Jason Wong’s Hapa Audio now has 3 interconnect cables available, all using angel hair litz wire and I was able to review all 3:
Breathe RCA Silver - Ultrafine Angel Hair silver litz
Quiescence RCA Silver with a carbon fiber/Silver plated copper shield - Ultrafine Angel Hair silver litz
Quiescence GS RCA Gold/Silver with carbon fiber/Silver plated copper shield - Ultrafine Angel Hair gold plated silver litz using a unique weave and a gold colored mylar braided outer shield. Brand new, fresh out of beta.
I have been listening to all three cables using my digital library and taking notes on the similarities and differences.
My system consists of a low powered fanless music server with the Paul Pang Audiophile Grade USB card
and SSD powered by two separate linear regulated power supplies. Software is Windows 10 and JRiver Media Center. The excellent JMaxwell Data Only USB cable
goes to a Kingrex UC384 32bit/384Khz asynchronous USB/SPDIF converter with it’s own linear regulated power supply.
Electronics are all Van Alstine with the Fet Valve Hybrid DAC, Fet Valve CFR preamp, and Vision SET 400 amp
Speaker cables are a double run of Kimber 4VS with the mysterious, magical EVS Ground Enhancers
Speakers are custom mesquite Salk HT2-TL with a 1-3/4" thick solid mesquite front baffle for a very focused sound and vanishingly low cabinet resonance. Low end is handled by a REL Gibraltar G2 sub with the digital crossover readout set at 33 Hz.
Room measurements at my center seat are pretty darn flat using the trusty Radio Shack 33-2050 meter and the SPL meter compensation charts. Using the Stereophile Test CD warble tones I measure 75dB @ 1 KHz and 71.5dB @ 20 Hz. The tones in between are +/- 4dB with a nice 10dB room bump at 40 Hz, 31.5 Hz, and 25 Hz.
I used all 3 Hapa cables in two locations: between the DAC and pre-amp and between the preamp and amp. The differences were consistent, could I tell the difference in an A-B test? Yes.
All the Hapa Audio cables have the same sonic characteristic of a wide, expansive sound stage with well placed images in space. Comparing all three cables the frequency range is the same, I couldn’t hear any difference from 20 Hz to 16 KHz (my hearing limit). The cables are the most balanced interconnects I have heard, no one frequency is accented. I have some old cables that are detail freaks with lots of first date excitement but then all the high drama gets tiresome, Hapa is not like that at all.The Breathe Silver
has a seamless soundstage arc. Install these cables and everything just sounds right. The Breathe Silver will work well if you have less than optimal speaker locations, say close to the front wall or an asymmetrical layout where sound quality is important but either the speaker design or location doesn’t allow for a deep “wall disappearing” soundstage. Speakers with a mid-bass/lower mid-range bump will benefit from the Breathe's even smooth response in that area.The Quiescence Silver
carbon fiber/Silver plated copper shield isolates the signal which bumps up the clarity of Jason’s design. The Quiescence are ever so slightly warmer sounding than the Breathe. The Salk HT2-TL speakers are neutral sounding with a very flat frequency response like a studio monitor but still musical. A little warmth is noticeable and welcome. There is also more air around the images and depth is increased. Sounds have a volume, a roundness that enhances the illusion of a performer in the space. Rim shots can make you jump they are so realistic. This is music as it should be heard.The Quiescence GS
(fresh out of beta) takes sound reproduction to a completely different level, Jason must have gone down to the crossroads to learn the secrets how to make this cable. The benefits of the Quiescence Silver remain but are enhanced by the addition of Gold plated silver litz wire. The sound is cinematic. Low-level spatial cues are preserved, images now have their own individual space and the front wall has been removed. Instead of listening to music you are immersed in it. The frequency response is identical to the Quiescence Silver but I noticed on well recorded bells (Planet Drum) the bell hangs in it’s own space with a shimmer around it. Note that my speakers have the RAAL ribbon tweeters, if your speakers have a laid back, musical but not detailed silk dome tweeters fuhgeddaboudit, you don't need these cables. The Quiescence GS is like your favorite flannel shirt, nothing flashy or fancy but it feels like home.
Oh yea before I forget, all cables are system dependent, what works in my system could very well sound not so good in yours.
Some of the music used for my review:
Listening to the Quiescence GS was like the heavens opened and angels alighted on my stereo. Now that the review period is over how do I get all these winged naked cherubs out of my house? They are drinking all my beer and generally making a mess.