need opinions on getting out of HT into 2 channel

When I started my stereo's, I thought I would listen to HT more than 2 channel. But now the opposite is true. Recently my 2 channel amp caught on fire, so I have moved my rotel 6 channel in and am using that. I put my denon 2801 up for sale, but am considering selling all of my gear and starting fresh with a good 2 channel system. Here is what I have-

Denon DCM-560 CD Player
Apature Silver Coax Digital Interconnect
Audio Alchemy DTI DA converter
MIT T3 Digital Coax Interconnect
Sony TA-E1000esd Preamplifier
Axiom Loudspeakers M40ti Speaker
Monster Power HTS2000 AC filter
MIT Terminator 3 Digital Interconnect
Sony SCD-CE775 SACD Player
Apature Toslink Optical Cable Interconnect
Proscan DVD Player Video
Phillips S-VHS VCR Video
Sony XBR41 Video
Denon AVR-2801 Surround Pre
MIT 330 Plus Series IC Interconnect
MIT Terminator 2 IC Interconnect
Rotel RB-976 Amplifier
MIT Terminator 2 Speaker Cable Speaker cable
Klipsch KG-4 Monitor
MIT Terminator 4 Speaker cable
Klipsch KV-3 Monitor
Carrol Studio Series Silver Speaker cable
Klipsch KG-1.2 Monitor
Monster Power 2500 AC filter

Of these components what should I sell? I really like the klipsch speakers that I have, but only for HT use. My new apartment is configured in such a way that I really only need one stereo for now.

First off, I am looking to get a "warm and musical" system, I don't really want something that is too detailed and is going to give me a headache. I mainly use CD/SACD, but I would probably get some vinyl (like a MMF 2.1 or something used in the $150-300 range to start).

I currently use the Sony TAE-1000ESD (maybe a tough item to sell) in my 2 channel system. I can either build the system with a integrated or a amp/tae-1000esd.

The integrateds I was looking at were on the top price wise the Krell KAV-300i (much more powerful, maybe someday would like to move toward a little more demanding speaker) to more realistic the Audio Refinement Complete (have heard this with my Axioms and sounded very nice) or Bryston B-60 (like the idea of a 20 year warranty, but have not had the chance to hear a bryston product).

If I kept the Sony (what are people's opinions who have heard this pre or have owned it) and went the amp route ($700 budget), I would be looking at maybe the McCormack line (perhaps a micro drive or the next model up), B&K, Rotel, Aragon, Bryston, or perhaps some type of hybrid tube amp.
I love Krell amps and have owned them for years, but I wouldn't recommend the 300i - I have talked to several people who have used it and found it lacking.

The McCormack amps get really nice comments, so if there's one in your price range, that would probably be an excellent choice. I'd also consider one of the Muse amps that are often for sale here - the Model 100 or 160 in particular. They also have a well-regarded pre in the Model 3. For some reason, Muse gear is well regarded but sells cheap on the used market. It would be high on my list if I was shopping in your price range.
You don't indicate if you have a budget, or if you want to undertake the conversion to 2-channel in stages. More information about your plans would help forum members to provide you with appropriate suggestions.

By way of introducion, I should tell you that I share your bias toward 2-channel, but I also enjoy HT on occasion. I tried to build my own system so it offered first-rate 2-channel sound, but also did a good job with HT. On the whole, I think my system does a fine job with both formats. (For specific info about the components I own, my system is listed in "Virtual Systems" - see link below).

There are two schools of thought about where to start on a good audio system. One group says start at the source end of the chain (CD player, turntable, etc.), while the other group tends to focus more on the amplifier/speaker chain. I personally think that there are no longer great differences between a good analog vs. good digital source, and the audio quality differences between CD players have narrowed considerably over the past 5 years. Further, putting aside the debate over the merits of SACD vs. DVD-A, I think that the differences between CD players in a given price range, and SACD/DVD-A players in the same price bracket, are pretty minor.

As a generalization, I'd suggest you initiate the changes in your system in the following order: speakers, then preamp, and then amp. In my personal opinion (based on about 40 years as an audio buff), speakers make the greatest difference of any component in your system, so start there. In most audio systems today (assuming the person does not have a turntable system), the speaker is the only transducer in the signal path. Transducers convert electrical energy into mechanical energy (or vice versa, in the case of a phono cartridge), and are subject to non-linearities that can really degrade sound quality. Hence, you want a transducer that converts the signal with as little distortion as possible. Furthermore, speakers are usually based on the listening biases of the designer, with the end result often being rather subjective. (IMO, too many "audiophile" speakers have problems, such as lack of flat frequency response, lack of time and phase accuracy, etc.)

Next in order is the preamp. The preamp must take signals with very low voltages and amplify them before the amp adds the juice needed to drive the speakers. These low voltage signals must be amplified VERY accurately, which requires a very good electrical design. Flat frequency response, for example, is absolutely critical in a good preamp. There are some differences between the "sound" of a tube preamp vs. a solid state preamp, although the best preamps of either type are very neutral. Your choice of tube vs. solid state may be dictated somewhat by your own listening tastes, so you may want to audition a good example of both tube and solid state preamp before making a final choice.

