Where to prioritize interconnects upgrade - DAC to Preamp vs Preamp to Power Amps

Hi, my new system consists of SGCD & M700 combo and DSD Jr., and all use balance connections via two sets of mediocre XLR cables. As my current budget is limited, anyone has a good idea on which interconnect upgrade that should be prioritized - DAC to Preamp vs Preamp to Power Amps - for the most immediate SQ improvement?


I always use the better interconnect between the source and the pre. First do no harm…

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I believe from pre to amp is the most important.

:grin: I am glad we cleared that up!

I always had that question as well, and I am not sure I ever got the same answer, I see the point about doing no harm, but I think at the end of the day you could do the harm on the way from pre to amp and it will then be the same issue, right?

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You would certainly think so. I always feel more comfortable using the same make/model cables throughout.

Yeah, that is what I went with, not top of the line for one and lesser on the other, went highish middle of the road for both.

My thought process has always been to start at the source. I want to feed the amp the best possible sound I can.

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You might head over to the Iconolast thread and pose that question to Galen (rower30) or Bob at Blue Jeans Cable (BobBJC). They’ll give you a straight answer whether or not you’re in the market for Iconoclasts.

From what I recall, and if I interpreted his comments correctly, Galen (designer of the Iconoclast cables) mentioned that the sonic effects depend on the bulk properties of the cabling - i.e. the L,R,C measured performance per foot times the length of the run - so dependent on the overall length of the cable.

To me, this means that if you have a long interconnect run between your pre and power amps, this longer of the two runs is the more critical. This is my situation, so I’ll be looking at the 20 ft run first when I try the Iconoclasts.

BTW, I’ve been using Kimber HERO XLR’s for the past number of years in conjunction with some pretty revealing gear and have found them to offer very good performance at a modest price. $220/ 1m pair at AudioAdvisor.com.

Also, for about the same price, the Belden BAV IC’s that Iconoclast is offering are supposed to be killer. Blue Jeans Cable offers a 30 day free trial. Can’t go wrong with that.


Thanks all for your input.

Longer runs need higher quality. That’s for sure.

In case of all short lengths lower energy signals, like phono, require extra attention. Lower signals are more vulnerable.

Third criteria, the IC’s between pre and power, would be the next starting point to upgrade. All your sources benefit from that, so best return of investment.