How will XLR cables vs RCA effect a phono pre

I have an TNT V with SME IV type 6 tonearm with a Sumiko Sho cartridge that is a high output at 47K ohms and the output voltage is 2.3 mV. I have had to move my turntable so the cable going to ARPH3SE is one meter, but the cable going to Krell Pre-Amp needs to be 2m. If I were to upgrade to another phono pre-amp, would I be better off looking for one with XLR connections? I notice that there are not a lot of phono-pre that have XLR. Why is this? Would I be better off with a battery pre that seems to be very quiet or bite the bullet and look at BAT or similar? Can someone explain the difference between using RCA or XLR cables on a turntable and phono pre-amp? Any help greatly appreciated.
The XLR will give you 6db of additional gain and is theoretically more quiet. I use balanced inputs and outputs on my phono stage but models with both are harder to find. That being said, over a distance of 2 meters you probably won't notice a huge difference other than the increased gain.
I have configured my table to run balanced,to take full advantage of the Aqvox phonostage.All that is need is to parallel the arm-ground to be used as the "ground" on each XLR.The cartridge is naturally "balanced",the "+" being non-inverted and the "-" being inverted.
Using a phono cartridge as a balanced source is something that was first done by Atma-Sphere, in 1989 with the MP-1 preamplifier, which also has a fully differential phono section.

You do *not* get more gain with the cable- you get less noise, and less artifact from the cable itself.
Dear Adorfman: As Atmasphere point out there is no more gain ( you have more gain only when your IC balanced connections goes from preamp to ampliifer ) but less noise/distortion ( between other things ).

Now if you are thinking on a phono stage change IMHO it will be a good time to eliminate those IC ( cables ) that makes a cartridge signal degradation and buy a fully balanced active gain Phonolinepreamp ( integral unit ).

Regards and enjoy the music.
The XLR will give you 6db of additional gain and is theoretically more quiet..

I confirm .. not theoretically!
I used RCA cables between my Whest Audio 30RDT and the Pass X1 preamp and lately the same cable but Balanced and now I have more audible gain (4db not 6)and more quiet or better less audible blow from the tweeter even if the 30RDT is silent like a fish also by RCA
..I understand the quality of difference between balanced and single ended has lots to do with how the circuit was designed. Some circuits that are designed single ended, probably wouldn't benefit much from a balanced connection. Those circuits that are designed for balanced benefits much more for using xlr cables. I have an all Ayre system, and each of those components sound quite a bit better balanced than in single ended mode.
When you use XLR form turntable to phono pre, do you also the need XLR from phono to amp or doesn't that matter. The idea of XLR to phono interests me but my amp doesn't have XLR inputs. And I am not going to change my amp anytime soon.

The only phono pre I can think of that yu can use with XLR inputs and RCA outputs is the CEC PH-53, I don't think that is really a top of the line phono amp. Admittedly I haven't heard it.
Mordante: The answer is no. You can run balanced from turntable to phono pre and single ended out of the phono preamp. You'll probably realize about 75-80% of the benefits of balanced operation this way-it offers much more performance, for example than running single ended from the table and balanced from the phono stage.

FWIW the Aqvox can be operated with balanced inputs and single ended outputs.
Now if you are thinking on a phono stage change IMHO it will be a good time to eliminate those IC ( cables ) that makes a cartridge signal degradation and buy a fully balanced active gain Phonolinepreamp ( integral unit ).

It just so happens that Raul and his partner make and sell exactly such a unit. Raul prefers not to add any manufacturer's disclaimer when offering his opinions in certain areas. I'm just trying to be nice and help him out.

This phono cartridge, balanced vs. single-ended debate has been discussed before. It is another one of those issues where folks just have to decide for themselves. Even with long runs between other components in a system you may not hear any difference.

But as to the original question. No, just changing the phono cables from se to xlr will not do much if anything.
Okay maybe this is just silly or I am!...

First off XLR from the "CARTRIDGE TO PHONO amp" Is almost pointless... All cartrides have 4 pins, and they are naturally already considered a Stereo left right a balanced source..RCA jacks from the Cartridge to your phono will probably in most cases as long as its shielded make little to zero difference, same noise from the cart will enter your phono stage even if it was XLR from my understanding, I mean its passive circuitry nothing is active in your cartridge or arm to those jacks whether being RCA or XLR.

XLR from Cartridge to Phono AMP will not GIVE you 6 db more gain, that cartridges is still a passive device and nothing is amplified more at that point... However XLR from the PHONO AMP to the Preamp could up another 6 db as thats the nature of the balanced active circuit.

Anyway I see virtually no reason that on paper the XLR which 99% of turntables do not have will make the passive cartridge sound better... Or quieter.. Now the only advantage to XLR would be having a Phono amp OUTPUT XLR to a Good Fully balanced PREAMP from its active gain circuits... And even then it seems very little can be had in most systems unless you really have the equipment to get that 5% degree of difference or because you have your Turntable VERY far away from your System and have the phono amp hooked up very close to the turntable(good idea) with cables only 2 or 3 feet away and then need to drive an XLR cable 20 feet to your preamp or something, THEN I can see XLR playing a critical part in this configuration, but only on the Phono AMps output, not on the cartridge passively sitting on your arm feeding that tiny signal to your phono amp if that makes sense..

