cd player with xlr outputs

please explain the term and the benefits. seems to be included on higher end units. does xlr connect to the standard rca plug in the pre-amp. in other words, does the interconnect have xlr on one end and rca on the other. does anyone have any experience with the cec cd-3300. looking for reasonably priced player to replace fully modified music hall. maybe I should have kept it. thanks and regards
Here's my take. XLR or balanced connections include a third wire so there is a hot(+), negative(-), and ground. In addition, there is typically some type of signal booster or mini-amplifier at the XLR output stage that boosts the low-level signal from the standard 2volts (via RCA or single-ended connections) and doubling it to 4 volts.

This 2 volt boost and 3 wire configuration is intended to sustain the signal for much greater distances before signal degradation occurs.

The potential negatives of XLR connections is that these little signal boosters or mini-signal amplifiers can inject new or raise existing signal distortion levels and thus degrade listening pleasure. With better equipment, this typically is not an issue.

The potential benefits include allowing for greater cable distances and usually a small boost in macro-dynamics and bass punch.

XLR is only as good as your amp. Is your amp truly balanced? I was a bit amazed to find that using my balanced Audio Aero CD player on the balanced (XLR) inputs on my McIntosh Amp made no differance as the amp is not truly balanced.
My experience with XLR connections is the exact opposite of the above post and I too do not have a truly balanced amp. I'll admit that on other amps, the XLR difference was obvious but mininal.

I find that, with exactly the same cable brand and model number, the XLR always sounds slightly better. My guess is that the things the cable introduces is just cancelled out.
There is no amp or signal booster in the XLR connector. If the circuit is truly balanced, it will produce twice the voltage of a single-ended equivalent. I am sure Sean or Bobbundus or another tech head can explain the reason, but it is something inherent in the + and - and ground configuration compared to the single ended with just hot and ground.
XLR is better for longer runs. It is also better when components at both ends are truly balanced. In my case, McIntosh told me that it is best to stick with RCA as I am avoiding some extra circuitry in the 2102 Amp used to convert the signal to unbalanced as the amp itself is unbalanced.
In my system XLR sounds much better(AA Capitole MKII
direct into Tenor 75's). The designer said his preference
with his CD Player is balanced. Just one case.
Yes, my AA Capitole Mark II is also balanced and it does sound much better even with the older Acoustat Electrostat self-powered (fully balanced) speakers that I bi-amp from my Audio Aero.

I was referring to the McIntosh 2102 Amp that is not fully balanced.