Greatest sonic impact: cables or ICs

I have reasonable equipment (thiel and classe) and am looking at upgrading my speaker cables (20 ft audioquest type 4) and interconnects (musical concept superconnects). However, the cost can quickly get out of hand. Which has the greater impact on sound speaker cables or interconnects?
In my system the greatest impact was in speaker cable. I went from Original Monster Cable to Harmonic Technology Pro 9 pluses which was like a totally different front end was placed in my system. The one downside is the break in time of a new cable. When I first hooked up the cables I thought I had gotten screwed. I thought cable was cable. You must give cables time to break in. It took about 150 hours of break in before the speaker cables sounded even OK, and a additional 100 before they sounded great. IC's tend to be less dramatic in my system, but hey I bought my HT speaker cables first then replaced my Monster IC's with Cardas Golden Reference cables. The IC's were not quite as dramatic in my setutp. The really fine tuned my system. Tended flesh out vocals, Increased presence, and blacken the background. I do, however think that you should just bite the bullet and try a bunch of differnt IC's and speaker cables at one time to see what works best in your rig.

hope this helps.


my .02 cents
Try the analysis plus oval 9,with your thiels as i have recently added these and they were quite an improvement over aq or dh labs.As far as ic,s go i am not impressed with ap or coincident, although there both lightyears ahead of cheap aq or dh labs.If you want to spend some cash on ic's,i suggest trying several different brands in your systym and picking one.I have yet to hear the acoustic zen ic's and they are nex't on my list,if you call them, robert will send you ic's on a trial basis,and you never see these for sale used so that is a good indicator.Stay away from dark sounding cables like mit ect on classe gear,as i just sold my electrocompaniet amp and have a plinius replacement on the way and both of these brands are also ones to not use dark sounding cables with, even with thiels.
I have an all Harmonic Technology system right now. Pro-9 Plus speaker cables and Pro-Silway Mk II interconnects. I really haven't done much A/B testing with the speaker cables, but I did a little with the interconnects and found the Pro-Silway's made a significant improvement over my former HT Truth Link's. It's really hard to say which is the more important link. Both are an important part of the total system. I'd say start shopping the used market and just buy whatever you find first at a good price. Used gear has the advantage of already being broken in for you.
I agree with the Anaysis Plus Oval Nines which I now use instead of AQ Midnights on my els's. While the AQ Type 4 you currently have is a good cable for the money, you may want to consider other used AQ cables if you like the sound. I have seen Midnight, Forest and Argent at attractive prices on Audiogon.
Speaker cables. I run the biOval 9's, but understand HTech is darn nice too. Rather than duplicate my thoughts on this subject here, check out the thread covering much the same ground entitled "Please help-speaker cables, interconnects" started also on 4-7-01, where I explain myself. Hope it helps.
You may find some of Audioquest's older stuff for cheap at your local dealer or here on Audiogon. They recently changed their whole construction to Perfect Surface instead of regular high purity copper and silver. I got a good deal on some Sterling (50% off) and the sound change was so dramatic you would have thought I upgraded a component. Try to locate some Audioquest Crystal if you want to save your money. It's not the latest and greatest, but it is night and day better than Type 4. Happy shopping.
harmonic tech nologies are great cables. I sold all my transparent ultras and replaced them with harmonics. great cable at a great price.