I'll be using rca's for now. Down the road when i shell out some real $$ on an amp I'll go the xlr route. The pre/pro i'm getting has xlr inputs but not the amp i'm getting.
$500 for cabling is way to expensive for me right now, though Chord looks like a great product. I did look at their site before, and it looks like I'll have to contact their US distributor to find a local dealer.
6' triple shielded with plastic-braided metal-teflon over copper wire, silver solder with 24k gold plated terminations, tension relieving springs at ends, $12/pair at the Home Depot TV section a few years ago, wonderful results.
As an added bonus, i soldered a third lead to the braided metal shielding and connected
it to the power conditioner's grounding terminal, poor man's balanced cables.
I'm a big fan of Audioquest cables. My entire HT has Audioquest throughout. I know their out of your price range but I use AQ Columbia (XLR) from my processor to amp. I'd recommend King Cobras or Diamondbacks for your set up.
I use monster ultra 600 cables on my $20,000+ B&W/Anthem system with excellent results. You can find these cheap on ebay. I compared them to some MIT cables in the $2000-$5000 price range and couldn't really tell a substantial difference, not enough to justify that kind of money on cables.
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