Recommendation on Balanced Interconnect

I've recently acquired the following:
Sony SCD-1
Pass Labs X0.2 pre amp
Pass Labs X350.

I'd like some recommendations on balanced interconnects, specifically between the pre and power amp. That particular interconnect needs to run to about 3m in length. Price Max. of approximately $2000.

Many thanks
I am using Pure Note Epsilon Reference XLR ic's for my SCD-1 and for my amp and am quite pleased. see

I demo'ed the Pure Notes based on what I've read about some others claiming they are better than the Valhalla ic's. Don't know if that is true but there was a very nice improvement over my Harmonic Tech Magic Link One and Pro Silway II ic's. And the HT's are decent cable.

Even though I have not, I would however suggest that you also investigate the Audience Au24 ic's for several reasons:

1. Audience has a 30 to 60 day eval period.
2. The AU24 speaker cable has made a fantastic difference in my system based on their low-eddy current and lack of time-smearing technologies.

Of course, since I upgraded my ic's to the Pure Notes just before I installed the Au24's, it is entirely possible that the Pure Notes played a bigger role with the Au24's performance than I may think.

Keep in mind that:
1. Pure Note only provides a 15 day eval period and it takes at least 7 or 8 days to burn-in.
2. There are several versions of the Epsilon ic and the better ic's are mfg'ed after January of 2002. Each comes with it's own serial number so it shouldn't be too hard to verify.

John, could you elaborate a little bit on the comparision between your current choice and the HT Magic Link One's? I have a pair of the HT's that will require a jack repair, and was thinking about going with a complete RCA-to-XLR retermination from Jim Wang at HT to convert them to balanced, since I seem to have switched to a balanced preamp for the forseeable future.
Alex, sorry but it's difficult for me to recall exactly all the improvements I noticed. Primarily because within a week or so after the PN burn-in, I received my new Audience Au24's sc's, and then a week or so later, my DNA-2 Rev A amplifier.

And those last two upgrades were substantially greater improvements than the HT to PN upgrade and that is where most of my memory lies.

Specifically I only recall a decent improvement in the bass regions, (a bit tighter and more pronounced) and a better articulation in the mids and highs along with a little better dynamic presentation.

In time past, I had never been one to notice night and day differences in cabling. Whether ic or sc. It's always been on the oh-so-subtle and very micro micro-dynamic levels and sometimes not hearing any differences. Only exception being the Analysis Plus 9's which simply were the worst sc's I've ever heard in my system.

The PN's sonic improvements were definitely more than subtle. I also recall there was not much improvement until about the 7th or 8th day. Almost to the hour of what PN recommends for burn-in time.

As a friend once said "if it's not a substantial improvement where you find yourself enjoying the music much more, it's not worth doing."

I like that and try to follow that philosophy now.

With that said, (set pricing aside for moment), sonically the Pure Note Epsilons just barely fit into that substantial improvement category. But when you include Pure Notes price comparisons, it is most definitely a worthwhile upgrade. Because the PN's actually cost less if you compare new prices.

Now, in comparison, the Audience Au24 sc's are so sonically superior to my previous sc's, that I easily would consider them worth the upgrade regardless of price.

The difference in the prices of selling my previous cables and purchasing the new cables was absolutely negligible.

And that made it very much worth the effort.

It's not much info, it's 1:30 a.m., but I hope it helps.

BTW, how's that new pre-amp working? And do you still have the old one?

Working fine, auditioning PC's. The old one will probably be on retainer until it goes back to Coda for a volume-control chip update that they *might* be implementing...I'll know more soon, but if this happens, it's supposed to take care of the ocassional input overload problems. Regardless, it will most likely be sold this spring. Thanks for the cable input. :-)
Analysis Plus cables.
Tekline TL-500S...pure copper prices...little known but great cables at great prices...i also have their
Ag-2 pure silver speaker selling my Silver Audio Symphony 48 cables now
Tara Labs Master Generation are fabulous interconnects. They sound sweet and smooth. 2 other interconnects I really like are, Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II's
and Sonoran PLATEAU Cactus interconnects. Here's Sonoran's site.
1. Make sure whatever your choice, make sure that the cable is a TRUE balanced design and not just a coax with XLR connectors. For exaMPLE, THE Cardas Golden Reference has a different implementation in XLR vs. RCA mode, as it should.
2. I would start with an Innersound balanced cable. Short money. Then, when your tastes become educated, you can upgrade to a higher priced cable. That's part of the fun!
3. You may not find an advantage running the SONY player in balanced mode. It implements its balanced connection rather poorly unless of course you have one of the modified units.
4. You might consider Cardas Golden Reference as an upgrade option. I would also run this in RCA mode with the Sony into the X0.2. I'd also look at the Empirical cable -sound engineering and great sound.
Salman, I compared the balanced outs to the single-ended outs. It's quite easy to do with the SCD-1, since there is one pair of XLR outs and two pair of RCA outs on the unit and they can all be sending a signal simultaneously.

With my pre, I am able to switch inputs in a 1/10th of a second. Thus providing a good A/B comparison.

At the very least, the XLR outs of the SCD-1 provides for greater and perhaps more life-like dynamic swings.

In any case, I like using the XLR outs much more.

Stenho makes a great point about the SCD-1 - always good to listen for yourself! I have a similar reaction to my Marantz SA14 which theoretically is not a "pure" differential design in the analog outputs, I am told.