Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review

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WGH

Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« on: 20 Sep 2022, 07:14 pm »
Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA and AerØ Ag Aerogel USB Cable Review







I want to thank Jason for the opportunity to be one of the first to listen and review the new Hapa Haiku RCA interconnect cables. It has been fun. There will be more reviews coming, Eric has the cables now and then coming up our Tucson Audiophile Group has a listening session planned for Saturday, Oct. 1st at another member’s house with a system using custom electronics powering Nola speakers.

At first, I had no idea how these cables sound, or even if they have a sound. The Haiku are the closest thing to having no cables I have ever heard.

It took a week to understand what these cables can do and how my electronics and software interact. The change in sound is not subtle, but what is affecting the sound can take a while to figure out. Just because the system sounds better doesn’t mean the new component isn't compensating for something out of whack upstream that, in the long term, will come back to bite you.

My current wires are the Hapa Aero USB (1st Gen), Hapa Quiescence Silver and the rare Hapa Quiescence GS Gold Silver interconnects. Electronics include the Holo Audio May KTE DAC, AVA Vision SET 400 amp, and the AVA Fet Valve CFR preamp with NOS Mullard 12AT7 and Genelex 12AU7 tubes. Speakers are the venerable Salk HT2-TL and a REL Gibraltar G2 sub.

The demo wire package Jason sent included 2 pair of Haiku RCA interconnects and the Aero Ag USB. Instead of trying out each cable individually, I put everything in all at once, no sense fooling around. The first thing I noticed was an increase in space, the sound field expanded and deepened. All Hapa cables excel in space and the Haiku does not disappoint. Individual instruments are easy to locate, the sound isn’t hyper detailed but naturally presented. Low level sounds like echoes are clearly resolved.

The second thing I noticed was the effortless clarity of the highs. Bells and triangles shimmered with overtones, the RAAL tweeters loved the way the Haiku highs went up and on forever. The highs are never spotlighted, these cable are very well balanced, the sound is as close to lifelike as possible. The bass, as with all Hapa cables, is subterranean when call for, I detected no change in the quantity or quality of super low 20 - 30 Hz bass. 

Over time I noticed that lyrics were easier to understand. My current cables are no slouches but the Haiku are able to resolve nuances hidden in the mix. The difference is subtle, it will only be noticed if you know the music and your system well.

After a couple of days getting acclimated to the new sound and letting the cables settle in I started switching out cables and that did not go so well. Because the Haiku are so clear and neutral any deviation from perfection is easily heard. The Quiescence Silver became coarse compared to the smooth, effortless extended highs of the Haiku. The Quiescence Gold Silver added a bloom that the neutral Haiku doesn't have.

What that means is that you might have to go all-in with Haiku with at least 2 pair: Source to preamp and preamp to amp. The Aero Ag USB then completes the loom.
 

44.1 kHz

Here is where music reproduction gets interesting. Whether you stream or play digital music stored on a server, a music player has to be used. I use JRiver, everyone has his or her favorite.

Now, is the Holo Audio May KTE neutral in non-oversampling mode? I have no idea. The DAC is well reviewed with an A+ rating in the latest Stereophile Recommended Components issue. I like it too, nothing flashy or fancy or hey-look-at-me, it just plays music, always sounding natural.

Using my original Hapa interconnects, 44.1 kHz in NOS mode music can sound spatially flat with squashed ambience around and behind the instruments. Highs are somewhat limited, like they fade out prematurely, like there is a thin blanket over the sound.

The Hapa Haiku makes 44.1 kHz listenable again, even enjoyable. The JRiver player has a happy little mid-bass bump, it has PRaT. Dance music like Pavrov Stelar’s “Moonlight Love Affair" energizes the room with tight punchy bass. The room echo and applause at the beginning of the excellent new “Graham Nash: Live” album puts you in the room. The album has excellent bass too, an A+ recording.

The Hapa Haiku is wonderful playing 44.1 kHz with JRiver, the soundstage opens up, instruments have their own space, the highs are alive. That said, the Haiku is simply stunning playing hi-res.


384 - 768 kHz Oversampling

I use a custom made music server with HQPlayer to upsample all PCM. HQPlayer enables the user to tweak the sound like a FPGA DAC (PS Audio DirectStream), but instead of a few built in settings HQPlayer has 30 digital algorithms and 15 dither settings.

