Hello, first post here. Happy owner of Bartok. Loving Mosaic also.
I think I recall reading that the RCA output on the Bartok is via opamp, while balanced is fully discrete. Is this true? I may be new to dCS, but in my many years using higher-end components the consensus was that opamps were usually relegated to either portable or lower-grade equipment. Same with avoiding ribbon cables to conduct audio.
Main reason I ask is that I use Bartok to drive a single-ended First Watt amplifier directly, and with efficient speakers I am attaining great volume and terrific sound quality even with the audio output set to 0.2V and 0dB attenuation. Is there more to be gained via the XLR? If so, I will need to use a preamp that accepts balanced and outputs single-ended (which I do, but prefer not to add to the chain).
Second reason is that in researching this matter I’ve stumbled upon some threads on a certain headphone-oriented forum site where Chord fans were repeatedly pointing these out (opamp and ribbon cable internal interconnects). Chord products are utterly undesirable to me purely on account of their (to me) ghastly visuals, and I do take forum postings from competing products’ fans with tremendous amounts of salt, but nevertheless would like to hear the other side of the story.