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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. atahanuz
    I am interested in buying the Stellia and I'd like to learn how some of my favorite tracks sounds on it. Unfortunately I don't have a way to hear Stellia before buying. If you own Stellia and have some free time, can you PM me? I'll give you a couple of tracks, you can listen to them on Stellia and report me the sound.
  2. teknorob23
    Yep i do still think Stellia's are phenomenal pair of HP's, but i think i've mentioned in quite a few of my previous posts, that while they are head and shoulders above any other CB's i'd listened to there are still a few areas which could if the form allowed it, that could be improved on. I personally find the bass, while deep, just that bit too linear, especially when listening to electronic music, where they just lack that kick. Its also probably worth mentioning again, i am listening at low to moderate levels because of one ears being particularly sensitive, so my issues may not exist at higher volumes, but this is why i've been looking exclusively at CBs, wherei can get the full presentation at lower volumes. Anyway back the bass: when listening to guitar music/indie rock this isnt really a concern and the mids/highs are just so good it more than makes up for it. i've not heard crunch on guitars anywhere else like it. Thurston Moores's Exalted has never sounded better:

    But with 75ish (arbitrary) % of my listening is to Electronic, and while the Dynamism and pace of the stellia's is there the bass just isnt. And probably unlike a lot of techno-heads, i like my electronic music to sound as textured, organic and if you like analogue as possible.

    Another area of slight weakness, and this is compared to the top open backs, is stage width, height and depth. Its very good for CB's and natural sounding too and this where the the VC's step in just change the game. Zach @ ZMF has managed to defy physics with stage is he's achieved with VC's. It is genuinely holographic, wider, deep and tall, while never losing focus, more so than any of the Focals, or from memory my LCD4z. If you had put these on my head without telling first what they were, i would have sworn blind they were open backed. There is some upside retained form the CB form and that is dynamism and immediacy, oh and isolation is the best ive heard.

    The staging in turn gives at least the impression of better detail retrieval, when i know that probably isnt factually the case, but because the seperation and front to back layering is so good, i can just cant hear stuff, or perhaps just couldn't isolate as well with the Stellias.

    The VC's are a tad slower, but its negligible, they are on the warm side of neutral, fuller than the stellias, but the top is airy and whip snappingly crisp and these things are just tonally right, for my liking at least. They have real bass rumble but its controlled and detailed, with spine tingling impact, and this impact is there all the way to the top end.

    The big caveats to all this gushing should be, a) ive only been listening to them for 4 days, b) ive been listening to the Stellias daily for nearly 10 months and they just kept getting better and giving more with every listen as i learnt appreciate them, whereas the VC's had from the first listen, it's just been WOW!, but will that last and will they give the long-term satisfaction the stellia's have provided, well i'll have to wait and see. I might just be in the middle of the biggest audio sugar rush in history :wink:
    subguy812 likes this.
  3. Topbanana
    If it helps I went here: https://oidiosound.co.uk/ and paid around £110 for a 1.5m custom. The mongrel series still might be a bit microphonic for you but as it's wrapped in paracord, but I don't notice it. He does do a Pellucid-PLUS line which he says is much less microphonic if you're sensitive.
    GreenBow likes this.
  4. Caruryn
    Can anyone recommend a good cable for Stellia up to $1000 in Europe apart from Crystal Cable and Forza?If i can get it to sound a little more open without changing the tonality it would be worth it,sounds great already.
  5. llamaluv
    I think Lavricables (Latvia), which are all silver, is worth considering. The Stellia could do with a little bit of the silver treatment IMO, but in any case, Lavricables are neutral, not bright. It comes in different thicknesses (eg, 10-core, 14-core, and 20-core), which is good when you need to make allowances for portability/ergonomics vs signal quality. They're also very un-microphonic. And turn-around time is consistently good as well.
  6. Topbanana
    I went copper, but only because I had the cable on order beforehand, but thought silver would be better for the same reasons you think I guess, to make it more neutral as it has a warm signature. I've stayed with the copper for now as I found the soundstage opened up and the bass had more slam and noticed that moon audio thought it paired better with copper which suprised me. I think I understand why now, it's just punchier which I prefer with rock music. I've not tried a silver yet so can't compare but I probably will in the future, but right now improved male vocals and impact seem to work well and the detail seems unchanged from stock.


    Does anyone know the construction of the standard cable Focal supply?
    llamaluv likes this.
  7. Caruryn
    Thanks,but i don't know about that.The silver Lavricables that i had bought for iems even though detail focused and was sounding good for SE846 which had a fun sounding coloration,was unlistenable with Andro S.I don't want to go that route with Stellia,probably mono crystal is the best based on my player but i can't find any makers in Europe apart from Crystal cable.
  8. llamaluv
    Okay yea, it's hard to predict without trying through direct experience. Andro S is a different creature altogether though...
  9. noplsestar
    Which cable are you speaking of? Can you post a link?
  10. teknorob23
    4 core ofc copper i think.

    upocc silver would give you the extra detail, impact, separation and dynamism. Number of strands isn’t important It’s all down to the total overall gauge, which needs to be 24awg of Lower to get the potential of silver and none of the downsides which come with thin gauge silver. 22awg seems from experience to be the sweet spot where sound and ergonomics are both good.
  11. Topbanana
    So go silver? Do you have a recommendation or are you just making them up yourself (I googled your cable in your signature).

    While I have your brain: do you rate silver coated copper? Our just hype?
  12. subguy812
    Thanks for the response...
    teknorob23 likes this.
  13. atahanuz
    Stellia owners: Is Stellia an all-rounder headphone, in other words is it a headphone to keep as your only headphone? Do you ever feel the need to listen to your other headphones for certain genres of music?
  14. will f
    I had a Stellia as a loaner for a week and I quite enjoyed it. Could you use it as an all rounder? Absolutely. It’s a fantastic headphone with no significant faults. It’s pretty neutral, and it has great dynamic range and FR. That said, it didn’t strike me as good an all-rounder as the Focal Clear. That might be totally my personal preference- I just really like the Clear’s darn near perfect tonal balance.
  15. Topbanana
    That is probably the hardest question to answer! For a closed-back it's near perfect to my ears but I keep an old pair of HD650 for classical/orchestral stuff. I doubt any closed-back will ever excel at separation of 20-30 instruments
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