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EMPtek Impression E55Ti Floorstanding Speaker System Review

by October 23, 2010
  • Product Name: E55Ti Impression Floorstanding Speaker
  • Manufacturer: EMPtek
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: October 23, 2010 17:30
  • MSRP: $ 795/pr (free shipping)

Frequency Response:             40Hz-20kHz ±3dB
Crossover Frequencies:          120 Hz / 3,000 Hz
Sensitivity:                              88dB (2.83V@1m)
Bass:                                       Three 6-1/2 " (165mm) Poly-matrix Woofers
Midrange:                                Dual 5¼" (133mm) Aluminized Poly-matrix Woofers
Tweeter:                                 1" (25mm) Fabric Dome Tweeter
Recommended Power:            50-200 Watts
Impedance:                             6 Ohms
Dimensions:                            8-1/2" W x 47-1/2" H x 12¼" D
Weight:                                   52 lbs.
Finish Options:                        High-gloss Red Burl or High-gloss Black Ash



  • Lifelike soundstage
  • Incredibly good vocal clarity
  • Stunning appearance with high WAF


  • Lacks deep bass extension
  • Not bi-ampable


EMPTek Impression E55Ti Introduction

E55Ti_Black_largeEMPtek came on the scene a few years ago mostly as rebranded products sold through distribution from its parent company RBH Sound.  Based on a fairly successful startup online, they began tooling a product line exclusive to the EMP brand; hence the Impression Series was born.  We reviewed the E5Ti towers last year which earned mostly positive marks from us.  Our biggest complaint with the E5Ti was that it’s physically a rather height challenged tower with the tweeter below ear level for tallish people - even in a seated position.  We’ve seen this with other so-called tower speakers before, so this complaint isn’t unique to EMP.  EMP decided it was time to raise the bar by unveiling a larger, more capable flagship tower speaker. Out of this, the E55Ti was born.  Standing a full foot higher than the E5ti tower isn’t the only thing the E55Ti’s have going for them.  The E55Ti sports two more drivers than the E5Ti’s and has a higher sensitivity and power rating.  The question remains, does the E55Ti sound as big as it looks?  Read on to find out….

Design Overview

EMP-midThe EMPtek E55Tis showed up well-packaged and encased in foam borders along the circumference of the cabinet.    The cabinet was also wrapped in cloth to protect the finish.  We actually received two pairs of these speakers.  The originals (rev 1) were finished in Cherry, and used in our recent $1k/pair Floorstanding Speaker Faceoff.  The new pair used primarily in this review are in black finish and have some modifications done based on our feedback to EMP during our recent Shootout.  Let's call these speakers rev 2.  Rev 2 of the EMP E55Ti towers have a redesigned woofer to extend bass output, slight modifications to the midrange crossover, more ferrofluid cooling in the tweeter to increase power handling, and a stiffer grille.  Let's take a tour of the E55Ti tower speaker as we open it up to see what's inside.


Driver Complement

The E55Ti is a six driver, vented, 3-way tower speaker system. The three bottom bass drivers are 6-1/2 inch poly-matrix woofers while the midranges consist of dual 5-1/4 inch aluminized poly-matrix woofers with phase plugs configured in a D’Apollito driver arrangement with the1-inch fabric dome tweeter sandwiched in between.  All of the woofer baskets are stamped, which is typical in this price range.  The tweeter has an actual ferrite motor structure as opposed to neodymium typically found in compact designs.  In most cases, I personally prefer ferrite over neodymium as the latter tend to thermally compress more at high output levels without a proper heatsink.  It is worth mentioning we have tested speakers employing neodymium designs that did quite well.

EMP-woofWhile examining the bass drivers more closely, I was a bit surprised to see the gasket was applied towards the interior of the driver frame instead of the outer frame.  I asked EMP about this and they informed me that a gasket for the outer frame of the driver is ineffective for this type of frame because the metal around the edge of the driver is very thin.  This does not afford a very good surface for gasketing and does little to nothing to prevent resonance from being transferred to the cabinet. In fact, using a gasket that extends to the edge of the frame can cause issues.    A previous version of the RBH MC-6CT used a full frame gasket with this type of frame and they had to change to an "inside-only" gasket like what is being used in the EMP E55Ti towers.  