I posted an in-depth review of the Holo May/HQPlayer combo:
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=182724.msg1919415#msg1919415

384 kHz oversampling is the sweet spot for me, even though the Holo May does go higher, the music starts loosing stuff like imaging and bass. I probably would have a hard time with an A-B comparison between 384 and 768 kHz but today 384 kHz feels better. I may change my mind tomorrow; it depends on the recording, that's how digital rolls over here.

It is easy to pick out the difference between 44.1 kHz and 384/768 kHz. Images become 3-D, the soundstage expands and highs are lifelike. Triangles and bells extend up toward infinity and then naturally decay without any attenuation. Holo Audio cables are known for their huge, expanded soundstage, the Haiku take this to another level, all the while remaining natural, like the room was always there but lesser cables never let you hear it. Low level detail is enhanced because now noise-shaping has the room to move noise to non-audible frequencies. HQPlayer makes the bass tighter with less overhang compared to JRiver. Similar sounding instruments are easier to identify. Once you experience it, you never want to go back to 44.1 kHz, which starts sounding mid-fi by comparison.


DSD256

I did quite a few combinations of the different Hapa cables I have on hand. DSD256 eliminated a few variables: both JRiver and HQPlayer have DSD passthrough, in theory the 1-bit signal isn’t touched, there are slight differences between players but nothing worth mentioning.

I listened to a compilation I made of the free 2L DSD downloads available on their website, 17 sample tracks, 7.23 GB. All songs are full length and there is not a clunker in the bunch. 2L picked the best track from each album, each one is recorded using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques and range from DSD256 to DSD64.
http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html?



The first three tracks are perfect for cable comparisons, all are DSD256 and recorded in churches with a huge reverberant field around the performers.




Innocense - Hoff Ensemble – Polarity album







Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor - Christian Grøvlen - BACH – Inside Polyphony album







Arnesen: MAGNIFICAT 4. Et misericordia - Nidarosdomens jentekor & TrondheimSolistene




The differences I heard between the Quiescence and Haiku remained consistent with the Haiku always presenting a larger, true representation of the recording space.

I haven’t mentioned the Aero Ag USB but all the attributes of the Haiku are also present in the Aero. I consistently heard a larger soundstage compared to my 1st Gen Aero USB. Tonally I thought they are similar.

Anand wrote an excellent Aero Ag USB review
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=183027.msg1923417#msg1923417


System Synergy



I needed to listen to a lot of music for a week, switching between JRiver and HQPlayer, Quiescence and Haiku, the original Aero and Aero Ag USB, PCM and DSD to parse out the subtle but important differences of the new Hapa cable lineup.

At first the sound was dominated by the pristine, clear highs and wide, deep soundstage. Instruments and voices were placed inside the soundstage like a 3-D movie, fun stuff.

Our audio group had a listening session where we compared an Odyssey Kismet amp to a AVA Vision SET 400. I noticed a difference in bass and imaging and completely missed that the Kismet was brighter, highs were tipped up compared to the AVA amp. Once the difference was mentioned it became obvious.

The same laser focus phenomenon happened with the Haiku. It took a while before I stopped focusing on one aspect and finally begin to hear other differences. Deep subwoofer bass was exactly the same but higher up into the bass, above 35 Hz, there was a slight attenuation compared to the Quiescence cables. The change in bass wasn’t noticeable most of the time, the music had to have strong content in that region. The Parov Stelar album "Moonlight Love Affair" is dance music with a big beat, the bass should hit you in the chest. The album is well recorded so the bass is tight too. The Haiku just didn’t hit as hard, the bass was still there in spades, deep and tight but the punch was lighter. My REL Gibraltar sub has a digital display and remote control so I increased the crossover from 32 Hz to 36 Hz and increased the volume 6 dB and then bass was close to the Quiescence cables.

I also noticed that pianos sounded less sonorous on the 2L DSD256 sample tracks. Once you hear the difference, you can't unhear it. JRiver with it's happy little bass bump sounded great with the Haiku cables. JRiver's default setting converts DSD to PCM so even the 2L DSD256 piano tracks will sound perfect with Haiku cables if your DAC doesn't do native DSD.

Phat tube electronics, speakers with a typical 40 Hz bump or placed too close to the front wall will all sound magical with the Haiku cables.

