Tonearm Cable:different from regular IC? Best one?

Hi Folks:
I have a tone arm (and Airtech MG-1 Air bearing tone arm) that has typical RCA coaxial R/L outputs, allowing me to use a regular RCA coaxial stereo IC cable between the arm and my preamp with phono (Supratek Syrah).

Question I have is - do I need to be somehow mindful of certain IC choice between tonearm and preamp, as a function of the type of signal output from the tone arm (which I assume is very low level), or can I simply mix and match any IC at my discretion, in the same way that I can from saw a CD player to my preamp?

Thus far, I’ve been using 47 Labs OTA cable (an IC kit where the cable is only about .4mm thick – high grade copper), and some Kimber PJB (only other IC I have that I’m not using already). I’m in the market to spend as much as $800 (used price) on an IC for this application, if the investment is worth it in the context of my overall system (see my virtual system for system details), but am happy to spend less if possible. Cables I’ve considered would include Nordost Valkryja, Stereovox, FIM Gold – but open to other suggestions.

So, I to sum up, I guess I’ve two questions – 1) Can I explore any and all ICs, or should I limit myself to certain ICs that are geared toward phono application? 2) Do you folks have recommendations on choice of IC for this application, at my pricepoint?

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Perhaps I can help. The signal from a phono cartridge is far lower (mV rather than Volts)than a cd player or tuner, so a cable designed for this particular function is the way to get the best from your vinyl playback. Interestingly enough, Cardas makes their Neutral Ref in a phono cable for under $300/1.25M and this is an excellent choice. Higher up the performance ladder is the Music Groove from Hovland at $800 and from there, you can go well past the point of common sense and performance. The only standard interconnect that I have used that had acceptable performance was the Nirvana SX Ltd - everything else seems to muddle the cartridge's performance.
While standard IC's will work as tonearm cables, a dedicated tonearm cable is indeed a different animal (at the very least, they have better shielding).

And while your system will only be as good as your weakest link, the tonearm cable, because of the delicate signal it handles, is going to be the most important IC (assuming that you listen to a lot of vinyl).

There are many excellent tonearm cables: Hovland, Kimber TAK, and Analysis Plus are just a few. There is no such thing as a "best one" -- cables are incredibly system-dependent and you therefore cannot rely upon the advice of others. You just have to try as many good ones as you can and choose the one that works best in your system.
Guys, thanks for the response so far. That confirms my instincts - that the phono cable is a different animal. Also, it doesn't surprise me that shielding is an issue, as I did find a hum related to my use of the 47 labs cable which is about as unshielded as a cable can get. the hum seemed to come and go, depending on my movement of the cable, so it was definitely an issue. I'll see can I shop around for a good option.
For an additional resource, you may want to look at the discussion at regarding I/Cs for phono use.

This was written by Arthur Salvatore, and you should be sure to read his disclaimers and his personal bias to put his comments in context. Although his opinions are just that -- his opinions -- I find his discussions on all sorts of components a good research source.
Coffee_nudge - thanks for the input - was an interesting read. Looks like the reviews were more on the IC between step-up transformer and preamp. Not sure if it would matter, but the IC I need is directly between turntable and preamp as I don't need a step up transformer with the Supratek preamp. I guess I'll get my hands on a good IC soon and try it out - maybe do some a/b testing. Thanks.