Crossover Topology

EMP-xover2The crossover circuit topology is asymmetrical between the tweeter and midrange drivers. The tweeter uses a Mylar capacitor and air core inductor for the high pass filter, while the midrange has no low-pass filter components and is designed to use the natural acoustic roll-off of the driver. The net effect  is a second order acoustic slope between the midrange and tweeter.  The high and low pass stages of the crossover between the midrange and woofers are both second order and use electrolytic capacitors and steel core inductors. We’ve seen some 3-way towers in the past that ran a single 5-1/4” midrange driver to its lowest usable frequency and below, to yield slightly more output in the 50-80Hz region but the trade-off was audible compression and distress when the driver was being overdriven.  This was caused by high output levels listening to material with heavy bass content, in combination with the lack of LF protection (the high pass section) on the midrange drivers. We are pleased EMP didn’t take this approach as we feel the midrange drivers should be drawing amplifier power only within their primary bandwidth.  Looking further at the E55Ti crossover we see a couple of ceramic resistors used to pad the level of the midrange, as well as a poly switch device used for tweeter protection.  Many manufacturers use these devices, also known as PTC's, to protect the tweeter during large sustained output which while rarely occurring in real program material, but always occurs when using a sweeping sine signal generator to measure speakers at high output levels which is what our LMS measurement system uses.  More on this point later.

EMP-back2Cabinet Design

The EMP E55Ti contoured cabinet design is truly impressive.  In fact, the aesthetics are so nice that RBH Sound recently launched their new SX Signature line with similar cabinet shape to replace their standard black boxy style cabinets they’ve been using for many years.  The front baffle of the EMP E55Ti is a whopping 1.2" thick which is rare at this price point.   The cabinet sidewalls are all .6" thick. Inside the cabinet, there are two H braces for reinforcing the woofer section of the cabinet. There is also a separate enclosure for the midrange and tweeter drivers which effectively functions as a half brace between the bottom midrange and upper woofer. The bass drivers also utilize the airspace at the back of the cabinet behind the midrange and tweeter enclosure. 

The cabinet is rear-ported.  The dual ports have effectively the same performance as a single 3.7" diameter port which wouldn’t fit in the cabinet due to its narrow profile.  Having a large port reduces distortion and non linearity's at high SPL's and allows the speaker extended dynamic range compared to a speaker design that is tuned lower for maximum bass extension.  In other words, the EMP's are optimized for playing loud within the usable range of the small drivers, rather than using the ports to extend the bottom below where the speaker is naturally effective.


EMP E55Ti Grille (rev 1 left pic) ; (rev 2 right pic)

The EMP E55Ti's are, unfortunately, not bi-wireable or biampable.  Instead, there is a single pair of 5-way gold plated binding posts towards the bottom of the speakers to connect to your amplifier

The grilles of the EMP E55Ti towers are quite impressive.  Instead of the thin flimsy plastic grill covers most speakers in this price class have, the E55 grilled are framed with MDF, including five (5) horizontal supports (rev 2 only) and a tightly woven fabric to minimize losses.   You just don't expect this kind of detail to build quality and cabinet finish at this price point.  EMP has done a really nice job with the cabinet design, fit and finish of this product.

EMP-feetThe Outriggers

For those with a foot fetish, one of the coolest features of the new EMP E55Ti towers is their feet.  Standing almost 4 feet tall, a thin tower like the E55Ti's need a stabilizing mechanism, especially for those that have children.  Simple spikes under the speaker won't suffice.  Hence EMP employed a very snazzy outrigger system.  The outrigger system creates a wider support base for the cabinet.  Simply flip the speaker upside down, screw in the outriggers, install the feet and you're done.  The wide outrigger goes to the front of the cabinet while the smaller outrigger goes to the back.  During my measurement testing, I detected a weird resonance at about 205 Hz and was perplexed by it until I realized I didn't tighten the feet enough.  It’s a good idea to use a pair of pliers to completely tighten the feet, to eliminate any potential for rattles. 

EMPTek Impression E55Ti Set-Up & Listening Tests

I tested the EMP E55Ti speakers in the following two scenarios

Listening Scenario #1:  Friend's Home EMP E55Ti (rev 1) vs EMP E55Ti (rev 2)

In the first scenario, we connected the new pair of E55Ti and original pair of E55Ti side by side to a Harman/kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver using SPK A and SPK B outputs to switch between pairs.  The cables were Kimber 8PR and the source was the Denon DVD-1920CI connected via Sonicwave toslink to the HK 3490.   Both pairs were level matched so it was as easy as flipping the SPKA/SPKB button on the remote to do an instantaneous comparison to hear how the old vs new EMP’s compared to each other. 