But I like how HQPlayer upsampling plays music, it doesn’t have the happy bass bump, the sound is tighter, more 3-D with clearer highs than the JRiver player and it is adjustable. Changing the filters and upsampling rate can get the sound very close to what the Haiku does. The room sound is still big but not as big as with the Haiku, which is what I will miss. Tonally however, I prefer how the Quiescence sounds in my system plus I don’t have to change the sub levels between stereo and home theater. There is a synergy with the original Aero USB, Quiescence silver and Quiescence Gold Silver, the slight coarseness disappears, music is always enjoyable and never disappoints.

In a Follow-Up article in the Oct. 2022 Stereophile, Jim Austin wrote:
    “Lately, I’ve been thinking again about a concept I've thought about on and off for years: first impressions of a product versus lingering, meaningful differences.
     "We’ve all had the experience: Replace a familiar component with a new one, let it warm up, then listen. You hear differences, often dramatic ones. (Not always though: a couple of years ago, I compared two DACs of similar price and design, switching back and forth between them, and could hear no difference at all)
     "What’s interesting is that some of the differences seem obvious and important at first-that they are impossible to overlook-become less important with time”


That is where I am at the moment, the Hapa cables I own are excellent, the Haiku cables do some things different (and better), but I don’t always listen in the sweet spot so I have to pick the cables that sound good all the time, on every recording, everywhere in the house.

If I was to buy only one cable right now, it would be the Aero Ag USB. It resolves more space, naturally.

The Haiku cables really should be paired with the Aero Ag USB, one compliments the other. Without the Aero Ag USB you will only hear 66% of what the Haiku has to offer. Two pair of Haiku cables plus the Aero Ag USB will increase your musical enjoyment to 100%.

Wayne



 
« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2022, 10:09 pm by WGH »

Pez

Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #1 on: 20 Sep 2022, 08:03 pm »
Quote
The Haiku are the closest thing to having no cables I have ever heard.

Wayne- thank you for kicking off the tour! Indeed, Haiku is like a pristine mirror. They will show you EVERY detail. If you have a face like mine with a pristine mirror, you definitely won’t like everything I see.  :lol: Whereas Ember, or QGS (discontinued) do a great job of being detailed they are way more forgiving if you don’t have the cleanest most insanely excellent gear.

Thanks for the well written and very informative review.  :thumb:

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #2 on: 21 Sep 2022, 02:18 am »
It’s really too bad that this forum doesn’t have a “like” button as this review deserves it and then some. It’s exceptionally well written. Thanks Wayne for your sharing your thoughts.

Best,
Anand.

mresseguie

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #3 on: 21 Sep 2022, 03:40 am »
It’s really too bad that this forum doesn’t have a “like” button as this review deserves it and then some. It’s exceptionally well written. Thanks Wayne for your sharing your thoughts.

Best,
Anand.

Agreed! My 'like': +1  :thumb:

Wayne, this is a very well written review. As one of the lucky few to be a part of this tour, I very much look forward to hearing these cables in my system.

Michael
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2022, 02:53 pm by mresseguie »

