Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts

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artofaudio

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 28
Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #20 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!!










Pez

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #21 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:

sounddog

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #22 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.

artofaudio

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 28
Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #23 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. 

Pez

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #24 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

randalljkrebs

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #25 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.

sounddog

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #26 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




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!

nc42acc

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 273
Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #27 on: 12 Dec 2021, 11:07 pm »
How can one get a loaner to hear in their system?

Pez

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #28 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!
« Last Edit: 13 Dec 2021, 06:26 am by Pez »

BCRich1

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #29 on: 19 Jan 2022, 01:10 pm »
Cable received yesterday! More to follow.

Sebastien_Chiu

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #30 on: 21 Jan 2022, 08:56 pm »
Cable received yesterday! More to follow.

Look forward to your feedback sir!

BCRich1

Re: Hapa Aero USB cable thoughts
« Reply #31 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