Better to change Speakers first or new Preamp+amp

I would like some advice...

I currently have a Classe SSP800 with a Krell Theater Amplifier Standard (5x200) and a Krell KAV2250 running a B&W 700 surround sound system(703s for the L/R with the matching center and surrounds). I watch a lot of movies, but listen to mostly music; probably 30/70.

I am ready to upgrade and I really feel like my B&W speakers are now the limiting factor. I am interested in going with the Wilson Sophia 2s with the Watch Center. A big chunk of change, but I was blown away by their sound.

I told the sales guy my plan to upgrade and he told me that if I enjoy music the most I am better off buying a good preamp along with a good two channel amp with the money instead of the speakers first. (He recommended a Boulder 810 Pre with the Boulder 860 two channel running in home theater pass through for movies). I can then later upgrade the speakers.

Does this make sense?

If it was me and my money, I would buy the speakers. Your electronics are pretty decent.
Speakers first.

I'd walk away from that salesman.
Agree with the above. The salesman is trying to milk you for extra business too soon. If you like the Wilsons, go for them. Better yet, if you can audition the Wilsons in your system, that's the sure way to know if you made the right move. Even if you stay in the B&W line, their higher lines will make a nice improvement as well.
no question for me, either - the speakers.
" I really feel like my B&W spekers are the limiting factor" You answered your own question already! It is always what you feel is right. Your ears your money , till you give it to the Boulder salesman that is. Nice gear you own now ...pull the trigger on the speakers.... would be my choice anyway. Cheers
I tend to agree with the above, but why take our word for it. With the amount of new gear you're considering buying, ask him to let you borrow amps and speakers for a long weekend, and hear for yourself. Take a couple vacation days, and duke it out in the comfort of your own home. This is how real high end dealers do it.
Build a system around speakers, not electronics.

Your salesman should know that.

Tell him.
Yea, with that outlay of cash borrow the amp and preamp, then the speakers and decide for yourself.
Speakers come second directly after finding a good room for you system.
Shadorne - What is a "good" room and how does one go about finding it? Hmm ... (answering my own question) perhaps you are suggesting he move his system to different rooms and listen/measure for optimal placement? Assuming he has more than one room to try, this is a very good idea. Assuming he has only one room (to use for audio) then speakers first! Yes?
This thread could go on for months if we start talking about room treatment, but yes, room treatment is an important part of the equation.
This seems like this scenario is repeated over and over again and again. It seems like a lot of shops are good at selling B&W with classe, krell, or rotel and then the poor buyer gets wore out by the sound and has to effectively start again. I guess it must be a path of least resistance thing.

My advice, do a ton of listening to a wide variety of speaker types with different types of pre/amp configurations before you plunk down the dough. The speaker and amp combo is so important that you could get into an expensive tail chasing exercise.
One of the most important and hardest things about building a system you truly love is finding the speakers that really blow you away. Sounds like you may have found that, and I'm sure they'll sound pretty damn good with your electronics -- probably not up to their potential but you'll certainly get a lot of what made them so special to you. You can always experiment w/ lots of amps and pres later (much easier than carting speakers to your home to audition by the way), and I'd bet a good buck the sound you'll get in the meantime will be more satisfying than if you hooked the Boulders up to the B&Ws. Not sure the salesman has your best interest in mind here -- go figure. Best of luck.

As for room, I'd say for a very small room (12 x 12 feet) then I'd tend to lean towards a nearfield listening position, away from any walls and with small monitors and a sub. The intention would be to reduce the impact of the room as much as possible.

In the ideal case of a medium sized room (20+ feet to 50 feet on each side) then I'd go large three way floorstanders and with one or two optional subs.

Very large rooms (50+ feet) don't tend to be as good as you can long reverb times - jut like a gymnasium - unless very heavily treated for acoustics.

So the room/application is important prior to selecting tyeh speaker...
A 12x12 room is the absolute worst room you could start with..A square room is something to avoid like the plague,most if not all know that..I cant imagine having a house with a room 50' wide either...
I personally thought that the sales guy was just trying to sell me more gear, but I wanted to get this forums opinion.

Thanks for confirming my suspicians.

By the way my room is 16 x 20. And, yes, room treatment will definitely be a part of the set up.
I would choose 5-6 different speakers to listen to BEFORE making a decision. The Wilsons are a great speaker and will be very nice with your Krell electronics and/or other electronics down the road. Listen to some other speakers you really like too, like buying a car - test drive a few first.

Definately get the speakers first. Boulder with B&W 7 series is a terrible mismatch.....not sure what your sales guy was thinking......
Go with speakers first, the ssp800 is a very good 2-ch pre-amp also. Almost on par with the krell evo-202 and the theta cb3. Changing the 700 series will be a substantial improvement though I would try non-B&W speakers just to see what other brands have to offer. Wilson is a good choice though the dollars are comparatively high (for similar improvement) vs other competing brands such as revel.
The Sophia IIs are in a whole different league than your 703s - and that's not knocking the 703s, as they truly have a remarkable midrange. That upgrade alone will net you real tangible (audible) differences. How many times have you upgraded electronics only to find a slight improvement? The speaker upgrade is the way to go – you’ll hear a big difference.
For what it’s worth, I went from the 703s to the Krell Resolution IIs and heard a huge difference. A fellow Agoner went from the Krell Resolution IIs to the Sophia IIs and reports even greater improvements.
My advise is to find a different dealer.
The speakers for sure
Definately get the speakers first. Boulder with B&W 7 series is a terrible mismatch.....not sure what your sales guy was thinking......

The salesperson knows that the boulder set-up alone isn't going to get his customer to where he wants and nobody can argue with Boulder so in all likelihood the victim will turn around and buy new speakers very soon. So he will sell both a boulder set-up and speakers instead of just speakers.

I agree with the others in that you should seek a reputable dealer that is willing to direct you to what is best for you and not him.
This dealer isn't in Southern California by chance? Find a dealer that isn't pushing selling new equipment. Your SSP-800 is a great unit to use a preamp processor.