cable as tone control

I'm looking for recommendations into a cable that can help me control breightness that I cannot otherwise tame.

The system is actually my portable - A Panasonic 580 "walkman" type CD player, Grado RA-1 headphone amp and Koss portable headphones. This is a Headroom recommended system and I use it while driving my '66 MGB, in which I dare not put an aftermarket stereo. And it actually sounds quite good considering the source player.

What's your recommendation for a cable that will help tame the brighness as best I can, since I can't use a DAC or bring my SCD-1 in the car! (The Grado RA-1 headphone amp uses standard RCA cables to connect to the Panasionic with a mini stereo adapter).

I do a lot of listening on this system, so I'd look at cables with a list price of up to $1500 (i.e Golden Cross, Quatro Fil, etc. -- but my gut feeling is that's there is some lower price stuff out there that might be specifically good at helping to tame that digital edginess that I hate so much. --Lorne
Please, please, don't sink $1.5K, or even consider it, on this system. If you must, go get an older Cardas Golden Cross IC ($250/1M pr. used approx.)(not Golden Ref)
Lorne I'm sure you realize that digital edginess has to be coming directly from that budget source player; the bettter part of your lineup is only reproducing what is input to it. My first thought is to put your $ into a better portable player (sorry I have no rec's on portables, but others might?) rather than trying to filter out the trash from your source. Otherwise if you're comitted to trying to make this setup play better for you, some cheap cables that kinda rolloff the higher frequencies might be helpful. A pair of MIT T-2 might be helpful? Whatever you do, certainly you'd want copper based interconnects vs. silver; silver would likely only accentuate the problem. I've no experience with Nordost, but I have read commentary from others who state that it's on the brighter side to begin with so I wouldn't think that that's your best solution.
Lorne: I would suggest the same as Bob and look into some inexpensive MIT T-2 interconnects. My experience with them is they they are pretty soft on the very top end, and fairly warm. They aren't fantastically resolving, but they're actually quite good for the $80 or so they cost retail. This might be just the trick for zipping down the highway (safely, of course) with the tunes cranked.

hi lorne
I agree about the use of good copper cables like the phoenix gold zero referance series ...copper will tame the digital edge ... check them out on our showcase on audiogon and if you want you can try an in home demo ...

Lorne, shoot me an email. I've got the answer to your prayers for an unbelievably good price. Sean
A new/better walkman? Or buy a real tone control unit.
I've never listened to the Grado RA-1 but do use the HeadRoom Total AirHead for portable listening. The circuit they include to compensate for the fact that a pair of speakers would produce interference at each ear is intended to improve the spatial characteristics of headphones. The other effect is that it takes the edge off the top end since that is where the interference has its greatest effect. -- Though I used a tube headphone amp for a while (non-portable), I went back to the HeadRoom equipment (Little More Power Premium) because of much lower levels of listener fatique. -- I've also used the Senneheiser HDC451 active noise cancelling headphones in noisy settings. They don't have a lot of bass but avoid the difficulty of having to crank the volume to get a decent signal to noise ratio. -- Another, more costly alternative, is the Etymotic Research ER4P (louder than the ER4S with a roll off in the highs). Though they give you about 25dB noise reduction, they block outside sounds to a point that may not be appropriate for driving. -- Finally, having experienced the same effect with headphones when used with Silver Bullet interconnects, I have used inexpensive copper cables from ($60 for 1m). I agree that copper is your best choice.
-- Good listening.
You might look into one of those tiny little dacs that people use with DAT players. They may only be A to D but I think that would be the most efficient use of your $.
Simple, try Harmonic Technology's Truthlinks, they will be as good as anything at smoothing out the edge without sacrificing quality or tonal bajance. Best $150 you will ever spend on a cable, given your criteria.
If you are willing to make your own cables, I can provide you with some various designs to try that will allow you to custom tune the sound of the cable. These are very cheap to make, they just take many hours to contruct.
I have the exact same portable set up, (Panasonic 580 and RA-1 amp,) as you except that I use Grado headphones with it. That is where I would start! (At least get some kind of decent headphones that the RA-1 can push.) I use both the Grado SR60 and just bought a pair of SR225, (to get better bass and a bit more refinement.) The SR60s are inexpensive and will be much, much better than the headphones you know use. I do not have any problem with edginess using the Grado phones. I am using [I think] a Wireworld interconnect that I bought from the good people at Headroom. Good luck. Charlie