What should i upgrade next?

about a year ago i upgraded my speakers to the Thiel 6s (which i love). As soon as i got them though it was clear that i was going to have to upgrade my other equipment. At this point i can only get away with one piece per year (on the used market) so i'm now ready to make the plunge again. The rest of my existing system is:

Conrad Johnson 2300 amp
Conrad Johnson Pv12 Pre-amp
Meridian 506.20 Cd player
Linn Basik (not thinking of upgrading...don't listen to enough vinyl anymore)
Cardas Golden Cross cabling

I was thinking of going all Tube on the amp and so have been considering the Sonic Frontiers Power 3s but i'm curious if people think improving either the cd player or pre-amp would make a bigger difference in sound. In cd players i'd be considering the meridian 508.24 (i've also heard the Electrocompaniet which i also liked but probably can't afford though i would be interested in comparing it side by side to the Meridian). For my ears, the Meridians sound warm and "musical."

anyway, i've gotten great feedback to other questions (as well as purchasing both the Thiel 6s and the Conrad Johnson PV12 through Audiogon) so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

You actually have a well balanced system as it is now. Have you tried upgrading the power cord on the CD player? The CJ gear does not have IEC's if memory serves.

I always felt the PV-12 was very slightly to the dry laid back side. You may not agree. Depends somewhat on the tubes. (I am referring to the CJ stock tubes in my comment.) You could try something a little livelier like a Blue Circle BC3, or a CJ Premier preamp.

A new preamp may require you to also get a separate phono preamp, depending on which one you choose.

You could also go for livelier cables like Siltech.

It is sometimes tough to change speakers. In many ways the system is built around the speakers, since they are the only component which lets you hear/judge your system.
First of all, you have a very nice system. What I would do is upgrade your preamp to a CJ premier 14 - a big jump from the pv 12, or the 17 or a gigantic jump to the 16. Next, I would start with cables and get MIT reference stuff, either 350 reference, evo, or oracles and begin with source to preamp and work down to eventually your speaker wire. Thiels and the oracle speaker cables are amazing together - you'll never hear bass like that until you hear that combination. I think once you get to your level you need reference quality wire to get the absolute most out of you electronics. You'll get many opinions and this is only mine, btw your source is excellent - consider a good after market cord right away if you don't have one - SR master coupler works nice on my Meridian. Good luck, you don't have far to go - you already have a great system.
I found the Electrocompaniet EMC-1 to be less digital-sounding than the Meridian.
Contact me directly re it and especially very inexpensive DIY power cords and dedicated lines for a real, basic system upgrade before you start swapping out components!
thanks for the thoughtful responses. this is why i love this site. i've purchased my Thiels, CJ PV12, and the Cardas speaker cables and interconnects through audiogon and have never been disaappointed.

First, don't get me wrong i'm pretty happy with my system at this point (the most recent upgrade to the Thiel 6s from the 3.6s was an awesome move up) and it's taken nearly 20 years to get here.

I still very much enjoy both the Meridian and CJ sounds(though i agree that if my current CJs have a flaw it's in their being a little too laid back for my tastes...such is the price you pay for such sweet musical sound). I've also had great experiences dealing with CJ customer service (and given some complaints about some manufacturers that i've read on this board i think service is also a factor to consider, especially if you're going to be buying used).

No takers on the move to a tube amp? i've always liked the tube sound so am probably going to go that way eventually. someone sent me a review of the Sonic Frontiers Power 3 monoblocks which according to the reviewer (which of course doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot as we should all know...his ears ain't mine) when paired with the Thiel 6s was one of the best pairings he had ever heard...hence my interest in the Power 3s.

When i posted a question regarding a lack of bass from my Thiel 3.6s a number of the respondants recommended upgrading my cables (which at that point were relatively inexpensive ones) and several recommended the Cardas so when a good deal was offered i took it. Made a big difference. That convinced me on cables and interconnects. guess, i'll have to take the plunge on power cords and see for myself.

I see there's an auction for the Electra Glide Fatboy. what do y'all think about that for the Meridian? Or will i do just as well going for one of the $150.00 Synergistic Research's?

thanks again for all the help.
Try some isolation devices for your preamp and CDP and if you have any money left over get some more for the rest of your gear. Please don't underestimate what good PCs can do. You may find no need to update your already fine system. I think you will be amazed at what Neuance and Sistrum will do to your system.
I'll chime in in support of tube amps! But with the load of the Thiels, you'll need PLENTY of power & current. Haven't heard much about the Sonic Frontiers model you're thinking of, but others to consider have to include Audio Research & VTL(e.g. 225 monoblocks). If your system tends in the direction of too laid back, the hybrid AR models like Classic 120 monoblocks might be a great match.

Also, I second POPS comments on the CJ Premier preamps, the Premier 10 being another one that should be big step up, but @ lower cost than the other newer ones.
Keep us posted! Spencer
I have a cj premier 11 that I use with Theil 1.5's, and really love the sound (though I'm still fine tuning). I think a tube amp would amaze you, if you're anything like me, but I suspect you'll need to bi-amp, or lay out big money for Premier 12. Btw, I'm pretty jealous of your speakers. Have fun, Mark
thanks for the tip mark. i do love the sound of the Thiels and the CJ equipment. As for the speakers, they are a dream. Has taken me nearly 20 years to get here. started with a used pair of the Thiel 3.5s then moved up to the 3.6s (mainly because i couldn't find a pair of the 6s at a price i could afford). Have patience and buy used). i've gotten most of my recent stuff through audiogon. For the speakers i was looking for someone selling close enough so i could pick them up (wound up picking them up outside of Phili a couple of hours from me in NYC). Took several years but finally someone was selling a year old pair for $3800.00. Facturing in the sale of my then current 3.6s it was something i could swing. Now i've gotta start looking at used CJ pre-amps again (as well as considering the cabling and isolation suggestions others have posted.

thanks again.
I run the PV-12al w/ a Premier 11a and absolute love the combo. Prior to the Premier 11a, I had a MF-2250. Although it was powerful enough to run stubborn speakers, I felt it had a slight grain, which to my ears, sounded harsh and fatiguing - but I will say it was great for rock!

The switch to the Premier 11a really opened things up. Wide sound staging, full mids, wonderful dynamics and solid bottom end that really keeps the pace. Any grain or harshness that was present disappeared.

I would actually love to hear the PV12/P11a paired w/ the Thiel 6's, but MP19's right on... you may need to step up to the Premier 12's or better yet, the Premier 8's

Have a blast!