Start auditioning cables with return policies.You will eventually find the cable that suits your system ...and get an education in the process.Generally speaking and when working with a qualified dealer-once you tell them your likes/dislikes on a few cables,they should be able to steer you in the right direction.
You don't have to spend thousands to get good cables. Do a little research and deal with the direct order cable suppliers that have been in business a number of years. There are many good ones such as Pure Note, RSA, Silver Audio, etc.
I'm sure you will get plenty of recommendations full of anecdotal evidence speaking of detail, air, soundstage, etc.
However, I do not believe there has ever been a blind test where anyone could sonically differentiate a very expensive cable vs. a cheap cable beyond normal random chance.
Get some nicely made cables from www.bluejeanscable.com and you'll be fine.
If the desire is to have something a little more special, then have the cables made with the Belden teflon stuff. It'll add about $15 per pair.
If you have a ton of $$ that you're just dying to spend, there will be plenty of other recommendations coming...
Dare to be different.
Money rarely has anything to do with it, Nil.
Rather it appears to have everything to do with quality of parts, workmanship, and methodology.
For example, the Paul Speltz' Anti-ics at $100 for a 1 meter XLR pair blew away my pair of $3500 (retail) XLR ics making them sound veiled and bloated.
But then again my $700 ics are distictly better than the $100 ics as well as adding a bit of magic to the final presentation.
I think the main thing to listen for in any sc or ic is time-smear. You want as little time-smear as possible because time smear causes the highs to sound grainy and harsh and fatiguing and will corrupt the definition of the lower bass frequencies.
In my limited experience, excessive time-smear is a very common negative trait to find in scs and ics.
The above generally is good advice. Except perhaps within a manufacturer's lines of cables, there rarely is a hard and fast correlation between price and quality of a cable--there are giant-killers out there and there are giants too. Your JOR (I was thinking of bidding on that piece myself!) is a good enough piece of equipment that you will benefit from cables that are better than zip cord or the patchcords included with your sources, but the particular sound that suits you (and believe me, EVERY cable degrades the sound to some extent, so they can and do sound different) will depend on your ears and your budget. Try to find a dealer who will let you borrow several wires in your price range and let your ears decide. The Cable Company is pretty good as a source for cable lending, if you don't have a good local dealer. And there are also a number of cable manufacturers who will give money-back trials of their wires, as noted above.
Money and cable quality have nothing to do with each other.
200-300 should get you all you will ever need. There are many on here who do this for an ego stroke, let them piss good money after bad.
In a way I know the answer since in my main system, I had to go thru similar trial and error process about 7-8 years ago. The cables I ended up with and still happy with are NOT the most expensive I tried. Even from similar makes, I ended up with 'cheaper' ones, because they sounded perfect for my system. At the same time the mystique of the most expensive cables from say MIT or Purist audio or Kimber remained. I remember Mr Dunlavy believed in simplistic and inexpensive cable designs. Since I am proponent of Dunlavy Speakers, I tend to believe his theories.
But still, regardless of price, is silver or gold or copper is better owing to the improved conductivity? If say silver is better, than I understand the price since silver does not come cheap. So there has to be some rational...
Just try some Dakiom 203 series stabilizers with the cables you already have... http://www.dakiom.com
I would buy Kimber Kable Hero interconnects and Kimber Kable 8VS speaker cables and forget about it. They are inexpensive, sound good, and your done. That's what I did. Then, upgrades can be elsewhere...or enjoy the music.
Everyones system is different so what works for one will not work for another. Even if the systems are similar the rooms most certainly are not. Throw in personal likes and dislikes and it can get quite confusing and costly. Everyone is well intentioned with their advice but if you follow someone else's advice about what will work in your system you'll probably spend way more than you intended too.
My advice is to establish a baseline for the way your system sounds with good set of well respected but inexpensive cables like what Whoaru99 suggested with Blue Jeans Cable. They'll get you a complete set up for probably less than $100. After you lived with that for awhile and have a chance to learn what you like or dislike about them, get in touch with The Cable Company at www.fatwyre.com or www.usedcable.com, they have a loaner program. Tell them what equipment you have and how much you have to spend and they'll send you several different brands to try out in your system for a small percentage of the actual cost. Keep the ones you like or send them back and try some others. They have a huge database of what other people with similar systems preferred so they take a lot of guesswork out of the whole process.