Listening Scenario #2 Audioholics Showcase Theater Room

For the second scenario, I positioned the E55Ti towers about 5ft from sidewalls and around 8ft from the back walls and spread apart about 10ft from each other which was about two feet shy of the distance from my primary listening position.  After experimenting, I found they sounded their best with moderate toe-in since the top end of these speakers is a bit laid back and my room is both large (6,000ft^3) and acoustically treated.   I used my Marantz PM-11S2 200wpc integrated stereo amplifier and the Denon DVD-A1UDCI Universal Blu-ray player as the source connected via balanced cables.  All interconnects were furnished by Blue Jeans Cables (1694A Coax) and Kimber 8PR speaker cables with WBT compression banana plugs. 

Prior to engaging in this dedicated listening test, I did some comparative listening tests of the original E55Ti’s to a pair of Axiom Audio M60v3s and Klipsch RF-62s before setting up our $1k Floorstanding FaceOff.  For these tests I used the Axiom A1400-8 amplifier and my Denon AVP-A1HDCI processor.  I will reference my notes in those tests in this review whenever appropriate.

Listening Tests

Unless otherwise stated, all listening tests were conducted without a subwoofer in two-channel configuration with the EMP E55Tis set to “large” in the A/V receivers bass management.

EMP-compare2       EMP-showcase

Listening Scenario #1(left pic); Listening Scenario #2 (right pic)

Listening Scenario #1:  Friend's Home EMP E55Ti (original design) vs EMP E55Ti (rev 2)

I fired up the Audioholics demo CD I prepared for my blind listening test during my recent trip to Axiom Audio.  I broke out my assessment of the EMP E55Ti's using key tracks from this disc as noted below.
reevesDianne Reeves - Never to Far
Bass emanating from this track was incredibly punchy and tight but was somewhat lacking in extension.   At high listening levels, the EMP E55Ti's maintained incredibly good composure, without any sign of strain from the mids or tweeters like I often hear in other budget systems.   Switching between the two pairs of E55Ti's proved that the newer version only had a modest increase in bass extension but they also sounded slightly less snappy to both me and my friend. The newer E55Ti's midrange did seem a tad bit smoother to our ears but the highs sounded slightly less forward as well, probably because the rev 2's had slightly more bass output thus shifting the tonal spectrum.  Just for fun we turned on his EMP ES10i subwoofer and redid the comparison.  The bass impact and extension coming from the little ES10i was quite remarkable making that little sub worthy of its own review.  Comparing the two speakers revealed a slight preference my friend had for the original E55Ti's since he felt the bass was slightly snappier.  I was undecided as I felt like it was splitting hairs and my preference seemed very source-dependent.  Both pairs managed to blend exceedingly well with the ES10i subwoofer.  One advantage of a large tower speaker like the E55Ti with modest bottom end is it has gobs of output above 50Hz making it easy to blend with a sub and play uncompressed all the way up to the subwoofers limits making the system sound fluid as if there was no subwoofer at all.  You simply can't do this with a small bookshelf speaker and a powered sub. 

Fourplay - Chant
The resonance in the kick drums rang clear when played through the EMP E55Ti tower speakers.  I use this song to test how prone a speaker is to bottoming out.  The E55Ti's never bottomed nor did the woofers sound strained even at high output levels. 

Pat Metheny / John Scofield - Say the Brother's Name
The clarity of Pat Metheny's guitar was to die for.   With eyes closed, I felt like I was listening to a live performance in a small jazz club in NY.   The EMP E55Ti's ability to accurately articulate the sound of Pat's guitar, while also portraying confidence and cohesiveness during dynamic passages really provided that "better than being there experience". I coined this phrase for when the reproduction in the home can exceed that of an amplified live performance and use it when coming across audio equipment that exceeds my expectations in droves.  

