Re. fully Balanced & Unbalanced/Balanced circuits.


Well-known member
Nov 25, 2007
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Hi Guys,

Arranged more demo.'s with Primare's Pre30 pre-amp. & A32 power-amp. combo.Have to say the extra clarity,expansiveness & seperation when using their balanced inputs/outputs makes a hell of a difference compared to using phonos.But,i've since been informed that the Primare's internal circuitry isn't fully balanced.I understood it was(?).

This time though i'll be comparing the Primare kit alongside Marantz's SA-11S2,SC-11S1 & SM-11S1.Although i understand that these components also sport an unbalanced/balanced circuit design.

Anyone have experiences or thoughts regarding these components' circuit design? Or the Marantz players predecessor the SA-11S1? How detrimentally would an unbalanced/balanced circuit design affect performance,in comparison with a component having a fully balanced design?

As i'm also keen to partner my eventual choice of amps with a player that has decent CD & SACD capability,i've been advised to consider manufacturers like Accustic Arts & Esoteric - esp. Esoterics' X-03SE CD/SACD player.

Apart from Accustic Arts Tube-DAC II,i can't find any recent reviews of Accustic Arts & Esoterics wares in my WHF?S&V mags.Anybody have experience with these brands & models? Or know of any reviews - perhaps online?

But the main stumbling block seems to be finding dealers who stock the likes of Accustic Arts,Esoteric,Leema,Marantz aswell as Primare.Thereby making like-for-like,side-by-side comparison difficult.

By the way.Whilst arranging my latest demo.,just by chance,i had the opportunity to play one of my CD's on Chord Electronics' Red Reference upsampling CD player,CPA 5000 pre-amp & SPM 4000 power-amp.

Never heard Dave Grohl & Foo Fighters' 'Skin & Bones' CD sound so damned awesome!!!

I'd appreciate your thoughts.



New member
Jul 28, 2007
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SACD, try Mcintosh MCD 201 as it is very good with CD replay too.

Esoterics is well regarded worldwide (although I wasn't too impressed with AZ-1 amp!), if you gonna spend this kind of (or forum's answer) wouldn't help you! DEMO.

Oh and as for balanced's subject, my old Krell 400Xi sounded the same between balanced and single end used (balanced sound louder but not better) although my GamuT gain at least 20% dynamic when used in balanced mode so I don't understand it either!