I run mine balanced XLR
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Dvavc, I don't use a preamp... currently I'm running the CD Player directly to my Atma-Sphere amps via single-ended Kimber PBJ. I am trying to decide if it makes sense to go with balanced. The Atma-Spheres are fully balanced, but, unless the CD Player is fully balanced, the benefits are not so significant. In this case I could go either single-ended or balanced, opening up a wider range of IC's in my price range.
Germanboxers, I ran my Capitole MKII CDP directly to several amps(YBA Passion monoBlocks, ARC VS110, Cello Duet350, Krell KSA80, ML333, ML335). I've tried balanced and single ended configurations for several months now.
My conclusion is that Capitole MKII CDP works a lot better with balanced connections. Sound is globaly more rigorous (in the good sense), more precise, more detailed, fuller, clearer. Soundstage is definitively better defined and more precise. I strongly recommend to go this way. But give it a try first because I experimented a big big hum on 2 amplifiers.
One observation: I recently tried a couple of power cords. Results were amazing with Shunyata Anaconda VX (after the cord remains plugged 24h). AudioAero people don't know how their own CDP can be that good! Strongly recommended.
We met the Audio Aero analog designer at CES 2003 (amazing guy, really passionate about the best sound) and he highly recommended using the balanced outputs on the Capitole cdp. We have not tried this yet (3M balanced Valhalla == $$) but Mr. Van Domme was really emphatic on this point. We did not ask him specifically if the design is fully balanced but our conversation implied that it is and that the Capitole amplifier is fully balanced as well.
We use an Anaconda pc on ours, too, and I certainly recommend that you audition one on your player if you get a chance.
-neli (Audio Aero dealer) (Shunyata dealer)