why do i lose center image when i use xlr cables?

i'm running a parasound PLD2000 preamp into an exposure dual IV power amp into a pair of Thiel cs 1.5s, and out of curiosity i decided to try the balanced ins and outs to see if it improved the sound at all. i've found that with the balanced ins and outs you can hear much more recorded detail and airy with better defined sense of space, but my center image is pretty much gone. anything that had been mixed in the middle that used to float there (voices etc.)is gone. does it matter that my sacd player is connected with unbalanced cables? or do i need higher quality cable? (i borrowed a pair of my friend's top quality mic cables)
Try another pair of cables. It sounds like something was mis-wired and you encountered phase problems.
Reposition speakers.
Boo is this the same cable model and brand of cable?
Balance cable are quite,but if the cable xlr, is not
good on imaging,,dont expect to have a better image,
cable are weird.
Find out if that Exposure amp is truly balanced. If it isn't, you're making the signal go through a converter, that won't sound as good as the single-ended (RCA) amp inputs...
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
your cable or equipment is out-of-phase. There're 2 common XLR wirings, you probably need the other one. Or, simply reverse the speaker cable lead (+ to -).
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.
more than likely your cables are out of phase.

just buy a cheap voltage meter from home depot to test the theory.

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.

I just called the local Exposure repair tech. They never
made a balanced amp. Don't bother with balanced cables.