AudioCircle

Industry Circles => Hapa Audio => Topic started by: mgalusha on 23 Aug 2021, 06:58 pm

Title: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mgalusha on 23 Aug 2021, 06:58 pm
A few weeks back, fellow AC member Tyson came by to have me look at an amp for him, but he also mentioned some goodies to play with...

The goodies turned out to be the Hapa Ember USB  and the forthcoming Aero USB. He also brought along the iFi gadgets Jason is offering with the cables and indicated that in some systems they might be needed but I wanted to try just the cables, no other changes.

In June I moved to a Holo Audio May DAC (KTE edition) and have been extremely happy with it, but had not experimented with USB cables at all since putting it in the system. I used the cable it shipped with, a pretty generic looking cable but since it has a fully opto-isolated USB input, I didn't expect it would really care about the cable. I could not have been more wrong.

We first put in the Ember, I was very surprised at the change, the simplest way to put it, is there was simply more of everything. Greater clarity and detail, better harmonic distinction and overtones, what sounded like additional layers of information. Massed voices gave way to individual performers and the sound stage grew wider and deeper, something my system already does really well. The more we listened, the more I kept hearing subtle nuances that were less clear previously. I mistakenly thought this what the top of the range and then Tyson let me know that this was the entry level cable. Hmm, now I'm really curious about the other one.

We then installed the Aero, it was more of the same, very much like the Ember but with an even large spatial presentation, more distinction on voice and instruments, more resolution and subtle detail. Perhaps the Ember x1.5 or x2, no real way to put a number on it. What I was certain of, was how much difference there was between the stock Holo cable and the Hapa cables. I was also certain my wallet was going to notice. Like the Ember, I ran this without the iFi devices, I had no problems with the computer syncing with the DAC, dropouts or anything else. Jason did offer to send them but as I was totally happy, I declined, this has held true in the 3 weeks or so that I've had the cable, not even one hiccup.

The May DAC is being fed from an Intel 8th gen NUC mounted in a passive case, no fans, running DietPi Linux and roon bridge, it's running via a separate circuit from all the audio gear and is plugged into a high performance common mode noise filter.

I don't know if Jason will be doing a tour of this cable, but if so, I would take advantage of it. A no regrets purchase, very happy with the cable and it's performance.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: WGH on 24 Aug 2021, 02:27 am
Hapa AerØ USB Review

I was lucky to get one of the review samples of the new AerØ USB cable. I still have the Ember USB for comparison and have been listening to the AerØ for the last two weeks.

While reading my review please listen to this song by Nilsson to experience my feelings about the AerØ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1n9QTkrkP0&ab_channel=Anarchy4FR (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1n9QTkrkP0&ab_channel=Anarchy4FR)

The Ember was the best USB cable I ever heard, for the first time I could clearly hear micro details like room echos that enhanced the listening experience. High pitched instruments like triangles and bells shimmered. The front of the room opened up. I reviewed the Ember here:
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=177555.0 (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=177555.0)

The AerØ is in another league. Mike Galusha nailed the description in his review above. The mini-review I emailed Jason when I first received the Aero on Aug 9th was one word: "Expansive". Nothing has changed my opinion since then. With the Aero in my system it is like hearing my music for the very first time. New instruments appear, recordings have space around the performers you never knew was there. There are exceptions of course, flat studio recordings remain flat, the excellent Jennifer Warnes album "The Hunter" still sounds great but there were no surprises. Surprisingly, Micky Hart's "Planet Drum" didn't reveal any added nuance, maybe I have used that album for a system check so often I know it all too well.

"Smile" by Brian Wilson is a dense, multilayered mix. Aero easily unravels all the sounds, each voice and instrument occupies a different point in space. That's what AerØ does best, it puts points in space. Sound is no longer in an arc between speakers but a physical space with the instruments inside.

Dexter Gordon's album "Go" has his sax on the left, the right speaker has a faint echo I never heard, the recording was made at Rudy Van Gelder's studio.

AerØ is a little fuller sounding than the Ember, an instrument's body is more apparent, it's nice. The Ember is not thin by any measure, I was completely happy with the sound. The Aero just has more there there.

You will notice my music selection this time around leaned toward the softer side of music where the performers and room can be heard. Hard rock and Hip Hop probably won't benefit as much from the subtle gradation the AerØ brings to the music.

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=228812&size=huge)



Both Mike and I listened to the AerØ without the iFi iSilencer+ and iPurifer 3. I tried them but they just didn't add anything to the music. My system is unusual which is probably why the iFi devices slightly dulled the sound. The difference was obvious on the first track of Ani DiFranco's album "Revolutionary Love", the triangle lost it's edge and sparkle. Bert Kamsteeg's soft brushwork on the drums was less apparent on Carmen Gomes' album "Up Jumped the Devil". I have two industrial linear regulated power supplies at each end of the USB cable. The Paul Pang USB 3.0 V2 card has a 5v Acopian PS with 1 mV RMS ripple, the KingRex UC384 USB/SPDIF converter at the other end has an Acopian PS with 1.5 mV RMS ripple.

