Introducing: the AerØ Ag USB. The first Silver/Aerogel cable

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Pez


This release is an interesting one for me. Why? Because it is insane how long it has taken me to get it to this release. How long have I been working on Aero Ag? Before I had a forum on Audiocircle, before I had a website, even before I had come up with Hapa Audio as a company… I was working on Aero Ag.

The Prototype

it's incredible for me to think, this prototype was built 3 years ago. In that timeframe I have released (and even retired!) several products. Yet, today, finally marks the release of Aero Ag!
The birth of Aero
When I look back at the beginning of when I started designing Aero, my first prototype design of Aero utilized silver. I was really shooting for the stars so to speak. Being the first product to use Aerogel I wanted to achieve the absolute best sound quality I could get.

The first Aero ever built used silver was a sonic stunner. The bass, dynamics and depth were all incredible. But there was just one problem, a big problem. The cable was unbelievably bright and hollow sounding and nothing I did seemed to fix this issue. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for silver, I had experienced this sort of problem before (as I’m sure many others have as well). Many companies would have heard that first design and released it straight away. The overall sound quality was incredible, even with its warts. But for what I was trying to accomplish, it meant that unfortunately, I had shelve the project until I could solve these issues.

Ironically, It wasn’t until I abandoned the idea of going with silver that lead me down the path of discovering how to use silver. Indeed, switching over to copper was what started my obsession with trying to get the most out of it to match the positive attributes of silver without the negative attributes of silver. The obsession only deepened with time and with the recent release of the new Aero Cu products I have finally come full circle to that end goal by employing next level hand polishing. Of course, It occurred to me that perhaps I could apply an even higher polishing standard to silver. And thus, Aero Silver USB was born.

Introducing Aero Ag USB


The ultimate in sound quality. Aero Ag USB uses the exact same design as Aero Cu USB, with the exception of the data core. The data core uses a pure silver UPOCC nano-polished data pair. With the new Nano-polishing tech and a keener understanding of how to use Aerogel dielectrics, Aero Ag offers absolutely stunning resolution without brightness or hollowness in the midrange. In fact, Aero Ag is superior to Aero Cu in every way. Depth, dimensionality, dynamics and texture are all drastically increased with Aero Ag USB over Aero Cu USB.

Quite frankly, both of these designs score the highest marks in fidelity. Aero Ag USB adds a degree of realism, dynamics, and dimensionality that can only be achieved with silver, Nano-polishing, and Aerogel dielectric, Aero Ag USB represents Hapa Audio’s first statement product.

Same incredible shielding technology

Utilizing the same 7 layered shielding design as Aero Cu, Aero Ag offers the same impressive pitch-black background for micro-detail and dynamics to thrive. 

Nano-polished data core
High RPM polishing devices, world class polishing compounds, microscopes, high powered magnification, and a level of quality control only Hapa Audio can perform are all employed with the singular purpose of achieving a surface conductor polish that is refined down to 120 nanometer scale. The process takes days to perform. The visual before and after results speak for themselves. but the most important verification is the stellar sound quality.


Hearing is believing
You all know by now, I believe that the final arbiter of my work is in fact you, the listener. All of this work, countless hours of prototyping, patenting, referencing, innovating and straight up inventing is absolutely meaningless if you don’t hear the improvement for yourself. So as usual, I am arranging a tour for ACers to hear this incredible new technology.

When will the tour start? It’s already started and is out for delivery to an Audiocircle member as I type this.  If you’d like a chance to hear this extraordinary new instrument for yourself, please sign up. For this tour, Aero Ag USB in 1 meter will be accompanied by the new Aero Cu USB also in 1 meter.  Please follow this link to sign up.

Tyson

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This is a stunningly great cable.  I own 2 of them, one for my upstairs system and one for my downstairs system.  At this point, both of my systems are ruthlessly revealing and I have always been very, very, very bothered by hash or edginess in the digital signal. 

