Your preamp isn't a truly balanced amp. Just because it has xlr inputs doesn't mean it's balanced. It only has XLR inputs. Using single ended or a balanced preamp will work fine.
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The fact that it has balanced connectors doesn't make it a bad amp. As a matter of fact Parasound amps are outstanding for the money. I've owned two HCA 3500's. I use a Primare Pre 30 balanced preamp and just use single ended IC's even though I could use the balanced. On short runs it's a none issue imo.
Interesting someone brings up the Primare Pre 30 pre. I bought one hardly used and am very happy with it. Like it much better than the Krell KRC-3 I had before. I'm amazed these are so rare. I believe this piece is designed by one of Nelson Pass's employees from the original Threshold company. For the 900 I paid I can hardly believe the sound and build quality. The remote is even a joy to use.
Hi, I have a A21 and currently have it mated to a Parasound P3 preamp. The results are ok. For the price, the P3 is not bad. But I will be upgrading my preamp soon. I have listened to both Ayre k-1xe and Plinius M8. Both great preamps. The Ayre is truly balanced I believe. I am not sure what kind of sound you are looking for. Both the Ayre and Plinius gives a slightly warm sound for a solid state component which is what I am after.
I also heard nice things about the Primare.
You guys must be from outside the U.S. I hardly have ever seen the name. When I saw who designed it and the fact I got it for less than half price with a warranty I figured I'd try it. It's an excellent preamp. My system is very resolving and this preamp is wonderful. It also has the best remote I've used. They should advertise here as I think they would do well.
dariox, i have not heard the rotel or primare. I can definitely recommend the ayre or plinius if you want a slightly warmer sound. also keep in mind that cables and interconnects can help as well. i just switched to purist audio design speaker cables and acoustic zen interconnects and i am very happy with the smoother, warmer sound i am getting. i hope this helps.