I don't believe in spending large sums on exotic leads and tend to go for DIY assemblies using no nonsense Pro cable/connectors.
These are what I have put together and use in my system.





My everyday balanced XLR interconnects.

They have a full rich sound with great bass, a sweet top end and give great dynamics and timing.

Cable: Klotz MC5000 - Copper twisted pair conductors with a Copper Screen.
Connectors: Male/Female Neutrik NC3MXX B + NC3FXX B (Gold Plated Pins). Colour coded boots for source and rings for identifying L/R channels. These connectors are designed to meet the higher AES/EBU requirements and I use them throughout, when XLR's are needed.

One thing to note, the Klotz cable is thicker than many of the other studio type cables. Not by much, but enough to stop the boot on the connectors screwing on all the way, due to the cable clamp (chuck) bottoming out too early. There is a simple remedy for this, which no doubt is common knowledge for those who make these up on a regular basis, but I had to work it out for myself. The separate clamping piece has two narrow nose pieces that locate in the body to stop it rotating when you screw it all together. Reduce the nose length by half by snipping the plastic off with a pair of wire cutters, so you are removing about 2mm off the length. This still allows it to engage in the body, but now the boot screws up all the way and still gives a good amount of clamping force on the cable.








Balanced Turntable to Phono Stage Leads.

Very flexible and light weight, with fairly low capacitance, just 4.6mm diameter cable.

Cable: Sommer SC Goblin - Copper twisted pair, Copper Screen.
Connector (TT):   DIN 5 Pin female.
Connectors (Phono Stage):   Neutrik
NC3MXX B

These are floating balanced, meaning the screen is only connected at the XLR end (To pin 1).
I have used separate cables for Left/Right channels to minimize cross talk. I think this is preferable to using 4 conductor star quad etc under a single screen.

When connecting your Turntable as balanced, you must make sure the cartridge negative pins/leads do not connect to ground, the cartridge body, or headshell. Rega often have a strap from the Right Neg Pin to the cartridge body, this connection must be broken.

These leads are relatively expensive, in that the 5 Pin female DIN plug cost £19.90 and that was after shopping around, some of the more exotic brands wanted nearly £100 for this type of connector, which is just crazy.
The cable itself is less than £2.00/M (July17)