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Product Review
 

Accell Audio/Video Cables

October, 2004

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

Specifications:
 
● Ultra Audio Interconnects have
    Mylar Foil for Interference
    Rejection
● Ultra Audio Speaker Cables
● Ultra Audio Digital Coaxial
    Interconnect has Dual Shielding
● Ultra Video Component Video
    Interconnects have Dual Shielding
● Ultra Audio Toslink Optical Cable
● Ultra Video S-Video Cable

● Ultra A/V HDMI, DVI, USB 2.0, and
    Firewire Cables
● All Contacts Gold-Plated
● MSRP: $25 - $120 Depending on
    Type and Length


Accell

www.accellcorp.com 

Introduction

Accell Corporation has joined the ranks of entry-level A/V cable manufacturers. They differ from some of the others in that Accell does not sell direct, and the products are made in China or Taiwan. You can find them at places like Fry's Electronics for Brick & Mortar stores, and numerous on-line shops like Buy.com.

I can tell you right now that, judging from the appearance, construction quality, and price, Accell is going to be a real competitor in the cable market.

The Design

A few months ago, Accell sent me a box full of their new cables, including analog interconnects, speaker cables, digital interconnects, DVI, HDMI, USB 2.0, and Firewire. They do it all.

All the cables are in tough-to-open plastic packages. You know, the kind that just about any type of small product comes in these days. I guess the packaging is designed to prevent theft, but also, it reduces costs because the package replaces boxes and packing material. I don't think anyone likes such packaging because you need a pair of good scissors or a sharp knife to cut the length of the package so you can bend it open and extract the product.

Anyway, once the cables are out, and you are through cursing the package's sharp edges, you are confronted with cables that look more expensive than they actually are. Pacific Rim manufacturing is the reason for that.

All the cables have solid connectors with gold plating. If they are carrying digital signals or high frequency analog signals (component video), they have dual shielding (Mylar foil and braided copper). The dielectric appears to be polypropylene which is stated to be nitrogen injected.

Here is a photo of the audio interconnects:

You can see that they look very nice, and even have directional markers on them, if you believe in that sort of thing. There is an O-ring between the contact area and the base where you grip it for insertion or removal.

Accell speaker cables are very basic in design. Spiraled copper conductors (about 15 gauge) can be bought in bulk or terminated with pins as in the photo below. That is the only choice for now, but I suspect other models will be available at some point.

The other cables (component video, digital coax, HDMI, etc.) are all similar in quality and construction to the audio interconnects, with more or less shielding depending on the purpose.

In Use

I used the various cables Accell sent me for a couple of months.  All of them functioned as advertised, and none developed any defects.

As to the picture and sound, they all did well. No video noise from bad shielding or poor contacts. The sound was neutral. No hum from bad shielding.

In terms of construction quality, I would say the Accells are a bit above average for their price point. Somewhat better value than good quality Radio Shack cables. I think they will compete with Monster Cable for the same customers. Good stuff. Good price.

I measured the LCR values for the coaxial analog audio interconnects and speaker cables. Click HERE to see the data in our cumulative table.

You can see that the audio interconnects had a capacitance in line with other cables listed in the table, and low inductance. The speaker cables have even lower capacitance than the interconnects, but about the same inductance. Resistance was about average for all the cables tested. We have not tested enough cables yet to comment further on this.

Conclusions

It is nice to have so many choices in cables these days. Accell enters the market with a good solid product that is priced to sell.

 

- John E. Johnson, Jr. -

 

Copyright 2004 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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