you could buy a pair of XLR from a source that allows returns, try/keep/return
@elliottbnewcombjr I've ordered the same Zavfino Fusion cable but in XLR - it should be a good (fair) comparison. I'm away this week so won't get to try them until Sunday, will report back.
Thanks all for the feedback.
@cleeds You're correct. However I never said that an amp or preamp that didn't meet AES48 couldn't be balanced. In high end audio, there's quite a lot of true balanced product that does not support the standard. Nor did I say anything about ARC doing what you mention above, although in at least one case that is precisely what they did.
In the quote above there is a bit of nuance. When you have two outputs that are simply inverted WRT each other, one output might be ever so slightly different amplitude or phase shifted WRT to the other. In a proper balanced line cable, this can't happen. This might be easier to understand if you think about a simple output transformer with only 2 output wires, driving pin 2 and pin 3 with no connection at all to pin 1 (which is chassis ground).
@macg19 Without knowing more about the circuit I can't say. However the doubling of output voltage suggests that it does not support AES48.
The diagram below shows that!
The Absolute Best Right Way To Do It
The method specified by AES48 is to use balanced lines and tie the cable shield to the metal chassis (right where it enters the chassis) at both ends of the cable.
Figure 1a. The right way to do it.