3 Hapa Audio IC's Reviewed: Breathe S, Quiescence S and Quiescence GS

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WGH

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.

Wayne
« Last Edit: 19 Dec 2020, 05:19 am by WGH »

ric

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 209
very intriguing, thanks for the info!

Pez

WGH,
Thank you for taking the time to trial my current entire RCA lineup! It is very nice to read that you are hearing exactly what I’m going for with the sound quality. Each RCA is designed to give a balanced presentation and bring out the most lively performance without losing detail or clarity. A tall order indeed, but I think I hit the proverbial nail on the head.

One last note, Quiescence GS really is something special.

I’m looking forward to reading what the other Tucson Audiophile folks think!

Tyson

I've heard all 3 and I'll say this.  The Hapa house sound is quite impressive!  Ultimate resolution with NO annoying brightness or grating 'analytical' type sound.  Just massive, massive amounts of natural detail.

I'm also a bit of a tone freak, so detail without beauty is pointless to me.  The copper achieves this, which is pretty impressive.  But then the Silver does too.  Same level of beauty but resolution dial just got turned up.  What's crazy is I've tried a LOT of cables (as well as built a LOT of cables myself) and I always loved silver for it's detail but hated it for it's edgy analytical sound.  The fact that Hapa kept the resolution while making something NOT annoying sounding (in fact quite beautiful sounding), well that's flat out amazing to me.  Unprecedented in my listening experience.

As for the Gold-Silver.  Well shit.  A new bar.  Better than anything I've ever heard, regardless of price. 

Kudos Jason, you're just crushing it here, at all of your price levels.  One of these days I'll get off my butt and write up a full review of these cables. 

WGH


As for the Gold-Silver.  Well shit.  A new bar.  Better than anything I've ever heard, regardless of price.

I agree. I going to hate removing the Gold-Silver cables to continue the Tucson cable review tour.

Sunday the cables go to Eric for a week on his new Walsh TLS-1 (Ohm F) from HHR Exotic Speakers
After Christmas they go to Ken and his Nola Metro Grand Reference
Ben is in January, he has the Zu Dirty Weekends.

There should be some interesting feedback.

Tyson

Pez just yelled at me because apparently the copper version is a prototype.  So uh, pretend I didn't say anything about it!

Pez

Cables are on their way to the next Tucson member.  :thumb:

thanks again Wayne for coordinating this.  :thumb:

FYI we just posted the venerable Quiescence GS up at hapa audio Go check it out.  :popcorn:

kmate

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 10
I picked up Jason’s set of Hapa Audio interconnects from Wayne two days ago, and so this post will be for a few preliminary thoughts, and to keep our Tucson Audio Group review progressing. The first thing I noticed about these IC’s is their fit and finish. They are extremely flexible, which is a good thing, they have my current favorite connectors (KLEI Harmony silver RCA plugs), and appear to have an intriguing wire configuration.

I’ve chosen a sampling of 12 songs or so that cover the gamut from rock, jazz, classical, and ethnic. I like to test by playing the same songs over and over as I compare cables, in an attempt to keep as many variables constant as I can, but provide a wide range of sound characteristics. The Hapa interconnects will be placed mainly between DAC and preamp, plus I may try one between my reel to reel and preamp.

My first impressions are quite exciting, and after reading some of the other reviews on this circle, it seems that I’m in agreement with what others are saying and hearing. I’ve concentrated on the Breathe Silver cable so far, and it clearly is a step up from the cables I had been using. Immediately I realized a well balanced sound that has excellent dynamics, well defined bass and distinct highs, but also sounds smooth and easy. It’s safe to say that the Breathe Silver cables are solving some of the issues I was experiencing with the set of custom silver cables I had been using. Namely, more bass that’s well defined and without bloom, a sweetening of the highs without any loss of detail (I am a detail freak), and nicely improved attack with good sustain.



