Newbie balanced cable help

I've never had balanced equipment before, so I'm in new territory here. My source is an ARC CD3 MkII into an ARC Ref2 MkII into a single-ended amp (for now). I am planning on upgrading my amp.

Without spending zillions on cables right now, what are some good entry- to mid-level cables that I can try out with this gear to get a feel for the sound and what kinds of improvements cables can make with this gear.

I'd also be open to recommendations on power cords for these 2 components if anyone has experience. Speakers are Thiel 2.4s. Thanks for any responses.

One famous manufacturer told me he likes Belden mic wire for his kilobuck gear. Makes sense to me. I like Luminous and LAT also. You don't need to spend zillions on wire, though I'm sure the dissenters will chime in. Good luck and enjoy the ARCs.
The CD3 MKII will sound better when run balanced. AQ cables are a very good match with ARC, and I would recommend an Amazon XLR.
try Acoustic Zen Silver Ref MkII from CD3 to Ref and then Acoustic Zen Matrix Ref MkII from Ref to amp. Acoustic Zen Hologram II is a VERY nice speaker cable. All these are priced pretty good on the used market and if you don't like what you hear(I kind of doubt it) you can always sell without loosing money. As far as the power cord for CD3, I read a review of this player where reviewer had to go up to Shunyata Anaconda VX to get improvement over stock cord, so it's up to you to spend this kind of dough on PC but I wouldn't do it. In the very same review it's mentioned that CD3 sounds better balanced, so you're ona right path I think.
Any cable from a guitar or music store will do. Yorkville for example. I would not worry about the cables too much. They will be connecting to very high impedance loads and will be carrying very little is hard to justify spending a lot on XLR cables. A good shield and a good solid connector is about all you can ask for.
Thanks for the replies. I probably shouldn't have said "mid-level", because I guess I'm not really ready to do $100's on AQ or AZ cables (Thanks for taking the time, Zargon and Audphile1). I just pulled the trigger on the Ref2 so I'm still breathing hard (first big time piece for me); cable costs are gonna have to be kinda basic for a while.

Shadorne, that sounds like a pretty good solution, I'll look into it. Thanks.

Tripper, is that your website? That looks pretty good, too. Thanks.
Lrdmax, catch your breath and enjoy your ARC stuff. ARC is one of the best. Should be fun!!!! Anyway how much were you going to spend on cables now?
Audphile1, I just don't know. Like I said, I'm new to balanced electronics. I know I can go get basic RCA cables at Best Buy. I'm not sure what a comparable level of balanced cable is or what it would cost. I've had some people tell me that the quality of balanced cable is less important than the quality of RCA cables.

Also, my system is changing and I'm rearranging where components are going based on a remodel that I'm doing. So I'm not sure what the physical distances are going to be between components. That CD3 is a top-loader, so that and the turntable are going to be separated on their own shelves.

Bottom line, I don't want to spend a couple hundred bucks on cable and then in a few months find out that I made them too short. To answer your question, whatever "basic" is, that's what I'm going to spend. Shadorne (above) had a good idea. Tripper's suggestion of also is worth checking out. Thanks.
The MAS Signature ICs on Audiogon now for $99.00 for a balanced 1 meter pair are a great deal. I've compared them to some much more expensive ICs and nothing has completely embarassed them. They are better than some ICs at double the price.
OK. I'm curious now how good that $30 balanced cable from could be.
Just thought you'd be interested. I compared Audience AU24 XLR and RCA interconnects on my CD3 MkII. XLR sounds definitely better. Way better as a matter of fact. However, when I took out the single-ended AU24 and replaced it with my single-ended AZ Silver Ref MkII, it bridged the gap. Now I am wondering what the XLR version of Silver Ref MkII will bring. Will it be an improvement over the RCA Silver Ref as the AU24 XLR was over AU24 RCA? Unfortunately I don't have Silver Ref MkII in XLR, so I can't compare.

The ICs used for the above comparsion were not new so break-in did not play any role. It was a first time I used AU24 interconnects and preferred the Silver Ref MkII over both the XLR and RCA AU24. Livelier sound, bigger stage, more resolution without brightness. Just my taste I guess, although the AU24 is a very good IC.

I'll be comparing some power cords on the CD3. While my pre-amp has Shunyata Diamondback on it and amp has Audience powerChord, I will be comparing following power cords on the CD3:
ARC stock cord
Shunyata Dimondback
AZ Tsunami Plus
Cardas Golden Power
Nirvana PC Plus
Purist Audio Musaeus

Two Shunyata Hydra2 units(1 for digital another for amp and pre) provide AC line conditioning.
We'll see what happens.
Aud--I'd say BJ cables get you at least 90% of the way there. Surprisingly good top to bottom, no real minuses to my ears. In my experience, balanced cables are much less susceptible to the vagaries of RCAs. The RCA connector should've died w/ Beta, but they took hold in the consumer marketplace and here we are. At least some improvements have been made with the Eichmanns and others. But the superiority of the XlR connector is unsurpassed short of hard wiring.
Lrdmax, you don't mention your amp, but I hope you're balanced all the way. Long cables do not sonically suffer as RCAs do. In one rig, I have 25' to the amp, and the rack at my fingertips. In my big rig, 11' of BJC mate the amp and preamp quite nicely. Both cables are skinny and unremarkable in appearance but play tunes with aplomb. If you want to try some balanced cables, I have a few to loan for audition without obligation. We can chat off-thread if you like. Welcome to Balanced World. Everyone else is...unbalanced!
Tripper, I just got Silver Ref MkII in XLR and these are a huge improvement over AU24 XLRs. I was shocked.

Thanks for the offer to let me try the BJCs in my system, but right now my amp is single ended. I will most likely be getting it upgraded so it'll have balanced inputs. Then I may take advantage of your offer. I appreciate it though. Thanks.
Aud--Can't argue with your pick. Nice rig! You think going balanced on McC is worth it? Don't know what they're charging, but the amp is pretty sweet as is. Of course, a balanced input is an ideal tweak, esp with your upstream componentry.
I, too, wonder how the BJCs would stack up against the AZs. That Robert Lee is indeed a "legendary cable design artist"!
Enjoy the music.