Another IEC connector to consider is the Furutech which can be purchased from Gutwire or The Parts Connection for $60. The sound quality is right up there with the WattGate 350 IEC connector.
Building cables is a snap. The digital cable I have in mind really offers a world of difference in a good quality system. It's a rather simple design that requires a few items. All items can be purchased at Michael Percy Audio (www.bainbridge.net/percyaudio
). I would highly recommend that you pick up a couple good quality rca jacks and a ac outlet and ac plug. Silver/teflon cables need an electrical break in to reach their full potential. Yu will never achieve burn-in using the analog/digital output of your cd/dvd player. Solder two 16ga copper wires to each rca (signal and ground). Wire the other end into the ac parts. Add heat shrink to insulate solder joints. I like to plug my cable box into this set up and leave it on for the next 5 days. You'll know when the digital cable is broken in because you will hear a major change in bass frequencies from your cable box.
List of materials needed for a 1 meter cable:
1. 10 feet of 16ga solid core silver/teflon wire.
2. Vampire 800C rca connectors.
3. 4 feet of 1/4" fiberglass cloth sleeving.
4. 1 foot of 1/2" Adhesive lined heat shrink.
5. 16ga WBT solder
6. Hot glue gun
Take the 10 feet of 16ga silver wire and divide it by 3. Cut each piece to equal length (1 signal and 2 ground).
Clamp the 3 pieces of wire on 1 end (ground, signal, ground). Now braid the 3 wires together. Keep the braid as tight as possible. Play tug of war with the wire every 6 inches to shape the cable.
Once the wires are braided you'll want to prep the conductors for soldering. Cut the two ground wires 3/16" shorter on each end. Strip each wire 1/8". Solder the signal wire to the center pin. Solder the two ground wires to the sides of the rca barrel (solder 1 ground on each side of the signal conductor).
Repeat procedure on other end of cable. Make sure before you solder the other end that you add the fiberglass sleeving and the 2 rca outer barrels. Once you have soldered the ed of the cable test to make sure you have signal. If the cable is working properly go ahead and heat up the glue gun. You are going to fill the inside of the rca barrel with hot glue. The hot glue will insulate the solder joints and act as a wire dampener. You want the fiberglass sleeving inside the barrel so the hot glue will hold secure. Once hot glue is added you have about 4 to 5 seconds to screw on the outer barrel before the glue completely dries. Once both ends are finished go ahead and cut 2" of 1/2" heat shrink to secure the rca barrel. The adhesive lined heat shrink will act as a strain relief for the cable one it dries and cools down.
About an hour after the cable is finished go ahead and listen for cable direction. You will hear increased bass in one direction and not in the other. The increased bass, center focus, smooth high's will be the correct cable direction. Use a paint pen to mark the end of the cable with an arrow for proper direction.
Now plug the cable into your ac plug/outlet burn-in unit. The arrow shoud be pointed toward the component. Leave the component on 24/7 for the next 4 or 5 days. Actually after 60 hours you should begin to hear the increased bass response. Over the next 40 hours the high's will continue to become smoother and more extended.
I think this cable will shock you at the end of the project. I know it's a pain to break the cable in over a week time, but the end result is night and day. The sound will knock your socks off.
You can also make analog interconnects using the same cable design and break-in method.
Good luck and report back...