After gathering experiences from the previous releases (Kasai and Yuki), Ares Audio decided to take a huge leap to launch of Sakeishi, the new flagship which caters the needs of audiophiles from different category.
Ares Audio was founded in March 2018. They started from Singapore online selling platform Carousell, providing re-termination services. I sent one of my cable to them back then and I am impressed by their work - high price to performance ratio. They took a leap from there to start providing customizable IEM and headphone cable services, which are known to have a high price to performance ratio. Every cable is fully handmade in Singapore.
I am fortunate to have the chance to review Yuki and Kasai, 2 pioneer models launched by Ares Audio earlier this year. Both of them are amazing and I am happy to see Ares Audio launched 8 cores version for Kasai - the Kasai X. When they released Sakeishi, I contacted them immediately to express my interest in this beautiful cable. This is the first hybrid cable launched by Ares Audio and it is my pleasure to guide you through the journey of Sakeishi!
The packaging of Sakeishi is probably one of the most beautiful I ever seen. It comes with a premium metal case with Ares Audio logo on top. I particularly like the tagline on top of the case:
The Audiophile's Dream
It is indeed audiophile's dream to get a premium cable for beloved in-ear monitors (IEMs) to unleash the potential.
Opening the metal box, Sakeishi sits comfortably in the box. Below Sakeishi, users can find a soft pouch which was used as the packaging for Kasai and Yuki. Besides that, Ares Audio included stickers and name card in the case. I have to re-emphasize this again, I really appreciate the stickers because I have a hobby to collect stickers from different brands.
I spotted a small changes in the packaging - Ares Audio now includes a cable clip in the packaging to ease the cable management. The leather cable clip looks classy and it is definitely useful for most of the users. I appreciate this small change. Well done, Ares Audio!
6n Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper and 4n OCC Pure Silver hybrid
PVC + EMI double shield sleeving
Standard length 1.25m
The build quality for Sakeishi is outstanding. I commented to Ares Audio after writing my review on Yuki. Yuki is too stiff and this could be a deal breaker for that cable. Sakeishi is totally free from the stiffness. It is supple and soft. When I am moving around with Sakeishi on, I can seldom affected by any microphonics. Amazing!
Another concern was bothering me before I receive Sakeishi is the weight. This is a common issue for some 8 cores cable. The heavy weight could pull your IEMs backward and resulting a non-isolating or non-fitting condition. After receiving and trying the Sakeishi, there is no more concern with regards to this. Everything is fine with it.
The braiding style for Sakeishi is very unique. Instead of using the conventional double helix braiding method, Ares Audio goes with the flat braiding. This could be a factor that yielding a supple cable as a result. I wish to see more flat braided cables by Ares Audio in the future and I am glad that the new Ōkami X is having flat braiding too.
Users can choose the terminations when they order Sakeishi from Ares Audio. I got mine in 0.78mm 2 Pin 2.5mm balanced. Recently, Ares Audio made an announcement that they will be using their self-designed Ares plugs and my Sakeishi comes with the new plugs. It looks more classy as compared to the previous OEM plugs on Kasai and Yuki. Nice move!
I noticed there is a change in connector too. The new connector is more sturdy and bigger in size. Although the size increases, the durability increases too. Now, I can remove the cable from my IEMs more confidently without worrying that I will break the connector. Below the connector, there is a heat-shrink ear guide which aids the cable to sit nicely behind the ears.
This is the long waited section. I paired Sakeishi with numbers of IEMs and each pairing give me different type of surprise.
A true beauty to behold. Huge dynamic range, great imaging and separation. Highly acclaimed!
This is the tagline from Ares Audio website and I have to say this explains the sound signature of Sakeishi. The dynamic range is indeed huge and it injects energy to the IEMs. It turns some of the IEMs from a tame rabbit to a Titan from the Tartarus.
To further explain the sound, I would use a few of pairing to explain it.
1. Campfire Audio Solaris
My very first review on The Audiolocheese is about Campfire Audio Solaris. Solaris, a Latin word meaning "pertaining to the sun". When it is paired with Sakeishi, it shines - more than usual. Although the lows of Solaris decay at a relatively fast pace, it does bleed a little towards the mids.
Sakeishi uses its first ability to tighten its lows response, improving the accuracy and precision.
When the lows are tighten, the mids have a bigger space. The mids are now more airy and spacious. I like this combination a lot and I highly recommend current Solaris users to consider this pairing!
