MC275: do you use RCAs or XLRs? Why?

I'm researching preamps for my McIntosh MC275 Mk IV and need to decide whether to buy a single ended or a balanced out pre. Do you use RCA or XLR inputs, and why?

From looking at the schematics it makes sense to use the XLR inputs to avoid V1 tube and the volume pots. Yet I've been exchanging with one user who tried that and preferred the RCA inputs (with a Lamm LL2), even though he owns several XLR and RCA pres (lucky!). Right now my Rotel preamp only has RCAs so I can't compare, and auditioning options is not posible where I live...unlucky!

FWIW, some SE preamps under consideration are First Sound Presence, Lamm LL2, Joule-Electra LA-100 or 150, Herron. Balanced pre considered is Atma-Sphere MP3.


Interesting. Coincidentally there was a thread this weekend over at the Mc forum on this topic and several folks also prefer RCAs. So I guess I'm not ruling off some RCA only preamps.

Also interesting because one would think avoiding a tube and the volume pots should sound better...but I guess not to everybody or with every preamp.

Either will sound great. The 275 is a great amp. One of the best IMHO. You would be hard pressed to find anything better for the money.