Good Center Channel for Avantgarde Uno 2.0

Hello all,

I have a 2 channel system that i expanded to home theatre duties also. Right now i use a Mirage MCSi for the center channel duties and find that the sound is a litte boxy. I'm trying to find a speaker that may match better with my Avantgarde Uno 2.0 speakers. I've been waiting for an Avantgarde Solo speakers to come on sale here in the classifieds but nothing has come, up so its time for me to move on and find a good center channel speaker. My current system is below:

Avantgrade Uno 2.0 Speakers
Yamamoto A08s Amplifier
Supratek Chenin Preamp/HT bypass
Basis 1400 Turntable
Modwright Oppo 105 modded bluray player
Denon X5200W Receiver
Modded MAC Mini Server for movies and music
Mirage Omni Micro speakers for SR, SL, SBL, SBR
Mirage Omnicans 5 for ceiling height speakers

I use the Denon receiver when watching movies, the speakers are configured for Dolby Atmos. I want a center channel speaker that is less boxy sounding than the Mirage MCSi. When i listen to 2 channel everything gets bypassed and i use the Supratek and Yamamoto for the that. Any recommendations on a center channel would be great. I was looking at the JTR Noesis 228ht center channel and the Martin Logan Motif X. Happy New Year Everyone!!
here's the deal...with this kind of system, and those specific speakers, you have only three basic options, if you plan on committing to your Avantgardes for HT double duty. You either bypass the center speaker altogether, or get the Solo center, or you get some other full range Uno, or whatever. That is it! You CANNOT mix another speaker in the center!! You will most definitely compromise the cohesion of the sound stage, by having different coloration across the sound stage. There is no mixing another brand. No! In fact, before Id considered another brand in the middle, I'd completely do a separate multi ch speaker system for HT, leaving the Avantgardes for music only. You simply must not mix and match the main 3 speakers if you value a quality seamless sound stage up front.
And, the thing really with those speakers is, that they are SOOOOO directional and beemy anyway, you cannot sit very much off axis from them as it is, and not have the sound from the mids/highs roll WAY OFF anyway! So, in that respect, I feel those speakers are really meant to have a listener or two in front of them, not multiple people off to the sides. Thus, I think, in a small setup, you'd be just as fine and effective, mostly, with just doing stereo 2 ch, and nixing the center option. But that's just me. Yes, to do the full HT as effective as possible, and in a dedicated HT system, I'd probably also find a Solo in the system, sure. But then again, I'd not be using the Avantgardes, because they are TOO DIRECTIONAL, sound propagation wise, for multiple seating arrangements. Heard em too many times...I know. (in fact, you'll notice that theater horn speakers are better off axis if you go to the local cinema.
While I Personally very much appreciate the detail, refinement, and TREMENDOUS DYNAMICS the Avantgardes offer (also, to be fair, their extreme directional nature is very acoustics friendly, needing very little sidewall treatments, that IS a plus) they simply are a "sit down in between them" kind of loudspeaker. I , myself, would chose some other active multi-driver, more off-axis, wide dispersion type of speaker before I chose those, for HT duties, myself. Otherwise, maybe some other more reasonably priced home theater horn loaded speakers for dynamics and efficiency otherwise.
Thanks for the response Avgoround! Good to see that the way you talk about these speakers are exactly my observations also. They are very directional like you said and being off-axis is a major issue when doing home theatre duties. I'm a dynamics kinda guy thats why i love the Uno's. My room is about 70/30 music to movies, i spend most of the time in there either listening to music or watching sports. When i watch sports I only keep the center channel on for dialogue. No need in wearing out my 45 tubes. When i throw in a movie with the Mirage MCSi on i get a boxy sound, yes it isn't the best but i'm not super critical when it comes to my home theatre as i am for 2 channel music. I would rather stick with the Uno's and get the awesome dynamics and sound from 2 channel and do whatever i can to get it to work in my home theatre. I know there will be compromises like you said but getting rid of these speakers for more friendly HT speakers isn't an option for me. After being in this hobby for so long and upgrading so much stuff its refreshing to have something you don't want to get rid of. When you said "You simply must not mix and match the main 3 speakers if you value a quality seamless sound stage up front" made me think that i value 2 channel and would compromise on a seamless soundstage upfront for HT. I think i'll get a center channel that i can live with for now and then continue the waiting game for someone to get rid of the Solo. Thanks for the insight Avgoround!
I have the Trio's with a Solo Center at the moment and I think they sound very good together.

1. I don't have the luxury of a separate room for theater.
2. The only one that really cares about perfect acoustics in our house is me, and therefore the main listening position matters most to me. Everyone else seems to do just fine a bit off axis.
3 Our line of 5 theater seats is about 15 feet from the speakers with the Trios spread apart all the way to the corners of our 18 foot room screen-wall.

The acoustics for off axis in a movie setting is not nearly as bad as folks seem to be worried about around here.

With at least a 50 degree dispersion, the speakers reach my seating positions just fine.

The Solo is a decent center channel speaker (which is all I can fit in my setup).

The Solo is not really that closely designed to anything else in the Avantgarde lineup. I think the worry that other speakers would not "match" as a center is widely overblown. I think this depends on how obsessive you wish to be.

I am about to order a Danley Soundlabs SM96 to try out in my system as a replacement for the Solo to match the size of the trios image. There is no reason to believe that a high dynamic range horn loaded speaker won't sound VERY similar to Avantgarde's. There is a thread out there by a guy that owns a Danley setup and actually prefers it to the Avantgarde Trios. I don't think audio fidelity will be an issue with Danley speakers.

If that works out, I will likely sell the Akoya Pearl Solo that I have. It is really hard to find one of these... so if you are interested just message me back. The Solo's imaging "size" will much more closely match the Uno's or even the Duo's (which I also owned recently). I will keep you in mind over the next few weeks and message you if I no longer need the solo.

I will likely sell this unit for $3000 on audiogon in the next month if the Danley works well in my system better.