How to start assemble a system

Hi All,

New to this forum and would like some thoughts. I currently have a pair of Kappa 9s, Kappa 8s and Polk SDA-SRS. I'm driving the 9s with a pair of Denon POA-6600 for the lows and a pair of Sony's Vfet bridge mono for the highs. The system sounds very good, but the upgrade bugs bit me so I would like to sell all of my stuff and start a new system. My question is should I pick a pair of speakers first then the electronics or the other way around. I'm thinking of getting a used pair Von Schweikert VR4-SR, Legacy Focus or there is a nice pair of Infinity IRS Epsilon. Would these speakers sound better than what I have right now and how much better? I like almost any kind of music from hard rock to classical, jazz except Rap and hardcore country music. I like the 9s better than the Polks, the mid and highs and sound staging are a lot better then the Polks but the Polks are easier to drive and have much better bass. THanks in advance for your inputs.
I would start with the listening room and a budget.

It seems to me that getting right the acoustics of the room first is helpfull,whatever else you select,in whatever order,for whatever amount of money.
You are making quite an upgrade in quality, size (weight), and expense compared to your current speakers. I only have experience with the VR4 JR's so I can't advise you on speaker choice. I will say that if it were me, and I was buying used at Audiogon with no ability to audition in my room first, I would buy the speakers and then focus on pairing them up with electronics that make a good-sounding match. Selling, boxing up, and shipping electronics that didn't work out is much easier and simpler than selling, boxing up, and shipping heavy speakers. (been there done that) My advice is buy the speakers first, then get good deals on electronics and sources here so that if you need to sell them, you can get most or all your funds back. Keep trying electronics and sources until you find what makes the best music with your speakers.
From Kappa8's, I went to Genesis 350's by the same Arnie Nudell. The difference between those two is comparable the difference between the Kappas and a boom box. The Genesis V/501's are in between but I've seen good deals lately on the used market.
I went from Polk 2.3 SDA-SRS speakers to VS VR4SR's. I do not miss the bass of the Polks. The bass with the VRs is so much nicer: clear, good slam, balanced with the rest of the spectrum, and nuanced. It is plenty strong to form a great foundation for the music.
Thanks for the response guys. I guess I'll be selling all 3 of my pair of speakers to get the VR4.

Pragmatist, my room is exactly a 1 car garage that was converted into a home theatre room. How important is acoustic treatment? My room is just a standard room with sheet rocks and carpeted. As for budget, as with any hobby there is no budget. It's just what I can scrape together overtime. Bits by bits so the missus won't notice it right away.

Foster_9, I hear ya, trying to sell my speakers would be a pain in the butt, maybe that's why I'm leaning toward the VR4 since they are seperate boxes and got rave reviews. I'm also looking at Atma for power amps, how good are they?

Ngjockey, wow that much difference? I thought the 9s are pretty good. The Genesis would be nice but they are huge and very heavy. I would love to someday audition the IRS but that will never happens.

Gammajo, agreed, the bass of the Polks is kinda boomy and mids and highs are not that good. I remembered that I was so impress with the Polks when I was in college that I had to get a pair when I had a chance. Now I know better.
Min88 Just to muddy the waters. Some of the Polks in the SDA series such as the 2.3's respond very well to modification. I replaced the plug and play tweeters with newer Polk tweeters and it made a excellent difference in the highs. The Polk site also has plans and plenty of Polkie support for re-doing the crossovers and binding posts, again with reportedly great results. I was just too chicken to get that far into it and knew they would bring more money stock. The 2.3's are still going for $1,000 to $2,500 in great shape with people willing to drive halfway across country to pick them up at your home. Not bad for a 15 year old design. Check the Polk site when you are ready to sell. I feel strongly that I made the right choice going for the VR's rather than modding the Polks further. Was very sad to see them go and then never missed them.