I’ll post a more complete review in a few days…
Ken


Pez

Ken,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the Breathe S! I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of your impressions.  :thumb:

mick wolfe

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First of all, thanks to Wayne and Hapa Audio for the opportunity to audition the Hapa IC's. This hobby can be a bit of a challenge at times. Just when you think you're totally content with all aspects of your system or systems, there comes a speed bump in the road. After slipping the Hapa Breathe S IC into my system, I was thinking I might be hearing an excellent cable, but perhaps only a sideways move to be dismissed in the end. Unfortunately, ( or perhaps fortunately) I was wrong. Something was different and it wasn't going to be easily dismissed.
What struck me almost immediately was an expanded sound stage. There was more air and space between instruments and background vocals,  both seemingly enhancing an already solid center image. This led to less confusion when the music became dynamic and more complex. In other words, the Hapa's simply delivered the goods without the dreaded "salad shooter of sonic confusion".
The Hapa's are even handed throughout the entire frequency range. No frequency wins a tug of war for attention and as a plus, dynamics are
excellent. The Breathe S is smooth yet beautifully detailed. It offers a natural, transparent presentation without being bright or edgy in any way. If it were to lean in any direction at all, perhaps a tad to the warm side. By the way, poor recordings won't be left off the hook by the Breathe S, but if said poor recordings possess any positive qualities at all, this IC will find them. This in turn makes lesser recordings more listenable.
So in summary... I listened to all 3 Hapa's, but due to nothing more than system synergies, I gravitated back the the Breathe S as my reference. That said, all 3 show that someone with very good and experienced ear had a hand in their design. This not to mention the quality of the design itself.
Redbook CD format was used exclusively in both systems. Quality of the recordings chosen varied from excellent to mediocre. This in an attempt to verify the Breathe S didn't leave one desiring to listen to audiophile approved material only. It didn't. The Breathe S was used between pre-amp and amp in system #1 and between DAC and pre-amp in system #2. Specifics.... System #1 between Schitt Freya+ and Bob Latino modded ST70 and then on to Klipsch Heresy III's. System #2 ( small room system) IC used between Line Magnetic 502CA DAC and Shindo Aurieges pre-amp. Target component is a Line Magnetic 218ia driving Ohm 1000's.
Redbook CD's used for audition: The Beautiful Girls "Learn Yourself"
                                               Jeff Lang "Engines Moan"
                                               Sean Hayes " Run Wolves Run"
                                               Ani DiFranco " Living In Clip"
                                               Fink " Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet"
                                               Richard Thompson with Danny Thompson " Live At Crawley 1993"
                                               Magnolia Electric Co. " Trials And Errors"
                                               Branford Marsalis "Trio Jeepy"
                                               Little Feat 'Live At The Ram's Head"
                                               Chris Whitley "On Air"
                                               Patricia Barber "Companio
« Last Edit: 30 Jan 2021, 08:02 pm by mick wolfe »

Pez

Mick,
Thanks for adding your thoughts. There is a 'rotate left' 'rotate right' option under 'gallery' and 'manage my albums' from there just go to the image that needs to be changed and click either option until it's the right orientation. I gotta ask about that amp! Are those 211 tubes or 845s? Sexy looking stuff!

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 895
Pez    Thank you sir. In regard to the amp in question, Psvane 845WE power tubes, Psvane KT88T driver tubes.

kmate

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 10
It's reassuring that both Mick and Wayne are hearing essentially the same improvements from these interconnects that I’ve heard. This supports the idea that it's not just a system synergy thing. We each have very different systems, yet are getting a substantial improvement as Mick describes "...more air and space between instruments and background vocals, both seemingly enhancing an already solid center image". Quoting again, and I agree completely with Mick's comment, "The Hapa's are even handed throughout the entire frequency range. No frequency wins a tug of war for attention and as a plus, dynamics are excellent."

EkW

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  • Posts: 49
I actually tried the cables before Ken and Mick but I have been putting off writing up my impressions. I am rather lazy. I want to thank Wayne for getting them out to all of us and for lightly editing the below for clarity. Summary is comparing cables is a pain and I liked the Quiescense S over the Breathe S and couldn't distinguish much real improvement going to the GS.



An attempt at reviewing cables. I wrote a lots of words longhand to try to figure out what I wanted to say. The main takeaway was that I found evaluating cables to be difficult.

