Electrocompaniet EMC-1 MkII: XLR better??

Just set up my burned-in EMC-1 MkII, and am wowed by the great dynamics, stage width and specificity, and especially the lack of digital glare, edge, or ANY roughness!
As it is a truly balanced design, I'd appreciate comments re the differences in sound between single-ended and balanced operation.
I only have ppairs of RCA'd Red Dawn and HT Pro-Silway MkII, and (perhaps) will need to buy XLR.
The Silways are a bit stiff and require more clearance than I'd like, but I'm leaning toward them over the easier-to-fit
Nordosts. It's been suggested that I try used Discovery Essence, or perhaps Nirvana SL, the new Coincident, or a Siltech. Greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
ernie: don't mean to be a smartass here, but the only way to know is to try. i'd believed for several years that balanced ic's sounded better than single-ended, 'til i helped a buddy in ri pick between nordost spm and quatro fil with xlr and rca terminations (using all-balanced components). in that case the se's were most definitely the better sounding than the balanced. sure made me an iconoclast. -kelly

BTW, good to see your moniker again. hope all is well and that you keep on postin' -fks
Thanks, Kelly.
Have Discovery Essence XLRs arriving soon, thanks to a fellow A'goner. Think I'm finally ready to turn the TV off and listen to some music. What a frightening and bewildering week. Ern
I agree with Cornfedboy, I am using single-ended with my EMC-1 and getting great results. Using Totem "Sinew" single ended ICs from EMC-1 to Joule Pre Amp, Nordost single ended Quattro Fil from pre amp to Berning Amp. Sound is system dependent and you won't know until actually trying. I tried the Coincident single ended ICs and this compared favorably to the Totem "Sinew" IC.
Hi Ernie,

For my application - I don't agree on the balanced vs. single ended comments as stated above. If an I/C is less than 2 (or maybe 3) meters, odds are that both RCA and balanced will sound identical when compared a/b. Of course the balanced has more gain but tonally and dynamically they are identical on the EMC-1 MkII (speaking of Quattro Fil here, other cables may be different).

Where balanced IS clearly better than RCA is in situations where LONG runs are required or EMI/RF is present.

My Electrocompaniet EC 4.5 preamp lets me switch from balanced mode to single ended mode via a nifty little button. In this scenario, my Quattro Fil .6m XLRs and .6m RCAs sound the same.

Given that the XLR/RCA's sound the EXACT same - I chose to use XLR from CD - Pre and from Pre to Amp simply because I use line level RCA output of my Home Theater Processor direct to my amplifier.

Hi guys. I'm amazed by the difference in sound between the RCA Pro-Silway Mk II and the XLR Discovery Essence (both 1m)! The Essence is clearly more dynamnic, with a more vivid, less laid back presentation. Just when I'm tempted to call it a bit rougher, and therefore perhaps a bit fatiguing, I'm beguiled by how wonderful and excitingly musical it is. I've tried to be casually-careful about level-matching (6 dB diff), but all listeners nw find the Pro-Silways soft and boring by comparison. I had expected the silver/copper HTs to be the more extended and vivid cable, but the pure copper Essence is! I had read lately (Cordesman on the Essence in TAS??) that some cables achieve "vividness" with a upper-mid or presence (2-4k?)
"bump". Could that be what the Essence is doing?...or that the HT is soft in the upper-/low-treble? But the Essence seems more extended uptop, too.... Hmmm.

I am toying with the idea of getting the Pro-Silways in XLR for a true comparison, but note Bryan's remark above.
As I can instantly switch between them maybe I should leave the HT in place as a "6 dB mute" switch option to allow conversation (without losing previous gain setting), and of course to prove to my wife that it's not too loud when I wake her up in the wee hours!.... seriuosly, maybe I should keep it for too-bright CDs.
I had heard that the Harm Tech AC Pro-11 PC is a "smooth"
cable, too...and one just arrived UPS. I'm hoping that it will mate with my EMC-1 mkII and the Essence ideally.
Thanks for the help. Ern