If you don’t have noise, balanced won’t be a help, really. But, VPI does allow a BALANCED BOX to be added to some of their products.
I use ICONOCLAST UPOCC 1x4 RCA cables and have zero noise issues with the ground design used in the RCA cable.
Noise INCLUDES the input end, too. RCA is far simpler and thus less prone to coloration. But, if the input side also adds a jump in DCR, it can ADD noise to the RCA system that the cable isn’t…it’s all going to add up.
The RCA are smaller and plenty flexible even in the ICONOCLAST Teflon design. Don’t use XLR modified as RCA or the benefits of a good RCA aren’t going to be heard, the basis in each design is very different as I
tried to convey earlier.
Both systems can be pretty good if you use the right cables. XLR in short lengths won’t be impacted much by common to differential noise conversion over a shorter reach. Then again, the benefits of noise reduction aren’t there.
The big XLR advantage is a stronger signal, and that’s not to be trifled with when using a low output device since better S/N ratio can provide a seriously good bump in “blackness”. This is what is really happening with the change to XLR.
The better XLR signal level is what you are after using XLR, especially if you have NOISE already. It is the right step to mitigate the problem.
I use a Pass Labs XP-25, so the RCA is perfectly fine in my system so “better” isn’t really better at the noise level I experience with RCA (can’t hear it eight inches from the speaker).