I have come across this before with the Audioquest Jitterbug, Uptone Regen and Intona so I wasn't surprised the IFi devices didn't work for me.
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=138707.msg1476956#msg1476956

Both iFi units were well burned-in. When I first tried them I was not pleased, Jason said they needed 150 hours break-in. I put together a low-end, hi-tech burn-in rig that can run 24/7 using parts hanging around my office. The Toshiba laptop is from Nov. 2008, it is so old it came with Windows Vista. I did a clean install to Windows 7 with a retail disk that was in my library then the free upgrade to Windows 10 v20H2. The laptop's switching power supply probably makes the USB output real noisy giving the two iFi's a real good workout.

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=228814&size=huge)

I built the Hagerman HagUsb USB/SPDIF converter in Sept. 2006, it was my first foray into hi-end computer audio. The HagUsb has a stereo jack the iPod Mini headphones plugs into so I can hear what is going on. The HagUsb also has a volume control.

Foobar2000 is on repeat playing the frybaby song, it's very boring. I have the Hagerman FryKleaner, an audio burn-in generator that I use for cables. The generator produces broadband noise from 20Hz to 20kHz plus a sweeping pulse from 2Hz to 200Hz. Jim has a download of the same burn-in broadband noise on his website:

Right click link to "Save Link As...", download, then set your favorite player to repeat the mp3 until you get bored.
http://www.hagtech.com/media/frybaby.mp3 (http://www.hagtech.com/media/frybaby.mp3)

The frybaby.mp3 is what foobar2000 has been playing on non-stop repeat for over 150 hours.


The AerØ USB is the real deal. I wouldn't have believed my ears if I didn't have the Ember to compare it to, switching between cables took less than 30 seconds.

Hapa Audio keeps coming out with better and better products. The combination of the Quiescense interconnects and AerØ USB has really opened my ears to what is possible in stereo reproduction. Give them a listen if you can.

Wayne
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 24 Aug 2021, 04:48 pm
Mike and Wayne,

 :o

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am honored and humbled by your praise.

Regarding your thoughts on the performance of Aero I couldn’t agree more! Ember is an AWESOME cable and does everything right (especially the price!) but once you hear Aero there’s just no comparison. The way it conveys music is simply unparalleled.

Regarding the iFi devices- One thing I want to stress- Aero is designed to work with the iFi ANC devices. Mike and Wayne clearly have a robust digital front end to be able to utilize Aero without them. Most of my personal DAC gear require the iFi stuff in order to function properly and in the few cases I don’t need the iFi devices still sounded better with than without. I can see reasons why in rare instances the iFi devices might not improve the sound quality or, in Wayne’s case, made things sound less than optimal. I won’t speculate here about it, that said, what I am doing for is requiring them to be paired with Aero. If after the standard 150-200 hour break in you are not 100% satisfied with them and your system does not require them I will take them back for a full refund.  :thumb:

Thanks again gents for sharing your thoughts. 
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 24 Aug 2021, 08:29 pm
By the way, Wayne - Extra points for using the 'Ø' in AerØ.  :lol:  :P  :thumb:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Phil A on 23 Oct 2021, 11:08 pm
I'll had my thoughts as I am on the Hapa Audio Aer0 USB tour.  I received my cable in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday.  I had gotten a new (well very slightly used) amplifier a week ago Thursday in the main system (and of course we compared it to the old amp).  My friend usually comes over Thursday nights for a few hours and we listen to various things.  With the new amp on the way, we decided on a playlist for evaluation of the new amp.  The playlist was as follows (all PCM files were in FLAC):

1)     Private Investigations – Dire Straits 24/44.1

2)     Liberty – Anette Askvik 24/48

3)     I Remember You – Eilen Jewell 16/44.1

4)     Fistful of Swoon – Vandaveer 16/44.1

5)     Dance Me to the End of Time – Madeliene Peryoux 16/44.1

6)     A Fool for You – Carmen Gomes Inc. 24/352

7)     Tin Pan Alley – Stevie Ray Vaughan single rate dsf

8       Eleanor McEvoy – Mercy Mercy Me single rate dsf

9)     A Case of You – Cristina Branco 16/44.1

10)   Shostakovich Symph 10 In E Min, Op.93 : 3. Allegretto – Nelsons Boston SO 24/96

11)   Libertango – Michel Camilo & Tomatito 16/44.1

The purpose of the playlist was to have something that covers various genres.  Some may not be familiar with the artists/recordings chosen so I'll ad some comments about those.  Numbers 3 and 4 were artists I've seen live many times at my favorite music venue in Northern, VA before I moved to Florida almost 8 years back.  The venue closed just over 4 years ago (https://www.arlnow.com/2017/09/08/breaking-iota-club-closing-this-month/) and was a wonderful small venue, great restaurant and they didn't sell tickets in advance and the tickets weren't expensive (usually $12-18).  I'd usually get there early and eat at the bar and the performers would be eating at the same time and then be doing their warm-ups (which anyone could sit through) and after that they would collect the cover charge if one wanted to stay.  Samples of those songs are here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lby_GXOrNLU   and here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqu9MSfBPN8    Number 6 is from one of my favorite record labels - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf_S2l3Y_lM  and number 9 is my favorite rendition of the Joni Mitchell song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu4eGjF1BWw   (most of the album is in Portugeese).  For those not familiar with number 2, the song can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU2MBOX4QyM

Anyway, on Wednesday in the early evening I tried the Hapa cable on my PC system.  The current system is my PC running JRiver via the USB output to my Vanatoo Audio Transparent One Encores - https://vanatoo.com/shop/speakers/transparent-one-encore/  (and I was using a WyWires Silver USB).  The powered speakers have a built in 24/96 DAC and the JRiver Audio Output setting are of course adjusted to take that into account.  There was an increase in separation with the Hapa cable, the tonality was luscious and the whole soundstage was better and more realistic.

