Electro Stimulation Ward > Signals and Noise

review of Hapa Audio Haiku Aerogel Silver and Copper interconnects

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Nick B:
**I am doing a cable tour at AC and hereís what I posted there**
a correction Ö I received 2 pair silver, not one copper and one silver

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.

Iíve 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. Thatís what makes this hobby funÖthe 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. Thatís 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 donít want to pretend to be a reviewer. Iím really not qualified. Iím just a music lover whoís 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. Iím surprised any records survived the constant pounding of that arm and nailÖ.I mean stylusÖ.

I started listening within fifteen minutes of the tube preamp being turned on. Yeah, I shouldíve 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 Iím soon moving to and then hunkeriní down for some serious listeniní. Roon happened to pick an artist, a German male vocalist, I hadnít heard before. Probably from the 60s, but I didnít 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, interestingÖ. 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 soloistís shoulder. Now it was distinctly present behind his shoulder and occupied itís 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 ďmushed togetherĒ 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 popÖvery clean. I donít listen to the lowest registers, though. Just donít play that. The decay on instruments was superb. There was slightly more air within the entire soundstage. If you could imagine looking downward, thereíd 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 canít think of anything else right now. Iíve been playing music for over six hours now. Iíll probably listen to the Silver only tomorrow night as well. Iíd prefer then to just add the Copper to my system, but I know I should listen to the Copper separately. Iím just a bit mentally fatigued with buying a house, looking at lots of houses, deciding on a couple only to have them fall through. Iím waiting for issues to be resolved asap so I can move inÖ.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 Iím 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 arenít Haiku level! Itís difficult to imagine what level of sound quality Iíd 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!!

S Clark:
I listened to one of Jason's cables about a year ago and found it to be excellent- very close to my Wywires Silver interconnects.  If they ever come down in price, they'd be an option I'd consider. 

Nick B:

--- Quote from: S Clark on November 08, 2022, 05:38:04 AM ---I listen to one of Jason's cables about a year ago and found it to be excellent- very close to my Wywires Silver interconnects.  If they ever come down in price, they'd be an option I'd consider.

--- End quote ---

I wasnít sure what to expect last night, but obviously, I was very pleasantly surprised. In my system, they made a very worthwhile difference, and I am a big fan of my Wywires cables. I will be very curious how the copper cables sound, but that will have to wait until Wednesday night.

Nick B:
PART TWO

I have been listening to 2 pair of the silver Haiku for the last two days and in my system, theyíre 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 Iíve had the silver Haikus, Iíve 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. Iíve never used acoustic treatments and my source material is sometimes of poor quality. Iíve been plagued by harshness for a long time, but it has improved substantially the last year and a half. The improvement is cumulative. Iíve 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, itís 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 whoíll say itís crazy to consider expensive cables when you have less expensive equipment. My system would be a good example. Iím guessing at current retail on some of my pieces Öletís 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 itís own. The silver Haikus allow these components to shine and the presentation is beyond what youíd expect this system would be capable of. Would I rather try to audition a new amp and have itís 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. Iíve only come over to this line of thinking since getting the Wywires and now the Haikus. I think Iíd 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 donít care for the mix and match philosophy. Iíd love to hear the all silver Haiku loom and a copper one as well. Iíve 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, itís my belief that Jasonís Haiku cables would be on the level of Alex best cables, the Diamonds, and thatís high praise indeed. Great job, Jason!

GDHAL:
Nice! Glad to read you are very pleased with them, Nick. Based on your review I gather they exceeded your expectations.

I've never heard of Haiku, so I googled it after reading your post.

At face value their cables appear to be no joke.
Also they use a rather specialized dielectric.

https://hapaaudio.com/shop/analog-cables/rca-cables/haiku/

Interesting choice to go with silver. I was recently reading a thread on audiogon comparing silver and copper. Looks (reads) like there are folks in both camps.

I used silver plated (I realize that is not the same as pure/all silver) copper speaker wire at one point, many years ago. I liked it. In fact I honestly can't recall why I switched over to copper. I still have them (it's an inexpensive cable, like belden or something like that) and somewhere down the road I may reinsert them into my system.  :)




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