Balanced v SE is a dilemma. I have balanced Alessandro MS1, Hifiman HE500, fostex Rp40 modded. I found a slight improvement soundstage, articulation and separation. But in my opinion it did not justify the cost as my mood probably made more difference. I prefer my Mapletree tube amp(SE) to balanced. On the other hand Grado Gs1000, Sennheiser Hd600 scale up and definition improves dramatically in balanced mode. They never sound as good in SE mode.