Long RCA ICs - which ones fit this bill?

I plan to hook up a Pass X1 to a FetValve 550. As van Alstine amps do not have XLR ins I have to use single ended ICs. The kicker is that they need to be about 25 feet long. I spoke to both Frank, and Kent over at Pass. I am advised to use a straight coaxial design, fully braided shield, with as low a capacitance per foot as possible (<< 20 pf/ft if possible). The other kicker is that I don't want to spend an ungodly sum on these cables. What can I get in the cheap category that will fit the bill (not to exceed $1000)?
You don't need to go straight coaxial (anymore) to achieve low capacitance which granted, is important.

What's also now equally important to achieve is low (no) time smear, and low (no) noise and hum pick up -- both a real problem with long single ended ICs.

Your best bet in my opinion is a "shotgun' design -- two equal signal conductors surrounded by a "floating" shield (floating means connected to ground only at one end -- usually the arrowhead end) These are modeled on the original Bruce Brisson Monster Cable design. They are now made by AQ, Straightwire, MIT, Monster, and many others. Cardas makes their ICs with two concentric shields each connected to ground at opposite ends (so no arrows necessary.)

One thing most people don't know, so I'll mention it (as I do every chance I get ;~)) When using shotgun type single ended ICs between preamp and amp, DO NOT point the arrow toward the amp. Point ALL arrows on ALL ICs to the preamp (which BTW should be your only grounded component.)

The arrows are NOT ABOUT SIGNAL FLOW (maybe with the exception of some speaker cables.) They are simply pointed to the end of the cable where the shield is connected to ground. Thus you can see that if all arrows are pointed toward the preamp, then the preamp becomes the center of a "star grounding system" which results in the lowest noise.

Some quite reputable manufacturers make cables with other grounding configurations, and in their case, you should probably follow the "signal flow" rule. They include Purist, Magnan, and a couple others, Nordost I think. And of course, a lot of ordinary single conductor coax cable have "me too" arrows now. Avoid all of those!

As for price, you should be able to get a great sounding (I kept min for 12 years) 8 meter (24 ft) pair of Straightwire Maestros for about $500-$600.
Nsgarch, your old Maestros were 8m long? How would you cahracterize their sound? What equipment did you use them with?
Tony, check this thread concerning MITs. I found that the long MIT cables were about as good a value as possible in the <$1k range.
Tony, they were connecting an ARC SP-14 pre with a Bryston 10B active x-ovr which was driving (for low end) a Levinson 23.5 and (for high end) a pair of ARC triode monoblocks M300 MKIIs. I was using pairs of 1.5m Magnan Vi ICs between the x-ovr and the amps. I was also using two pair of Maestro speaker cable.

The Maestro is one of those products that have held up over a long time, both in performance and (more and more when purchased used) in value. Sort of like SME tonearms, or SOTA turntables -- dependable, reliable and predictable. Their sound (freq.response) is very neutral (flat), and they are very resistant to picking up noise and hum. Compared to the latest advances in cable design (Purist, Transparent, Siltech, and many others) they are a bit, oh, reserved -- meaning a little softer on the attack, slap, slam, and lack the abundance of shimmer some of the newer high priced stuff allows through. But you'd have to spend at least 3x more (used) to do better. Remember, this was Straightwire's top cable for about 5 years.

I still use mine to connect my Levinson pre to my ML Depth sub.

Jfox's recommendation of the MITs is a good one also. I don't know how they compare pricewise, used. My last experience with MITs as my primary ICs was with the original 330, which got replaced with Straightwire.
At that time how would have compared the 330 to the Straightwire?
I would look into the Placette interconnects. Very very transparent cables. We listened to a very long run of Placette cables (not quite 25 ft) and compared them to a 1.5 meter pair, and they were almost indistinguishable. Also, they are very reasonably priced.
330 v. Maestro? Maestro has has a bit more of everything that made the 330 so popular, but most noticably in improved image/soundstage. I guess it does a bit better reducing time smear.
I have much direct experience with MIT 330 vs. Straightwire, in this case Straightwire Virtuoso. The Virtuoso is the line above the Maestro. Throughout the late 80s to mid 90s I had used exclusively MIT 330 with ARC SP-10 and Adcom and ARC amps. I then tried 2 pairs of Virtuoso ICs here with good results. Where the MIT was mellow with a more distant and rolled-off presentation, the Virtuso was lively, dynamic and extended on the top. I then switched to a 3' pair of Virtuoso speaker cables as well over the MIT 750s.

Years later as my system became more resolving, other components with greater coverage in the trebles, etc., it was very clear the Virtuoso was anything but neutral and natural. In fact, the more refined and extended my system became, the less I could tolerate the Virtuoso because of fatigue. In a word, it was BRIGHT.

I sold off the Virtuoso ICs and slowly moved to Cardas & SilverAudio and then later NBS and now Purist. However I kept the Virtuoso spkr cable which sounds today quite decent in my system. Compared to the Purist Opis I am currently auditioning, the Virtuoso still shows a little forward presentation on the top, but for the cost, it is very good.

Going back to MIT 330 ICs would be impossible because their resolution is simply downright poor in the context of a highly resolving system today. And going back to the Virtuoso ICs would be equally impossible because of the faitgue issue. I have no idea what to recommend in the $200-300 price range for 1-2m ICs, but if you need to go to the 25 feet zone, the MIT 350 Ref Proline CVT and 350 Evo cables I discussed in the other thread have no peers for performance and value.

Tony, as you can see, both Jafox and I have done little to conceal our admiration for Purist products. I would suggest you consider (and keep an eye out for used) a pair of their entry level Musaeus ICs (also search 'Museaus,' for those who don't spell it correctly). It's a bargain compared to their two most expensive models and you might even be able to afford a new pair (contact 'Bobgates' a member for good prices.)

By way of comparison, a friend of mine had been using a pair of my Maestro speaker cables with his Levinson 23.5 and Maggie Tympani 1-Ds. Not bad -- (you have to crank the Maggies up to get them to really sing) -- but he recently replaced them with a pair of Musaeus speaker cables, and I was quite amazed at the difference, especially in high end sparkle and stronger bass.
Thanks to you both. I'll look at that other thread, John. One thing I do not want to do is get something that is either fatiguing or intoduces its own personality. I know that a very tough call for a long IC, but I'll have to look.
Ggil, do you have a link? When I do a search for Placette I only get the company that does passives and volume controls.
Try "Signal Cable ". I use a RCA 20 ft. pair from my Lamm preamp to my Pass Aleph mono's.
Tom, how would you describe the sound of the Signal Cable at this length?
Well, it is open, fast, lots of detail. No hum or any distortions.