The Hapa Audio Analog Interconnects are examined by Marvin Bolden
In my ongoing search for great-sounding affordable gear, particularly audiophile cables, I have become aware of a new company, Hapa Audio.
Hapa Audio is founder Jason Wong’s concept on high-end audio-designed cables that are utilizing cutting-edge technology and applying their knowledge on design, material science, and engineering. They are currently focused on cabling which includes interconnects and headphone cables made of silver and copper.
Jason cut his teeth learning about cables from Wayne Wananeen of Bolder Cables who was more than happy to pass his knowledge to Mr. Wong. Hapa’s cables use a proprietary geometry called DCSG. DCSG stands for Dual Chirality Star. That’s a mouthful I know, but the name is apt.
What DCSG does is create spacing that Star quad lacks while maintaining the positive attributes of star-quad, namely the RFI/EMI rejection that the chiral geometry induces. However, unlike star-quad geometry, DCSG doesn’t just have a right-handed or left-handed chirality; it has both. DCSG improves on the weaknesses of star-quad geometry. You can read in full detail the explanation on Hapa’s site.
I received a 1.5-meter pair of Quiescence S ($1099) and Breathe S ($799). The only way to tell the difference between the cables is the Quiescence S is thicker since it is shielded. Both cables are constructed with silver wire and come with the stereotypes of being bright and sometimes harsh, as I have auditioned cable mostly with various other combinations of gold and copper along with silver, I had to keep a clear mind as to what to expect. Hapa offers a 60-day return policy with shipping paid both ways and a 1-year warranty on parts and labor on manufacture defects.
The RCA interconnects come standard with KLE 1 Silver Harmony connectors with Mundorf silver solder. The connectors can be upgraded with an upcharge to Mundorf Absolute Harmony with Mundorf Supreme solder.
The Breathe S consists of Ultrafine Angel Hair silver Litz (.08 mm per strand as compared to a human hair at .03 mm to .12 mm in diameter.) Internally the litz silver bundle is properly dampened by ultra-thin silk nylon strands. The cable matrix is held in place over a high-quality woven nylon paracord backbone separator. These components are then arranged utilizing their Dual Chirality Star geometry.
The Quiescence S has the same basic makeup as the Breathe S but adds a foil shield with carbon fiber used as a spacer which gives them extra shielding from EMI and RFI.
Both these cables are rather lightweight and flexible but I would not go overboard on bending them.
After some time letting my system warm up, I placed the Breathe S into the system, and immediately I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I noticed was the dead silent background where each instrument had its own space with no smearing of the images. The sound was well balanced from bass to treble with maybe a slight softening of the bass and lower mid-range.
Female and male voices were natural-sounding, where you could hear that chesty rich sound of the male voice to the sultry mellow sound of the female voice. Highs were smooth and clear with not a trace of that harsh or shrill sound that you can get from some silver cables, and there was an airiness that seemed to allow the highs to go on and on at their extremes.
Piano tones were clear and percussive with great attack and fine decay. I was able to hear the harmonics and overtones of each note and chord in almost all of the program sources used. The same applied with each pluck of the guitar strings, as the resonant sound of the wood was very apparent on acoustic recordings. This is a very enjoyable cable to listen to.
After getting a pretty good grasp of the intrinsic “Hapa” sound I moved on and hooked up the Quiescence S interconnects It was immediately apparent that both cables are of the same family; the Quiescence S just seemed to have more of everything going on in its overall subjective sound qualities.
The Quiescence S possessed more detail and texture in its midrange bringing forth a somewhat “fuller” tonality in its mid to lower mid-range response.
The sound stage was more three-dimensional and this three-dimensional quality extended to almost all instruments, as you can hear the internal volume of the drums, guitar, cello, piano, and the like. The bass retained more impact, definition, and less softness to the sound. This all brought forth a more lifelike feel to the music that will have you on the edge of your seat, indeed!
I find that Mr. Wong has learned his lessons well and is on to something very special with his new line of interconnects. Both the Breathe S and Quiescence S have the same “in house” — that being a dead silent background and an extremely balanced and enticing sound reproduction across the musical spectrum. These cables have excellent transient speed with swiftness and timing characteristics that have their pace being spot on.!
Female and male voices are undeniably natural sounding with not a hint of being bright or harsh in the upper frequencies. The mid-range is clean and natural with captivating ease to the presentation that lulls you into a sense of nirvana.
Bass is tight and tuneful and although it has a “touch” of slight softening in its overall fullness, this is in comparison to my reference interconnects which are copper.
I think that slight softening of the bass and lower mid-range is the difference in sound between some copper and silver cables and as I write this Hapa has come out with copper versions of these two interconnects. I hope to get my hands (ears) on them and do an addendum to this review…. stay tuned.
These are great-sounding cables, and I can only imagine what the sound quality might be with the upgraded Mundorf copper connectors, with its very competitive price range along with that 60-day guarantee. What do you have to lose? I would make room for them in rotation as part of your home stable.
1.5-meter pair of the Quiescence S ($1099 USD)
1.5-meter pair of Breathe S ($799 USD).
Buika – Nina de Fuego
La Segunda – Sera una Noche
Katie Melua – Ultimate Collection
Andre Previn – After Hours
Hugh Masekela – Hope
Reference components for this evaluation
Norma IPA-140 integrated amp / L.K.S. DH-DA004 DAC / Jay’s Audio CDT mk2 cd transport / Organic Reference, Triode Wire Labs, and Cullen power cables / Rosso Fiorentina Volterra speakers / Organic Reference by Argento interconnect and speaker cables / Organic Reference, Triode Wire Labs, / Cullen power cables.
WEB HAPA AUDIO https://hapaaudio.com/analog-cables/
WHERE the MUSIC BEAT meets the AUDIOPHILE ELITE !
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