P5-xe, codex, XLR interconnects

I have an Apollo CDP, Music Hall TT with Goldring 1012 cartridge, feeding through a Clear Audio Nano phono pre, with both going to an Ayre AX-7e. Speakers are Sig 2 Ce.
With a budget of about $3k, I’m trying to figure my next best step.
I’m trying to decide whether I’m better off:
1-getting a new codex, and having about $1k for XLR Interconnects,
2- or getting a new Ayre PX-5e + XLRs
3- or get used codex and PX-5e (both on Audiogon now) and use existing unbalanced interconnects
4- saves more $ and wait for the release of the AX-8e, or spend elsewhere 

I mostly listen to CD’s, maybe 15% vinyl, but also looking forward to going more streaming. 

I guess I’m mainly interested in the difference between balanced streaming through the codex vs the unbalanced CDP,  and the difference between the Clear Audio phono pre and the Ayre phono pre, of course that assumes i’m Not better off upgrading the cartridge. 

I realize this is a question with 100+ answers and appreciate the guidance of you all. 
My experience with the Codex was there is an audible difference between the balanced and unbalanced connection in my system.  I was using Audience AU24 SE rca cables from the Codex to my VAC preamp initially and then changed to the older model Audience AU24e balanced interconnects. There was an improvment in soundstage and space around instruments noted in my system.  Ayre was designed to perform best using balanced connections according to many reviews I have read.  My VAC Renaissance V preamp is connected with balanced cables to an Ayre VX-5/20. 
The reason to go balanced is to avoid the colorations that are common with single-ended cables.
How that is possible is that there is a balanced standard which does the job. Your amp supports the standard, not sure about the preamp. But if it does, you won't need a budget of $1K to make the cables work- cheap cables will sound as good as the most expensive. I use Mogami Neglex cables that are 30 feet long in my system; they are not expensive!
replace your great 2ce with Treo.....or used Quattro......
Mogami wires are good, i use them in both my mobile recording rigs..digital and analog
and they are affordable......
I have some experience with Ayre.  I’m running all my sources balanced into an Ayre AX5/20, including the Ayre Codex. Before I upgraded to the Ayre AX5/20, I had the Rogue Cronus Magnum 2, which sounded great for the money but was single ended. The Codex sounded significantly better balanced than unbalanced in my opinion (I tried using some expensive RCA cables with little improvement).  I also own the PX5e phono pre-amp, my turntable is running fully balanced (had to change the tonearm cable to run balanced) into the PX5e and fully balanced out of the PX5e into the amp. The PX5e is an excellent phono pre-amp, very very quiet.  My only negative is that every time I want to change from a MM cart to an MC cart, I have open up the box and change the settings from the inside.  It would have been awesome if there was option to change the gain setting without opening the box.  If you’re thinking about Ayre equipment, I highly suggest running fully balanced.  Don’t get me wrong, single ended sounds great too but balanced just sounds better with Ayre. If I were you and I wanted to go with Ayre components to match up with the AX7e, I would buy the Codex and PX5e used and saving up for better cables.  I also think that Tomic601 suggestion is soild. The Treos are fantastic speakers and would bring the most improvement to the sound. Good luck! 
Thanks to you all.

 I'll looked into the Mogami cables atmasphere. They're certainly quite reasonably priced.

tomic and nyclee:   Right now, I'm assuming that it's the other components, not the speakers that are the weak links.  That's based on how wonderful they sounded with some other equipment when I listened to them at Johnny Rutan's Audio Connection. Are you guys saying that with my current gear the Treo's would be a better improvement than upgrading the other components? Even with the unbalanced input from the current CDP?

If my original assumption is correct, for the current $3k, I could get a used codex and the P5xe. I thought that would be the better upgrade path.  The Mogami cables are certainly not expensive, but right now, I have no balanced source. I'm not sure what's available for a TT arm that would fit my Music Hall. Still, my current CDP doesn't have balanced output, and that's what I listen to most. I thought that if I optically connect that to the codex and go balanced from there to AX7e, it might sound better than the RCA connection to the AX7e, and I can also stream to the codex. Is my thinking off there?

nyclee - are you saying you swap back and forth from MM to MC?  Could you please enlighten me as to why. I understand if you're suggesting I upgrade from the 1012 GX MM to a better MC cartridge. I'm not sure I understand why one would switch back and forth.
i took the easy way out....

yes you can wring freaking amazing sound out of a pair of the latest 2’s
I spent an enjoyable few hours doing just that recently with a Rogue KT120 powered integrated, Atoll CD player and a Music Hall ( something or other TT )..... really great sound possible and no doubt Johnny 
 R is among the best in world at getting most out of them.