The cables under review were the three Hapa cables (Breathe S, Quiescense S, Quiescense GS) and the Zenwave DSR, about which I knew nothing.

My first attempt did not go as expected. I thought that I would try headphone listening to start. I connected up a Marantz DV8400 SACD player and AVA Vision SL preamp and a pair of Mr Speakers Aeon open back phones. I discovered that the Marantz has two sets of stereo outputs so I connected a cheapo cable, the kind that comes free with some equipment, and an evaluation cable. I quickly noticed two things. My tinnitus was bad enough that evening to make the solo piano recording I had chosen not sound right. Maybe that explains the second thing. After changing to Otis Taylor’s Red Dirt/Hey Joe I could not hear any difference between any combination of cables. I tried quicly switching and listening to a whole song. Same result. Then I tried connecting a Corda Jazz amplifier to bypass the never before used AVA HP section. No change.  I took advantage of the headphone session to test my hearing with an old hearing test cd. Found that right ear ends at 10 kHz and left at 12 kHz. Also, left ear can barely hear under 40 Hz. I have always had an imbalance issue and have often insisted on having a balance control to compensate.

A bit non-plussed by lack of difference a couple of days later I tried through the main system. Equipment was PS Audio Perfectwave Transport, DSPeaker X4 DAC/Pre, PS Audio M1200 amplifiers, and HHR Exotics TLS-1 speakers (a modern version of the Ohm F). I had recently leveled my rack and turntable so I didn’t want to move it to gain easy access to the back. This time the music was Bruce Cockburn’s ‘Wondering Where The Lions Are’ from The Dragon is Dancing cd. Nice steel guitar and shakers.

 I tired of switching cables between pre and amps but gave up after a short while due to the hassle and long time it took to turn off and turn on the amplifiers. But, this time I could hear some differences between the cables. The cheapo cables was clearly inferior and the others were very close. I liked the shielded Hapa Quiescense over the unshielded Breathe S and couldn’t detect any difference between it and the GS. I couldn’t pinpoint what I made the shielded cable preferable; it just seemed more relaxed. If I tried to find a difference I couldn’t spot it.  I seemed to sense improved bass response anytime I put in the Zenwave DSR.

Next day I decided to change the equipment around.  I connected the digital out of the transport to a Corda Daccord DAC, then to the AVA Vision Pre and to the amplifiers. I decided to use the gold Hapa cable from the DAC to the Pre and then change the cables from the Pre to the amps. I changed the music to Kiore Te Kanawa singing Hector Berlioz’s Nuits de Ete, 3rd section titled ‘Sur le lagunes’. Listened to the whole section for each cable.  Through the cheap cord the cellos French horns sounded rather like student quality instruments. All of the other cables sounded much better. I got the same result as before: shielded cables over the unshielded and an initial sense of more bass from the Zenwave. I didn’t detect any change in soundstage or image. All three cables were very nice. With my limited high frequency hearing I found that I don’t benefit from the improved high frequency performance of the Hapa Quiescense GS and presumably the Zenwave DSR.

Not sure why the headphone session produced null results; maybe the choice of music or maybe my ears just weren’t working well that evening. Over the past few months I have been experiencing intermittent bouts of minor tinnitus that can make sustained tones sound distorted due, presumably, to comb filtering. I suspect that I won’t be chasing small improvements much longer.

genjamon

I'm the latest person to review these cables on the epic winter 2021 Tucson tour.  I've had the cables for a little over two weeks and have been listening to them in various combinations throughout the entire period. 

