pinwa, Can you describe what it is that you hear that makes you prefer SE to balanced, when you use 12 feet of cable? Because that is surprising, to say the least. Also, is the BHK a balanced device? (I think it is, but I am grasping at straws to understand your finding..) And finally, what amplifier are you using? Thx.
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@lewm I don't believe I have ever read anything that suggests XLR cables intrinsically sound better than RCA cables. They offer better noise rejection but that doesn't really have anything to do with how the cable sounds. I found in that specific comparison the 12 Foot RCA Cable Pair - Gotham GAC-4/1 (Black) Star-Quad Audio Interconnect Cable with Amphenol ACPR Die-Cast, Gold Plated RCA Connectors had a harmonically richer tonality with better bass than the Mogami 2549 (Black) Wire and Neutrik NC3MXX & NC3FXX Silver XLR Plugs I compared them to and I preferred the way they sounded. Both cables were bought on Amazon from Worlds Best Cables. It is entirely possible you would have a different preference listening to exactly the same thing. The BHK preamp is a balanced device and I am using PS Audio BHK 300 monoblocks to drive Magnepan 20.7 speakers. Turntable was a Rega P6 with an Audiomods Series 6 tonearm and the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge. All in all it is a great sounding system.
One consideration of using a balanced cable is that it is a locking connector, maintaining good connections even when other cables are messed with.
RCA cables can be inadvertently moved and the connection can be altered (i.e. left signal stronger that right) (or a ground can be dislodged).
I use XLR when they exist, and all my individual device's RCA cables have 'locking' type connectors.
Pinwa, I never meant to imply that balanced is intrinsically better than an SE connection. I only wondered about your finding that a short length of balanced IC gave a result that was at least equal to SE, where a long length of balanced fell down. But now I also note that you compared two ICs that are not only different in mode but also different in brand and construction. So your observation is relevant only to those two particular ICs. Which is fine.
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