What’s crackin’ fam? Ares Audio is a boutique cable brand based in Singapore. They provide customizable, handcrafted IEM and headphone cables and also offer a retermination service. In today’s review, I’m taking a look at the Ares Audio Yuki silver-plated copper (SPC) cable.
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Hard protective case and lightweight carrying pouch included
Cable is extremely lightweight
Vibrant, sparkly signature
Microphonics (cable noise)
Package and Accessories
The Yuki comes in a neat little branded aluminium tin. Inside is a foam insert with 2 recessed compartments. In the top circular compartment is the cable and in the one below, there’s a handy woven fabric pouch with branding on the front. There are also a couple of stickers and a business card inside.
It’s a stylish and practical package that gives you the option of a rigid, protective case or a lightweight and ultra-portable pouch. This kind of attention to detail can be seen in the cable as well as the packaging but we’ll cover that in the section below.
Build Quality and Design
Yuki is a 4-core, 5N silver-plated, 6N Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper cable. Similar to the Ares Audio Kasai (review here), Yuki has a braided fabric sheath only this time it’s a navy blue colour. Ares Audio cables are customizable, giving you the option to choose 2-pin or MMCX connectors and 2.5mm, 4.4mm or 3.5mm termination. The unit I received has 2-pin connectors and a 4.4mm plug.
Starting with the 2-pin connector housings, these are aluminium with a matte finish. There are L and R markings on the left and right sides respectively but they can be a little hard to see. Following from the connector housings are some heat-shrink pre-formed ear guides.
Like the Kasai, the Y-split and termination are silver-coloured with a band of silver-coloured carbon fibre in the middle. There is a small, plastic, disc-shaped chin slider. Above the Y-split there is no fabric cover. Instead, you can see the distinctive silver-coloured wiring.
Aesthetics and Handling
Once again, Ares Audio showcases their knack at cohesive and stylish designing as the Yuki is a very handsome cable from top to bottom. In terms of handling, the Yuki is hit and miss. On the plus side, the cable itself and the components are all extremely lightweight. Not so hot is the stiffness of the cable and excessive microphonics. Yuki does not drape particularly well and the slightest movement results in some very noticeable cable noise, although I found that by using the chin slider the noise can be drastically reduced.
With its mix of high-purity silver and copper wires, the Ares Audio Yuki has a clean, detailed signature with tight low frequencies, vibrant midrange and extended airy treble. Its presentation is energetic but precise, adding control to the lower frequencies and putting some fire in the midrange and treble.
Bass notes are nicely separated and well-defined with added texture. The warmth and body are intact but the bass feels tighter and more punchy. Yuki delivers nectar-sweet mids with clear articulation and instrument separation; a benefit of its blacker background.
As we go up the scale, Yuki adds extra sparkle to the treble and brings it slightly forward. It delivers outstanding extension and airiness, making treble notes sound spacious and light. Imaging is sharp and the soundstage becomes more organized with increased transparency.
The Dunmer has a single 9.2mm graphene dynamic driver and a light V-shaped signature. It has a beefy low end, clear mids and a crisp treble. Yuki adds extra control to Dunmer’s bass, which in turn, cleans up the midrange by reducing some of the warm air between notes. In addition, Yuki improves Dunmer’s treble extension making it sound even airier and sweeter.
Custom Art FIBAE Black
FIBAE Black (review here) is a single balanced armature driver IEM with a warm and airy character. Matching it with Yuki tightens the bass and increases midrange resolution, making it sound cleaner. There’s extra sparkle introduced in the treble which makes the Black sound more exciting and dynamic.
Fearless Audio S8F
The S8F (review here) is currently one of the most popular models in the Fearless line. It has a detailed sound with a clear, linear presentation and forward vocals. Yuki brings extra vibrancy to the midrange, lacing it with added texture. Electric guitars crunch and vocals are enriched. Again Yuki enhances treble extension and high notes sparkle with vitality.
The Ares Audio Yuki SPC cable certainly has its own unique character. The handling could definitely be improved on; the stiffness of the cable is something that doesn’t really bother me but the microphonics can be distracting. However, just like Kasai, Yuki’s design aesthetic and build quality are top-shelf.
What I really enjoy about Yuki is its sound characteristics. The classic telltale signs of silver-plated copper are present, such as increased dynamic range, enhanced treble extension and cleaner low-end with uncompromised underlying warmth. I would recommend Yuki for people who want to add some extra bass control and sparkle to their IEMs and if you’re into blue, it’s hard not to love this one.