Any audio or home theater system depends heavily on the type of the cables used in the system. While many may argue about a significance difference between high-end cables and mainstream cables, few would disagree that quality engineered materials, solid connections, good shielding and proper impedance matching affect the quality of the signal, whether it's for audio or video. Apparently that's exactly how the Canadian-based company Ultralink approaches their cable design. They engineer their cables with a common sense approach and follow the basic laws of physics. As a result, the company produces affordable cables that perform extremely well. Although Ultralink products are manufactured and assembled in Ontario, Canada, they have a full distribution facility right here in Southern California.
Ultralink provided us with a wide range of products for review. They included both audio and video cables in the Platinum and Advanced Performance Series. The design of the Ultralink cables is impressive. The RCA style barrel has a unique design that grips the mate exceptionally well preventing a bad connection. Moreover, 24K gold-plated contacts are used throughout. The large backshell is convenient to grab with your fingers making it easy to disconnect the cable from the unit. The cable is large in diameter yet still has adequate flexibility to route through cabinetry. My previous experience with some overly rigid high-end cables that are difficult to connect to components had left me frustrated. The Ultralink design appears to be practical and well built while still providing great performance.
We installed five separate four meter cables between our Parasound AVC-2500U Processor and Parasound HCA-2205AT Five-channel Amplifier. This was a great test to see just how well they perform over long runs, especially because unbalanced cables are suceptible to picking up hum. We were pleasantly surprised with the results of our setup and noticed very little hum even with our ear close to the speaker. The sonic performance was excellent. The imaging was as accurate as we've heard in our system and the soundstage was wonderfully large. We also used some shorter two meter Ultima Mk II cables for our multi-channel SACD player during some of our listening tests.
The results we experienced with this S-Video cable design were excellent. Solid build quality along with exceptional video performance made this cable highly desirable in our system. We tested the signal integrity over the long 4 meter (over 13 feet) distance and with our Sencore VSA794 Video Signal Analyzer to observe any changes in the chroma and luminance signals. We measured very little loss in the luminance and virtually no change in the phase of the chroma signal. This result was a near perfect signal transfer with superb picture fidelity and color accuracy. The ULVS cable is also available with a CL3 jacket for in-wall use at no additional cost and comes in lengths of up to 30 meters (98.40 feet).
Video Cables (CVP-3M)
of the cables we received from UltraLink had excellent build quality. We found
that the backshells could even be removed to see just how well these cables are
put together. Few competitors offer this level of quality and performance for
the dollar. I was thoroughly impressed with the design, quality and performance
and would highly recommend them to anyone in need of A/V cables for their audio
or home theater system. We'll be reviewing two of their 15-pin VGA-style high
definition video cables in an upcoming review, so stay tuned.
Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready
TV (ISF calibrated)
|Review at a glance|
Ultralink High Performance Audio/Video Cables |
Series® ULTIMA® Audio Interconnect Cable
PLATINUM Series® VIDEOPHILE PRO® Composite Video Cables
PERFORMANCE Series VIDEOPHILE® S-Video Cable
Series VIDEOPHILE PRO Component Video Cable
Ultralink Products Inc.
161 Alden Road, Markham
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