One entry-level IC, one really good IC.

I've got one entry-level IC, and another from the same manufacturer that's several steps up.  I can put the better IC between the source and the pre-amp, or between the pre-amp and the amp.  Any thoughts as to which configuration is preferable?  Thanks in advance.
Try both, and trust your ears. If you get two sources, of course having the better cable between amp & pre will give you some benefit when listening to either source. Cheers,
Generally use the best one on the source. But everything is system dependent. So, swap them around between the two and see which way you like it.
After all, it's your ears that count.
Above all, have fun with it and ENJOY.
It can vary in each case.    Try both ways and determine for yourself.  Its the only reliable way.  Pre-amp to amp should affect all input sources similarly if you have more than one whereas source to pre-amp only that source.   You have to decide which is best for you in your case.
I agree with the others that the only way to know with any certainty is to try it both ways, as many variables are involved. Including the technical characteristics of the particular components that are being connected, the particular cables, and the system, room, and listener. But as general rules of thumb the following factors will tend to work in the direction of increasing the criticality of an interconnect. And, correspondingly, in the direction of increasing the probability that the presumably "better" interconnect should be used at a particular location.

1)Higher output impedance of the component driving the cable.

2)Longer cable length. Nearly all interconnect cable effects are proportional to length.

3)Susceptibility of the particular components to ground loop issues, which is generally not predictable.

4)Use of unbalanced rather than balanced cables.

Many audiophiles will assert that it is usually preferable to put the best interconnect as far upstream as possible, meaning between source and preamp. Their rationale being that the downstream components and cables cannot correct for inaccuracies introduced upstream. However, it is also true that the upstream components and cables cannot correct for inaccuracies introduced downstream. So regardless of how critical the upstream components and cables may be in any particular case, that rationale, although commonly stated, is not supportive IMO.

-- Al
Better or worse cables are always subjective.
May be cable that is worse can actually be better sounding than better one between certain components. 
I believe among the brands such as Signal Cable and Mogami you can find an ideal match to your components regardless of their calibur so entry level cables may as well work as advanced. Note that some components can be less sensitive to the cables vs. the others.


try both IC in various positions. Trust your ears. If the cables have 400-500 hrs of break-in then you are ready to go!

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!