Try another pair of cables. It sounds like something was mis-wired and you encountered phase problems.
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All good suggestions above. It is possible for one "balanced" component to not be wired the same as another component. That is, they use different pin configurations for the wiring inside each component. The plugs will plug in, but hot, neutral and ground may not be the same at each end. In effect, the signal gets whacked up even though you still have sound. there are two different pin configurations being used so you have to make sure that all the "balanced" components that you are using make use of the same pin-out. Sean
I can 99% say that one of your equipment is using other pin rather than pin 2 for signal carying; therefore causing an "out-of-phase" stereo image. Easy fix by toggle switching positive & negative at your speaker cables. If your preamp of CD player has a "INVERT" or "PHASE" button (or knob) toggle it.
We generally say "out of phase" when polarity is different
between channels. What is going on here is not a channel difference and
therefore not out of phase, but it may be that polarity is reversed on
both channels because one of your components has a different pin
configuration (probably the Exposure amp has pin 3 hot). I'm still
surprised that it would produce the problem you describe.
On second thought, maybe you do have a phase problem. Try reversing
the leads on the speaker cables on ONE channel and see what that does.