My friend came over on Thursday night.  The main system (Phil A), without going into detail about everything and every tweak employed but the system is listed here along with a slightly older photo (had the old amp in it and various photos in my gallery have pictures of it - believe me it is better than looking at my picture 8)) and one can see more of the room (and at the bottom of this post a more recent photo of the system) - https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=systems;area=browse;system=2298  (the system includes the modded LSA Voyager GaN 350 Amp, Modwright LS 36.5 DM preamp, Lumin U1 music server connected to my EMM Labs DAC 2X and Thiel CS 3.7 speakers).  The music server is connected to the DAC via a WyWires Platinum USB cable and I had a friend bring over his Wyres Diamond USB cable a little over a year ago and I thought it was just marginally better than the Platinum). 

We started the playlist (which was already on the Lumin App from last week) with the WyWires Platinum USB cable.  When the second song got to the sax solo (after I swapped in the Hapa cable - which is a pain to get to in my system), my friend's exact words were when the sax solo came on was "Holy Sh**  Wow!"  Everything described in listening to the playlist on my PC was true except with the system being so much better, it was at an additional level.  Yes, I have ordered one and unfortunately next Wednesday my week is up and the cable will be sent to 'schw06' who is next on the tour.  Well done Jason.

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=230910)

Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mreeter on 24 Oct 2021, 01:24 am
Great write up! Beautiful set up! I bet it sounds outstanding, with or without the Aero :thumb:
I'm patiently waiting for my my turn with this wire :wink:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Phil A on 24 Oct 2021, 02:33 am
Great write up! Beautiful set up! I bet it sounds outstanding, with or without the Aero :thumb:
I'm patiently waiting for my my turn with this wire :wink:

Thank You!  btw - when my friend came over (a few Thursdays back) and I told him the (modded) Voyager GaN 350 was one the way and I was on the tour, he said I'm crazy (well we know that anyway and anyone who says otherwise, let's have a straight jacket party :duh:) as my system sounds amazing.  Unfortunately someone else helped him, who probably meant well (and he has a more limited budget) but was not as knowledgeable as he could be, and now has sold the amp he had (just wasn't enough power for his large room) and has a stereo IcePower 1200AS from Apollon Audio in a shallow depth case (which he needed in his set-up) and the cables the other person had him buy were fine for HT but not for 2-channel audio, so I gave him stuff I made many years back (I have bins in the garage full of cables and btw I was retired once for 6 years and went back to work for medical benefits, now retired again for almost 8 years and before I went back to work for medical benefits) asI was going to go into the cable making business so when I heap praise on a cable take note of it.  Many times now, I just don't feel like dealing with the pain of doing it but can  He has other things I've helped him with as well and his system is sounding much better.

I don't think he thinks I'm quite as crazy now, except for the fact that I moved my EVS 1200 to a secondary system in a small to average sized bedroom (and he said he'd kill to have that amp if it would fit in his set-up).  I have the system playing now (what a pain in the small space I had for it) as of 5 minutes ago (and what a job getting stuff in place that works - it was like getting an army of clowns in a VW - I broke a couple of cables that just didn't squeeze in the space).  It uses a small PC (HAL MS-2 that is old) running JRiver and using the WyWires Platinum USB Cable.  My friend had a DAC (and a separate headphone amp) and I used to own a Teac UD-501 in a secondary system and brought that over and it was better than his DAC and the headphone amp was better.  He ended up trading it to a dealer and got a demo Teac UD-503.  I got a used UD-503 yesterday (figured it would be fun to have somewhat of a similar amp and the same DAC).  Haven't finished checking all the settings yet (playing a 24/96 file now) and and one other thing (Oppo 103D running thru a modded Carver C-9 Sonic Hologram Generator just for fun) I have hooked to the preamp (Sherbourn Pre-1, which I moved out of another system) to check if it's OK.  It's been a pain today (I had other unexpected stuff to do).  The system has Selah Audio SA-2 speakers and a Rel Strata III sub.  I'll check a bit more (OD on audio equipment moving and setting on this second) and then can finish it up when my friend is over Thursday (have to send out the Hapa USB cable on tour after my week is up on Wednesday and hopefully not too long after that I'll have my own).  At some point in the near future (dealing with a builder roof issue), the main room will be painted and that will mean taking everything out and apart so I want a good secondary system for audio for whenever that is and however long it is apart.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: artofaudio on 25 Oct 2021, 12:55 am
@ Phil A - Very nice review and audiophile background.  My turn is after schw06 and I'm super excited to audition this cable in my system.  I'm putting together my list of songs now.   8)
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Mike B. on 27 Oct 2021, 04:41 pm
A short summary for those who don’t want to wade through it. This is the best USB cable I have heard.

System Details
Digital playback – I-7 Intel NUC, 16 gig ram, Win 10 with a number of services removed. Fidelizer Plus. Jriver Media Center 26. Western Digital 4TB dual drive. Wyrd4Sound DAC 2V2 SE.
Cables – AQ Carbon – NUC to drives
Synergistic Research Active SE – NUC to DAC

H-Cat Series 9 Preamp, Audio Research Reference 75 amp, JL Audio Fathom 112 subwoofers, Custom built line sources comprised of 10 SB Acoustics mid woofers and 10 Fountek ribbon tweeters.
Cabling – Synergistic Research Tesla series, Transparent Reference power cords, TG Audio power and signal cables, Silversmith Audio speaker cables, numerous Acme Audio Labs AC related products, and far to many tweaks to mention.