EkW

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Short Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #4 on: 2 Oct 2022, 02:41 am »
 My prior experience with rca interconnects has been that most didn’t do much on my system even though others thought otherwise. Finally, a set of cables where the difference was not subtle verging on imaginary. I used the cables on my vinyl playback system: Well Tempered classic, Soundsmith Aida cart, Soundsmith MM3 phonostage, Sweet Vinyl Sugar Cube ( for initial listening), DSpeaker X4 Dac/Pre, PS Audio M1200 amps, HHR TLS1 full range Walsh driver speakers. Cables were a mish-mash: Outlaw Audio PGA, Esoteric Audio Air Litz Technology 1 (circa 1995), and Hapa Audio Quiescence Cu from TT-Phono-SweetVinyl-Preamp. First changed the Outlaw and Esoterics. I started off with an obscure lp from Miles Dethmuffin, ‘Nine Volt Grape’. To my knowledge this isn’t available in any digital format and quite like it.  Listened to a side then changed cables, listened again, repeated a couple of times, then just went for the last tune. The bass was tighter, vocals better centered and solid. Overdubbed harmonies were cleaner and moved a bit in the soundstage. Each time I switched to the Haiku cables the change was obvious as soon as the music started. Since I had used REM’s Murmur for the Aero Cu digital coax I chose the lp for the next album I was a bit distracted comparing the lp (a MFSL issue) to the cd but noticed better body to Stipe’s voice. Then I took the Sweet Vinyl out of the system. This time the cabling was either all Haiku or Haiku and Outlaw. As I sort-of expected changing one set of interconnects made a smaller difference than changing two sets. The lp noise went up but the sonic changes were the same as before.
Overall, what I noticed was a greater solidity to the sound, slightly better high treble, improved midbass, greater clarity on male vocals. My guess is that these are effects/changes that some might describe as big or huge but I call obvious to the casual observer, which is to say, significant.
The biggest drawback is the price. They are way out of my budget but showed me what is possible. My money at this point is probably better spent on optimizing the TT/cart setup before going for cables. But, if you are already at that point then these cables are certainly worth a listen.
One thing that was pointed out at a listening session today is that the color coding on the cables is very small and ir was asked if there is a prefered directon for the cables or if is try both and see which way sounds best in your system.
The connectors worked very well, going in and coming out smoothly without threatening to destroy the jacks.
As my budget permits I might swap out the old cables for the Quiescence replacements. I will buy a lottery ticket for my birthday next month. If I win Jason will be among the first to know.

Pez

Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #5 on: 4 Oct 2022, 06:59 pm »
EkW,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with Haiku and Aero Ag. It’s really nice to hear that they made a nice improvement in your setup.   :)

kmate

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #6 on: 14 Oct 2022, 08:12 pm »
Yeah, very nice reviews of the new Haiku Interconnects. I had the Hapa Audio cables for a week or so, and I completed my in-system listening tests. We even had them in my system during a local audiophile listening session earlier this month. I didn't go crazy A-B'ing cables at that session, but certainly everyone was pleased with what they heard. I'm close to finishing my written review, and I'll be posting it here soon! Thanks to everyone for making this possible. :D

kmate

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #7 on: 16 Oct 2022, 05:23 am »
Hapa Audio, Haiku Aerogel RCA Interconnect Review:

I was curious to try the newest Haiku Interconnect cable and Aero Ag USB cable from Hapa Audio. I was able to spend about a week with them listening to both digital files and 2-track reel-to-reel tapes. I had reviewed the Hapa Breathe S and Quiescence S Interconnect cables in January 2021, and was very impressed. I ended up eventually acquiring both a pair of Breathe S and Breathe C cables. So, I was interested to hear how the new Haiku Aerogel compared to the already excellent sounding Breathe S (unshielded) and Breathe C (shielded) in my system. This review will concentrate on the Haiku Aerogel RCA interconnects.

The first thing I noticed was the way the Haiku IC handles bass, and how it provides increased dynamics to the signal quality. On my system, at least, they add a nice emphasis in bass frequencies that are noticeably stronger, but certainly tight and controlled. This is bass with power and conviction. Then the other feature I noticed was the sense of dynamics, most noticeable in the attack on leading edges of notes. Yet the sustain is still nicely evident. One may think of this defined attack as improved resolution. I would say it has to do with a slight heightened clarity and definition that is equally spread across the frequency range. Bass is clean, tight and musical, while mid-frequencies and highs are clear and refined with nice tone. There are equal amounts of high frequency shimmer and air as with the Quiescence, but noticeably improved overall. I would say that each one of these Hapa cable variants provide great instruments and sounds imaging within a distinct soundstage.



The Haiku IC:

The Haiku Aerogel Interconnect is an all-silver wire construction. The high-quality silver signal wires have been polished, and then placed inside an Aerogel dielectric. The signal wires are then shielded with more silver wire in a curious hand-woven mesh structure. The RCA connectors are a push-on design made of aluminum with a grounding structure like the Eichmann bullet plug. All of this makes for a very, high quality look and feel, and no doubt contributes to their impressive sound. These cables have a solid, confident construction quality.



