Just buy a balanced to RCA connector like the Cardas ones.
The easiest option is the XLR/RCA adapter like Elizabeth mentions. I also have an inexpensive pair ($100???) of interconnects that have XLR's on one end and RCA's on the other end. I tend to wind up using the XLR/RCA adapters more, because I don't really like the sound of that XLR/RCA interconnect that much. It's ok, but too warm for my system. If you're going to buy a special cable with XLR's on one end and RCA's on the other, you'd better be damn sure that you like how it sounds and then don't change AYNTHING!!!
Make sure that the adapter or adapter cable leaves XLR pin 3 (the inverted signal in the balanced signal pair) unconnected. Many adapters short pin 3 to pin 1 (ground), even though that should not be done when adapting an XLR output to an RCA input (it should be done when adapting an RCA output to an XLR input). My understanding is that Cardas adapters are OK in that respect.
A more expensive approach, which would be particularly desirable if noise problems arise, such as ground loop-related hum or buzz, would be to run an XLR cable into a Jensen input transformer, with a short RCA cable connected between the transformer and the RCA input. See this paper, and if you want to pursue that approach consult with Jensen by phone for advice on selecting a specific model.
Isn't that RCA outputs put out 2.2 volts and balanced put out 4 volts ? I have a cd player with both RCA and XLR outputs. The other day out of curiosity I used an XLR to RCA cable to connect it to my amplifier. At the beginning I was positively impressed by the better sound I got, with a bass twice as big and a more solid image. However, after a while I realized that the piano was edgy and I had the general impression that the sound was too 'pushed' toward me. So I second what Jmcgrogan2 said, make sure that you like the sound before buying the cable.
Isn't that RCA outputs put out 2.2 volts and balanced put out 4 volts?The 4 volts in that situation refers to the DIFFERENCE in voltage between the two signals of the balanced signal pair (under maximum signal conditions), that difference being what a balanced input circuit in the destination component would respond to. Each of the two balanced signals in that situation individually has a maximum amplitude of 2 volts. Since the two signals are inverted relative to each other, when one of the signals is at +2 volts the other will be at -2 volts, and vice versa, corresponding to a difference of 4 volts.
The adapter will result in only one of the two signals being conveyed to the RCA input of the destination component, so that input will see only 2 volts.
I don't understand why you would want to buy a balanced only CD player if every thing else in your system is RCA?
I am not aware of any player having balanced outputs that does not also have RCA (unbalanced outputs). There is no advantage to having a balanced putput and changing it to unbalanced with an adapter.
Just made comparison between RCA and balanced outputs on my new CD player. More dynamics coming from the Balanced output. Sound was much brighter and clearer; you can hear the difference right away! I just used very basic cables I got from a local music store up here in Barrie but I could tell the difference immediately.
I followed Almarg's advice in taking 18' balanced lines through unbalanced equalizers just before the amps using Jensen ISO MAX transformers that terminate at the amps with RCA to XLR cables. That termination turns out to be important.
In my setup using XLR to RCA adapters resulted in audible sizzle.