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Balanced circuits, transformers rarely cancel more than 40db down. And transistors etc alter characteristics over time. Poly caps, and high quality resistors are quite stable if used properly. Even then matching is rather limited.

Balanced interconnect cables (ics) have higher capacitance, and wire is not 6N pure, nor plugs/jacks in most cases.

Personally, I never touch balanced, only work with single ended designs. Only time I would consider balanced
is a very very long run of interconnect cables (ics) with limited fidelity.



Thanks for the input Steve. I found it very insightful.
The curiosity has gotten the best of me. Purchased the Moon RCA to Balanced adapters and ran them with the single ended cable from pre to amp. Left them there for a while since everything audio in the house goes that route (around nine hours a day). Took them out and stuck them between the dac and pre to see what they would do closer to the source. This position revealed a lot more of what was going on. First the good: the bass got a little cleaner and more pronounced, kept the mids fairly close to the same and were a little more quiet in the grunge department. Second the negative: sound overall became bland in a way that it lost its dimension. It became flat almost as if listening in an anechoic chamber. I also noticed a decrease in detail.
This was an interesting experiment and while not getting the most expensive adapters (the Moons were 80 bucks) felt that they would be of quality to determine what I was trying to find out without breaking the bank. I did this to see if the balanced sounded better than the single running through the equipment. May try them in longer on pre to amp to see if the equipment breaks in running through the different arrangement in the equipment. I'm also trying to compensate for my speaker purchase. They do have the potential to sound really good but I can't afford the equipment that will do it. Just need to live with what I have until I can put the monies together to get a better pair of speakers (and quit using it on tweeks to try and get there).


Balanced cables.

I'm not a fan for 2 - channel audio.  They work great in pro audio where there are 100' - 200' runs or for undersea communication cables.

Like Steve said, the additional components, doubled capacitance and generally crappy, high mass connectors with ferrous screws and inferior dielectrics add up and take their toll.

Give me a pair of low mass RCA connectors, high purity wire (pick your metals),  good solder and very little of it... combined with an intelligent lay.  That is the recipe for superior interconnects.

More than once I have taken a balanced piece of gear, removed the connectors, gone in, bridged the ground and cold and taken an unbalanced connection out.  That ALWAYS sounded better.

There is no magic involved in superior SQ.  It all boils down to intelligent design, proper materials selection, a great lay scheme and excellent execution.


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