I am a big Ayre fan and owned for many years the VX- R regular and twenty and strongly considered the Kx-R

i would not obsess over balanced vs SE.....poorly executed balanced no match for competently executed SE although Charley Hansen sure knew his stuff and most of his designs fully balanced throughout.....

so which source do you listen to more ? work on that one first...
as to the cartridge......IMO given a competent chatter free arm the cartridge and speakers ARE the two most important gadgets in the chain. They are the transducers and also have the highest levels of distortion becuase changing one kind of energy into another is messy....( there will be legion who disagree but a systems engineering math based approach will prove em wrong, ...fodder for another thread
so yes you should look at your cartridge anew...
many of us with more disposable income than sense like to switch cartridges between MC, MM and god forbid other variants..or even just muck with loading, etc in a never ending search for our tail ( or the holy grail )
.....me right now, I am happy with my MC

To be fair, I don’t change my cart often. I did change the settings a few times while upgrading to a different cart, a/b comparing a couple different carts, which was a bit of a pain.  I haven’t change the cart in over a year.  It’s not as bad as it sounded, I think most people once they find the cart they like, don’t really change it until the cart wears out.  I do have friends who switch out carts every few months because it a hobby for them to collect different carts.  Considering you listen to mostly digital, i would try the Codex first before buying or trying anything else. 
The Mogami cables are certainly not expensive, but right now, I have no balanced source. I'm not sure what's available for a TT arm that would fit my Music Hall.
@jetson All cartridges made today are a balanced source.
To operate it balanced, you merely change out the tone arm interconnect cable. This is usually pretty easy. If you have a low output moving coil, then you don't need to have an expensive tone arm cable to make it work- simply one that is low capacitance.

We made the first balanced line preamps anywhere- I've been at this a long time. The advantage of course is that the tone arm cable does not color the sound (like I mentioned earlier, that's the whole point of balanced operation). As a result they don't have to be pricey; we sell tone arm cables made from nice connectors and a low capacitance Mogami cable that work with most arms. IMO/IME, interconnect cables are the hidden cost in a single-ended system; if balanced, they really aren't.
Just about any cable manufacturer will be happy to supply a balanced cable for your arm, and the tone arm manufacturer might too (I have a Triplanar which can be ordered with either single-ended or balanced cables; if an arm manufacturer challenges you that cartridges aren't balanced, have them call me 651-690-2246 and I can bring them up to speed).
My experience with the Codex seems to point to the balanced mode also. In my system, when I switched to balanced, noticed a nice improvement in soundstage and air around instruments and vocals. Everything sounded a bit more natural IMO. Using a quality optical cable is a good way to connect to a streamer. This combo bested my Cd player which is a Cambridge 851-C. 

I do agree with tomic (Jim) that going to the Treo CT. would be a good choice if you can swing it money wise. The Treo is like taking a model 2ce sig. ll and upping it to it's highest possible level. Not to mention looking nicer too.
 which source do you listen to more ? work on that one first...
Indeed. I have a P-5xe and a QB-9 but rarely listen to vinyl anymore with 24 bit downloads and Tidal via Roon. Sounds fantastic. To my ears, hi-rez and the QB-9 combine the textures of vinyl with the tomb-quiet backgrounds of digital. That said, I’m saving my pennies for a QX-8.
I have an all Ayre balanced system......  Interconnects are not that big of a deal.   Surely there is some tonal change, but there are tonal changes as you go from one venue to another.  Other then that, all the balanced cables I've tried are great.   Speaker cables on the other hand make a world of difference.
I keep going back to @tomic601’s comment, start at the source I use most. 

So how inferior is the Rega Apollo R as a transport to the codex vs a significantly better CD player such as a used ARC CD-8 ($4,500 used) or perhaps something a bit less expensive.  Basically, I could put my CD source questions to bed. 

@beetlemania I hear you on the Ayre 8 series
@stringreen I’ve got AQ Rocket 44 Bi-wire. 
I’m going to move this to a new thread under CD players rather than keep it alive here-it seems more appropriate. Thanks to everyone for their input

let us know where you put the new thread...

but some thoughts....your Rega is quite a musical CD spinner and generally recognized to punch far above its weight class sonically...
both Ayre and ARC CD players are in a totally different class. I used both extensively in evaluating components for our systems. I found both to be superior to my Mc MCD205
there are still lots of good to great CD players out there - even as the world seems to be moving to streaming or server/dac combinations...