For quite a few manufacturers, the difference in price is actually small -- the difference is in the connector. AQ's mid-line and up cables (the 'triple balanced' jobs) are about $50-75 more per cable with XLR connectors vs. RCA's. The required number of conductors are already running in the cable for balanced operation. Others (like Siltech, I believe) use an interior shield for the third wire when terminating with XLR's. That is, the same cable can be terminated single-ended or balanced. I have sent a pair of AQ Lapis with RCA's, for example, back to AQ to be re-terminated with XLR's.
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