Balanced or Unbalanced?

What are the advantages or disadvantages sonically of Balanced inputs and outputs.I have a Classe CA-100 power amp and I am considering going the balanced route.Is it worth it? Does everything have to be balanced including your digital source?Thank you-Krelldog
I own Classe and I asked them what thier product was best designed for and they told me to go balanced. I have found that it is a signifacant difference and you although there would be advantages to running all balanced it isnt necessary.
I have heard significant differences between balanced and unbalanced ICs in my own system, and decided that I did not like balanced-- too dry (thin, lean?), too detailed, too analytical. Single ended sounds more "whole", more organic, warmer, more rounded, more coherent, and more natural to me.

Both Steve McCormack of SMc, and Sonic Frontiers recommend balanced (my amp and pre-amp) ICs, but I don't like it and I plan on staying with high quality single ended ICs. A Rep. at Synergistic Research feels tha same way I do and prefers single-ended for the reasons I've stated, but he also admitted that most of his colleagues probably preferred balanced. It really comes down to personal preference IMO. Cheers. Craig.
's up Krelldog, Look, if you are going to go around being "the Krelldog", you have got to get this technical stuff down. I suggest you buy "The Complete Guide to High End Audio" by Robert Harley. It will provide the answers to questions like these.

If your amp, preamp, and source are all really balanced, then there's about 3 or 4 good reasons to go balanced, and one not to...cost. Using balanced interconnects with a truly balanced (they have two separate circuit paths for each channel one for the negative signal and one for the positive signal) preamp/amp will:

1. Cancel noise picked up on the interconnect.
2. Deliver a 6db louder signal to the amp which improves the signal-to-noise ratio by 4 times.
3. Generally do not cause the speakers to pop or hum when connected/disconnected if the amp is on or still has current stored in the power supply caps.

A number of manufacturers provide "balanced" inputs and outputs on their amps/preamps cd players but instead of providing dual differential circuitry they use a phase splitter (op-amp) to convert from an unbalanced signal. That puts more circuitry in the signal path which can degrade the quality of the sound.

Only a few high end manufacturers put dual differential circuitry into their amps, preamps, and digital front ends. If you have such an amp, preamp, and CD then you will be able to hear the difference so yes it's worth it.
As for your last question, the answer is: That would be best but it depends on the quality of the circuitry in your unbalanced component.