budget Cables / Interconnects recommendations?

Hello all- For the past 10 years I have been using some cheap mostercable type interconnects, and I'm wondering I'f I'm missing out. My set-up includes a pair of VTL compact 100 tube monoblocks powering a pair of NHT super-two's. Main source is a rega Planar 3 (about to hopefully be fitted with a BENZ ACE) with an adcom pre (that I am about to replace, with what I am not sure, something tube I imagine)-- anyways, It seems that I could easily buy cables that cost more than my components. Do they really make that big of a difference or is the money better spent elsewhere? What brand would be a good place to start to do better than my cheap wal-mart cables but not spend a fortune? thanks- M
There will be too many opinions to count. I am happy with my choices. Cables: Blue Jeans cables, Cobalt Cables, Speltz. Pre-amp: Modwright, PS Audio, AES to name just a few. Until you spend a lot more on the components I don't believe you will reap the benefits of expensive wires. Good luck and have fun.
Signalcable.com good quality, fairly priced, reliable manufacturer.Cheers,
Guerilla Audio cables IMO are a great value and have a home trial policy. The owner Jason bends over backwards to make you happy and graciously accepts his returns.
Wire may or may not be a factor based on the rest of your system and the acuteness of your hearing.

The NHT Super Twos are really excellent speakers (I own Super Zeros and Super Ones in my Home Theater), however I question if they are resolving enough to enable you to detect differences in wire. They may.

The big question is what preamp you will use. I'd suggest selecting the preamp and then trying some different wire by purchasing various examples used on Audiogon and reselling what you don't like.

Here's a tip. The Mogami interconnects sold by KAB Electro Acoustics (www.kabusa.com), are really good and very inexpensive. I own a pair of the "Blues" ICs, which cost about $25 for a two meter pair. KAB specializes in modding Technics SL1200 turntables, but their accessories are also excellent values.
I have owned and used many different cables and interconnects in the past 33 years. IMHO from my experiences, except for a couple brands, most of the interconnects between active components (pre-amp, power amp, CD player, etc.) sound pretty much the same, especially in short length (1-2m). Their effects are so insignificant that you won't hear a difference during normal listening. The only place an interconnect can make a significant difference is in between a MC step-up transformer and a phono amp. There is absolutely no need to buy expensive interconnects. You will get better results investing that money in other areas.
And now, this thread will follow the usual path traveled by all wire discussion threads.

Some poster will adamantly defend audible differences in wire.

Other posters will adamantly defend no audible differences in wire.

Never the twain shall meet....
ha! I fully expected that to happen. I just did it to start fights! But seriously, thanks for the help. One comment that struck me was to pay attention to the cable between my phono-pre for a low ouput MC and the pre-amp itself. Are there cables that are better for such things than others? Another concern is that the Rega has attached interconnects- There seem to be many options for replacing these as well, and since I will be using a farily low output cart is this somethign I shoudl consider?
Mr Bean,

I'm wondering I'f I'm missing out.

Very few dare question the consensus wisdom of the "extraordinary" differences available from changing cables. Even Best Buy emphasizes that it is essential to purchase high quality accessories/cables when you buy components. Plenty of advice on what to buy is available everywhere. Just like fashion magazines tell you what to wear, what is "in".

I have a question for you. Could all this be making you energized more by fear/desire/conformity than practical benefit?
For the Rega attached interconnects, take a look at the closeout deal on no-longer made
Z-Sleeves on tweakaudio.com This is a $50 tweak.
I successfully added this at the preamp phono input end of my fixed interconnects on a Sonographe SG-3 turntable with modified Rega RB-300 tonearm.
There is audible improvement, quieter background, and better detail appreciation with a vintage Grado cartridge.
Here's another vote for Signal Cable. Using Signal for all PC's, speaker cable, and some IC's. I also have Audio Art IC3 ... nice copper/silver combo using DH Lab inspired geometry. These IC's are very reasonable @ $100/M
The interconnect between a phono amp and a pre-amp doesn't have much impact. But if you are using a MC step-up transformer, the cable connecting the step-up and the pre-amp will change the loading of the MC cart due to the effect of the transformer.
Bean151: The subject of cabeling/interconnects , Cable A vs Cable B is exaustive and expensive. Exaustive because of the minute varations cable manufactures build into these products do change how we hear certian frequencies and expensive ... well just look at the cost new and used wire. No matter what the biz' guys show in the glossey pics under the covers is wire ...copper, silver and combos of metals plus a few other things that would make for several hundreds of words for explanation but not today. Some manufactures have been making their products in China and China has been making some great cabeling that on occasion becomes available at the big box discount houses for cents on a dollar. Recently, I picked up some excellent interconnects @ Ollies a discount company located in the middle eastern coastal states. The interconnect Acoustic Research/Master Series retailed for $40-60 per rail $80-120 per pair. I paid $16 per pair and use them between my transport & dac as well as my tuner. Deep soundstage refined detailed sound. My motto: Educate yourself as to what your needs are , understand that the interconnect you want may very well be awaiting discounted nearby.
I will give another vote for Signal Cable. Easy one stop shopping, reasonable prices and very good resale if you find something later you like better.
Many cables will not make much difference... and then there are the ones that do, even in an inexpensive system, regardless of where in your system you put them, and not necessarily for the reasons of basic engineering that the engineers will point at when dismissing the bulk of what's out there, especially if it's expensive. And then there are the cynics that will always enjoy cleverly pointing at all the ususal reasons for their cynicism. It doesn't make them right, just smug.

...and now the cynics will cleverly point at the fact that I'm a dealer.

The bottom line is that there are some cables that for many people will make an obvious difference, both inexpensive and otherwise. If you find yourself hearing that kind of difference, you won't have to worry about the naysayers. You'll know for yourself.

I'd make suggestions but...

Thanks Tvad for hopefully shortening this thread.
Hmm. I'll have to try Signal Cable. In the meantime, I'm very happy with my Zu Cables bought on eBay for a good price with a 60 day trial policy...
Shadorne asked: "Could all this be making you energized more by fear/desire/conformity than practical benefit?"

I am energized to hear some improvements in my system via a relatively simple mod.
fear- of what?
desire? yes- for better sound-
conformity? ha! spend hundreds to be accepted by a bunch of strange names on a web board? If I wanted that I'd act like I know everything. The fact is that I don't know much about this. Thats why i'm here.

I don't really care whats "in". I care what works, and I'd hate to "miss out" on a relatively easy way to improve my system.

I am one of the "few" who question "extraordinary differences" because I have not heard it with my own ears. Many thanks to those who have given me a few places to start via this thread- So far I've at least gotten something educational from 14 out of 15 of these replies-
Also check out Audio Advisor. They have an exclusive on a couple of interconnects from AudioQuest that I think are good values: The Scarlet Viper and the Blue Racer. The Viper is long-grain crystal copper at $35/meter pair and the Blue Racer is OCC-style single-crystal copper at $65/meter pair. I have both and think they give good value. The Blue Racers are especially nice. The single-crystal copper imparts a very detailed, yet smooth sound and they come with AudioQuest's excellent silver RCA plugs which by themselves sell for $40/set.

Also, AA has a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee. You pay return shipping, but on interconnects that's very cheap. That gives you plenty of time to burn 'em in and try 'em out.
Speltz Anti-Cables, or make your own, or buy used cables off this site.