphone specific DSP generally opens the image, and creates a crossfeed to bring the center stage more up front. Works alright with some music, but I feel it softens dynamics and snappiness as well. Reminds me of the SPL Phonitor tweaks. If you do find the Focal headphones too narrow sounding, which is one of their weaknesses in general, you may appreciate the EQ more than I did.

    The amp itself is nicely built, but not as luxurious feeling as I was hoping. Knobs feel a bit dull..
    kid vic, jooonnn, noplsestar and 2 others like this.
  9. joesuburb
    So I hate the stock Stellia cable and bit the bullet on a replacement cable. Mostly the stiffness. Trying out the null-audio Lune. I have some for my IEMs and they are nice and flexible. I was considering the Arctic cables but I didn't like how they looked. Plus these are cheaper. I personally don't believe cables make a sonic difference, so its all about aesthetics and flexibility for me. I'll tell you what I think when I get them.

  10. Imusicman
    I enjoyed the Arche at the London CanJam last weekend. I tried it with most of the line up but particularly enjoyed it with the Elegia.

    I also agree stick voltage mode sounded the best to me, although please bear in mind show noise conditions
  11. jlbrach
    using stellia on an airplane is silly...the roar of the engine will render a wonderful HP pretty much useless and no better than cheaper alternatives...In ear models are best for airline travel...in order to hear the music on the plane you would have to listen at unsafe volumes
  12. leftside
    Took mine on the plane and I won't be doing that again. Much better with the CA Solaris or Sony XM3.
  13. leftside
    For a portable/listening in the gardening scenario I totally agree. The Stellia scale up though with bigger "less portable" amps and DACs.
  14. jooonnn
    Heard these the other day. Initial impressions: insane. Beautiful. I giggled at how sweet they sound, even off just a desktop motherboard with an ESS9018 built in dac.

    I know im a little late to the beryllium party, but i looked through the focal beryllium toxicity guide that comes with the headphones and it seems a bit scary since my ears can sometimes get sweaty in closed backs. Ive read an old thread on this topic here (looked like it went quite a bit on a bunny trail). From everything i see, the solid form is generally safe (so far!).

    My question is (no politics please): is anyone here more science savvy to explain if “humidty emitted from slightly moist ears” do anything to react negatively to beryllium?
  15. x RELIC x Contributor
    No, you’ll be fine unless the beryllium drivers are crushed to a powder or in a fire or some other catastrophic event causing you to inadvertently ingest/inhale it. Under normal use they should not pose any threat at all.

    Beryllium is in most electronics in some amount btw.
    atahanuz and jooonnn like this.
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