My System Setup:

Almost everything in my system is either modified stock components or built from various kits or custom designed. I love do-it-yourself gear when it’s appropriate. DIY provides me the ability to modify my system sound to my taste (with lots of work and a healthy dose of challenge). My digital chain is a custom-built Windows server with custom designed, regulated 5-volt battery supply, an HD Plex 18-volt linear supply. My digital to analog device is an Audio Note Kit, L5.1 Signature DAC (a fun project to build). This feeds into my built-from-schematic Ultrapath pre-amplifier. This is the awesome sounding design by Jack Eliano of Electra Print Audio, with design mods by me plus a high voltage SuperReg by Vacuum State, which feeds the two 6SN7 tubes with a Khozmo attenuator. I also play reel to reel tapes using a refurbished Otari MX5050 bii as transport and my custom-built tape head amplifier. Next in-line are two used Quicksilver V4 mono-blocks which I’ve upgraded. My speakers are the wonderful sounding open-baffle Nola KO's. For cabling, I use a combination of my own designed JMaxwell USB cable, Hapa interconnects, Viborg power cables, and various custom designed power and interconnect cables.



Think boutique capacitors and resistors, high end transformers and silver wire in the signal path throughout the tube-based component chain. I totally dig those glowing glass bottles, even if they may be little buggers at times. 😊

Cable Applications:

I placed the 1.5-meter Haiku Interconnect between the ANK 5.1 DAC and my Ultrapath preamplifier. I tested with my own JMaxwell USB cable from the music server to WaveIO board in the DAC for my own consistency. I placed the 1-meter Haiku IC provided between my custom tape amp and my Ultrapath line stage. I already had a 1-meter Hapa Breathe C feeding the Otari’s tape head direct output to my custom tape amp input (solid state first stage with three tube-based stages).

Music Played:

As for the music that I like to play, well I strive to be varied and eclectic. That's music appreciation and exploration in my mind. You want to be able to throw all genres at your stereo system and have it all handled gracefully. The Hapa cables gracefully handled everything that I threw at them.

Here’s a list of the musical pieces I used for this review. They’re the same songs in my previous review https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=174424.msg1841354#msg1841354

Beats Antique – She is Looking for Something; Harry Manx – Nat Bhariav; Fink – Maker; The B-52’s – Follow Your Bliss; 2Cellos – Shape of My Heart; Cat Stevens – Peace Train; Hilary Hahn – Partita no. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: I. Preludio; Bela Fleck & The Flecktones  – Flight of the Cosmic Hippo; Jesse Cook – Rattle and Burn; The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five; Jimi Hendrix Experience  – 3rd Stone From The Sun; Yo-Yo Ma – Etienne Et Petunia.



Communication with Pez:

One reason I described my hand-built stereo setup here is to emphasis that I appreciate entrepreneurs, and Jason Wong of Hapa Audio is certainly an avid and capable entrepreneur. I asked Jason simply if he was making these cables himself. Here is his response to me:

“Haiku is my most difficult product to produce. From beginning to end, the entire process is done by hand. It takes me about a week and a half working full days in order to produce a 1meter pair. The entire process is painstaking labor that I created from the ground up.”

“Haiku is likely the only cable on the market that is pure silver for the entire signal path AND shield. Just to give you an idea of how much silver we’re talking about, for a 1 meter pair, the shield is comprised of 120 meters (394 feet) of pure silver litz. The technique it requires to make the shield is something that I have been working on and refining for years over countless prototypes.”

Some Listening Notes:

Here are my rough, first impressions which I jotted down while listening to the Hapa cables… These are really beautiful sounding and tonally balanced, ease of listening, inner detail, great tone, sustain, solid bass, even freq response, clean airy highs. Sounds good at low and high volumes, a few notches higher than the less expensive Quiescence S cables, for the well-healed audiophile, note the build quality, fun , exciting, quick, hell yeah.

Summary:

We all know that trying out different audiophile cables can be both fun and challenging. It can even be fraught with a dose of confusion and some doubt at times. However, it really is a good path to improve your audio system sound, and sometimes leads to a pleasant surprise. It’s that surprise factor that I discovered with the newest offerings from Hapa Audio. I’m glad that I tried these cables, and found them to present a discernable improvement over the cables that I am currently using (including the Hapa Breathe IC’s that I have). The Haiku Aerogel are not cheap, but if you are a well-healed audiophile, and want the best, then I recommend you give them a go.

