I don't remember when balanced cables came onto the high-end audio scene but I do remember when no one but recording studios and radio stations had even heard of them. In the 70s, 80s, even into the 90s, single ended cables were the norm for audio systems. My many years in broadcasting and recording studios had made me familiar with the traditionally recognized benefits of balanced cables like lower distortion and noise but not the sonic benefits we recognize today: increased clarity, openness, and harmonic richness. How could we have known back then? Very few products had balanced inputs and outputs and the few that did seemed there more as a selling feature than practical benefit; often incorrectly engineered. Good news sometimes spreads slowly (with apologies to the old chestnut). By the late 90s and into the new century, balanced ins and outs took hold of our industry. Those of us understanding balanced audio's potential for lowered noise and distortion were delighted to discover her other remarkable traits. Time and again I attempt to sway disbelievers from the tenuous connection of single-ended RCA to the wonders of balanced audio whenever possible. If you'd like more information on balanced vs. single ended I put together a little video you can watch here.
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