1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

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

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Feb 12, 2019.
72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81
83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92
  1. TooFrank
    This is exactly what I decided to do - but as you say: maybe not whisky every day:) The discoloration tends to even out, however, it doesn't matter that much to me anymore as I intend to keep these forever......
    Topbanana and noplsestar like this.
  2. noplsestar
    Before buying the Stellia I was listening with the neutral IEM ProPhile8, so I didn’t have that problem that I heard too less bass. The Stellia have all that what the PP8 had, but is better in every possible way. I can imagine, that it would have been hard if I would have listened to bassyer phones before getting the Stellia.
    By the way: I didn’t hear a burn in. The Stellia was great since hour one.
  3. GreenBow
    I am already thinking about cabling. However my advice earlier to someone was, wait until the Stellia are run in before buying cables. As to work out what tweak you want to make, which Teknorob backed up.

    However my issue with cabling is not so much about tonality yet. That I will come to when my Stellia are run in. I am concerned about the cable noise, and that is one of my focuses for eventually buying a new cable. I find the Focal cable very noisy. Even to the point where breathing with the cable resting on a jumper crates unforgivable noise. Who wants to listen to thud thud thud thud, with every tiny interaction between cable and jumper. It is of course possible to position the cable where it makes no noise.

    This isn't the first time I have experinced this though. I still have a set of Grado SR225, and had some SR125i before then. Both these headphones had cables which produced cable noise when resting on my jumper. Like for example when I am laid out flat with head rested on a pillow. The cable will unavoidably be resting across my clothing. ……. Even my AKG N40 have a bit of cable noise. The N5005 I can't say I noticed it, but they have a different cable.

    Is it the case that cable noise is inevitable?

    Anyway I had imagined that once my Stellia were run-in, I would buy a Moon Audio cable. Then tonight I read on their website about on of the two cables they make for the Stellia. I looked down at the reviews. I wanted to get a gauge of the cable characteristics and one of three reviews mentions terrible micro-phonics.

    I don't know. Where do you start? I also fancied the cable that coolmilo posted about. However at that price I would have to be convinced about cable noise as a bare minimum. ... There is of course the option of buying some Neothech that Teknorob mentioned. Although I am nervous about home made cables. (I just made some for my TT2 so I can drive speakers directly from its RCA output. (It has a lot of power.) Of course the last option is to not buy another cable. I can get on with the one the Stellia has. I was thinking I might need a 3m cable though.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  4. mixman
    I have not had any issues with noise on the multitude of cables I have owned. Maybe I don’t move around enough while listening? Anyway, I don’t recommend Moon Audio cables at all. There are much better cables out there for the money.
  5. GreenBow
    The other problem with the Moon Audio cables, is that neither of the two available options are neutral.

    The Black Dragon is warming, and the Silver Dragon is lightening and providing air. Whereas I am guessing the Stellia will be mostly spot on neutral when run-in. Or just on the warm side. mean I would not want to warm it more with the Black Dragon. Neither would I want to lighten it much with the Silver Dragon. ...… Just have to wait and see. (Love speculating though.)

    I bet I end up with some of the Neotech, haha.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  6. atahanuz
    Moon Audio are scammers, be careful! I attempted to buy $219 ibasso AMP8 module from them, "order couldn't be processed" error has been occured but they still charged my card. They don't respond to my messages, their live chat agent goes online when I try to initiate a chat. I will fill fraud dispute with my bank to get my money back.
  7. teknorob23
    I've DM you re a build, but if thats not your cup of tea, another option if you're looking for a neutral cable, or what i'd consider neutral is the Atlas Zeno Headphone cable. I have one of these i used with IEMs and its lovely cable beautifully made with zero microphonics. Atlas use the same UPOCC mono crystal copper and its pretty good value at about £300 depending on length. They make them to order with connections and length you want. The sound characteristics of UPOCC copper are slightly warmer than neutral, but not overly so, an unlike similar oxygen free copper you still get a very airy and detailed presentation with really good treble and bass extension. UPOCC silver, contrary to popular belief is not a bright sounding wire, its actually extremely natural, smooth and just on the warm-side of neutral too. The benefit over the copper is that allows more detail through, improved seperation, layering and is more controlled and dynamic. Both partner extremely well with the Stellia, but its just down to how much you want to spend and diminishing returns are an inevitability. Strongly recommend listening to a few a before buying if you can. Personally, i love silver with the Stellia and the heavier the gauge the more performance you get.
    mixman likes this.
  8. GreenBow
    Yeah I remember you saying before that silver isn't always bight. However the Moon Audio website describes the silver cable as brightening.