Listening has been to a variety of genres, and a few cuts have featured more prominently during A/B comparisons:

Fleet Foxes - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (Fleet Foxes)
Bon Iver - Re: Stacks (For Emma)
Grimes - Delete Forever (Miss Anthropocene)
Grimes - Violence (Miss Anthropocene)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Strange Form of Life (The Letting Go)
Califone - Wingbone (Heron King Blues)
Cat Power - (Jukebox) - especially the first five songs
Sarah Chang - Le quattro stagioni (Vivaldi: The Four Seasons)
Alexandre Tharaud - Suite bergamasque, CD 82, L. 75: III. Clair de lune (Debussy)


My system:

20' wide by 25' long, sloping 9-11ft ceiling
Speakers approx. 4ft from front wall, spaced approx 8ft apart, main listening seat approx 10ft from the speaker plane

  • Zu Omen Dirty Weekends (tweaked with Miflex caps, bypassed by Duelund tinned copper bypass caps)
  • AV123 MFW subwoofer with Mark Seaton's much superior 700 watt drop-in replacement amp
  • Odyssey Kismet stereo amp (tweaked with Furutech fuses on the board and the input inlet)
  • Don Sachs preamp (older generation that has been brought up to the latest updates, except no relay switching, and still has the gain adjustments; also have swapped both sets of output capacitors - one set has VCap 2.2uF ODAM caps bypassed with Duelund tinned copper, the other set has Miflex copper foil 1.5uF bypassed with Duelund tinned copper)
  • dB Audio Tranqulity SE DAC (updated to Eric's latest highest mods as of August 2018, including Jupiter copper foil output caps and Furutech power inlet and RCA's)
  • Source: Sonore UltraRendu, exclusively streaming Qobuz (powered by an Uptone Audio LPS 1.2 power supply)
  • Network: Buffalo BS-GS 2008 switch (powered by LPS 1.2 power supply); standard Centurylink commercial modem/router (powered by Vinnie Rossi ultracapacitor power supply); all ethernet cabling Blue Jeans 6a
  • Power Topology: main system on dedicated line; all network components + UltraRendu running on separate power line from main system
  • Power Conditioning: Highly tweaked Core Power Technologies balanced power transformer, all system outlets Furutech NCF, all power cabling Cerious Technologies Matrix with Furutech NCF connectors
  • Signal Cabling: Cerious Technologies Matrix speaker cables; DIY Zenwave D3 IC's (wire sourced from Dave, and geometry same as Zenwave D3, but using KLEI Absolute Harmony connectors to save some money vs the standard WBT connectors)
  • A few corner bass traps in the room to help with bass resonances









Apologies for the mess, but I take the bar exam in two weeks, and I've been a ball of stress studying since before Christmas.  All listening has occurred in the midst of this stress, as a form of decompression in fairly short 30 minute sessions scattered here and there.

Here's what came in the grab-bag that arrived at my door two weeks ago:
  • two sets of Hapa Breathe S
  • one set of Hapa Quiescence S
  • one set of Hapa Quiescence GS
  • one set of Zenwave silver ribbon ICs

I also have an extra set of Zenwave D4 from circa 2015, just after Dave started using the WBT connectors, but before he added the fancy carbon fiber dampers and before he added any shielding.

Combined with my standard DIY Zenwave D3's, the above comprised the landscape of comparisons.

Alright, here are my rankings along a range of sound characteristics:

Detail:
1) Quiescence S
2) Quiescence GS
3) Zenwave silver ribbons
4) Zenwave older D4's
5) DIY Zenwave D3's
6) Breathe S


Warmth:
1) Breathe S
2) DIY Zenwave D3's
3) Zenwave silver ribbons
4) Quiescence GS
5) older Zenwave D4's
6) Quiescence S

Immediacy/Forwardness of Soundstage (reverse order for more toward mid-hall presentation and more relaxed overall sound):
1) DIY Zenwave D3's
2) older Zenwave D4's
3) Zenwave silver ribbons
4) tie between Quiescence GS + S
5) Breathe S

And here are some more narrative thoughts about each cable:

1) Breathe S - On the first evening when I tried each cable in a variety of combinations, the Breathe S were my favorite.  It took a few more listening sessions to hear everything the Quiescence were bringing to the table.  But the combination of relaxed sound and detail on the Breathe S were very impressive on first listen.  But over time, in comparison with other cables, I started to hear how the nice appealing warmth and relaxed sound was actually a result of a bit of bloat and a bit less detail coming through.  If you have a bright system, these will tame that for sure.  They have a very merciful character, and still let a lot of detail through, and especially have a great coherent and deep soundstage. 

