It would sound best if there were no balance control at all...
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The design of a balance control is to allow channel balance. i am certain the control is designed to only partially offset the channel balance. It was designed by Nelson Pass, and I would tend to trust he knew what he was doing with the design of the balance control.
The comment that it is "bleed through" is just not correct. "bleedthrough" would indicate a poor channel separation, and the Adcom has excellent channel separtion.
I just sold my Adcom and have to say it was a really nice preamp. (I like my Bryston BP-26 better, but at THREE TIMES the price of the Adcom, it should be better.)
Blueranger - Elizabeth is right about trusting Nelson Pass. He wouldn't make mistake like that (bleed through) .
Reason for limiting range is gain loss. Imagine that you have 100% balance adjustment. It means that each channel goes from 0-100% and therefore in center position it has 50% of loudness. Half of the loudness means about 30% of the signal. Full 0-100% balance adjustment would require additional gain of 3 in the circuit. Why to adjust whole range when it is not needed while smaller range gives more accurate adjustment and doesn't attenuate signal so much.