Sade - Hang on to Your Love
If your foot doesn't get tapping to Sade, then I suggest getting having your reflexes checked.   This song has a lot going on at once between the bass drum, and assortment of percussive instruments layered in Sade's hypnotic voice.   The EMPs did a great job of keeping all of the instruments distinct, allowing you to really hear everything happening in the song.   I had no fears really playing this track loudly as the EMPs were proving they like to be played that way.  

brainCD:  ELP - Brain Salad Surger
Yes I am a huge fan of 1970's progressive rock though I rarely listen to ELP anymore due to their heavy reliance on keyboard sounds most of which, sadly, sound very dated today.  My friend picked up a remastered copy of Brain Salad Surgery, so I entertained a listening session with him on the EMP E55Ti's.  Track #2 "Toccata" is based on the Fourth Movement of Alberto Ginastera's first Piano Concerto.  It opens with a drum sequence that is unmistakably recognized as no other than Carl Palmer.  Once Keith Emerson's keyboards kick in, devastatingly strong energy bass waves emanate that either send wimpy woofers to their excursion limits, or cause your dad's wine bottle to explode on the kitchen floor while eating supper with the family as your big brother is jamming this song in the basement (true childhood memory).  The EMP E55Ti's pumped out surprisingly good bass for this song.  I heard no woofer strain at even the highest listening levels though the bass wasn't quite as earth shattering as I recalled from my childhood days.  We again noted the rev 2 E55Ti's had slightly more bass energy and extension than the rev 1's but were also not quite as snappy or tight.  The difference here was subtle and only detectable when doing a direct level matched A/B comparison of both speakers.

3-compareListening Scenario #2 Audioholics Showcase Theater Room

Again, using the Audioholics demo CD, I did some comparisons between the EMP E55Ti (rev1), Axiom Audio M60v3 and Klipsch RF-62 tower speaker systems.  All speakers were level matched and switching was done instantaneously.

Fourplay - Amoroso
This track has great bass, piano, guitar and plenty of percussive sounds to test the top end of the speakers as well.  The Axiom M60v3's really gave a nice presentation of full-range sound here with deep extended bass, and nice detailed highs.  Switching over to the EMP's, all of the sudden Lee Ritenour's guitar came alive.  Instead of being recessed in the background it popped forward sounding more like a listening session at a live studio recording.  The Klipsch on the other hand were like Axioms on steroids. They simply had the most bass and treble out of the three speakers.  A casual listener wanting a lot of boom and sizzle with the ability to play LOUD will absolutely love and likely prefer the Klipsch speakers over the Axiom's or EMPs. 

Sade - Hang on to Your Love
sadeThis was a fun song to compare the three speakers to.  I felt the Axioms conveyed the most detail in the highs, most noticeably that "cha cha" percussion sound emanating from the left speaker.  The Axiom's also had a nice deep bass extension almost sounding as if a powered sub was thrown in the mix.  The Klipsch literally sounded like they were gonna tear down the house with this track.  Oodles of bass and treble, they sounded like a wall of sound but were unfortunately more two-dimensional sounding than the other speakers in this comparison and the vocals had too much sibilance for my taste.  While the EMP's didn't win for bass extension or conveying top end detail, they sounded the most balanced to my ears.  The vocals sounded rich and vibrant without ever sounding sibilant, especially as the volume was cranked up.  The Axioms at high volume lost some composure in the midrange in my opinion.  Comparing these speakers revealed that all three brands exhibited respectable performance, but the ultimate winner depended on listener preference and the type of music one listens to.  I could see consumers that listen to more acoustic based music with lots of vocals and percussions preferring the EMPs, while those listening to rock or more industrial type music would lean towards the Axioms and R&B, Rap listeners going for the Klipsch.  As Bugs Bunny used to say, "one mans meat is another mans poison".  If you're a vegan, you’re out of luck.   

Moving on to dedicated listening sessions on the EMP E55Ti (rev 2), I proceeded with a high resolution SACD recordings from Premonition Records.

