RCA plugs aside, cables with pre-molded connectors are not good and tend to fail at the wire/connector junction. Some low end cables use flimsy copper wire woven in with what looks like cotton. The result is poor shielding and high capacitance. These types of cables usually can’t be fixed.
Avoid off-the shelf self-retracting cables. They are poorly made. Cables are meant to be dealt with carefully and the self-retracting mechanism itself can be harsh on the wire. Yes, there are a few exceptions.
When it comes to shielding, don’t use foil-shielded cables if they will be moved. These are best for plug-and-forget installation.
When it comes to the price range you see, look for mid-range priced cables. Low-end will be flimsy and hard to impossible to fix. The high-end cables just don’t provide a noticeable sound quality in a live environment, in my opinion.
Connectors should be solid and heavy duty. They should also have metal covers or heavy duty covers in the case of Monster Cables ™.
Finally, the wire should feel heavy. The bigger the wire, the more shielding. Avoid cables where the wire seems rather inflexible.
Thought? Questions? Comments?