I believe that using only the same brand and model of cables is a very good starting point. After that, one may find that different cables may work best between different components and as a complete system. I try to get manufactures opinions (not always easy to extract, even thought it would be in their best interest; business diplomacy can be a tough obstacle to overcome) as to what works best with their gear, and see if there is any consensus amongst them to use as a starting point. For example the manufacturer of my pre and power amp used the immedeate precursor of my speakers as one of their references during the design, the manufacturer of my speakers used the same power amp as one of their references during the design of those speakers, the speaker manufacturer uses products from the manufacturer of my interconnects, the speaker manufacturer uses speaker cable as one of their referenences from a manufacturer that uses their speakers as one of their references. This coupled with advise from different dealers that carry at least some of my components, the Cable Company and fellow Audiogoners has made a somewhat overwhelming decision more manageable. I also try to predict what components have the greatest likleyhood of being a basis of the system (either get the most use, have a greater importance or just may stay the longest) and try to prioritise cable auditions from there. Of course I'm still open to recommendations from those I respect.
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