Are balanced interconnects usually better?

I just replaced my amp with the Bel Canto EVO 200.2 which accomodates balanced interconnects. Previously, I used MIT RCA interconnects which I probably bought for about $150.00 for the pair to connect my amp and Conrad Johnson PV12 preamp. I see that Signal Cables are very reasonably priced and favorably commented upon and I'm wondering if I should replace the unbalanced cables with Signal balanced ones? Are balanced cables usually better? Can you really tell the difference? Any thoughts?
Balanced cables will usually be better only of the equipment you are using them with are really fully balanced designs. I'm not that familiar with your equipment, but I don't believe that Conrad Johnson manufactures any components that are fully balanced. The only other consideration would be that a balanced cable would have less signal loss over a very long run.
I second the Thsalmon's response. If you're not using truly balanced pieces, there's usually no reason to use balanced cable (unless you have a long cable run).
The mainstream audio press is in my opinion deliberately vague on this. They'll usually just mention that a component has balanced inputs or outputs, without specifically stating if the piece is truly balanced.
The video magazines are the worst offenders....
Here's an example using Adcom. The GFP 750 is a truly balanced pre-amp. Nelson Pass is on record in the Stereophile review saying it sounds best balanced. The top Adcom stereo amp (5802) has balanced & single ended inputs.
The amp is not truly balanced. Does this pair sound better using balanced cable between them? That depends on the execution of the balanced input on the amp - what the quality of the balanced to single ended converter is in the 5802.
I ditto the above responses. I own a McIntosh 2102 (tube) amp and I use the RCA inputs. I explored shifting over to balanced and was informed that the amp is not truly balanced and that the amp internally convers all balanced to unbalanced. To avoid this extra loop I was advised to stick with the RCA.

I also have a very high-end CD player that has both balanced and unbalanced outputs. The volumn on the balanced is higher and I could notice this as I also have a pair of self-power electrostatic speakers that are truly balanced. I prefer using the balanced cables when the equipment is truly balanced.

One other consideration is that you can bi-amp from a given component using RCA and balanced outputs. I run the RCA ICs from my CD player through my McIntosh amp and I run the balanced to my self-powered speakers located in my office.
Ditto above, especially for long runs.....
I agree with the previous three responses.The gains in using balanced cables is usually out-weighed by the added cost.I have a Classe' amp and pre. when using XLO balanced cables with Neutrik connectors the improvement was negligable.If you need a very long run of cable it might be worth it,otherwise stick to the regular RCA. P.S. WBT connectors are fantastic and make an audible difference.
I agree with much of what has been said, and offer a couple of other thoughts that haven't been fully explored. First, for a piece of equipment to be truly balanced, it has often has two sets of circuits for each channel, one for both the positive and negative phase of the signal, as well as a ground (hence, the three pin connection). This implementation sometimes requires more parts (cost) and more accurate part matching (cost, again), but results in performance gains, especially in the areas of reducing or eliminating the need for negative feedback to deal with distortion (as I understand it). It also allows for greater voltage swing potential, or conversely, the capability to create an equal voltage swing with less effort, which may explain why a balanced output sounds (and is) louder. So, balanced interconnects in and of themselves are only part of the story, and probably only really warranted between truly balanced components. And even then, there's some debate! FYI, I run a fully balanced system (BAT) and use balanced cabling throughout.

If you want to really get lost in the debate, visit Audio Asylum and search 'balanced circuit' Oh, make sure you've got lots of time on your hands!