Space restrictions mean that moving my stereo system is not an option.
I am a total newcomer to XLR connections and balanced cabling. I had read some comments about XLR to RCA cable connections on the Chord UK website but just assumed they were balanced cables (as they didn't state otherwise). Having now read a little more on this topic, my current understanding is that you only get a balanced connection if it is supported by the electronics at both ends (which would not apply in my case as my stereo pre-amp only has normal RCA phono inputs). Chord's comments on XLR to RCA cable connections also caused me to assume that they sold such cables within their generally very expensive XLR range. This is not the case.
Are you of the opinion that it would be totally pointless to use the XLR outputs of the Oppo in my situation? I have been using a high quality 8m RCA to RCA cable between my AV amp and stereo pre-amp for many years without any obvious problem.
For more on this, see the BlueJeansCable article: A Question of Balance, particularly the final paragraph,