solidstate system to single ended...should I?

I have no experience with low powered high end tube amps. Right now I am using a Karan Ka-i180 integrated amp and Merlin VSM-M speakers. The system sounds great, but I have the bug to try something completely differant. My system before the Karan was a Melos MAT-180 amp and Melos Maestro preamp. I like the Karan better. I tried, in the past, Conrad Johnson PV-10 preamp and GAS Ampzilla and enjoyed that warm sound. I realize that my speakers do not have the efficiency for low powered amps so they will need to be changed too.

My question is can anyone that went the same route (from solidstate to low powered amps) make some recomendations? I am considering the Dared preamp and maybe their amps and for speakers, I have no idea. My price is based on what I can get for my speakers and amp. I assume about $2500.00 for the speakers and $2000.00 for the amp/preamp.

I listen only to CD through an Eastsound CD-E5 player.
While I don't have any experience going from solid state to SET, I can tell you I looked very closely at getting into SET and came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth trading out my speakers (Spendor 1/2e) so I went in a different direction (the speakers I was considering were the Zu Druid at $1800 and an Audio Note Kit at $1900).

Since you appear to understand and accept trading out your speakers I will make a recommendation to you for reserach purposes. In consideration of the fact that you are looking at Dared equipment, you should go to the Decware site and look at what they are offering. Both in terms of speakers, amps, and preamps. Now given that you only listen to CD I will also throw this out there which could save you some money and allow you to throw more dollars at the amp and speakers. You could get a set of attenuators like those made by Endler ($160 new) and EVS (~$200 or so used). These hook up to the inputs on your amp and provide stepped attenuation like any other volume control and it is geared for single source. If you need remote, you could try the Welborne or Space Tech Lab units instead (both these vendors also offer nice SET amps and tube preamps) which will only require the additional cables to implement.
I would look into ART Audio for the amp.... They may be a bit out of your price range (I think a used Carrisa usually sells for around 3k) but if you can stretch it a bit they are very good amps. There is a Wyetech Onyx' on Audiogone right now for about 3k and these are really nice amps too.

For the speakers...... Can you give us more info on what you like music/presentation wise? You might check out some of the 3a De Capo's, or some of the horns Audiogone user johnk sells.

My $.02

I assume my Merlin VSM-m's sound better then the 3a De Capo's and horns probably would be the way to go for me, but not sure. If I get an amp that is 18 wpc, I think a 93db or better speaker is necessary. I like 70's rock, but not the hard stuff. I am more into older Genesis when Gabrial was the singer, Yes, Gentle Giant, America, etc. The speakers would need to go into the mid 30's or better. Amp Kits are fine too or low powered single ended integrateds. I would prefer a remote for volume.
squash that bug.....and really listen to music(old and new) on your have what many feel are a world class pair of speakers. unless you want to give up on rock and classical, stay where you are.
I went from Goldmund Dialogues powered by Jeff Rowland 201 monoblocks and his Concerto preamp to a pair of Zu Druids and an Onix SP-3 integrated tube amp. I received nearly $10K for what I sold and spent $3500 on what I bought. In the process I upgraded my system by an order of magnitude.
In reading the posts on here I notice that some of the products I mentioned are greatly misunderstood. The Onix integrated puts out a very ballsy 38 watts per channel and the Zu speakers are rated at 101 db efficiency. I tried an Antique Sound Lab Orchid SET integrated that uses 2a3 tubes and puts out 3.2 watts per channel. It sounded absolutely beautiful but didn't have enough punch to replace the Onix. I also tried a Red Wine Audio Clari-T amp which is a 6 watt per channel battery powered amp and it did pretty well sounding surprisingly much like the SET but still a bit meager in the boogie department. I concluded from these experimentations that if you want your Druids to rock, you need about thirty strong watts. And boy do they ever rock with that Onix behind them. I had never experienced that sort of bottom end from a tube amp before. I hope this is the sort of answer you were seeking.
It is hard to chance an upgrade Jaybo, knowing that my speakers and amp are very good, but I am looking at what Macrojack is talking about. He was were I am. Thanks for the info.
If you have the chance, I would strongly recommend listening to some SET/hi-efficiency setups with YOUR music before selling off your equipment to make the leap. Someone who listens primarily to Norah Jones at low volume levels will not necessarily have the same recommendation as another who wants to make sure that Rush doesn't fall apart when the volume goes up.

We have owned a 4W SET, a 6W SET, and a 200W SS amp at the same time. Everything is a trade-off, you have to audition in order to be clear about what it is you are willing/not willing to give up. The choice between the two is also dependent upon whether you are generally sitting in the sweet spot, actively listening (meter tipping toward SET), or often find yourself in other rooms, with a desire to have the system pressurize the entire house with music (needle swings back towards SS).

Proceed cautiously, information in hand. Or in ear, as it were. If you do opt for the SET system, I would recommend modding/upgrading a vintage Klipsch or Altec speaker, which you can get for $1200 or less, will sound killer with SET amps, and will leave you more money for the best preamp you can buy. Just my two pennies.

Good luck in your hunt.
I had Solid State,an old Sansui integrated beast(very nice though)from the 70's.I now own the Wright WPA 3.5's and am using a Eastern Elecric Minimax preamp with that.Used you should be under $2000.Brand spanking new you will be about at $2500.Read some reviews of both of these products and i don't think you will be to dissapointed in having at least auditioned them.You can audition the Minimax for 30 days with full money back FYI.Speakers are another matter.I happened to own very efficient horn speakers and ya know they were not very expensive and sound terrific.They are the Bag End TA15 cabinet in birch.I believe they are discontinued but are now made as a trapezoid speaker.They are large but there is also the lil brother with the 12" woofer and horn that i also own in birch.Very nice speakers but not as open as the larger speaker with the larger horn.Both are around 103-101 db efficiency and are driven WELL(all styles)for my tastes with only 4 watts with this preamp.The speakers do not have great wife appeal but they sure sound fine to me.All within your budget i believe.Oh but what about CABLES!! hah ; )
Good luck and let us know how your journey turns out!
I am going to find a local dealer and take a listen. I appriciate all of the comments. I will keep you posted.