Yes look at Tara or Purist both great sound.
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It really depends on you equipment, your ears, how critically you listen. You need to have a pretty good system to notice. Now, it will be noticeably louder... but not necessarily a noticeable difference in quality. The volume increase makes it really hard to compare for quality.
I used single ended for 40 years. It was only when my system got to really high level of performance with all ARC stuff... who recommended using XLR as the have all balanced internal design that I finally converted.
XLR lowered the noise floor on my Pass XP-20 to XA100.5's. I wouldn't spend to much to try and see if it makes a difference on your equipment. I used these https://www.dysonaudio.com/collections/facemelters.
I have been completely satisfied with balanced interconnects made with Mogami W2549 cable and Neutrik XLR connectors. These can be made up for you by many pro audio shops. Last time I looked, a pair would be considerably less than $100. You might even get both pair for that.
I had mine made up by ProAudioLA.
I compared them to some expensive name-brand cables with glowing reviews. To do that, I ran single-blind comparisons with four friends, each separately. We all found the expensive cables to be noticeably more colored.
Do yourself a HUGE favor. and save at least a grand or two..
This guy has been as solid as a ROCK for over a year.
54.00 for a pair. 1-3 weeks delivery. I use a 3 meter pair too, dead quiet super detailed, 200+ hours for break in.. there is NO conditioning on the cables..
A week of conditioning on a cooker will net you about a 100 hour break-in in leu of 2-400. They take a LONG time.. Worth every penny X 100, according to some cable manufactures... I see exactly why TOP cable manufactures use this exact cable. The price NO, The quality yes, TOP TOP TOP of the line...
Good work too.. I'm picky.. I've taken this guy stuff apart several times.. Always the same. "THEY" Lock tight the screws and stuff does stay tight... They say it's silver over copper, it's a silver over copper terminal end...
It does NOT glow in the dark...
I have tried a number of balanced cables and every one sounds a bit different, particularly for longer runs. I have 25ft cables between my preamp and monoblock power amps, and the difference between cables is more noticeable. I have found that with balanced cables, the differences between cables is a bit more sublet than with RCA cables, but it's still there.
I'm not saying you need to spend $$$, but IMO it's worth trying out a few different cables to see which ones you prefer in your system.
AES48 dictates which pins are used for what, how shields are used, and how grounding is connected, and assumes a fully balanced source signal and differential or transformer-coupled input. All good things for sure, and critical for achieving the common mode rejection and prevention of ground loops that balanced cables are known for. But there is more to cable behavior/performance than this.
Just like with a single ended cable, the sound quality is still influenced by dielectric material, conductor material, impedance vs frequency, propagation delay vs frequency, connector material, termination method, etc.
You can argue how important these factors are (just as with single ended cables), but they don't become irrelevant just because you are using a balanced connection.
XLR cables with my Atmasphere Amp and preamp won't make too much difference.
Mogami is great, there are 2 types 2549 which I believe is shielded and 2534 unshielded which some say is better than the shielded version.
This guy makes great cables
I got a few from him
Any diff between microphone and interconnect xlr cables?
What people use for interconnects is usually mic cable. It’s optimized for transmitting low-level signals faithfully.
Mogami W2549 is shielded twisted pair (STP) -- the usual config for mic cables. Mogami W2534 is a star-quad configuration -- useful where there is a lot of interference, as it rejects noise even better.
BOTH are SHIELDED, as they should be.
I’ve tried both. The STP is very, very slightly more extended in the high end. I would recommend that unless you are in a situation with a lot of EMI/RFI.
I've generally shied away from using expensive cables in my systems because I've felt I could get more improvement by upgrading components. The most expensive cable I've owned was a pair of MIT MH-770 Reference Shotgun biwire speaker cables, but I traded a piece of gear that I wasn't using for these so didn't actually buy them directly. They did sound good on my Revel Gems but I never actually compared them to other cables.
In my current system, I have a 25' balanced interconnect between my preamp and monoblock power amps. With this length, it's very hard to get demos to try, so I've been experimenting with DIY cables, as well as Belden 1800F from Blue Jeans Cable. I've built cables using DH Labs Pro Studio, Parts Connexion "The Natural", and Neotech NEI-3001 Mk III. All these cables cost me $400 to $600 to make, so not absurdly expensive.
What I noticed, though, is that each cable sounded distinctly different, and none were delivering everything I was looking for. If I could combine the strengths of each, I'd be pretty close.
So I decided to try a higher-end cable to see if it would get me there. I've been reading a fair amount about the Iconoclast cables recently (triggered by the Intellectual People podcast interview with the designer). These cables are sold through Blue Jeans, and they offer a 30 day trial period, even for custom lengths. I also appreciated how forthcoming they are about the cable's design, construction, specifications, measurements, etc. and why Galen (the designer) made the decisions he did.
So my wallet is now considerably lighter, but I'm very impressed with what these cables are doing. I went for the 4x4 OCC variant, which is their most expensive, but still considerably less than other premium cables in this length.
Even with no break-in, these cables were an obvious step up from my other cables. The most noticeable improvements were better dynamics (specifically sharper attack) and more natural decay. After a week of break-in, I've also noticed that vocals have lost any touch of harshness that some of my other cables exhibited. I'm finding I'm enjoying listening to recordings of poorer quality that I had previously avoided.
So, these are keepers for me, and I'm now thinking about a second set (fortunately much shorter and less $$) between my DAC and preamp, as well as considering giving their speaker cables a try.