Interconnects at modest cost?

I'm interested in getting low to moderate price RCA interconnects for use between the CD player and integrated amplifier in my mid-fi system, and could use some advice. I've been considering used AQ Ruby, new AQ Copperhead or AQ Diamondback, Kimber PBJ, or possibly AQ Coral or Kimber Hero. My system includes a Cambridge Audio D500 CD player running through an NAD C340 integrated amplifier and old Dynaco A-25 speakers. I listen mostly to small-group jazz (lots of Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, John Pizzarelli), usually at moderate volumes, along with occasional classical, folk, blues and rock. Don't waste time running down the system, even though most of you doubtless have much better ones. I play guitar, including some occasional low-key performances, have a number of CDs, cassettes, LPs and music videocassettes, can hear differences in sound quality between different levels of equipment, and appreciate good gear, but my current priorities include a son attending a very good (and expensive) college, and another in high school. I got the D500 used not long ago (replacing a 10 year old JVC), along with a medical-grade Belden power cord, and it sounds good enough to justify something better than the minimal Radio Shack style wires currently connecting it to the amp. I have been browsing prior postings on interconnects by members such as Googy, Abstract7, Lolo, Trelja, Dtwomey, Sugarbrie, Treyhoss, Sdcampbell, Marchman and others. People had a lot of different things to say. The sense I got was that the Ruby was good when made but might be outdated now; the Copperhead was entry-level, and perhaps overpriced; the Diamondbacks might be too bright (Marchman didn't like them much), and the PBJs were good but had a forward presence. The AQ Corals or the Kimber Heros, while better cables, could probably be ruled out on gounds of price, as they would each cost more than a third of what I paid for the D500 -- if I'd had that much to spend, I would probably have bought a new D500SE. So which one of these cables would you get for this system? I'm looking for comments on the cables, now, rather than helpful suggestions to replace my speakers. I recognize that the A-25s were made back around the time when the golden spike was driven to complete the transcontinental railroad, and that something like B&W 602s might represent an audible improvement. I bought the A-25s when they were new, though, along with the old Dyna SCA-80 amp in the bedroom. I like their neutral sound, they've been in the house long enough to be firmly ensconced, and it will be a while longer before I'm ready to consider moving them to the bedroom and putting something new in their place. So ... what to do about the cables? How great would the audible differences be between the ones I've mentioned, when playing this kind of music through this system? If given the vicarious chance to spend my money for me, what would you plunk it down on?
For a cd player, MIT Terminator 3 IC cables. Should be on sale at Audio Advisor.
For speakers, B&W DM602S2 should match well with your amp.

Check Zu cables !

They are amazing and you will not believe the price. It is a new company (2 years) formed from people who worked with Kimber and other well known cable manufacturers.

Their web site address is and the telephone number is 1-801-605-0535.

Good Luck,

Frank P. (Tube_Guy)
For the Cambridge CD players I would look at Nordost Blue Heaven or even better Siltech ST-18G3. The Vandenhul D102Mk3 Hybrid also strikes a good balance. The MIT are OK, but can be kind of bright/dull. I tried some ZuCable Oxyfuel; they're fine/OK for what they cost, but not the big deal some seem to give them in my opinion.
I can't see a target price in your thread so I'll assume modest means low (apologies if I'm wrong). If a low cost is the primary target then check out the cables provided by speaker manufacturer Innersound ( - at $50 for 1m you can hardly go wrong. I don't own them so I can't speak to their performance but the price sure seems right...
I tried many of these and chose Cardas Cross and Hexlink 5C. They will warm up and de-fang NAD, without robbing you of pace. In my modest Proceed/Linn/Alon system, it was an easy choice over PBJ and AQ.
For $70.00, a pair of MAS Grey (Music And Sound) are the best value. Stu Wein has retired I guess, but he still makes the cables from his home in Florida. His audio/digital cables and power cords use to be recommended by Wadia, Electrocompaniet, Soundstage and Stereophile. He can be reached at
I second on the ZU Cables!
I third on the Zu Cables!
If ZU was made by the KIMBER guys then I would agree.I wouldnt go overboard with inteconnects with your system,just get something decent like the KIMBER PBJ get them used,or if you want to go for a bit more loot,get CARDAS HEXLINK would go for about 100.00 used for 1m.Some one suggested more expensive interconnects and I think they misunderstood your question,if you can score a pair of AUDIOQUEST DIAMONDS 1/2 m for 100.00 use it for the CD to the pre,other wise find CARDAS or try those ZUs,let your ears decide.Good luck.
For the price, Kimber PBJ's are pretty hard to beat. A year or so ago, I replaced most of my AQ Ruby interconnects with Super Silver IC's from HomeGrownAudio, and was very pleased with the improvement. Remember, however, that among lower-priced IC's, we are taking about nuances of improvement, and not something that sounds like you just bought a new audo component at three times the price. On the whole, high-end audio cables are the priciest tweak you can buy, and rapidly approach the point of diminishing returns.
I too will concur with the above, and recommend Zu Cable. I Just purchased the Oxyfuel. For the money they seem to be quite a bargain. Their customer service seems to be excellent as well, quite friendly. Best of luck.
HomeGrown Audio cables are excellent for the $
Wireworld and LAT International make great inexpensive interconnects which are quite musical.
Thanks for all of your responses! There was a clear consensus to try something other than AudioQuest cables, though considerable diversity in what specific alternatives were suggested. Translating "modest" to dollar terms for my current purposes would be roughly $70 to $100, by the way, based on the assumption that one shouldn't spend more than roughly 25 to 35 percent of the cost of a component on the interconnect cables for that component; more than that would seem to be excessive. Looking at your messages so far, I note the following (all prices are for 1M length RCA-terminated IC cables):
-- Zu cables, Disco at $60 or Oxyfuel at $110, 6 recommends;
-- HomeGrownAudio, SuperSilver II at $90, 2 recommends;
-- Kimber PBJ, $84 at AudioAdvisor, 2 recommends;
-- Music And Sound (MAS) Grey at $70, 1 detailed recommend;
-- MIT Terminator 3 at $57, 1 recommend;
-- InnerSound, $49 suggested retail, 1 recommend.
Collectively, you've given me several new choices to consider in or near the price range I envisioned, which is very helpful. Beyond these, there were also several recommendations for excellent quality cables which, when checked via online vendors, turned out to be priced too high for the components I would be using them with. These included Nordost Blue Heaven ($180), HomeGrownAudio Silver Lace ($190), Siltech ST-113 G3 ($350), and Cardas Cross ($433), with the Siltech and Cardas cables costing more than I paid for the D500 CD player.
For the price the Oxyfules from Zu will smoke the PBJ's not to mention the kimber Heros. I had some home made interconnects that bested the Hero's and some $400 straightwire interconnects. The Oxyfules have quite a deeper soundstage, great bass control and a high level of detail. They have a money back 30 day trial period.

