Using the balanced outputs as extra unbalanced output

I am planning to hook up a tube headphone amp & would like to use the XLR outputs on the DSD to drive the amp. The tube amp has unbalanced RCA inputs, so I will build the interconnects to convert to RCA. I thought that all I would need to do was use the positive & Ground connections on the XLR (pins 2 & 1) & leave the inverted connection floating. I see quite a few recommendations on the web showing the neg/inverted output tied to ground for this application. Pins 1 & 3 on the XLR tied together. Can someone tell me the preferred method for connecting the DSD balanced XLR output to an unbalanced RCA amp input.

Shorting any part of an amp’s output sounds like a bad idea to me. Where did you see people recommend that?

So you’re agreeing that I should just connect pins 2 & 1 to the RCA + & gnd.?
BTW the references on Google search were using XLR plugs for purposes other than a balanced analog signal.

That’s an important detail! They might have tied unused wires to ground, which makes sense when they’re unused. But you can easily damage a preamp (or any audio device) by shorting its outputs. At the least, you’ll trip the output protection and not get a signal. But I’d be very surprised if it worked.

Ground and either other pin will work fine. Don’t short any two pins together (it won’t hurt anything, but the sound quality will suffer).

Hey Bugeyed,
That “shorting” you read about on Google has to do with balanced (differential) inputs. Not outputs. So your plan was OK right of the bat. Shorting an output that has an active component driving it is never a good idea. Shorting the second, inverted differential input to ground (pin 1) is necessary to balance the circuit.

I wondered if you run DAC into headphone amp then out of Headamp/preamp into speaker Integrated amp. If it will degrade speaker amp quality? plus I assume as a preamp the volume knob adjusts the volume on the headamp and on the Integrated amp as well. That is no good either. I wonder about both? Thanks