You may find the extra cost for the boutique cables is worth it or you may not. You will know for certain what works for you with little financial risk and youll get an education in the process.
Hope this helps.
When I had a deviant room (suckout, echos, bass bloat, endless reflections) I tried cables to correct the deficiencies I had both in the room and in the equipment. I suspect that is the case for most of us in most situations. Presuming that's your situation too, you can be the luckiest man in the world, throw a dart at a pile of interconnects on a counter and presto, you've got it.
Otherwise, it's trial and error, or figure out as you've been suggested what you are trying to correct, enhance or reduce in your system.
This eliminates the nonsense of what $2K to $50K cables do, don't do and pretend to do.
Lake you are right , you just educate me, what
other factor affect cables.
I would definitely try a pair of Speltz Anti-Cables ($100). They compared very favorably to my Jena Labs Symphony cables that sell for $1,100. I think the anti-cables would work best with tube electronics as they are very revealing. I haven't figured out which I like better so far, the Jena's or the Anti-cables. I think my preference would vary by system makeup and tube vs: solid state. However, the Anti-cables do work well in either. No real cost to try them as I think he gives you a free trial period. However, mine aren't going back. They are keepers at any price. Who'd a thunk it?
Anyone else notice that every cable discussion reads like another version of "Groundhog Day"? It's the same go-nowhere discussion over and over. Author professes naivete and confusion about cabling with the ubiquitous reference to snake oil, followed by the broken-record flaming of hypothetical cable-mongers (otherwise known as "they") who have been duped by the smoke-and-mirror tactics of people like George Cardas and Ray Kimber, only to come full circle to the inevitable confession by the author that he/she already had the answer in pocket.
Cabling is one aspect of this hobby that can potentially bust through all of your forgone conclusions. Room treatment is certainly another. However, it would appear that inside the circuitous boundaries of this banter, most would rather be right than curious.
Just go to something cheap secondhand one. Anything you think to fit into the sonic you want to have. Than try others compared to it. If you bought cheapo, you could easily sell with minimal loss. Preferably, buy from a company which does not have higher up cables. Like Rscables. Normally, those ones which have a cable-hiearchy making the cheaper line coloured in order to force you to upgrade... Or buy such a well respected cheap cable like Goertz Mi2, Kimber 8tc or whatever else which could be the reference point. Than who knows what would happen...
As far as speaker cables go, you'll do just fine with a decent 12-16 gauge zip cord. Unless you're worried about aethetics. Otherwise you're wasting money. There's some good info at audioholics.com about speaker wires & snake oil.
A few things to remember.
1. Anyone can build a cable (no credentials of any kind required).
2. Once you've built a cable, you can essentialy say anything you want about the cable. The more money you have, the wider you can spread your message. No one monitors your claims for accuracy or truthfullness.
3. Different cables DO sound different, although some deny that this is possible.
4. It's up to you to decide if the Difference is better, a true improvement. This is dependent on your personal preferences, your system, your room etc., etc., etc.
5. A cables "sound", "character", whatever you want to call it, is not necessarily related to price. There are fine cables that range from modest to astronomic amounts of $$$.
6. Deciding which cables are best for you takes patience and hard work. Only you can decide who's peddling the snake oil.
When you are auditioning cables with a return policy, don't forget realitycables.com whose cables inserted in my different systems beautifully conveyed the character of each system. Does not tune a system, but lets you hear what is possible. You'll either be pleased with your equipment choices, or hear their shortcomings.
In a system that already makes you smile, get ready for a broad grin.
A unique cable philosophy from Auricle Audio Design delivers the lowest cost high performance cable I have yet encountered. Some of the auction prices have been so low that it demonstrates how hard it is to be taken seriously as a new vendor on Audiogon. I think being an early adopter of these has enabled other of my systems to deliver their best, and recommend including in any shootout, most especially the Signature digital IC.
This digital IC introduces no jitter as measured by Genesis Digital Lens detection circuit, a first in my experience, hinting at why it is so revealing, and "makes my entire CD collection sound brand new".
Tpsonic who initiated the responses in this thread pointed you toward the goal of educating your ears, and that is the fun part of our hobby, although at first it may seem you don't know what you are listening for, soon it will be obvious what you like with your own components.
I do think recommendations can point you toward something good to try, and then you will reach your own conclusion.