Ken


Pez

Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #8 on: 17 Oct 2022, 11:22 pm »
Ken,
Thank you for the awesome review! I really appreciate the work you put in. I think you nailed it with the description. Haiku is definitely next level with clarity and overall sound quality. The dynamics and bass are a result of the shielding tech as mentioned before. There is substantially less loss via crosstalk than any other cable on the market with the design of the shield, which leads to better bass, better dynamics, and better clarity.

With the review the Tucson Audiophile group review is complete. I want to thank WGH, EkW, and Kmate for taking the time to kick things off in spectacular fashion.

The main tour starts now! In fact the first tour member has already received Haiku.  :thumb:

We have one spot remaining on the tour. Please sign up if you are a member with 50+ posts on AC and in general good standing in the community. https://forms.clickup.com/8415154/f/80txj-620/TUEPBRWCMDD5IIW0L7

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #9 on: 8 Nov 2022, 03:47 am »
Just a word that the Haiku silver and copper ICs have arrived. FedEx completely screwed up delivering them to an address that wasn’t even close. But a thoughtful gentleman knocked on my door and handed the box to me this afternoon. Whew….. I have the Silvers in from the dac to preamp. Preliminary impression is very, very nice. These perform exactly as I had hoped. Much more to follow soon.

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #10 on: 8 Nov 2022, 08:12 am »
PART ONE

I received the Haiku Aerogel Silver and Copper ICs and USB cable as well from Michael R and appreciate the bullet proof container and packaging that Jason sent out on tour. My system is not usb capable and I would really have enjoyed auditioning a coax digital cable as well, but I just feel fortunate to have two pairs of the ICs. I immediately put the Silver in from my dac to preamp. My components are now all on 24/7 except for the Supratek tube preamp. For the longest time, I was turning off the solid state AVA SET 120 Control Amp after each listening session. But one night, I forgot and things sounded better the next evening. I emailed Frank and asked him and he really wanted it turned off each time. But it was such a significant improvement, I just had to leave it on 24/7.

I’ve been very pleased with my system for some time.  It performs beautifully and some of the pieces are overachievers for the price, specifically the AVA amp and excellent iFi Zen Streamer. The Wywires cables are excellent and I only found out about them because SClark agreed to exchange cables with me. That’s what makes this hobby fun…the kindness and willingness to help each other out in the pursuit of great musical reproduction. I had a very specific wish list for performance from these cables:

1) increased resolution and purity of signal without harshness
2) better decay on instruments
3) better isolation of performers and instruments within the soundstage
4) a more accurate soundstage as to placement, height and depth
5) better timbre and resolution/resonance of each instrument

My methodology for reviewing cables or equipment is not a set list of specific artists and songs. I use Roon and encounter new music all the time. Much of what I listen to are tunes from the 50s and 60s, some of it American, British and German. Some of the A/D transfers are really poor, but I love the music. That’s real world listening for me. Most of the songs are 16/44. My Border Patrol dac is nos. No hirez stuff for me. Plus I really don’t want to pretend to be a reviewer. I’m really not qualified. I’m just a music lover who’s been appreciating tunes since I was a little kid when dad bought a console that had a radio and an automatic record changer where the arm probably weighed five pounds. I’m surprised any records survived the constant pounding of that arm and nail….I mean stylus….

I started listening within fifteen minutes of the tube preamp being turned on. Yeah, I should’ve waited a bit longer, but heck, I was curious! I could hear the improvement right away. But having satisfied my curiosity for five or ten minutes, I went in the other room to attend a Zoom meeting. Then a phone call to a friend where I’m soon moving to and then hunkerin’ down for some serious listenin’. Roon happened to pick an artist, a German male vocalist, I hadn’t heard before. Probably from the 60s, but I didn’t really check. I played it through and just gauged it by what many of those old recordings sound like. The interesting thing was his voice had a richness and a breathy, realistic quality. Hmmm, interesting…. I then picked some tunes within Roon that I was very familiar with. The first thing that struck me was the sense of effortlessness in the presentation. I could discern more individual voices within a chorus! Instruments that were detectable before were now more present, more individually pronounced. Before the violin being played seemed like it was virtually on the soloist’s shoulder. Now it was distinctly present behind his shoulder and occupied it’s own space. Playing more songs, I noticed individual singers and instruments were more precisely placed within the soundstage and represented more accurately as to height and width. Subtle, but discernible.  Vocals were more isolated and not “mushed together” as if they were in two dimensional space. I love using technical, reviewers jargon 😉

