i would definatelty consider Paul Speltz Anti cables..You will have plenty of money left over..Don't underestimate there sound vs. cost..
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Clear Day Cables. About 1/2 your budget if you get his double shotgun, and there is a 30-day, no questions asked, money back trial period. These are solid silver wrapped around tubing that provides essentially an air dielectric. Well, you can read the rest in the ad here on A'gon.
I have been using a pair of these for a couple of months now so I'm around 200 hours on them. The Clear Days are competing very well with some speaker cables that cost me 4 times what these did. They are neutral sounding and will show you any changes you make upstream.
if you're going the anti-cable route, just go to your local electric motor repair shop and buy some 12 guage magnet wire, or thicker if you can get it. terminate the ends yourself and save a bundle over the "anti-cables". try the MAC speaker cables here on audiogon. they are inexpensive, but sound excellent.
Tvad - Your likely right but I have heard subtle differences. My previous system was very (emphasis on very) entry level and I was using some generic Monster cables. After upgrading everything but the speaker cables I got the Zu Wax cables. There was, at least to me, a noticeable difference. Clarity was much improved and the soundstage seemed to opened open up a little. I've already added some acoustical treatments which quite honestly was my best investment to date. Now seems like the time to to start upgrading my cables (albeit slowly).
To start I've already begun to research the cables suggested by the other posters but would always appreciate more input.