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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. leftside
    raypin likes this.
  2. Panimation
    There was a sale recently for the Utopia for around $3200 AUD ~ $2300 USD
  3. franz12
    wje likes this.
    Thought it used 2 dacs. One for each side.
  5. wje
    Most DAC chips are cheap. I seem to recall Burr-Brown DACs in the past were about $5.00 each. It's the technology, R&D, etc. around that chip that makes the difference. I'm not trying to justify Focal for their price either. The Jotunheim I have with the same balanced DAC is a pretty good performer. Then again, at about 15% the cost of the Focal and I don't have a nifty built in headphone stand either. :D
    Sp12er3 likes this.
  6. bidn
    Hi franz12,
    Sorry to correct something,
    but the assertion that they would have a single AK4490 is not valid according to the available tech specs.
    The pdf with the specs can be retrieved here:
    and it is stated, e.g.:
    - "Construction 100% double mono"
    - "2 convertisseurs numérique-analogique symétriques 768 kHz – 32 bits (AK4490)" = 2 x AK4490 DACs set in balanced design, etc.
    = 100% balanced design with 2 separate DACs.
    I don't find the official SNR (116 dB) impressive, but this number may be reliable.
    (I follow the measurements regularly published at the Audio Science Review site, and these measurements indicate that many companies give numbers which are much much better than reality...).

    Hi Mshena,
    I feel the same, I fear that the bass may be above neutral as is often the case with closed-back hps and as is usually requested by customers of closed-back hps. I assume that, for closed hps, marketing departments would put a lot of pressure on developers to "pump up" the bass tuning against maintaining it at a high fidelity level.
    If the bass is as overemphasized as with the Campfire Cascade, or if their FR curve still deviate too much from a flat, neutral curve (like the HD 820 unfortunately does IMHO), then the Stellia would be nothing for me, and I would be content with my Elegia and other closed hps.

    BTW, I don't like luxury designs, but I don't care much about the look of the Stellia, as long as (for me being male) they don't look feminine, I mean I would not carry pink hps, nor flashy red hps like the Clear Pro, nor the Abyss Diana (which looks too much to me as if it was specially designed for female clients). That brown colour of the Stellia is often used for genuine leather, stressing the impression of authenticity. Maybe it would fit well with my SP1000 copper, but I don't care much.
    Anyway, what matters to me more is their comfort, solidity (I expect those aspects to be fine) and above all sound...
    So I am just anxious to know whether the bass will not be too strong...

    All the best,
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    Mshenay likes this.
  7. franz12
    Ah. I see. I was just tired of seeing another dac with AK4490 chips. Those can be easily found on a cheap DAC such as Modi($99)...
  8. AmusedToD
    For those who have heard the Stellia, what is the soundstage like?

    And the ultimate question - how does the Stellia’s sound signature compare to the one of the Utopia (if we put the obvious design differences away)?

  9. Nomax
    ........i will give my impressions in the next days....how this closed back Stellia sounds with the SP1000 and also with the Hugo TT2


    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    QueueCumber, Aslshark, raypin and 4 others like this.
  10. bidn
    I found on youtube two reviews made by resellers, so they're not mentioning anything negative (not good for the sales...)
    but each one has something a little interesting.

    The first one managed to get a Beryllium dome from a Focal headphone driver, he... throws it up high in the air and it is so light that if falls like the leaf from a tree in the fall:

    The second one shows the cables:

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    Sp12er3, AmusedToD and raypin like this.
  11. Mediahound
    Crutchfield also interviewed Nicolas:

  12. Wooglish
    Has anyone heard comments on the weight of the Stellia vs. Utopia? I love my Utopias, and they are comfortable, but also on the heavy side.
  13. Deftone
    Well i think you prove even when you have the best in the world, Sennheiser HE1 Orpheus, Chord DAVE, Blu mk2... theres still cravings for more :sweat_smile:
    Sp12er3 likes this.
  14. Deftone
    NOMAX strikes again!
  15. musicday
    Stella is 430 great exactly as Empyrean, so very comfortable I would say.
    raypin likes this.
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