2) Quiescence S - My first impression that first night of listening was that these things were detail champs, but pretty thin sounding and ultimately not very musical.  That was, until I combined them with the Quiescence GS.  So, these Quiescence IC's are incredibly detailed.  Not in any kind of bright way, but in that hearing every kind of "plankton" in the recording kind of way.  You want to hear air, space between instruments, every nuance of harmonic present in the recording?  Check.  You want to eliminate any sense of bass bloat?  Check.  You want to completely eliminate any semblance of silibance not on the recording?  Check.  They're so so revealing that you really won't hear what they're capable of unless you have a full loom of them.  Any time I used one of them in combination with any other of the cables on hand, the detail magic just wasn't there.  But when I had both in the system, I'm sorry - it was just a whole new ballgame of detail. 

3) Quiescence GS - It's hard to say exactly whether the GS is at the same level of detail as the Quiescence S.  My gut is telling me the Quiescence S beats the GS by a hair on detail.  But the GS has a nice touch of warmth (as I've come to expect from having some gold in the system).  I mean, they're clearly in the same ballpark of detail, but the GS is that bit warmer and more realistic tone-wise in my opinion.  I couldn't live with a system of Quiescence S in this system.  They're too lean in this system.  But could I live with a full loom of GS?  Maybe.  They're still pretty lean, but have just that touch of warmth and tone that could work long-term if I had two sets.  Alternatively, the best combination I heard in terms of detail and warm, realistic tone was the GS combined with the Zenwave silver ribbon. 

4) Zenwave silver ribbon - these guys were surprisingly warm for being a full silver design.  They had great detail, but just not quite in the same league as the Quiescence cables.  Even in combination with one of the Quiescence cables, I just didn't get that complete magical detail realism as when I had both sets of Quiescence in the system.  But the Zenwave had a lot more organic realism of tone than either of the Quiescence, and almost in the same league of microdetail. 

5) DIY Zenwave D3 vs Breathe S - these were closer to competition for each other than any of the above.  I ended up finding the DIY D3's to be cleaner, clearer, a bit more up-front presentation vs the Breathe S's more mid-hall presentation, but generally a more refined sound than the Breathe S.  The Breathe S were good, but there was a veil there compared with the DIY D3.  The D3 shared the same kind of warm character as the Breathe S, and in some ways were not as relaxed, but I think a lot of that more relaxed sound of the Breathe S was due to the bit of veil compared with the DIY D3. 

6) older Zenwave D4 - these have a very precise sound, with instruments perhaps the most cleanly delineated of any of the cables.  But they didn't have the same level of detail as the Zenwave silver ribbons, which in turn were a bit less detailed than the Quiescence cables.  The D4 had a bit less bloat even than the DIY D3, but the D3 were pretty close.  So, D4 were a touch more refined, but a bit less relaxed than the DIY D3.  Ultimately, I prefer the DIY D3 for long-term listening pleasure in this system.

Alright, to wrap this thing up, please keep in mind that none of the above is mean to indicate my thoughts about any objective strengths or weaknesses of the above cables.  They are all really nice cables, and so much of cable listening comes down to system synergies and listening preferences.  I've learned over the years listening to the other systems of guys in our Tucson group here that there can be vastly different perceptions of sound from the same listening experience.  Please keep that in mind.

Overall, having tried my fair share of cables over the years, including a variety of commercial and DIY designs, having loved the Zenwave stuff throughout the mid-2010's, then tried a bunch of other stuff, and come back to the DIY Zenwave D3's over the past year and a half, I think all these cables are really special stuff.  They're all in the upper crust of cable performance, IMO.  The above is my best effort to tease out RELATIVE differences between each of these cables to the best of my system's and my ears' abilities.  I hope this might be helpful to anyone trying to make an educated and informed choice about which of these to try. 





WGH

...the best combination I heard in terms of detail and warm, realistic tone was the GS combined with the Zenwave silver ribbon. 

Nice review Ben, your observations mirror mine perfectly. I used the Zenwave DSR as the constant between the source and preamp as I switched out Hapa cables between the preamp and amp. The DSR is a perfect neutral cable that allows small changes to be heard clearly.