pat-barbSACD: Patricia Barber - Modern Cool
Track #1 "Touch of Trash" is a very bass heavy song.  I wasn't expecting a whole lot of bass from the E55Ti's but they actually shocked me.  I was getting plenty of bass extension with good tactile energy and tightness.  Percussions just popped out at you and the drums displayed excellent resonance in the room.  Patricia's voice just sounded so pinpoint accurate like it was emanating front and center to your head.  Track #3 "You & the Night & the Music" is an 8 minute song which was such an enjoyable experience to listen to on the E55's that the time seemed to fly.  You could hear the breath from Patricia Barber's voice and in some cases lots of resonance in her voice caused by the close miked process used in this recording.  The bongos portrayed so much vibrancy and clarity to them while the piano sounded deep and effortless.  All of the instruments were clearly separated into a large soundstage that I find often masked by lesser designed speakers.  I was a bit floored by the amount of bass in this track pondering why I was complaining previously that these speakers seemed to be a bit bass deficient when compared against bass heavier speakers.  When the electric guitar came in, it took on a very stereophonic sound that just set the landscape of this song.  The song that truly showcases the product strengths of the EMP E55Ti's is track #7 "Company" because of the intense percussive nature of the song.  I haven't heard another speaker in this price class able to discern and reproduce all of the drum echo and sustain in this track with such confidence and clarity.  I did feel the very bottom octave of bass was lacking.  A powered sub would definitely add the much needed extension here to provide the full-range sound I am used to hearing on my reference speakers.  The trumpets didn’t sound like they were coming from the speakers.  Instead they just filled the room and beamed right at the listener sitting in the sweet spot. The EMP E55Ti's just sounded so fundamentally right to me, sharing many of the virtues of $15k/pair RBH Sound T-30LSE reference speakers that make them such a personal favorite of mine.  Though, I did detect some graininess in the cymbal crashes at high listening levels from the EMP's that I didn't hear from my much more expensive reference speakers.

EMPTek Impression E55Ti Measurements & Analysis



Impedance / Phase Measurements of the EMP E55Ti

The EMPtek E55Ti speakers appear to be tuned into the 55Hz region as indicated by the saddle point in the impedance graph.  There are two impedance minimas at 500Hz and 5kHz where the speaker dips down into the 4 ohm region but at low frequencies where most of the amplifier power will be spent on demanding bass content, the E55Ti's are seen as a high impedance (10 ohms) making them a relatively easy load to drive.  The 4 ohm dips could have and should have been avoided to make them an easier load for any amplifier to drive.  My personal feelings are that EMP could have put a bit more effort into optimizing the impedance of this speaker, at least in measurement, as I didn't find the E55Ti's to be a difficult load to drive for any of the amplifiers I tested them with.

Calibrating my measurement system so that it sent out 1 watt into a 6 ohm load (2.44Vrms), I measured system sensitivity and found the E55Ti's measured around 88dB 1 watt/meter which is what EMPtek claims for this product. 


In-room 1 meter SPL vs Frequency EMP E55Ti (1/12rd octave smoothed)
blue trace: on-axis;  red trace: 15 deg off-axis;  purple trace: 30 deg off-axis

Since the EMP E55Ti's aren't biampable, I was unable to disconnect the tweeter to do a summed nearfield response which simulates an actual anechoic response.  Instead I did in-room 1 meter measurements which are pretty accurate above the room’s transition region which in this case is around 300Hz.  The measurement below that region is dominated by room interaction including the suckout centered around 200Hz which is caused by ground bounce between the microphone and floor.  This suckout is NOT an attribute of the speaker but instead a measurement anomaly and should be ignored.  Aside from the bump slight above 1kHz, the E55Ti's exhibited extraordinary linear response from 300Hz to 20kHz maintaining a +- 2dB variance and that’s an in-room measurement folks!  This is the type of response curve we are used to seeing in RBH Sound products and glad they are following that design philosophy through for the EMP brand as well.

There is definitely no over-emphasis of high frequencies in this speaker like I often find on other budget designs which in my opinion is purposely done to attract the more casual listener.  Instead, EMP voiced this speaker as tonally neutral as possible.  I would actually challenge them to raise the tweeter level 1dB for more appeal as many consumers are simply not used to listening to tonally neutral speakers and may find the EMP's bland upon first listen, especially when directly comparing against brighter speakers.  Because of the lack of overemphasis of high frequencies, many listeners, myself included, would find a moderate toe-in of these speakers quite useful.  Not only does it help better focus the speaker, but it also livens up the top end, especially for those in acoustically controlled listening spaces.

It's clear that the E55Ti's aren’t a bassy speaker with an estimated rolloff of 12dB/Oct below 55Hz.  But this is where a good sub really helps extend the range of this product to make it a full-range tower that can play at high sustained SPL levels to match the output of the sub better than most bookshelf speakers can do given their size and driver compliment limitations.