The presentation is so clean and so pure, but not sterile. There is a rich character to it. The attack was excellent. Hold onto your seat! There was better bass as well. More pop…very clean. I don’t listen to the lowest registers, though. Just don’t play that. The decay on instruments was superb. There was slightly more air within the entire soundstage. If you could imagine looking downward, there’d be clean air around each vocalist or instrument, rather than a fog or light mist. Hope that makes sense. Instruments resolve better. When attending live and in a close setting, the resonances and decay of the instruments is so discernible and natural. The Silver Haiku has captured more of that. I can’t think of anything else right now. I’ve been playing music for over six hours now. I’ll probably listen to the Silver only tomorrow night as well. I’d prefer then to just add the Copper to my system, but I know I should listen to the Copper separately. I’m just a bit mentally fatigued with buying a house, looking at lots of houses, deciding on a couple only to have them fall through. I’m waiting for issues to be resolved asap so I can move in….and enjoy tunes asap 🎶🎶

When I saw Jason discuss the concept of polishing high quality copper and silver, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Those of you familiar with Dave Elledge of PI Audio  know that he polishes AC receptacle parts to reduce/prevent micro-arcing. This makes perfect sense to me because we are dealing with much data that needs to be as purely received and reproduced as possibly. It is because of innovative thinkers like Dave and Jason that I’m able to enjoy this quality of sound. Now what I heard tonight is simply one pair of Silver ICs. That leaves another IC, a digital coax and speaker cables that aren’t Haiku level! It’s difficult to imagine what level of sound quality I’d achieve with an all Hapa top of the line cable loom. But someday I hope to find out!

If I had to pick one thing I really liked, that is so pleasantly obvious, it would be the purity of signal. Well done, Jason. Exceptionally well done and congratulations!!

Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
iFi Zen Stream & Mojo Audio lps
Wywires Silver cables & Audio Envy power cords
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Sent from my iPad
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2022, 08:37 am by Nick B »

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #11 on: 10 Nov 2022, 06:31 am »
Just a clarification on the cables I received. I somehow thought I’d be receiving a silver and a copper. My mistake and I have 2 silver Haikus and the 2nd pair was put in tonight. Having 2 in the system is as  good as I’d hoped for 🎶

More in a few days…
« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2022, 04:03 am by Nick B »

Pez

Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #12 on: 11 Nov 2022, 06:16 pm »
Nick,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts up to now! I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying Haiku RCA!  :thumb:

Nick was having some issues with uploading photos of his system, so I had him send them to me to post. Here they are!




Love those Fritz :drool:

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #13 on: 11 Nov 2022, 09:46 pm »
Nick,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts up to now! I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying Haiku RCA!  :thumb:

Nick was having some issues with uploading photos of his system, so I had him send them to me to post. Here they are!




Love those Fritz :drool:

Thanks, Jason. I just couldn’t figure out how to rotate the pics 90°   I should be able to write part two of my evaluation tonight. Please PM me the name and address of the next member on the tour.

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #14 on: 12 Nov 2022, 08:37 am »
PART TWO

I have been listening to 2 pair of the silver Haiku for the last two days and in my system, they’re a joy to listen to. There is much more of what I described in detail in Part One of my review a few days ago. This is a balanced cable from top to bottom. Individual instruments are easier to distinguish as are voices in a chorus. There is a beautiful clarity and effortless in the presentation. There is even a more focused placement of instruments and voices behind the main singer for example. The bass is a nice step up from my Wywires Silver, which I consider an excellent cable.