Music
Agnes Obel – Citizen of Glass
Chosen for difficulty making out singing lyrics
Tom Russell – The Man from God knows where
(Image size and definition)
Dirty Dozen Blues Band – Medicated Magic
( deep and wide sound stage)
Ray Brown – Soular Energy
( excellent recording of upright acoustic bass)
David Crosby – For Free
( a album that is a  pleasure to enjoy from start to finish )
I did listen casually to a number of other selections as well.



Listening Sessions
I did two sessions a day apart. Both started with the Aero and then to the Synergistic cable.
The Aero presents a large open well defined presentation. Outstanding definition with instruments and performers located in a 3D like sonic landscape.

The Synergistic USB presents a well defined stage but a smaller overall sound field. I was bothered by the amount of midbass energy which the Aero pointed out in the comparison.
Second Session
The Synergistic, for better or worse, is tunable with a variety of plug ins to the active bias/ shielding. I made a change and it brought it much closer to the Aero, but it was still distinctly in second place.   

Thanks to Jason and Sebastien for allowing us to listen to their cables. They have produced an outstanding USB cable.   
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Phil A on 27 Oct 2021, 06:31 pm
@ Phil A - Very nice review and audiophile background.  My turn is after schw06 and I'm super excited to audition this cable in my system.  I'm putting together my list of songs now.   8)

You're getting closer.  I mailed the cable a little bit ago to schw06 and right now USPS is estimating Saturday.  As I told schw06 in the email (with the tracking info), if you wish to save money, don't plug it in and send it off to the next person on the list :lol:   I got on the tour towards the end.  I don't easily get hyped up on cables ( almost went into the business 15 or so years back) but decided it was free to listen and I have made changes to the main and secondary systems of late and wanted another decent cable when I rotated things between systems.  I honestly didn't expect it to be better than what I was using (which is now in my primary back-up system for 2-channel).
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: artofaudio on 28 Oct 2021, 04:07 am
I guess I will start cutting up my credit cards before the cable gets here.  What length did you order?  I had my eye on the In-akustik Reference USB 2.0 cable until I saw the Aero. 
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 28 Oct 2021, 03:41 pm
Mike and Phil,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your fantastic reviews. The equipment lists are pretty mind blowing and I’m really excited that Aero bested some big name players in your systems!

Special thanks to Phil for his on point business advice. I really appreciate it.

This tour has been a lot of fun already and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thinks. :thumb:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Phil A on 28 Oct 2021, 08:08 pm
btw - my personal USB got here super fast.  I think I ordered it last Friday about 1:15 PM my time.  I received notice from Jason that the cable was complete on Monday.   I received noticed of the shipment on Tuesday about 11:30 AM from Fedex (in Colorado - I'm in Florida).  I looked at the tracking info and about a day to two later it said expected delivery on Friday (tomorrow).  Yesterday early everning I sent an email to my friend who comes over Thursdays (today) to listen and I told him we would listen to the secondary system (pic below) where the old amp, old USB cable, etc., now sits (it's good anyway as he has a somewhat similar amp and the same DAC so he gets to hear what that will sound like - he's in process of building speakers with the design help of a friend of his as coming over here spoiled him) as the new USB cable won't be here until Friday.  I ran out to the supermarket at around 11 AM and when I got back a few minutes after 11:30 the Fedex truck was pulling out of my development and the cable was at my front door.

So not only is a great product made, there is equally good service, which to me is very important.  Anything ever made by anyone can have problems.  What separates a good company from either an average or poor company is often the quality of service.  I have a minor issue with a integrated amp/DAC that I previously used in the office system before I got my Vanatoo Audio Transparent One Encores a little bit ago.  I first contacted the company (which I well leave nameless in posts) on October 7 (or a bit before) and it is 3 weeks and can't even get information on the procedure to send it off for a repair (which I'll pay for).  Being Thursday, it likely will spill into its fourth week and who knows how much more.  I just bought the used DAC in the secondary system (pic below) and the company which made the unit I'm trying to get serviced makes and bunch of DACs (and at one point I noted in an email that I'm in the market for a DAC when their response was lacking and it takes days for them to answer an email which doesn't even address the simple thing  I asked in the first place - they didn't  seem to care about that - their loss - they lost a sale and any interest for me in their products).  Jason - thx


(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=231230)

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=231231)
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 28 Oct 2021, 08:28 pm
Phil,
Glad to hear your cable arrived a bit early.  :thumb: Enjoy it!

I know the feeling of getting both great customer service and terrible customer service. I have no illusions that everyone will have a perfect product experience, but if you don't I'll do everything in my power to make things right. A lot of companies are experiencing huge delays on the production side of things and it's throwing the industry into a bit of disarray. Just heard this morning about a company struggling to meet demands simply because they can't get essential part. Hopefully the company you're dealing with pulls through for you.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mreeter on 9 Nov 2021, 02:16 pm
Being on the list of users to demo the Aero USB Cable, I'll try to give a few of my impressions. I'm not a very accomplished 'Pin to Paper' kinda guy, so bear that in mind.