Before Aero Ag, I was forced to use a USB cable that was soft and forgiving because of my extreme sensitivity to digital hash.  I found that any cable that was highly detailed was also highly annoying.

But now with Aero Ag in my system, I have truckloads of detail and ZERO HASH OR EDGINESS. 

For decades I could never fully enjoy a digital system.  It never felt 'fully analog'.  And now, it's been fixed in one fell swoop with Aero Ag.  I'm astonished.

TF1216

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I have not seen prettier cables.

Jason, I can't wait to have a system worthy of your products!

dflee

Tyson:
YOUR EFFIN KIllIN ME.

Don

nlitworld

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I can't wait to have a system worthy of your products!

Don't wait. Even budget level gear greatly (and I mean GREATLY) benefits from quality cables. It's pretty rediculous how many hardware upgrades can be postponed after cable upgrades.

Also, Tyson is the voice of bad influence like the mischievous sober kid at a house party. The one who goes up to the drunk kid and says, "there's no way you can backflip off the roof into the pool" which only convinces everyone to attempt a drunken backflip off the roof into the pool. But without this mischievous sober person, we would not have excellent YouTube videos and without a Tyson talking cool products we would all live apathetically in our own mediocre stereo sound.  :lol:

SFDude

Tyson:
YOUR EFFIN KIllIN ME.

Don

I know, right? I’ve signed up for the tour before this one with the Aero Cu USB. I probably need to try this one out since my system would likely benefit from the detail wrought by using silver vs. copper. Ugh! If only the timing was good to listen to both at the same time.

-dave

Pez

Dave, sign up! This tour has both Aero versions! I’m more than happy to either take you off the list for the other one or have you be on both. You make the call my friend.  :thumb:

Pez

Quick update, The new Silver Aero and copper Aero have arrived to our first tour member. Time for some backflips.  :wink:

We still have room on this tour. Trust me, this piece is a game changer and must be heard. Get on the bus before it leaves the station!

SFDude

Dave, sign up! This tour has both Aero versions! I’m more than happy to either take you off the list for the other one or have you be on both. You make the call my friend.  :thumb:

Jason, responded. Will dive into this tour as the comparison between the AerØ Ag and Cu is more appropriate to my current evaluation of USB cables. Thanks and looking forward to this.

-dave

poseidonsvoice

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Hi folks!

For the past 2 weeks I have been greatly enjoying two new USB creations fresh from the fertile mind of Jason Wong and the Hapa Doodle Doo Eargasmic factory! Yes, in particular the AerØ Ag really knocks it out of the park!

Some eye candy:



Left to Right is: AerØ Ag, AerØ Cu, and the original AerØ.



In the above pic, AerØ Ag is in the center.

I must say that the fit and finish of the AerØ cable series is absolutely exceptional. You really feel like you are holding a very high quality heirloom product. The AerØ Ag is distinguished with a silver/black label and the USB connectors have the Hapa emblem on it. Indeed the build quality is a touch better than the previous Aero I had acquired last year. As usual, Jason shipped them in a nice bag/box combination with the Hapa emblem.

When I approached Jason and enquired about these new USB cables I was extremely skeptical. I had been incredibly impressed last year by the original Hapa AerØ. However, my system had morphed quite a bit since then. First, I had eliminated my all silver autoformer based TAPX preamp and I was going dac direct using the superb Holo Audio May KTE dac. Next I had built a brand new I9 based server and was streaming DSD 256 or DSD 512 using HQPlayer piggy backed onto Roon and through a Sonore Signature Optical Rendu SE v.2 streamer. So I literally was spiraling in an eargasmic orbit and Jason thought a new USB cable might make a difference?!

My system details are here for those who are curious. And given that I do not have a preamp, I find USB cable changes can be quite profound. As such, an audition is required.

Reading through my notes, most of my exclamation marks are with the AerØ Ag. Although the AerØ Cu is excellent in its own right, given the price spread between the two cables,  I wasn’t surprised by the subjective differences.

