DON'T ever do this...

You know the feeling. Everything's going great. Your stereo sounds awesome, and you're happy. You're thinking, "wow, how could this be better?". Of course, that little thought starts the wheels churning...

You have a source, line stage, and amplifier. You are running two different IC's between them. You think "what if I swap the two to see how it sounds?"

Dum dum dum duuuuum...It's horrible! You've lost bass, fullness, voices are thin and sibilant.

Well, switch them back and everything will be alright, you say to yourself. You know you can''re thinking, one of the IC's is a "weak link" must purge it and try new cables again...AARRGH!

Anyone try Madrigal CZ Gel or XLO reference 4 IC's? Let me know.

"If it ain't broke..."
Oh, yeah. "Don't try this at home. I'm a trained professional."

Yesterday, after much futzing around with my system in a new room everything fell into place. This was by far the best it has ever sounded! Then I said those damnable words, "Ah, but just a little more will be better..." Unfortunately, I got too aggressive, have no idea where the wheels came off, and worse yet, no idea where they came on, either. Damn, damn, damn! Back to square one.
With two sets of speaker cables, two interconnects, three different digital cables, and inumerable isolation tweaks, I'm still able to remember what worked where. Most of the time.

However, you guys must have so much gear and associated stuff it would make me dizzy. The bug we have doesn't allow us to sit and enjoy. We have the "What If..." disease.

Oh and sorry, I haven't tried any of the cables you're considering. The bug only bit me a year and a half ago.
Do you want to really have an experience?? I totally rewired my system over the past year. I went through 4 different kinds of interconnect, 4 different digital cables, and 3 different speaker cables and 2 different powercords. I tried a balanced Madrigal cable (on loan from an uncle), it truly was great, but the cost was a little more that I could justify. Zu cable Julian speaker cables and their firemine Digital coax are great price/performance cables. All of my interconnects are custom made by a guy in California. They are sold on ebay, do a search for CABLEPLEX. The Nirvana is @$75 per 1 meter pair. These cables bested a $400 pair of straightwire interconnects. As I stated before, this guy is making them in his house, build quality is A+ and the value is incredible. so far my uncle (levinson, lexicon and sonic frontiers) has done both his stereo and HT in these cables, my inlaws also have there systems done in these custom cables. Custom lengths, and terminations are available.

If you are looking for a quality cable that everyone can afford, look no further.

post or email me if you want any further information.
In my opinion, I find that my experience has taught me that it is best to start with as few components as possible in the audio chain. Keep all those trick components like tweaks and power accessories out of the equation to begin with. I cannot imagine a scientist doing an experiment starting with a complicated set of variables to start with. Also, I challenge myself to learn what my basic systems strengths and weaknesses are before I ad another piece . (even if I see a good deal on the 'gon) I just think that when you can hear the component changes quicker when you have less equipment in the way.