Balanced vs RCA between amp/preamp


Well I'm taking my first step into separate components with a Marantz SC-11s1 and SM-11s1. Would like to know about the +/-'s of using RCA vs balanced interconnects between the two. All my input sources are single ended.

I understand the Marantz components balanced connections have pin 2 wired cold and pin 3 wired hot. Does this mean I need to reverse the cables going to my speakers (if I decide to use balanced connections between amp/preamp).

I also understand the RCA connections conserve absolute polarity. But is there a performance "hit" taken by using singled ended connections between amp/preamp?

Thank you in advance......
wec56
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Many owners of Atmasphere gear (amps to preamps....all balanced) have reported the same cable differences that others have reported on other balanced gear.  I wish it were true that running balanced let you use Mogami cables and nothing sounds better.....just is not true.
Millercarbon hit the nail on the head
Horse puckey! I just got up, walked over to my handmade true-balanced end-to-end differential headphone amp, disconnected my Mogami XLR interconnect from my R-2r resistor ladder DAC and measured the pins on its standard Neutrik-branded male connector. ShOcKeR! All pins are the same length.

So I thought, well there’s *no*way* anyone would mansplain so authoritatively if they weren’t actually knowledgeable. Better give them the benefit of the doubt and find another cable with a non-Neutrik XLR connector on it. It took some digging, but I eventually found another cable with Amphenol XLR connectors. Nope. All the same length.

I’m going to trust Nelson Pass, Atmo-Sphere, and the electrical engineering professors who mathematically demonstrate how differential amplification (internally balanced components) are inherently better performing but also more difficult to engineer. Not a lot more difficult, but clearly complex enough to confuse your average solder jockey or audiophile store salesman.

Now, maybe some old Korean War era PA system cables used an early version of the standard with a longer pin, but they did a lot of things differently 60-70 years ago. Today, unless you can link to a whitepaper or standards doc that specifies a longer ground pin, I say we can safely assume the pins are the same length.

PS: When people say balanced is not inherently better, they mean that having a balanced circuit in a badly designed amplifier isn’t going to make that amp sound better than a really superbly engineered unbalanced amp. It doesn’t overcome an otherwise poor design.
This is simple. If both devices was designed for full balanced support then it is clear that XLR is preferable solution. If one of the device is single ended then RCA is perfectly normal.
I tested many cables and devices. This rule is in general pretty common. I I join my MC1.25 monoblocks with C2600 preamp with XLR and C2600 with Chord Dave with RCA since Dave construction is SE.
Simple as that.
Yea, sure. Different cables, hybrid devices, balanced architecture implementation can effect the sound eventually but the rule more or less remain.
One of the earliest posts was that XLR is for long distance connections. True, but super HIEND equipment will benefit from it as well. If I adjust the position of my speakers by half of inches and I hear it then why extra clarity provided by XLR should not have the same influence.
Over 20thy years of adventure with audio teach me that there are no boundaries in this hobby.