you cant go wrong!
I forgot to add, that you will get a big boost in the D500 by replacing the power cord. The one they give you is pretty cheap. I recommend the Blue Circle BC61. It lists for $110, but is available for a little as $82.50 new.

Since this is probably more than you want to spend, then at the very least, go to the electrical hardware store and get a (14 gauge) 14-3 standard black IEC power cord. Cost is $6. Will really remove some of the digital glare.

After reading carefully through your responses to my original question, checking out some related web sites, and thinking about it for a while, I finally ordered a pair of the MAS Grey interconnects recommended by Sugarbrie, which came in today's mail. Installing them, and listening to one of my favorite CDs to see what they sounded like, took only a few minutes, but what a difference! So much more clarity, detail and natural musicality without stridency, that it is difficult to describe. I am beginning to understand what all of you see in this pastime, and wearing one of those smiles that starts slowly but lasts for quite a while. The MAS Grey interconnects I got are available from Stu Wein, reachable via A number of you recommended Zu cables, a couple recommended Kimber PBJs, and both of those suggestions might have worked out well. I am very happy with the choice I made, though. Thanks to all of you for the time and effort you spent responding to my question. For those of you who are dedicated audiophiles who like variety, you might want to try these. The price was reasonable as high-quality interconnect cables go, $75 + $5 shipping, which I found out was significantly less than their original retail price a few years ago. The instantly audible improvement in sound quality clearly justified the expense.
Ton, are you still using the cableplex nirvanas?
Almost every comment I read about MAS on forums are positive. But at what level are they competing at, dollars aside.
The MAS Grey cables impress me as being high-quality cables. If I understand correctly, when originally marketed, they sold for about $400. According to what Sugarbrie posted earlier in this thread, they used to be recommended by Wadia and Electrocompaniet. Later on, when they were no longer the latest thing, still sold them for about $200. The current price ($75 + $5 shipping) reflects the fact that Stu Wein is retired and marketing them directly, instead of through retailers who add markup; and that they were introduced a few years back, so that they are no longer being sold as this year's hottest new product. What other cables they're competing with depends on whether you are asking about quality, or about price. On quality, I would hazard a guess that they might be competing in roughly the same territory as Kimber Hero, AudioQuest Viper, or Cardas Quadlink, although other more experienced Audiogon members might be in a better position than I am to assess how they would stack up against those cables. On current price, they are competing in roughly the same area as Kimber PBJ, Zu Disco, or AudioQuest Diamondback; and the lower-priced MAS Black cables have been reviewed in "SoundStage!" as having better sound than PBJs. I don't pretend to be an authority on the comparative rankings of cables, and I'll leave that to others, but I will say this based on my own experience: the MAS Grey cables appear to be built of high quality materials, they make a noticeable improvement in the sound of my system, and I definitely consider them to be worth what I paid for them.

Yes I am still using some of them, my uncle just picked up the ones that I have replaced for his daughters system. The Nirvanas are still very excellent performers for the money. They are tough to beat at their price.