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What's the difference between using a verb stem and the te-form of a verb. For example:

机を六つも合体させ、まるで小学校.... 
机を六つも合体させて、まるで小学校....
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In terms of meaning, there is no difference.

There is a slight difference in tone, with the させ (the continuative form) being slightly more formal than させて. Because of the minor difference in tone, させ is more likely to be used in written Japanese which tends to be more formal than spoken Japanese. But it is a stylistic difference rather than a semantic difference.

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