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EMP E5Ti Impression Series Speakers First Look - Unbelievable Value

EMP Impression E5Tir Floorstanding Speakers

EMP Impression E5Tir Floorstanding Speakers


  • Product Name: Impression E5Tir
  • Manufacturer: EMP Tek
  • Review Date: September 03, 2009 12:20
  • MSRP: $730/pair
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Dual 6½ " (203mm) Poly-matrix Woofers
  •  5¼" (133mm) Aluminized Poly-matrix Woofer
  • 1" (25mm) Fabric Dome Tweeter
  • Recommended Power 50-150 Watts
  • Impedance 6 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 50Hz-20kHz ±3dB
  • Crossover Frequency 120 Hz/ 3,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity 87dB (2.83V@1m)
  • Dimensions 8½" W x 35½" H x 12¼" D (216mm W x 902mm H x 311mm D)
  • Weight 35 lbs. (15.88 kg.)
  • Available in High Gloss Red Burl or Black Wood

EMP Tek, a sister company to RBH Sound, has come out with a new line of speakers. This fairly baffled us as we've heard from manufacturers that they are cutting back lines or delaying releases until the economy picks up. How can you expect to sell speakers in this sort of economy when people are pinching every penny?

According to EMP Tek - Aggressive pricing.

The Impression line is, without a doubt, some of the best looking speakers to come out of the EMP/RBH camp in our opinion. Offered in gloss black or gloss red burl, the finish of the speakers is stunning. We've got a pair of the E5Tir towers in for review and are extremely impressed with the finish. The front baffle is a gloss black and the sides are the red burl (the 'r' in the name indicates the red finish - just E5Ti for the black). The speakers are a bit shorter than many tower speakers at 35.5" tall but not so short that they have the tweeter too far below ear height. The sides angle back reminiscent of may speakers we've reviewed.

EMP_Et5ir_drivers.jpgThe front baffle sports a 1" tweeter (covered by a small dedicated screen), a 5.25" aluminized poly-matrix woofer with a metal (looks like aluminum) phase plug, and dual 6.5" poly-matrix woofers. The driver compliment alone is impressive. The back of the speaker has dual binding post for bi-wiring, bi-amping (edit - turns out not to be the case) and the bottom has four brass threaded inserts for floor spikes/feet.

As is the case with many tapered enclosure designs, the EMP E5Ti speakers aren't as steady as others with a wider/squarer base. The back of the speaker has a flared port near the bottom. EMP suggests a minimum of 15" off the wall placement with these speakers. We agree.

Understand, when we received the review sample (review forthcoming), pricing had not yet been set. We guessed among ourselves and the consensus was somewhere around $1500/pair. We recently did a $1500-$2000 floorstanding speaker shootout and the EMP Tek E5Ti speakers look as good as many and better than some in that comparison. We thought they might come out at around $1299/pair as a list price with $999/pair as an introductory "get some of these into people's hands so they can start the buzz" price.

Boy were we wrong.

If you heard a large BANG! from the general direction of Florida, it was the sound of the collected Audioholics staff's jaws hitting the ground as we learned that the list price of the E5Ti's would be $730/pair with an introductory price of $400 PER PAIR. At that price, these speakers should fly off the shelves. We've done a few preliminary listening tests and have heard nothing that would suggest that the price is based on some sonic deficiency. We've come to expect quality sound from EMP and RBH, and they've never let us down. For anyone looking for a quality introduction into home theater or 2 channel or maybe just for the enthusiast that has everything and wants to see if anyone can actually make a quality floorstander at this price, the EMP E5Ti's are going to be too tempting to pass up. This is a price we don't expect to last (though at $730, we're guessing the E5Ti's will still represent a considerable value) so jump on it while it's here.


EMP_Et5ir_port.jpgShock - pure shook was our reaction to the introductory price of these speakers. If we have one fear it is that people will look at the $400 price tag and say to themsevles, "Ok, so what's wrong with them?" From what we've heard so far, nothing. The Impression line has definitely left an impression. The question is how the public will accept them. With these prices, we're guessing we won't have to wonder for long.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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