2. Campfire Audio Nova
This is the second IEMs I bought when I am still a poor undergraduate. Spent my saving on this and I am happy with it for around three years. Everything is fine with this IEMs except for its high - it has a serious early roll-off which kills the resolution.
Sakeishi uses its second ability to extend the highs performance, improving space and resolution.
This could be one of the best cable for Campfire Audio Nova. I contacted Campfire Audio with regards to the early roll-off for highs previously and they encouraged me to use a silver cable to improve on the highs. Yes, silver cable does help in extending the highs but it slave the meatiness in the mids and lows too much making the presentation too thin. I am glad that Sakeishi aids to extend the highs without compromising the mids and lows, making Nova an almost perfect IEMs.
3. InEar ProPhile 8
InEar ProPhile 8 (PP8) is one of my favorite when comes to critical listening. The uncolored flat response of PP8 makes it closes to a studio monitor. This could be a con when users are using it for casual listening. The darkness kills the emotions in the presentations especially for pop songs. Although there is are toggles to boost the lows and highs frequency which can help to increase the dynamic, the fast response and dark sound signature still yield an analytical sounding IEMs.
Sakeishi uses its third ability to inject emotions to the IEMs by smoothing the response and thickened the body, making the IEMs to sound more enjoyable.
With Sakeishi attached on the PP8, the sound signature changed a little. It becomes more fun as compared to the original dark and uncolored sound signature. The bass is not only boosted, but extended a little making it slightly warmer. This smooths the overall presentation and making it less analytical. Another great pairing!
4. Empire Ears Legend X
My second review on The Audiolocheese is on Empire Ears Legend X. The imaging of Legend X could be one of the best in all the IEMs. The lows responses are like subwoofer in your ear. I always find it a little boomy and taking too much of emphasis. It is indeed 3D but some minor changes can make it perfect. Sakeishi did the job well here!
Sakeishi uses its first and forth ability to tightens the lows and improves the separation, the overall resolution is improved gradually!
Similar to the pairing of Sakeishi and Solaris, the lows is now more accurate and precise. It is more like a punch in your eardrum rather than a slap. Sakeishi turns the bass from boomy to punchy. Because of the improvement in bass accuracy, the mids are having space to flex its muscles. Now, the vocalists are tickling your eardrum with a more prominent mids than before.
5. Empire Ears Empire Vocal Reference (E.V.R)
This triple drivers IEMs from Empire Ears have a mid-centric sound signature. I always find this IEMs sound a little congested with every notes are being pushed to the center. It could be a pro for those who are doing critical listening on the mids and this mid-centric sound signature can give them a better focus. For a better casual listening experience, the emphasis need to be spread evenly across the who spectrum.
Sakeishi uses its fifth ability to boost every spectrum in the frequency response which ultimately making the dynamic range to be HUGE.
When I paired Sakeishi with EVR, the lows and highs become more prominent and weighty. now all the spectrum are equally weighted to perform together for a better presentation. This pairing is actually close to Empire Studio Reference (ESR) but more neutral than that. Current EVR users should consider this as an upgrade to make the overall sound signature more neutal.
Let's take a look at Sakeishi ability:
tighten lows response, improving the accuracy and precision
extend the highs performance, improving space and resolution.
inject emotions to the IEMs by smoothing the response and thickened the body, making the IEMs to sound more enjoyable.
improves the separation, the overall resolution is improved gradually
boost every spectrum in the frequency response which ultimately making the dynamic range to be HUGE.
I will recommend Sakeishi to audiophiles who are looking a solution to fine tune their beloved IEMs, be it at the lows, highs or both. The overall texture of this cable will be suitable for different type of IEMs. The overall sound signature of the cable can be categorized as neutral with thick notes, touching warm side a little. It could be only not suitable for IEMs which originally exhibit a thick and meaty sounding, such as Campfire Audio Polaris V2.
Sakeishi is retailing at USD$445. For those who are interested, you can head down to Zeppelin & Co. for an audition session and make an order thru them. For overseas order, you can place an order on Ares Audio official website. Limited lifetime warranty will be given for Sakeishi. Users will only have to bear the shipping costs back to Ares Audio. Marcus and Hai En are super helpful and feel free to drop them a message if you faced any difficulties.
Currently Ares Audio is celebrating 1k followers on their Instagram page. There is an ongoing 10% off for all the models. Do not miss the golden chance to grab a Sakeishi to complement your beloved IEMs!