A little history first, I'm a 'Man of a certain age' and since I was a kid (still have the first LP I ever purchased, at twelve years old) Vinyl has always been my format of choice. I also have a few hundred CD's, but Vinyl has always been the favored. I was very slow to adapt to the Digital 'Streaming' World. The main reason I finally made the move into Streaming was the rising cost of 'quality' Vinyl along with the curiosity of being able to open up a whole new world of Music, little did I know what lie ahead :wink:

I am not a Tech Savvy person and I like 'simple', I decided upon an Innuos MK3 Streamer/Server, coupled with a Lampizator Amber 3 DAC, to finally get me into the 21st Century of Audio. The Innuos MK3 is limited to USB Output only, so a GOOD cable is not a requirement, it's a necessity.

I'm a firm believer in the fact that 'Cables Matter', you don't hook up quality pieces of gear with a 10 cent printer cable and expect top shelf performance. My USB Cable experience is quite limited, I have used an Audio Sensibility Copper cable, an Oyaide Copper cable and my current Audioquest Carbon cable.

When I received the Aero, my first thought was, this is a 'Chunk of Wire'. The quality of the connectors and the weight of the cable and build quality is very impressive. After hooking up the Aero and letting the system come up to temperature, I started pulling up some favorite tunes from a playlist. I was immediately taken aback by what was a profound improvement in the size of the Stage, the Amber 3 throws a huge Stage as is, but the Aero had added to that, by a good margin. It literally transformed my room into a Concert Hall.

In one of the previous user reviews it was stated that "The the Aero sounded as if there was a new piece of gear put into the System" or something to that affect. I have to agree, the difference in the presentation as a whole is quite notable, and for the better. The detail that the Aero is displaying is uncanny, very revealing to say the least. I was hearing small details and nuances that were unknown before now, even on the cuts that I 'thought' I knew like the back of my hand. You know, the Music I'd been listening to for a few Decades :o

Even with my limited experience with a Digital Source and USB Cables, I can certainly say, without reservation, that the Aero has set a new Standard in which many others will aspire to meet. Bravo Hapa Audio for a great Cable and many thanks for the opportunity to have the pleasure of listening to the Aero in my own set up, in my own time, with my own material.

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=231890)


(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=231894)












Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 9 Nov 2021, 06:21 pm
Mreeter,
First and foremost thank you for your kind words! Getting Aero out to market was a monumental task for me! Reading reviews like this make it all worth while for sure.

Second, your setup is incredible! You have put a ton of work into every aspect of the system. The room treatments in particular are very eye catching.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: TF1216 on 9 Nov 2021, 09:55 pm
mreeter, sir, which turntable is that you use?
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mreeter on 9 Nov 2021, 10:00 pm
mreeter, sir, which turntable is that you use?

No sir here  :wink:  a VPI Classic 3, sporting a original Soundsmith VPI Zephyr
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: TF1216 on 10 Nov 2021, 02:37 pm
Thank you no sir  :eyebrows:
It's a super pretty looking turntable and I dig the VPI turntables.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mreeter on 11 Nov 2021, 01:54 am
Thank you no sir  :eyebrows:
It's a super pretty looking turntable and I dig the VPI turntables.

Thank you! I feel like the Classic 3 is one of Harry Weisfeld's best works, that and the Classic 4. I picked this up in 2015 in a 'Black Friday' sale. It was one of VPI's last "Harry Designed" tables built. They've since been put to pasture because they cost a certain amount to build and the profit margins is just not enough :( my thoughts

I've read many online threads about problems with the latest production models. Noisy Motor, Cueing Lever problems, Grounding Issues, etc. I use this table dailey, more than just a couple of sides per day, more like 12-16. In six years of constant use I've never had an issue one. Not one...flawless operation that is just too easy :wink:

Since discovering streaming and hi-res Digital I've considered selling my Vinyl and all associated gear. But, I just don't have the heart to let it go :wink:

Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: artofaudio on 23 Nov 2021, 06:43 am
I'd first like to thank Jason Wong & Sebastien Chiu for allowing me to evaluate the Hapa Aero USB cable.

Components:
Router>Switch
EtherRegen A side to network (generic cable), B side (Avanti Audio) to Lumin U1 Mini
LUMIN U1 Mini with Uptone Audio JS-2 power supply (Audio Sensibility 5.5X2.1mm DC kit)
Avanti Audio Vivace Ethernet cable 1.5 meter from B side of EtherRegen to Lumin U1 Mini
Cary Audio SI3002D Integrated amplifier
Denafrips Pontus II DAC (Hapa Aero USB from Lumin U1 Mini to Denafrips Pontus II) and (Hapa Aero USB from Lumin U1 Mini to Cary SI3002D's internal DAC)
Morrow USB cable (existing)
NRG custom speaker cables and power cords
Salk 3 BEATS speakers
Spaceport line conditioner
Tidal stream (no local music yet)

The construction of the Hapa is top notch.  It is very well constructed.  I tried it first from the Lumin to my amps internal DAC for a few days, then I tried it with the Denafrips DAC.  The very first thing that was noticeably apparent was the bass extension in both configurations. Initially, I considered moving my BEATS further away from the wall but I found that was not necessary.  The more I listened I realized that the extra bass was dependent on the recording.  I have an open concept room which I hate, so the fuller bass was appreciated. It was still controlled but very commanding.

