Hi, I recently bought a Bartok, started with unbalanced output in to my preamp’s (McIntosh C2500 tube preamp) unbalanced input via a pair of Audioquest Yukon RCA cables, and it sounded great. I received a pair of balanced cable, Audioquest Yukon XLR, a week later; plugged it in and expected it would deliver higher current and therefore sound louder and more power. However, it behaved the opposite, sounding lower power and audible volume. I double-checked the connections but could not find anything wrong. When i increased the preamp volume for balanced input from 38% (comfort volume level for unbalanced connection) to 46% (% is what my preamp displays, not sure how to translate this 8% difference into dB), balanced connection sounded pretty much on par with the unbalanced connection. I looked at the preamp’s input impedance, unbalanced is 22k ohms while balanced is 44k ohms. This probably explains why balanced input sounded at lower volume, based on V = IR. However, I do not have the technical knowledge to say for sure and understand why.
Has anyone experienced what i experienced with Bartok? Does it matter or not? Is balanced input still a preferred connection for you and why? Thanks!