Not all amplifiers, not even all good modern ones, have balanced inputs. Pass Aleph 3, for example, doesn't. Not all digital sources have balanced outputs. Likewise not all preamps: the CAT's are an example. A balanced circuit involves doubling a lot of signal path components, and the CAT designer thinks money is better spent otherwise. One advantage of balanced is that you can use XLR connectors, where, arguably, the cheapest are better than the most expensive RCA's. Ability to use long interconnects is another virtue of balanced. I'm sure others will tell you more, but these are some fundamentals, as I understand it.
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