Balanced offers much better noise floor - resulting in better dynamics.
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It will all depend on the distance between the pre and the amp. Over the typical 1 meter cable there will be no sonic difference. Balanced cables reduce the ability to pick up noise over long cable runs. I used both with a previous system and at 1m I was unable to distinguish any differences.... but if you are like me and sometimes want to feel better about your gear regardless of whether you hear a difference or not then by all means use the balanced outputs.
The concept behind balanced cables, two conductors each cary he same signal only one is inverted so if the same outside noise (RF,EMI) is picked up by the two conductors the noise cancels itself. This is a different system than single ended, both are systems and must be evaluated as such. Some eqipment is "balanced" design and works best with balanced cables.
Some of the guys have made very valid points. The truth is that it all depends on the individual components. Some gear makes use of low grade "converters" (integrated circuits). This is so that they can go from what would be a normal RCA input or output to being able to accept balanced lines. IF the product was truly designed for balanced lines without the need for the a bunch of other support circuitry to "band aid" it, balanced SHOULD offer much lower noise floor, blacker backgrounds, greater dynamic contrasts, etc... This would be ESPECIALLY noticeable on longer runs of cables or in environments with the potential for a lot of interference (emi, rfi, etc..). If the gear ( meaning either or ANY of the pieces ) did make use of the IC converters, the sound COULD be worse going balanced than if it were run using high quality RCA's. Like most other audio related questions about system matching, this is no different. You really have to try it for yourself with your specific components and see the difference. Whether you like the differences or can tell that there really is a difference is a matter of personal tastes and listening abilities. Sean >