So I am new to this forum and to the audiophile world in general, but I have always loved music and have come to the late realization that my computer speakers just aren't cutting it anymore.
I recently acquired a set of great condition Thiel CS1.2s (for $200 from a local estate sale, which I'm told is a steal, that they are usually ~$350/used) and I'm wondering what to pair them with. As I've noted, I have very little experience with hi-fi equipment.
I will not be connecting my speakers to a CD player or to a tuner or to a home entertainment system (I do not have a TV). I intend to purchase a SONOS CONNECT to play my iTunes music wirelessly (Sonos also makes a CONNECT:AMP, but I'm assuming that I can get a better amp elsewhere) and I also have a cheap Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable, which has a built-in pre-amp (though this pre-amp can be switched off).
My first question is this: What else do I need exactly? As I do not need to connect to a TV and I do not need a tuner, I don't think I need a receiver. I think this means I can get away with an integrated amp or a separate amp and pre-amp (though if I can get away with just the amp, since my turntable has a built-in pre-amp, I would like to do that). Is that right? What about a DAC? As a lot of my music will come from iTunes, I'm wondering whether I need a DAC (or, if I don't need it, whether it will improve my listening experience greatly).
Second, any suggestions for an amp/pre-amp combo or integrated amp? I've read that the Thiels can be a bit on the bright side, so I was thinking of getting a tube amp. I also think tube amps look very slick. The MacIntosh MC275 looks particularly great, though outside of my price range (http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/us/Products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=... ucts&ProductId=MC275LimitedEdition), as does the Neuhaus T-2 (http://www.neuhauslabs.com/amplifiers /), though I get the impression that with its emphasis on USB connections, etc., the Neuhaus not a "real" amplifier. And keep in mind that I do not want to connect this system to my computer directly -- it will only go through the SONOS Connect - so the USB connectivity seems irrelevant to me. I'm probably willing to shell out up to $1200 for an amp if the marginal benefits are great, but I'd like to spend $500-$800. I'm willing to buy used equipment, or new. I would like to get equipment with good visual aesthetics, but its not a deal-breaker.
Third, what about other components, like the DAC? And what about spekaer wires? I read somewhere that somebody spent $3000 alone just for wiring. Yikes!
I'm happy to answer more questions if I've not been clear enough, but I'd really appreciate any advice. I'm eager to get my Thiels up-and-running and move out of the audio dark ages.
Thanks in advance!