In regards to the mids & highs, everything was a bit clearer.  There was more separation and space between instruments but the impact was not as profound as the low end. Everything sounded better with the Aero but the Morrow USB held its own with the highs.  Other than that, the Aero is a much better sounding cable in my system.

I added the Denafrips Pontus to the chain with the Morrow USB and it sounded much better than the previous config with the Aero to the Cary internal DAC, which is very good.  I switched to the Aero cable and it took a giant step forward.  It was more of everything, authoritative full and punchy bass and the midrange and highs were amazing.  The music moved into the room depending on the recording.  It seems like the Aero opened everything up.  It showed me what the Denafrips DAC is capable of and the Cary internal DAC as well.

I removed the USB cable and tried the XLR balanced output from the Cary to the Pontus, and an AES/EBU cable from the Lumin to Cary, and from Lumin to Pontus.  It's a different sound that is less engaging.  I moved my sofa towards the speakers 2-3 feet and it sounded much better. Could it be the cables, perhaps?  All 3 cables are Mogami Gold series with very few hours in all fairness. 

Music used to evaluate the Aero:
Cassandra Wilson - Another Country/"No More Blues" Deep voice, amazing placement of instruments
Vanessa Fernandez - Use Me/"Here But I'm Gone" - more bass than I've heard from this song ever
Hoff Ensemble - Polarity/"Moving" - Just an excellent recording, the brushes really sounded real. More space between instruments.  This is a very dynamic recording.
Fausto Mesalella - Live at Alcatraz/"Imagine" If I closed my eyes I would not be able to distinguish from a real guitar.
Frederic Alarie - Tap Bass/"Water is Wide" Amazing upright bass, fuller but tight with Aero
Diana Krall - Turn Up the Quiet/"Isn’t it Romantic" Centered right in the room, scary good
Marc van Roon Trio - Quantum Stories/"In The Air" Literally in the air, very good recording
Alicia Keys - VH1 Storytellers/"Empire State of Mind" or any song from this recording sounds like live music. 
Fink - Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet/"Trouble is what you're in" Sounds live

The Aero sounds great in my system without an external DAC, but with the Pontus it's outstanding. I listened to the aforementioned songs/albums over and over, with and without Aero.  It was always better with the Aero by a wide margin on some songs and very little on others.  That's the beauty of this Tour as it allows us to see if it improves our different configurations.  Thanks again to the Hapa team and everyone else who posted reviews.  Highly recommended!!









Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 24 Nov 2021, 06:32 pm
Artofaudio,
I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. That is quite the equipment list! Your digital front end is very impressive. Thank you for taking the time to compare Aero to your current USB cable. :thumb:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: sounddog on 2 Dec 2021, 12:01 am
I’m one of the lucky people who were on the Aero audition tour and have just finished my evaluation. I will post a more detailed review in the next several days, but did want to cut to the chase and at least post my conclusion. I really liked the Aero, so much so that I bought it (and with my wife’s enthusiastic approval). Expansive sound (as others have noted), more presence, more detail, more air. If you can fit it in your budget, I highly recommend that you try it.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: artofaudio on 2 Dec 2021, 08:29 pm
I agree with Sounddog and the others.  The Aero is an exceptional usb cable.  At some point I’m going to purchase one along with a pair of Hapa XLR cables. 
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 2 Dec 2021, 09:41 pm
I really liked the Aero, so much so that I bought it (and with my wife’s enthusiastic approval)

You heard it here first folks! Aero passes the WAF test with flying colors. I’m taking full credit on the engineering on that aspect!!!
 :P
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: randalljkrebs on 4 Dec 2021, 07:39 am
Thank you to Jason Wong and Sebastien for allowing me to take part in the Hapa Aero Tour.

To answer the question on what I thought about the Hapa Aero USB cable I have to tell you about the equipment I am using.

My speakers Tekton Moabs, Peachtree GaN 400 amp, RME Adi - 2Dac FS and various cable connections are about 12k altogether.

I currently compared the Hapa Aero $1200 with the Curious $380 ( I bought mine used for $150) and the Ice Age USB $140.  Although the Aero does sound the best the Curious cable did run a close second.  The Hapa Aero absolutely did what the Curious cable did but better.   I truly believe that for someone that has a better resolving more expensive system they would rank the Hapa Aero USB much higher than I did.
I really appreciate you allowing me to demo the Aero cable.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: sounddog on 12 Dec 2021, 10:10 pm
Here’s my review of the Hapa Aero USB cable, which I was sent as part of the Aero tour. There was one hitch though - it turned out that my DAC needed a longer connector to properly fit into its USB input. No worries - I spoke with Jason, who diagnosed the problem, built an Aero cable with a new USB connector, and sent it to me within days. The new connector worked and I started the break in process. But I must say that the Aero sounded good even before break in, and started to sound significantly better at around 100-120 hours of break in time (my wife later confessed that she knew by then that we should buy the Aero). I restrained myself from doing any serious auditioning until we got to the 150 hour mark.

