I'm trying to figure out a new stereo for myself, including determining what the budget is. In my search so far, I have been rather impressed with NAD equipment, especially given their price point. I am likely to go with a c160 preamp, c270 amp, and either the 521i or 541i cd player. If I need to conserve some money, I will instead switch to getting the c370 integrated amp. As for speakers, I am strongly considering either the B&W CDM-1NTs or PSB Stratus Minis. I'm still listening to different speakers though, so this may change, but probably not substantially. My latest trouble is figuring out the whole cable situation. Some sources I read claim that for the lengths that I am considering my speaker cable to be (probably no more than 10 feet...maybe less), just plain old home depot 12 AWG wire is going to be identical to the far more expensive stuff. All that I have been able to find that most parties agree on (And I can make sense of why it matters) is that bi-wiring speakers is a good idea. But, with speaker cable, should I invest in the more expensive (probably ~$80) cables like those found on rhinocables.com? Or just use zip cord? Then, concievably I could also look into the DIY arena, making cable from CAT5 cable, or something similar. Is it worth the effort? Also, there is the similar problem with interconnects. Do they actually make that substantial a difference? And if they do, what is a reasonable amount to spend for that difference? At what point is a better cable not going to make a difference on my system? I don't want to shortchange my fairly substantial investment by getting crappy cables, but I don't want to waste money needlessly either. Any help in this department would be fantastic.