The final item in the chain is the amplifier. There are a lot of good amps on the market today, both solid state and tube. The choice of amplification method (transistors vs. tubes) is a matter of personal choice -- I've owned both, sold both, and personally think that solid state amps make the most sense today (that sound you hear is the howls of protest from tube amp owners). So, the objective in selecting a power amp is to find one that is most compatible with your speakers. Most speakers (again, a generalization) that have relatively low nominal impedances (say, down to about 3-4 ohms) will perform better with a solid state amp that is capable of delivering good current and good damping at lower impedances. Speakers with relatively high nominal impedances (say, 12 ohms) are more compatible with tube amps, which generally work better with high impedances. Ultimately, you need to audition the amplifier with the speakers you decide to buy -- and do so in your home if at all possible.

I'll conclude my input by returning to your remark that you want a "warm and musical system". Given that, you should look at the Vandersteen 3A Signatures or the Vandersteen Model 5's, depending on the size of your budget. As you will note from looking at my system, I own Vandersteen speakers, and think they not only make wonderful music, but are great for HT and offer excellent value as well. Even if you decide to buy a different speaker brand, the Vandies should be on your short list given your listening desires.

After you have made these major changes to your system, you can worry about getting a newer CD/SACD player, or doing some fine tuning with different interconnects or speaker cables. But that's a whole new thread...
I would like to do it in stages, I would prefer to keep the axiom speakers as I just bought them a couple of weeks ago and am happy with their performance for now. At some point I probably will own Vandersteen speakers, I am from the Hanford/Lemoore area where they are produced but have never found a pair that I could pickup rather than pay for shipping.

My budget is somewhat limited, based upon what items I sell. The first things to go would probably be the 2801 receiver and the Rotel 6 channel amp. I should be able to get somewhere between $650-750 to spend on a upgrade. With that money I could get the Audio Refinement Complete Integrated or again purchase a McCormack Micro or .5 amp. Then the next thing I would sell is my Klipsch speakers. I think I could probably get about $800 for them, at that point could also sell the Axiom speakers too and have around $1100 for speakers. Or purchase a better pre-amp (something such as the Adcom 750 with home theater pass through) and cables. Once I had the 2 channel where I wanted it, then I would probably think about adding in HT again. Really I have not been able to hear many components or systems and am unsure wether or not a integrated would be the best investment at this point vs. a amplifier.

If you still have a use for HT, I would keep the receiver. I downgraded my HT and upgraded my stereo about 10 months ago. I'm happy, and I haven't looked back. I sold my Proceed pre/pro and Classe multi-channel amps, bought a Denon AVR-1802 receiver ($350)for HT. I bought a Classe CP-60 preamp w/phono. The CP-60 also has a SSP bypass input, which I take the front preamp outs from my Denon and have them drive my Vienna Acoustic Beethoven for my fronts in HT, using my Threshold T400 amp. The Denon receiver only powers the rears (phantom center). So I have a system that is very good for stereo, but still capable of good HT. You know what? I think your so visually distracted when watching a movie, that I don't really miss the High end HT. The Denon does fine. Try to find a good stereo preamp that you like the sound of, and look for one with a SSP passthrough. There are many of them out there.
BTW, I agree with your desire to get into analog. My CP-60 has a nice little phono stage, and I listen to a lot of LP's these days.
I'd sell the Rotel 6 channel amp, the Sony pre and the Denon pre/pro. Then buy an inexpensive HT receiver, and an integrated amp or seperate preamp/amp with SSP bypass (and a phono stage, although the receiver probably will have a phono stage that will be good enough until you can get more funds). Buy the MMF turntable, and you are started on your way.

Good luck, and have fun,
I can't suggest what you do with your HT equipment, but here is the "warm and musical" system that I built.

Rega Planet 2000 CDP
Creek 5350SE Integrated Amp
Vienna Acoustics Mozart speakers
Carda Cross interconnect
Cardas Quadlink powercord (amp)
Cardas Twinlink powercord (CDP)
Kimber 4TC speaker wire

It has a very nice sound, especially if you like the warm and musical type of presentation. Total cost around $6000. Down the road I may upgrade to Cardas Cross speaker wire which should give an even warmer sound. Good luck!
I have simular set-up (Rotel 976, Klipsch rf-3ii & Paradigm minis)

I would say that you give Mcintosh listen (my personal favorite & will soon own something from them in way of amps\integrateds). Also check out paradigm studio series if you haven't already. The combo sounds outstanding (paradigm & Mcintosh). Can't wait to see what Mcintosh can do for my Klipsch.

Good Luck,
Thinks for the suggestions, as I have moved to a new town my local dealer carries some of the products that have been mentioned, so I will do some more studying. Will post back what I end with.

I went from HT 5.1 to 2CH stereo. Piece by piece I dismantled the HT system, which I sold to my brother and replaced it with lusher 2CH components (around an Audio Alchemy solid state system at that time). If I were to do it again, I wouldn't start with HT. But if I had a HT, I would still slowly dismantle it as I did previously. Researching and listening to as many componenets along the way as I could.

I started by retaining my old L/R HT fronts, and bought a used preamp, then saved and bought an amp the next month. That worked for a while, then I replaced the CD source. Utimately I was not happy with the speakers. So the advise to start with speakers that you like and build around them is sound advise. It's silly to buy an amp first. You can certainly try buy an lush, warm, high current amp (doubles wattage at each impedance halving) thinking it will drive any speaker you could possibly buy. But even then, as I found, you still won't always have the correct "synergy."