What is the advantage of a balanced interconnect?

How does a balanced interconnect work (perform) as opposed to a regular interconnect?

I've been out of the "market" for a while and am a little behind. It seems "balanced" is better; however, one guy told me that unless I am running long lengths I don't need to worry about balanced interconnects. Equipment would be NAD or Parasound CD Player, undetermined DA Converter (the $3,000 question), tube monoblocks, and Magneplaner speakers (probably just 1.6's). [I think I hope to purchase a DAC with a volume control and run the interconnect directly to the amplifier - no pre-amp. I think.]

A quick primer on balanced interconnects would be appreciated. Thanks
Nothing unless you have runs exceeding 15 feet or a weak signal from your preamp or an ungodly amount of electrical or radio interference in your area.

This is a beaten-to-death thread, so don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of replies.

I have used both, and the only time it made any difference was with 5 meter runs from preamp to amps.

S earch the archives for BALANCED and you'll find more than you need.
Delsfan, the following is interesting, and as Herman mentioned , there is a wealth of info in the forums. Ed.

Unless the all the equipment you buy has electrical interfaces for balanced line interconnects, you can't use them anyway, so don't worry about it.

For home audio equipment balanced interfaces are a high cost "boutique" feature. In pro sound equipment, where balanced line have a real technical advantage, they are routine, and add little to cost.
6db of gain and no hum.
Yep, found the search function on the first page (too tired last night to back up one more page to find it but I knew there must be one).

Sounds like, for my "medium" priced system (I remember when $5K was a lot more than medium), unless I just run across monoblocks whose mfr. states balanced is better, I don't really need to give balanced another thought.

Rwwear...Is 6dB of extra gain a good thing? It will force you to attenuate the signal more by turning your volume control down.

If you have hum when single ended RCA cables are used, your equipment and/or cables have a problem.
All systems have noise whether you hear it or not.
Balanced will null out the 2nd harmonic and have 6db more gain....The system will be cleaner.....Used a single twisted pair and a double twisted pair of the same wire for the tests (SE vs Balanced) between the Blowtorch and JC-1s.....
What 2nd harmonic?
Rwwear...How do I go about evaluating a device that eliminates inaudible noise?
I have not reviewed the suggested thread so this might be redundant: Another factor is that many amps with balanced inputs are not really balanced at all. They just provide the inputs and then internally convert the signal to unbalanced.
The 2nd harmonic is one after the first harmonic, and two before the fourth harmonic.
However you want Eldartford. It's obvious you don't have a balanced system.
Rwwear...And it's just as obvious that you do. I have used balanced lines outside the home audio application, and am well aware of their characteristics. My system doesn't need them. Evidently, yours does.
My system sounds more open, cleaner, clearer, and more dynamic using balanced XLR interconnects at my preamp outputs. No way would I go back to using RCA's at my preamp outputs.The differences are very obvious.
Yours does too Elderfart.
Rwwear...Resort to name-calling says something about you and your opinion.
I apologize for any name calling. It was too easy. But, you should not imply that your system is better than anyone else's.
Nothing like a nice fresh sirloin burger on the grill, I always say.
Rwwear..OK buddy. I am sure that my system is nothing special, but it does not hum. Many characteristics of audio systems require subjective evaluation, but hum is pretty straightforward to detect.