How many quality interconnects to I need ?

I have a separate component system- amp,pre-amp, cd player, FM tuner, turntable.

My best set of interconnects are from RS Audio that are used to connect the CD player to the pre-amp (Parasound Halo P3).

I've read so many commentaries on interconnects, some which cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Does this mean every component must be connected with such expensive wire ? Or are the highest quality interconnects placed at the source with lesser quality wires elsewhere ?

I have not read a single review of any interconnect that specifies where it was placed in the test system . Any comments ? Thanks in advance....
In a general sense you want the better interconnects from the source to the pre-amp, the next best from the pre-amp to the amp. With respect to the cost, there isn't a catch-all answer, but for a system such as yours there's no sense in spending much more than $150 on an interconnect. For that price you'll get plenty good performance and you can spend the money you save on upgrading the other components. I can't comment on a particular interconnect that will work best with your system, but there are LOTS of threads on this subject so you should be able to find something of use in them.

These topics appear here every day. The quality of interconnects realy doesn't depend on price. The pricey ones just look nice but offer nearly the same as RadioShack Gold or generic Monster ones. If you apply some little DIY skills you can get parts from MCM brand wire $7/9' + MCM solderless locking RCA with wire clamp you can build yourself interconnect that will have a great performance even less pricey than RadioShack Gold.
If you go this way you will save a tremendous money for music or better components.
If you want to get superior interconnects for only one connection, I would recommend the CDP to preamp. This is because the CDP typically has the weakest drivers and benefits the most from a low-capacitance cable. Next in priority would be the pre to power connection.
try the ICs in different places til you know which you like best.

normally I agree the best IC goes from CDP to pre but in my system I tried both ways and preferred the best IC between pre and power. It was a big difference as well with the preferred way being much more extended and vibrant.
Audioengr: While i would basically agree with your comments, i recently did a cable shoot-out with various interconnects between my SACD 1000 and my Pre-Pro ( Sunfire Theater Grand Mk II ). One set of cables had a total capacitance of 23 pf's per run while another was over 1200 pf's per length !!! Obviously, the majority of cables made will fall somewhere between the two of these with only a few falling below the 23 pf figure.

Quite honestly, the 1200 pf cable did amazingly well in this position. I was expecting "bad things" to take place when it went into the system, but it more than held its' own against everything that i threw at it. I was more than surprised by the results and actually left them in the system as the sound is quite good with this specific combo. I would have never guessed that these would have worked well in this scenario, but.... Sean
2 pair of interconnect- cd to pre and pre to amp.

most interconnects fall in the 2 camps:

1. warm / bloom / body ( ie. cardas )
2. fast/ imaging / revealing (ie. xlo)

despite many different opinions- there is connection between price and performance .
interconnects do make a big diference and sometimes the ones that are a balance between the above ( tara decade and transparent are a good example) go for big bucks.

interconnects matching is system dependant. the question is where do you want to take your system ?

i use tara decade(warm and detailed) between my cd to pre and xlo signiture II (revealing,incredbile bass and imaging) between my pre and amp.

good deals can be found...fatwyre has the xlo signiture II ( discolored seconds) for $275 meter vs $600. it is a pretty incredible cable that is transparent and clicks in my system.

if you are looking to warm up your system, cardas is a good choice. this is a warm cable however it doesnt have image specificity and the newer ones have a midbass bump. transparent is a little pulled backed on top ( the plus, super, ultra) and is a very coherant ( pretty amazing) cable.

the only cable that is a good mix is the tara decade and despite being a "older cable" it still commands $250-$325 /meter.

BTW, the coincident is a nice cable also- very neutral with a little pulled back on the top.

hope that helps !!!

One cannot theorize on the location. You must try and listen, IME.
Sean - the high-capacitance IC may have done well in your system vers were relatively strong. With my DAC, they would definitely not cut-it.
You have to try different cables in different places to see what works best where.

I had a strange experience using Canare Cable awhile back. I needed a low Capacitance cable to go between the DAC to Transport and Dac to Amp.
What I did was try all Canare in my system.It turned out that I could not get the Transport-DAC and Pre-Amp IC to sound good using Canare.But it worked ok between the Amp to Passive Pre.

I use all OTA except for Belden Digital at the moment. Canare I do not know what I will do with.Might use it for part of my HT hook-up
Audioengr, I was talking to Robert Schult of Ridge Street Audio Designs this afternoon. He was telling me that capacitance by itself is pretty much meaningless as a spec--just like *watts* in an amplifier. Capacitance must be viewed in relation to other parameters, so he says...
Psychicanimal: One has to look at source and load impedances when discussing such things as inductance and capacitance in a cable. Having said that, the electrical characteristics / load that the cable brings with it will remain constant but whether or not it is a good match with the other components it is connected to is the question.

As Audioengr stated in his earlier reply to me, some designs are more stable than others and will not have a problem with a high capacitance load. That is, so long as the total load impedance and level of reactance that it sees is within reason. If the combo isn't a relatively "benign" load, the component loading into the cable will typically display erratic frequency response and distortion characteristics. All of this can be easily viewed on a scope and / or spectrum analyzer.

As such, the trick is to find something that both measures and sounds good. The key to doing this is finding something that allows maximum power transfer ( proper impedance matching ) without allowing major signal degradation to take place. That is, unless one prefers specific sonic colourations and isn't worried about "accuracy". Some cables work "better" in certain systems because they specifically create impedance mismatches. This in turn can alter the perceived sonics of what might otherwise be a highly flawed system. While this approach is typically viewed as being a "band aid", it can make the difference between having a rig that is enjoyable and one that is unbearable. Sean