I had the same experience as you. It was more apparently with my headphone setup than my 2 channel, though. When I tried the BAL, I literally said "whoa... holy details..." But I would agree with the others -- I think it really depends on the system, and it's not like using the SE outputs is like using a "broken" DAC. IIRC, I remember seeing some measurements showcasing something like -0.5dB down from 300Hz and below with the SE outputs? Don't quote me on the validity of that statement.