Maybe I am just not seeing any benefit to a XLR input on a phono amp, but I do see it being beneficial in some cases on the output of the phono amp after active circuitry has been applied to the signal.

If not Enlighten me please!
Undertow: Ralph Karsten has talked about this in detail on another thread here:

I'm not particularly technically minded so much of it is beyond me, but after using a fully balanced phono stage I would never use anything but.
Noise is always an issue in phono reproduction. Anything you can do to reduce it is helpful, as long as those techniques do not introduce other problems.

Balanced operation is on of those techniques that works. You get reduced noise in 2 ways:
1) reduced noise from the cable and its routing
2) reduced noise from the phono section.

Differential gain stages have theoretically 6db less noise than the equivalent circuit operated single-ended, after you have accounted for gain differences. The noise of any phono section is compounded from gain stage to gain stage; so if the phono section is fully differential from input to output the reduced amount of noise can be substantial- perhaps 12 or 18 db in theory.

In fact in practice the actual reduction in noise is less, but only by a db or so if you have good design. This phenomena is so pronounced that in our phono section we are able to get sufficient gain with only 2 gain stages- despite the fact that our EQ is passive. With less gain stages there is less places for things to go wrong.

The fact of the matter is that going balanced, fully balanced, offers a very nice upgrade to phono performance. If the preamp is not balanced then IMO there is only marginal advantage to using a balanced cable.
Atmasphere"If the preamp is not balanced then IMO there is only marginal advantage to using a balanced cable. "

I agree.. SO the big question is.... Are we talking about a BALANCED design so to speak which seems to me to be the same on the end of the turntable anyway being its RCA Jacked, or XLR Jacked... Or are we confusing that everyone must Modify their turntable to Wire it VIA XLR?

I mean it kinda seems to me that from the Cartridge to Phono amp there is not really any wiring difference to do here in order to go XLR, and most tables will have to be modified connecting that extra wire, but to what inside the arm? Or simply just shorting pins 1 & 3 to simply interface the input circuit on a "Balanced" phono stage.. Which simply to me would mean you can still have a standard wired RCA style turntable, and just short RCA ground via an XLR adaptor or something to your existing RCA JACK in order to keep everybody from running out and re-wiring (somewhat expensively) their arm and adding XLR jacks to the back of a turntable.

Anyway due to the subject matter I am simply trying to establish a ground point here that its possible you don't need an XLR equipt and wired turntable to acheive the connection at a (Fully balanced) Phono stage.
Hi Undertow, you do **not** have to modify the tone arm. Most arms are already set up as balanced sources, even the lowly BSRs, Garrards and Duals of yesteryear.

You do have to jump through some hurdles with the air-bearing straight tracking arms, as they have so many lateral tracking mass problems that the designers usually eliminate the 5th wire that is common to all other arms.

The 5th wire is the ground, and is why the arm needs no mods.

The cartridge outputs are the twisted pair that runs inside the balanced line. The 5th wire, ground, is the shield of the cable, and ties to pin 1 of the XLR. So the shields of the cables are both tied to the same point at the arm end of the cable (ground).

Note that in this hookup scenario, there is no signal on the shield. So the arm itself shields the signal from the cartridge, and once through the bearing system, the interconnect cable takes over the shielding from there.

If the cable passes through a noise source, the noise will be impinged on both plus and minus signals in the same way, and rejected once arriving at the preamp input. In this way noise is reduced. In a single-ended system this noise would be amplified by the phono preamp.
Thanks for clearing up the gain issue. I was mistaken. Anyway, one of the pre-requisites for any phono stage I buy in the future is that it have balanced ins and outs. Currently, I like the flexibility of the EAR 324 which is similar to my GCPH but it lacks balanced inputs. Hopefully if Ayre releases a PX-R it will have the flexibility of external gain and loading adjustments.
There still seems to be some confusion, despite Ralph's clarification. If your phono stage has truly balanced circuitry inside, from input to output, then you would be remiss if you did not use an XLR connector where pins 2 and 3 carry the signal from the "hot" and "ground" pins of the cartridge, respectively, and the shield of the tonearm wire is connected to pin 1. However, MANY phono stages sport XLR inputs but are NOT balanced internally. Many manufacturers publish statements on this subject that are confusing, if not deliberately misleading, so be careful in this regard. If the internal circuitry is single-ended (not balanced), there is no real benefit to the XLR. The only difference between using the available XLR input vs the RCA input would be the possible tiny difference due to the difference in the two types of connectors. A truly balanced circuit will give you increased S/N and gain vs an SE circuit. Examples of truly balanced phono sections are Ayre, Atma-sphere, Raul's Phonolinepreamp, Aesthetix Io and maybe the Rhea, Pass Xono, I think, and I am sure there are more. The rest are pretenders.

I read a blurb earlier this week on a phono section that stated in two consecutive bulleted statements that it was "balanced" and then that it had an "SE RIAA section", as if each was a feature of the device. In plain language, it is not a balanced device. Even the dealer was confused on that one.