My system:
Innuos Zenith Mk 2 music server
Ayre QX-5 Twenty DAC
Ayre KX-5 Twenty preamp
Bryston 3B Cubed amp
Salk Veracity HT2-TL speakers
Shunyata Hydra power conditioner
Shunyata power cables
Kimber Kable interconnects and speaker cable
Wireworld Starlight CAT8 ethernet cable
Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB cable

(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=233670)


My wife (who is a classical pianist) and I listen primarily to classical music, with some jazz, blues, indie, folk, etc thrown in. We used 6 classical pieces we know well to compare the Aero to the Wireworld USB cable and have the following comments (my wife gets credit for the most perceptive comments):

1. Monteverdi, Il delerio della passione, track 2, Anna Lucia Richter, hirez - soprano & chamber ensemble. Aero - bigger soundstage, greater separation & clarity of instruments, voice is more intimate, has more breath and hear voice phrasing better, instruments are more resonant. Wireworld sounds somewhat compressed by comparison.

2. Bruckner Symphony #9, track 2, Pittsburgh Symphony (Honeck conducting), hirez - dynamic orchestral piece [thanks to ACer Desertpilot (Marcus) for posting his recommendation of this recording]. Aero - feels more like being at a concert hall, more space and hear instruments and their character more clearly, hear the actual tone a flute has and hear the bottom reverb of the kettle drum and not just the top of the drum. Wireworld sounds flatter by comparison, more like a block of sound, it's almost like a different performance.

3. Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, tracks 1 & 2, Atlanta Symphony (Levi conducting) - coloristic orchestral piece. Aero - sounds fill a bigger space (which seems to allow the overtones to expand) and reverberate more, better dynamics, deeper base, details clearer, sounds like a coherent piece. Wireworld sounds somewhat boxed in by comparison.

4. Graupner, Himlishe Stunden, seelige Zeiten, track 13, Miriam Feuersinger & Capricornus Consort Basel- soprano & chamber consort. Aero has better balance between voice and instruments (which have better articulation), hear ensemble playing, whereas Wireworld makes the voice prominent. 
 
5. Copland, Jeffrey Khaner: American Flute Music, track 4- flute & piano. Aero - it's revelatory, hear more overtones on the flute, allows the flute's vibrato to be heard, which adds depth and color.

6. Vaughan Williams, The Early Chamber Music, Nash Ensemble, track 1-1 - strings & piano. Aero - the strings are heard better, making for a more balanced sound, hear more separation between the instruments while maintaining a coherent whole.

The Wireworld is a very good cable, yet as you can see, we were more impressed by the Aero and didn't hesitate to buy it. I was equally impressed by Jason's customer service.

Congratulations (and thanks), Jason and Sebastien!
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: nc42acc on 12 Dec 2021, 11:07 pm
How can one get a loaner to hear in their system?
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 13 Dec 2021, 12:03 am
Sounddog,
Thank you for your review! That’s quite the equipment list and I’m glad we were able to diagnose the issue. Some of these Uber dacs or transports have a thick chassis that requires me to extend the connector out of the barrel quite a bit. If anyone else has issues with connection let me know, this is likely the culprit!

Randall,
Thank you as well for your impressions. Really happy to hear your setup is working well for you!

How can one get a loaner to hear in their system?

We are likely going to do an encore tour. I’ll ask if people are interested and post up here soon!
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: BCRich1 on 19 Jan 2022, 01:10 pm
Cable received yesterday! More to follow.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Sebastien_Chiu on 21 Jan 2022, 08:56 pm
Cable received yesterday! More to follow.

Look forward to your feedback sir!
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: BCRich1 on 22 Jan 2022, 12:39 am
Hi Sebastien,
How long is the demo period for? Any idea how many hours are on the cable I received?
Thanks…Mike
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 24 Jan 2022, 08:44 pm
Hi Sebastien,
How long is the demo period for? Any idea how many hours are on the cable I received?
Thanks…Mike

Mike,
The cable has been well broken in at this point. Generally the cable only needs 8 hours or so and it'll be good to go.  :thumb:

I believe you are last on the list so take your time.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: BCRich1 on 30 Jan 2022, 01:27 pm
Thanks Jason!

Here are my initial observations…

Amazing Soundstage; all dimensions improved. Detail retrieval was beyond my expectations as I felt my system is quite revealing to begin with. Even some Hard Rock music had more detail than I realized. Listening to all kinds of music I felt I was much more connected.
I’ve been using a Sablon 2020 USB, no slouch there. The Sablon replaced a Lush 2 USB.
I will provide a more detailed comparison in due time along with my System info and a Track listing.
This cable is so musical, I don’t want to put the Sablon back in.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: jackmonster on 30 Jan 2022, 04:11 pm
I was originally on the Ember USB tour.  It bettered my current USB cable at the time.  Right at the same time Jason came out with the Aero USB. I had to try it.  Needless to say, I bought the Aero.
It's funny- just when you think your system is highly resolving and pretty good you listen to a superior product and you didn't realize what you were missing.  But I agree with the above comment-
the Aero cable just gets you more connected with the music.  And that's what this hobby is all about.  I own one of Jason's interconnects, too.  Patiently waiting for him to come out with a power cord or
speaker cable.  I know when he does- it will be excellent and an exceptional value.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: nlitworld on 30 Jan 2022, 05:19 pm
Patiently waiting for him to come out with a power cord or
speaker cable.  I know when he does- it will be excellent and an exceptional value.
:popcorn:
If it would be anything like we've seen from his other cables it would be a slow rollout but surely worth the wait. Something tells me he's fiddled with his own stuff but hasn't spilled the beans yet.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Phil A on 30 Jan 2022, 05:41 pm
I agree.  We can all be a little impatient but it is worth the wait.  I'm waiting for the Aereogel RCAs.  My main room at some point in the near future will have to be taken apart for painting (roof issues where I had to get an attorney and now the builder is responsive - waiting for the new master bath tile to come in so they can schedule ripping up the bathroom as there is mold behind the walls) and since it is a super pain to get to the rear, I'm hoping when it gets put back together it will be ready (and the way things are moving that could be a couple of months off or a bit more).
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 1 Feb 2022, 04:28 pm
Hey guys,
I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to hear all the positive feedback from everyone on what I’ve produced so far, especially on a gloomy day like today. I have been enjoying what I’m doing and the interaction with all of you is why I do it. I have a few interconnect options ready for prime time and yes, the big push for 2022 will be speaker cable options. Power cords might be later!

