Yeah, I just got the XLR cable in today. Switching from balanced to SE (I have a liquid platinum that can do this easily with just one press of a button) does cause massive difference to jump out at me. Balanced is not necessarily "brighter", but... maybe it's "clearer" sounding? It'll sound cliché but it's exactly like lifting a veil. Bass is cleaner overall, treble is indeed slightly smoother, but I think it was more because SE had slightly more cloudy sound that caused treble sharpness to jump out more. I think SE has very smooth treble already. I certainly wasn't annoyed by the usual kpop suspects. But midrange is the largest change overall for me. Balanced is far cleaner and clearer. It almost sounds like balanced is mid-centric but in reality, it's just SE is veiled. Liquid Platinum + Amperex tubes (the bassy config) coupled with mid-centric Modius balanced sounds like "guilty pleasure" for me. In direct comparison, even out of balanced, Modius is still warmer/smoother than Modi 3 or Fiio M15 to me. The other 2 sound "bright", with more digital treble. I'd avoid calling Modius' treble R2R-like, but it does sound very R2R-like for a delta-sigma DAC.