At first listen the Ag immediately provided a slightly larger and deeper soundstage along with an increase in dynamics. This took me back quite a bit as I wasn’t expecting a dynamic improvement at all. Strings in particular had less sheen, with more detail, separation and delineation. Treble was  (and in antithesis to what I had thought previously about silver cables), smooth and very extended at the same time. In fact, the Cu version was slightly grainy and gritty in comparison! Tautness of mid bass and bass was quite fastidious without any overhang at high SPL’s. In particular, I was very surprised that there was less compression and distortion at very high SPL’s. With the previous version of the Aero, I would comfortably listen at 90 dB nominal at the listening position (4 meters away). Now, these levels were at least 95dB with peaks of up to 105dB. Yes, that is dangerously loud but it does give you the idea of how this silver USB cable doesn’t sound like your typical silver.

One notable difference between the original Hapa AerØ, AerØ Cu and AerØ Ag, is that the latter was transformative in allowing one to perceive soundstage height differences. In other words, not only was it easy to ascertain imaging precision in the horizontal plane but in the vertical plane as well. This was not so obvious with the Cu or the original AerØ in particular.

After being quite enthralled with the Hapa AerØ Ag, I decided to haul both cables to my buddies (sledwards’) system. He has a tricked out setup consisting of GR Research NX Otica’s, dual triple 12 inch OB/Rythmik subs, 2 additional sealed subs as well as a digital setup very similar to mine. One notable difference was a new solid state Class AB amplifier, the DenaFrips Thallo amplifier (a very understated looking amp that sounds fantastic!). Every one of my experiences that I listed above was repeated again with some additional perks in the sound staging department as you would expect from an OB design. Another one of my buddies, member tnweaver who owns Spatial Audio X5’s was in agreement as well.

Some recordings that were in high rotation for this review:

Skopje & Yoragathupaga by Trilok Gurtu & the Arke String Quartet
Turner’s Ship by Malia/Boris Blank
Lochs of Dread by Bela Fleck (Live Art album)
House of Mercy & Come on Up to the House by Sara Jarosz
Ixtapa by Rodrigo y Gabriela (C.U.B.A. Album featuring Anoushka Shankar)
Warrior by Hiromi & the Trio Project
…and several others!

In conclusion, if you have a digital setup that you are truly inspired by and are wanting for the long haul (whatever that means given the skyrocketing progress of digital technology), I would do a serious audition of the Hapa AerØ Ag:

It is the absolute zenith of digital USB cable performance!  :thumb:

Bravo Jason! Bravo Hapa Doodle labs!  :green:

Best,
Anand.

« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2022, 10:05 am by poseidonsvoice »

Pez

I have to say, the quality of reviews I get here on AC are absolutely mind blowing.  :o

Anand, thank you for kicking off the tour with a very well written and glowing review! Yes indeed, AerØ Ag USB is a design I am so happy to finally get out to you all. I’ve been in pins and needles waiting to see everyone’s reactions. I’m really looking forward to hearing what the rest of you folks have to say!  :popcorn: :guitar: :rock: :drums: :violin: :guitar: :rock:

SFdude is up next!  :guitar: :drums: :rock: :guitar: :rock: :violin:

dflee

So Anand:
Tell us what you really think. Ha. Nicely stated post and coming from someone who's opinion I trust completely.
My systems will never be up to Poseidonvoice standards. Stating that am going to stick with the CU version on the USB side.
Now if the Aero AG comes to fruition in the coax, that may be another story.

Don

SFDude

Re: Introducing: the AerØ Ag USB. The first Silver/Aerogel cable
« Reply #12 on: 20 Sep 2022, 03:34 am »
[Placeholder for my notes, thoughts and summary of the AerØ Cu, AerØ Ag against my current cable, the JCAT USB]

It's been an interesting ride so far. A few more days of listening, swapping, comparisons and notes to revise and share with you all. No spoilers for the time being except to say, these cables (both the Cu and Ag) are contenders!

Thanks Jason/Pez for making this Tour available for us to listen for ourselves. Much appreciated and stay tuned!

-dave