The Zenwave DSR interconnect loaner is making the rounds along with the Hapa's (thanks Dave). The price range is similar and I thought it would be informative to share and compare premium cables. I plan to review the Zenwave cables in the Zenwave circle to see what combination works best. I have been using 2 pairs of Zenwave D3's for years as my reference so I'm very familiar with their sound. Cable technology is evolving and it is fun to hear the results. Both brands are excellent and you can't go wrong with either but they do have tonal differences so hopefully the reviews will help people pick a cable that will have that magic synergy with their system.

Wayne

nature boy

Thanks Ben, excellent review. I see some time with the Quiescence Silver and Gold/Silvers in my future. Good luck with the bar exam!

NB

jjss49

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I will add my review of the Quiescence S cables (1.5 m RCA stereo pair) that Jason sent to me to try.

System 1:

Speakers - Spatial Audio M3 Sapphires
Amp - Linear Tube Audio ZOTL 40 Ref, with true Mullard EL34
Front end - Sonnet Morpheus DAC driven by BlueSound Node 2i streamer, running Hi Rez Qobuz and Tidal

System 2:

Speakers - Harbeth SHL5 Plus w pair Rel Strata subs high level connection
Amplification - Hegel H390 or Conrad Johnson ET5/Hegel H20
Front end - Audio Mirror Tubador 3SE DAC driven by Blue Sound Node 2i streamer (or Hegel H390 internal DAC), or WTL Amadeus TT/Benz Glider SL/Ayre P5XE

Comments:

These interconnects by Hapa are clearly well made and they are also light and flexible, which makes using them ergonomically a pleasure to use.  Terminations are top notch but not overly 'fort knoxed' as some higher end cable makers are apt to do.

My typical reference interconnects are Cardas Golden Reference, older Tara Labs RSC Prime, older Straightwire Maestro 2, Nordost Blue Heaven and Brooklyn's Tuneful Cables' Belden 8402 (brown jacket) this one of Art Dudley's favorites (RIP Art)... all of which I will swap in and out to fine tune tonality of the system(s)

Findings:

The Hapa cable is very nicely voiced... I believe it will benefit many a system that uses CD or streaming as a front end, as it has a mildly and nicely rolled off high treble, with excellent transparency through the midband, and it also allows for excellent impact and depth in the bass region. 

As a result, this cable has an often positive effect of subtly 'quieting' a system in its high frequency response, especially one that has modern, 'highly excitable' tweeters that seem to be very much in fashion.  There is a sense that without making the overall sound seem 'dark', some of the high end hash and grit is reduced when the Hapa's are used.  This effect is similar to using a good de-jittering device on a digital streamer front end, so the music gains a calmness and solidity in its background, and some 'sizzle' around the leading edges of notes is reduced while there is no apparent loss of musical detail nor PRAT.  Another result of the voicing is that most human voices seem to move forward a touch in the soundstage relative to the treble, which depending on your system and setup, can be a good or bad thing.  This effect is similar to what the Belden/Tuneful cable does, but it seems to me that Hapa does this a bit less so than the Belden.

Thus, one can say the 'longer term listenability' of a system could well be enhanced when deploying this cable against the brighter alternatives such as the Tara or Nordost.

All and all, an excellent cable by Jason/Hapa.  It is a welcome addition to the options we experienced and longstanding hifi nerds have for finding excellent cables that can subtly shift the tonality of our systems in a direction we may seek while maintaining the musicality and transparency that our systems are capable of.




« Last Edit: 14 Feb 2021, 10:09 pm by jjss49 »

Pez

Tucson audio group and jjss49,
I gotta say, it was a pleasure reading all of your feedback. I enjoyed reading about the variety of ways you utilized the Hapa line. Thank you very much all for your thoughtful and informed reviews/opinions.  :)

WGH

Tucson audio group and jjss49,
I gotta say, it was a pleasure reading all of your feedback. I enjoyed reading about the variety of ways you utilized the Hapa line. Thank you very much all for your thoughtful and informed reviews/opinions.  :)

The pleasure was all ours listening to your cables. The Quiescence GS is never leaving my system.  :thankyou: