As opposed to Erik, I prefer copper only cables and use the best solid-core copper I know of. There are going to be 5-10 different opinions on what makes the best interconnect cable anyways, lol. Choose what you will. Erik's silver cable might be okay if you use some really warm gold-plated XLR connectors (like the Furutech gold-plated).
For my chosen design of cables, the cost of materials could be anywhere from about $150 to $730 for a 1 Meter pair, depending on what wire and XLR plugs you choose. For purposes of this discussion, I’ll show the lowest cost for a great cable:
To make a 1 meter pair, I usually cut 48” of wire. Because of braiding, you’ll lose about 12-15% of length, so it will drop down to about 40-41” after braiding.
24 feet of Neotech 20awg Teflon coated solid-core hookup wire ($41 from Sonic Craft)http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/neotech-solid-upocc-copper-in-teflon-20-awg-red-p-1588
couple different colors of 3/32” heatshrink:http://www.soniccraft.com/index.php/polyolefin-21-c-157_159_431_435
2 Furutech FP-701M XLR Male plugs ($44 from Parts Connexion)https://www.partsconnexion.com/FTECH-71065.html
2 Furutech FP-702F XLR Female plugs ($60 from parts Connexion).https://www.partsconnexion.com/FTECH-71066.html
1. Cut the Neotech wire into lengths of 48” each (or whatever length you want)
2. Put a short length of heatshrink on the wire ends (both ends) to mark the wires since the Neotech only comes in red. I usually do a black heatshrink for negative XLR pin and a green heatshrink for ground pin.
3. Solder three wires to one XLR plug (i.e. Male)
4. Braid the 3 wires all the way down.
5. Slide on the outer casing for that first XLR plug and screw together.
6. Slide on the outer casing for the second XLR plug down the wire somewhat.
7. Cut/strip the second end and solder onto second XLR plug (i.e. female)
8. Screw the outer casing parts together for second plug.
This $150 option uses the lower end Furutech XLR plugs, which are still very excellent and use gold-plated copper alloy pins. The Furutech gold-plated will give a very smooth and refined warm sound. If you want a higher resolution, you could always choose the Cardas XLR plugs or even the upper end Furutech rhodium plated XLR plugs. You can also do things like doubling up on the wire (two braids for 2x20awg for each XLR pin). Or use multiple gauges like 18awg + 21awg wire from VH Audio.