Most overlooked part of your system?

Can good power cords and inter connects make that much of a difference? What are some good low cost options? How about the outlet you plug your gear into? What do you use? Where do you get them? What about Isolation platforms - to eliminate vibration. I plan on bringing a dedicated line for my system. Will a 15 amp breaker be sufficient or should I use a 20? I am only plugging in two pieces - an integrated amp and a CD player. You can spend more on cables and inter connects than what you spend on your gear ... I just wonder if is worth it. your thoughts...
My .02 is cabling can make a difference to a point, but gear will trump cable differences. I found that cabling material (ie silver vs copper) made the most discernable sonic differences. But there are better and worse cables made with the same materials. I had some PS Audio Statements in my system that were some of the best copper cables I heard - they had sparkling silver-like highs but still some meat on the bones in mids and bass.

I also have a PS Audio Quintent that I plug most my gear into. I have PS Audio power port wall outlets on the outlets I plug gear into. I've found at my house that electricity is fairly good, which means I don't discern enough from different power cords to warrant spending serious $ for them. I would consider myself lucky. I try plugging things into the Quintet or directly into the wall and see which sounds better. Simple.

Same thing holds true for any isolation platforms and other tweaks. I've found that copper cones tend to make the sound leaner in the mids and bass, but may help focus and high extension. i like iso-nodes under cd players and some amps.

I wouldn't spend more on cables then the rest of your gear!
Two runs of 10-2 Romex from a 20A breaker to two Leviton Hospital Grade outlets(soon to upgrade to Oyaide or Isoclean). The gauge of the Romex made a MAJOR difference in dynamics when coupled with PS Audio xStream Plus SC, Zu Cable Mother PCs(I'm on a budget) and my Audio Magic Stealth XXX conditioner. Of course: I've got a lot more current draw than you, based on your system's description. YES- The right interconnects(ie: Kimber Hero per your low cost desire) and power cables WILL make a big difference in a resolving system. However: I'd have to say that the room/speaker interface is the most important and(commonly) overlooked component in most audio chains.
There is really no easy answer here. You can go in so many different directions. However, with some careful selections you can accomplish a lot with little investment. Dedicated lines are a good start. Go 20 amp on the dedicated line if you can. Choose good quality outlets. You don't have to spend a lot here. Porter Ports sold by Albert Porter here on Audiogon are very good, as are Pass & Seymour. If you want to spend more then I suggest Oyaide.

Cabling does make a difference but as Tholt mentioned you will get more bang for the buck spending the extra dollars on better equipment. It's a lesson I learned. I've downgraded my cabling and upgraded my equipment and the sound is for the better. You can get some very good cables like Oyaide and Grover Huffman that won't break the bank and perform quite well. I'd budget more for power cords and recommend something like the Oyaide Tunami, Tel Wire, or entry level Fusion.

Isolation is also something you can go over board with. Since you only have the two components I'd recommend looking at the Timbernation stands that are made of solid wood. Then you might consider some of the Heribies footers to use between the component and platform.


Definitely, go with 20A.

While that's going on add in a good outlet... or two, making for a four gang power portal. Hospital grade or up.... Porter, Oeida, etc.

One never knows.

Wires do make a diff. How much depends on you, your gear, and how much you wish to invest there.

Get a good to as good as you can justify, speaker cable. Then address the power cables... lastly, do the interconnects.

Lots of info here on isolation and it's various applications & philosophys. Resonance, physical, and electrical.

I've determined no actual ratio for cable costs vs. component costs. More importantly I address each component individually in that regard.

There's about 81.705 gigazillion cables available. ya can't try em all so get in where ya fit in there as well as you can justify it.

Such a tidy system as yours shouldn't pose too many problems with wires.

Good luck.
I was intrigued by the title of the post, but disappointed to read that it was about cabling. I believe cabling can make a difference, but as has been said already, not as much as the components themselves. If the title were posed as a question I would have definitely said the room. That also can make a HUGE difference, and I'd look to investing time, effort and $ there before exotic cables. The potential for the room impact is far greater than cables IMO and in my experience. As far as the cables themselves, IC's before PC's. Source (to pre) first. That'd be my approach anyway. Clean, isolated power will have more bang for buck than just sticking in an exotic PC. If you pay an electrician to run a couple of isolated lines for your system, depending on your house, it may run you less than many fancy PC's, and, again, bigger bang-4-$.
A moderate investment in scotch, bourbon, tequila, wine or herb will reap
benefits well beyond the same dollars spent on wire, isolation or other
audiophile tweaks.
I doubt pouring any of the aforementioned on your stereo will make it sound better, but its worth a try.
Tvad - great response, I find a margarita really opens up my system, much more transparent,

on a serious note - I think all audiophiles should read Oliver Sach's recent book "Musicophilia". It is a great study in how much our experience of music is influenced by neurology and brain structure. All of you with "golden ears" should note a study by Psychologists. A number of subjects were played music that was familiar to them. Sections of the music were completely eliminated (silence) on the playback. None of the subjects even noticed the silences - the brain filled in the rest. We have an amazing capacity to accomodate musical sources and make up what we perceive to be missing. This would also create the possibility of a powerful ability for our minds to hear what we want to hear.

I am a firm believer that the "break in" period for electronics is much more about our ears and brains re-compensating than any electrical phenomenon.

Either way, the book is fascinating and interesting.
on a serious note - I think all audiophiles should read Oliver Sach's recent book "Musicophilia".

I started reading that at my sister in-law's place over the holidays. I made a note to pick up a copy. Another good read on the same / similar subject is This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. There is a recommendation blurb, as I recall, from Oliver Sachs on the back.