During the time I’ve had the silver Haikus, I’ve had private conversations with two members discussing whether the silver was harsh, contributed to sibilance, etc. The answer in my system is no. Please allow me to elaborate. I’ve never used acoustic treatments and my source material is sometimes of poor quality. I’ve been plagued by harshness for a long time, but it has improved substantially the last year and a half. The improvement is cumulative. I’ve added the Supratek Chardonnay preamp, AVA SET 120 amp, iFi Zen Streamer and Wywires Silver for two ICs and the speaker cables and a step up, the Platinum coax digital cable. For me, it’s resulted in less noise, better resolution and less harshness. The Audio Envy cables they replaced are good cables and a member here uses the AEs in his reference system.Replacing two of the silver Haikus resulted in a significant improvement over the Wywires including less harshness. There are some who’ll say it’s crazy to consider expensive cables when you have less expensive equipment. My system would be a good example. I’m guessing at current retail on some of my pieces …let’s say $1,400 on the AVA amp and $1,400 on the Border Patrol dac, SEi version. The iFi streamer is $400. The Supratek probably is $2,300 including shipping and that piece is in a league of it’s own. The silver Haikus allow these components to shine and the presentation is beyond what you’d expect this system would be capable of. Would I rather try to audition a new amp and have it’s performance throttled by lesser cables or allow the excellent components I have to perform at their best with cables like the Haikus? The answer is clearly the latter. I’ve only come over to this line of thinking since getting the Wywires and now the Haikus. I think I’d rather save up and buy better cables, enjoy the significant improvement and then consider another amp or dac. Auditioning those pieces at a later time with better cables will give a much better idea whether or not the pieces being auditioned are really worth it.  I am a believer in using a complete loom of cables. I don’t care for the mix and match philosophy. I’d love to hear the all silver Haiku loom and a copper one as well. I’ve primarily used copper over the last 30+ years. I think the Wywires cables are excellent and Alex Sventitsky is well respected. Having lived with the Wywires for some time and then hearing the silver Haiku clearly outperform the Wywires silver, it’s my belief that Jason’s Haiku cables would be on the level of Alex best cables, the Diamonds, and that’s high praise indeed. Great job, Jason!

nlitworld

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #15 on: 12 Nov 2022, 03:08 pm »
Nick,
It sounds like you enjoyed yourself this last week. From everything I've demo'd and eventually bought from Jason's cables, I have also come to the mindset of letting a modest system shine with quality cables rather than big $ on gear upgrades. Some people say cables are used to tune a system, but I'm really starting to see that quality cables are just getting out of the way of the music. It really is a 6 in one hand situation with how to improve sound, but a quality cable will last through multiple gear upgrades thus a better ROI in the long run. Now if only my wife would see stereo gear as an investment... :lol:

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #16 on: 12 Nov 2022, 10:01 pm »
Nick,
It sounds like you enjoyed yourself this last week. From everything I've demo'd and eventually bought from Jason's cables, I have also come to the mindset of letting a modest system shine with quality cables rather than big $ on gear upgrades. Some people say cables are used to tune a system, but I'm really starting to see that quality cables are just getting out of the way of the music. It really is a 6 in one hand situation with how to improve sound, but a quality cable will last through multiple gear upgrades thus a better ROI in the long run. Now if only my wife would see stereo gear as an investment... :lol:

Hi nlitworld,

I had a great time listening and coming to realize how very good my modest system could sound with excellent cables. The job of any cable is to have as low a noise floor as possible and to allow as much of the original music that was recorded to come through without being colored in anyway. I don’t ever want to use wires or other components for that matter to tune a system. The only tuning I would want to do is with tubes, and that is what I am trying to accomplish with tube rolling on my wonderful Supratek Chardonnay preamp.

Good luck regarding your persuasive powers to change your wife’s mind   :icon_lol:

Nick B

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Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #17 on: 15 Nov 2022, 02:34 am »
Cables sent to South Carolina today and should arrive Friday. Thanks Jason for allowing me on the tour.

Pez

Re: Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel RCA Cable Review
« Reply #18 on: 15 Nov 2022, 03:16 pm »
Nick,
You’re welcome and I appreciate your interest in the tour! I think you brought up something that I think is very important. Interconnects should NOT be an afterthought. As audiophiles, we’re often fed really bad advice on interconnects merely being an “accessory” and along with that false assertion, we’re given advice to limit our budget on the to 10-15% of the overall system cost. While well intending, this is incredibly bad advice. Ignoring interconnects and going with inferior products results in numerous and severe bottlenecking in one’s system. Like any other component in a system, an interconnect is incredibly important.

The concept with Haiku is to create an ideal and invisible connection between components. As you have experienced first hand for yourself, you haven’t actually heard your system until you’ve had the very best interconnects in place. That is fundamentally what occurred for you, a shifting of what you thought possible without buying all new gear.  :thumb:

The tour marches forth! I had a cancellation, if there’s someone who’s interested in trying Haiku out in their own rig send me a PM! We’ll make it happen.