I have several digital and analog interconnect options coming up. One this week! Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: autospec on 11 Feb 2022, 03:11 am
Why do you have such funny rules about using your website ??     Will
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 13 Feb 2022, 10:27 pm
Why do you have such funny rules about using your website ??     Will

Not sure what you mean Will. I don’t think I have any rules.  :scratch:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: mresseguie on 14 Feb 2022, 03:32 am
Hey guys,
I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to hear all the positive feedback from everyone on what I’ve produced so far, especially on a gloomy day like today. I have been enjoying what I’m doing and the interaction with all of you is why I do it. I have a few interconnect options ready for prime time and yes, the big push for 2022 will be speaker cable options. Power cords might be later!

I have several digital and analog interconnect options coming up. One this week! Stay tuned!

[Just noticed this post]

 Speaker cables!?! Now that sounds very interesting. I look forward to reading about these.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Chris Adams on 15 Feb 2022, 07:25 pm
Hapa Aero Review

Sorry for the delay getting this review posted. Thanks to Jason and Sebastien for my prolonged listening session!

Before I start let me say I think all components including cables are system, room, and listener dependent.

I’ve had this cable for some time now and enjoyed listening through it in my system. Right up front I’ll say this cable gets out of the way and provides excellent frequency response and an ease that makes forgetting it is there easy to do. The Aero is well built and beautiful to look at.

My system:

Router to Cat6 to
English Electric Ethernet switch to
Network Acoustics ENO Ethernet filter to
Innuos Zenith MK3 to
Network Acoustics USB cable to
Mojo Audio Mystique EVO B4B with upgrades to
McCormack LD-2 with SMc Audio Gold Special upgrade to
SMc Audio GT-21 with outboard SMc Audio Power Block.
Interconnects are DIY Helix using Neotech PC-OCC bare solid core copper in larger diameter Teflon tubes for positive and larger gauge Neotech PC-OCC in Teflon for negative With KLE RCAs.
Speaker cables are Neotech PC-OCC bare solid core copper in larger diameter Teflon tubes for positive and mil-spec wire for negative with Furutech Rhodium spades.
Power cords are built the same as speaker cable with various Oyaide connectors.
P.I. Audio Uberbuss for conditioning.
Speakers are Tekton Audio Ulfberht with DIY upgraded outboard crossovers.

Music I used for comparison:

Dirty Loops, “Hit Me”
Billie Eilish, “everything i wanted”
Donald Fagen, “Miss Marlene”
Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”
Loreena McKennitt, “Caravanserai”
Donald Fagen, “Security Joan”
Sarah Jarosz, “Orange and Blue”
Steely Dan, “Gaslighting Abbie”



I had a chance to compare the Aero with some other cables. First was a Supra USB 2.0. No contest here. The Supra sells for about $50 and it shows against the Aero. I want to say that the Supra doesn’t suck and was my first USB purchase. While not up to the Aero standards, I was able to listen to it with no problems while trying other cables.

Second cable was an Audiocadabra Xtrimus Solid-Silver SuperQuiet. Still no contest but the Audiocadabra is a major bang for the buck. At $139 it did not embarrass itself. If I had a modest system and wanted a very good USB cable, the Audiocadabra would be my pick. Once you have major bucks tied up in a system, the Aero will show you what it can do.

Third cable was a Network Acoustics ENO USB. Now the competition gets tougher. This cable when I bought it was slightly north of $800. I had been listening to the ENO in my system for about six months and was very used to it. Wide frequency response, dynamic, spatial, smooth, and with an ease that made listening very comfortable. When I replaced it with the Aero I heard all the same qualities with subtle differences. I took me a while to sort out the differences between them. A quick A/B didn’t do the trick. The differences were small but in a revealing system over a period of time, they showed themselves and became important differences. The ENO cable was ever so slightly better at imaging, mainly in the midrange where vocals and instruments had a bit more distance front to back and side to side. When I say slightly, I had to listen for hours to catch on. On the other hand, the Aero was a little more coherent from top to bottom with tighter bass and silkier highs. I’m very sensitive to sibilance and the Aero was better. Bass had a bit more punch with the Aero and seemed to go a bit deeper. In terms of ease, the Aero pulled ahead I think because of its smoother coherence from top to bottom.

There you have it! The Aero is a tip top USB cable that should be on your short list.
Title: Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
Post by: Pez on 16 Feb 2022, 11:48 pm
Chris,
You are very welcome!

I'm glad you enjoyed what you heard. I'm working on a little write up you might find interesting. It discusses some of the other tech behind Aero aside Aerogel dielectric. I hope to have it posted up soon.   :thumb: