Old, grainy, bright & financially restricted

My old ARC D-240 is on the grainy side, my B&W 703's are on the bright side, the Kimber speaker wire on the thin side, which culminates in an all-too-often fatiguing listening experience. Add to this, my limited budget for audio gear.
I recently had the opportunity to try a set of Transparent Music Link Ultra IC’s between my DAC and preamp. The results were surprising. I believe that the inclusion of this one interconnect actually tamed some of the brightness, or at least opened up the soundstage enough that the brightness was less noticeable. The bad news for me is that I can’t afford to pay my friend’s asking price of $600 for the IC. So again, I ask my fellow Agoners to help out by asking which IC’s are similar in musicality to the Ultra’s, but more affordable (used $200 or less range)?? Obviously, I’m looking for something that will mate well with my system and not accentuate the already bright response. Eventually, I will look into new speaker cables.

Cardas Golden Cross.
You might find the JPS cables to your liking. If you happen to try them, they take ages to break in. They sound wonderful for about 2 hours, then thye get all weird and phasey for about 100 hours,to the point of insanity, and just before you shoot yourself, they open up to a quiet background and smooth enjoyable tone. They are NOT bright, but nicely nuanced. Oh, they are a bitch to hook up too. They are like thin copper tubes!
MIT Terminator 2.
I'd look into Van den Hul the Second. A terrific bargain, the kind of tonal balance you're looking for, matches well with Audio Research electronics, and inexpensive, particularly if you order from a European dealer who advertises on Audiogon and sells directly to buyers outside the EU. FYI... I much prefer Van den Hul's the Second to the First, and the Second can be purchased with both XLR and RCA terminations.
The Cardas quadlink cables will tone the brightness in your system are are a good inexpensive temporary solution.
I'd look into power delivery/noise control--but that's me..
The Psychicanimal is truly about power delivery, among other things, and he's convinced me. I liked the effect of a high-grade isolation transformer I bought cheap on eBay. I now plug my digital source into it and the sound is subjectively more detailed and pure because the background is "blacker".

My favourite interconnects are Ensemble Masterflux. They are hard to find but very melodious--great harmonics. At a lower price, I agree with Swklein about VdH The Second. It is a spacious and relaxing cable, laid-back, detailed and smooth-sounding.
I second the MIT T2 idea. That is what I use and I just love them. Now and then I try other cables to make sure I am not missing anything but I invariably return to my MITs. They have dynamics like crazy all while remaining super smooth. It is quite an act. I don't know if they will fix your problem completely though. Good luck! Arthur
I agree with some of the other posters; before you go shelling out for interconnects or speaker cablem to "cure" your problem you should look less expensive and more effective solutions to root out the cause of the grain, fatigue and thinness.

Very often, graininess is indications of a power problem, so a power conditioner is a good place to start. use it on your source components primarily, but it may also work for you on amps and preamps (although it CAN restrict dynamics there). That might also lessen the fatigue issue somewhat.

Now try taming your speakers with some really inexpensive tweaks, like felt around the tweeter (experiment with different amounts and placements - you don't always need a lot to make an effective difference).

Now try taming your room by treating 1st reflection points.

Lastley I would look at cables, but remember that they are not a cure for a lack of system synergy netween the other components. If your problem lies there then using different cables is a waste of time and money. Cables are just a fine tuning mechanism at best.

Good luck,