    I was even looking at the type of metal used and sure it used what you said in terms of UPOCC.

    I think best to let the Stellia get fully run in before choosing tuning. Finding a suitable non microphonic cable source would be good.

    RE The Moon cables though, the Black Dragon V2 for the Utopia is said to be excellent. Hence I was thinking in terms of their cables.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  9. jonstatt
    Yes to the Black Dragon with Utopia. Curiously when I asked Moon Audio which cable to use for custom adapters (e.g. XLR to 4.4mm etc), it was suggested to use Black Dragon and not Silver Dragon as it was the most neutral.
  10. Admiral Kolchak
    Hey guys, playing with my new macro lens and my (beautiful) Stellia today, some photos below. It's amazing how every spec of dirt and micro dent show up in the photos, invisible to the naked eye. I really need to buy some beeswax to protect the leather.

    _JAB4116.JPG _JAB4114.JPG _JAB4112.JPG
    teknorob23 and jooonnn like this.
  11. GreenBow
    I think I said earlier that I hadn't yet really heard the speed that beryllium are known for. I am hearing it more now though. The speed is easily audible when listening to The very best of INXS. Even the opening track is full of sounds that highlight speed.

    However I have not done a massive of listening with my new Stellia yet. I have more left them running-in on a source.

    I am still bothered about cable noise though. I find sometimes I can get the cable in a position where there is no cable noise. Sometimes not, like today. I ended up at my desk having to hold the cable away from me with my left hand. I was driving mouse while browsing with right hand, and having to let go of the cable to type. When I can hear cable noise, I can hear all my breaths when the cable lays down my chest. Like when when sat at my desk, or sat back in a chair. As I just said though, sometimes I can get the cable in a good position, and listen cable noise free. Half the time not though. There is no question that I am going to have to buy another much less microphonic cable.

    The sound of the Stellia however has come on song a considerable lot. Even without the amount of hours, that is recommended to run them in, they sound very good. Like Head-Fiers have said anything from 50-100 hours, and to be sure 200 hours. What HiFi said they left their review pair for a few days running in before reviewing. Mine are well under 50 hours burn-in (mostly done leaving them on source), but still doing some magical stuff. They changed quickly from out of the box when they sounded grainy, and not much soundstage. The sound has smoothed out, sped up, and become insightful, while being really nice and full. The soundstage is definitely better to me too; like even if didn't get any bigger, it would be enough.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  12. Topbanana
    Again, fully agree, except for the whisky rationing! I'm sure I've heard and interview with a focal guy on YouTube that this was a design characteristic where the leather would wear and break-in giving it a individual feel much as a fine leather sofa. But my memory may be blurred by the whisky!

    This isn't a headphone to try to keep factory fresh with a view to resell 'as new' later.
    TooFrank likes this.
  13. atahanuz
    As a potential buyer I am reading this thread and there are too much complaints such as "only sounds good with certain genres" , "requires a lot of burn in"

    At its price of $3000 being the most expensive closed back of all time and being the TOTL closed back of a high-end brand Focal , this headphone should simply sound perfect, right? This must be the expectation from this headphone.
  14. Topbanana
    I think you have to throw comfort into the equation to get a fuller picture. The Stellia are very comfortable physically and musically compared to their CB rivals. I can wear the Stellia for hours where something like the HD820S would tire me.

    Fully agree with the gene limitation though, I still have old HD650s which I prefer listening to classical with, mainly for the open airiness feel. But that said comparing OB with CB possibly isn't wise. With regards with the burn in, personally, compared with out of the box I don't feel the trebles and mids have changed over time, but the improvement and speed of bass delivery is what I notice. However, I did switch to a copper balanced cable at around 150 hours so can't be conclusive on where the improvement came from.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  15. up late
    you're dealing with subjective impressions here. i suggest that you try it for yourself and form your own. i doubt that we could reach a consensus about the perfect sounding headphone at any price, but the stellia may come close for some folks and be far from it for others.
    gtbrown50, noplsestar and Topbanana like this.
72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81
83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

Share This Page