Running Active Speakers - Neophyte Needs Advice

Without thinking it through, a fellow Audiogon member, who happened to be in the same town, had some Quad 12L Actives for a good price and I took the plunge. Only now do I realize that I don't know how to run them properly and need suggestions about the best price/quality method. By standards here, I'm on a very low budget. Space limitations suggest these speakers should do double duty for two channel stereo and DVD's. There's one RCA input and one balanced XL input on the back of each. Powered on, they are silent at any volume, but I've already noticed that RCA lines from my CD player create a very low hum, a concern I hope can be rectified.

Is a preamp mandatory? Will the speakers overload if I (can?) hookup an AV receiver while I'm deciding how to proceed?

As part of this hi fi upgrade, I would spend in the ballpark range of, say, $1K to get the right equipment: Quad 99 preamp? Quad 24 preamp (tubes, etc.)? Quad 99 CDP-2 that may (?) also hook into a DVD player? Other/cheaper alternatives? A cusory look into balanced output preamps makes me think I've stumbled way out of my preferred price points.

Otherwise, I'll just try to resell them and go to 12L passives. Thanks!!

For the hum, try reversing the interconnects at the respective speaker and source ends. Usually a shield is hooked to one end and if you have it the wrong way you could get hum/noise.

All you need is a volume control to run those speakers, whether it's an active or passive preamp. If your AV receiver has stereo preamp outputs, you can use those. Sometimes the speakers themselves have a volume control, but I know it's a pain to adjust each speaker every time you want to change volume.

You might even be able to use an adapter and run the output from a volume-controlled headphone output to the RCA inputs on your speakers, but the results will depend on the design of the particular headphone circuit.
Other/cheaper alternatives?
Check out-Luminous Audio Axiom preamp-best bang for the buck. Only drawback is one source for inputs. Can be had in SE or BAL.
For 1k you should be able to find a nice used preamp that has balanced outputs. Whatever you do, DO NOT sell the actives and replace them with the passive version. You would most likely be taking a step backwards sonically.

I have some active speakers and I love them. I probably won't own passive speaker sgain.
I also own the Quad Actives and would N-E-V-E-R own passive speakers again. I've compared the 12L Actives to their passive consumer counterpart, and everybody in the room felt that they were two pairs of speakers from opposite ends of the comparison whatsoever.
I'd look for a used Simaudio P-3. It's got balanced in's and out's, sounds great, and can be had for <$1,000.

I also own active speakers and will probably not own a passive speaker ever again.
I would never own passives again either.
Besides the Quads, what active speakers do you all own?