Because of the PTC device in series with the tweeter, I was unable to do compression testing that exceeded 105dB SPL (1 meter) since both my LMS and FFT system generate continuous test tones that trip the device.  We are working on a method to create burst test tones to more accurately measure power compression in loudspeakers.  Suffice it to say, I never heard the PTC device trip or lower the tweeter level in any of my listening tests where I exceeding 105dB levels (about the output level of a jackhammer).

The Downside

emptekfront.jpgThe EMP Impression E55Ti loudspeaker system, like any other loudspeaker is not perfect.  Although the glossy red burl and black finishes appear to be a high quality veneer, they are in fact upon closer inspection more akin to an impregnated wood grain vinyl wrap.  You can see some imperfections in the finish in a brightly lit room if you look closely at the sidewalls. Despite these criticisms, they still have a much classier finish than most of the vinyl wrapped products on the market at this price point.  Because of the contour shape of the cabinets and the full driver array flanking the front baffle, they look stunning from afar.  Your friends will think you spent a lot more than $795/pair for these speakers, especially when they sit down for a listening session.

When initially fired up, the EMP E55Ti's don't captivate you like other speakers can.  They don’t throw a lot of deep bass or high energy at you.  Instead they tend to persuade you to listen and rediscover your CD collection in a more tonally neutral and organic manner.  I would characterize their sound as slightly laid back in the top end, forward and dynamic in the midrange with punchy but not exceedingly deep bass.  As such, they would work very well in bright rooms where other products that tend to have more high frequency energy can sound sibilant, often causing listening fatigue during sustained sessions. I never once experienced listening fatigue on the EMP speakers.  I don't however recommend these speakers for a casual listener that typically prefers a wall of sound thrown at them.  It would be no different than introducing a domestic beer drinker to a fine microbrew.  Until one gets that taste for something purer or more natural, they can't fully appreciate it.

I was moderately disappointed that these speakers could not be bi-amplified but it is understandable at this price.  I had to keep reminding myself that these speakers cost considerably less than $1k/pair despite their excellent performance and appearance. 

EMPTek Impression E55Ti Recommendations & Conclusion

E55Ti_Black_largeThe EMP Impression E55ti's will sound best with their grilles off.  This can be said with virtually all speakers we've tested except those that tend to favor the treble regions too much.  I recommend  moderate toe-in, especially when using these speakers in an acoustically controlled listening space.  Because the E55Ti's can play at ungodly levels without ever bottoming out, and don't have a ton of bass output below 40Hz, I recommend running them full-range in conjuncture with a powered subwoofer (or better yet two subwoofers).  I found that throwing a sub in the mix not only extended the low end bass that is lacking in this speaker, but it helped to really balance out the sound spectrum.  Because of their high efficiency and relatively high impedance curve at low frequencies, I suspect an end user will have few issues powering these speakers with even a modest A/V receiver. I do of course recommend pairing the EMPs with quality amplification to allow them to reach their full potential.  An amplifier like an Emotiva UPA-5/UPA-7 would power this system nicely on the cheap.


If you want a speaker that can truly deliver a tonally accurate, dynamically lifelike reproduction of your music which also happens to look stunningly beautiful, than the EMP Impression E55Ti's should fit the bill nicely.  The E55Ti's give you a huge soundstage and can play exceedingly loud down to a modest 50 Hz, with little to no audible compression.  In my opinion, these speakers look as good as they sound which is something I rarely find myself saying at this price point for a tower speaker system. The EMP E55Ti's come with a 5 year warranty and a 30 day money back return policy with free shipping both ways.  This makes for a risk free trial for you to demo these speakers in the most critical and important listening room - your own home theater.  Highly recommended!

EMPTek E55Ti Impression Floorstanding Speaker Review
MSRP: $795/pair

382 Marshall Way
Layton, Utah 84041



About EMP Tek
Engineered Music Products (EMP) was founded in 2007 by Industry professionals with over thirty years experience in designing, engineering and manufacturing high performance loudspeakers for companies such as Parasound, McIntosh, JBL, RBH Sound, Destination Audio and Fosgate...

The High Performance Loudspeakers designed by EMP differ greatly from the products that sell in mass retail and big box stores. Manufacturers who market their products through mass retail and big box stores have to spend most of every dollar on marketing and advertising, leaving little of that dollar for product development and build quality.

For thirty years, the founding employees of RBH Sound have focused on engineering and manufacturing loudspeakers that stand above the mass produced, profit focused brands that are offered by mass retail and big box stores. RBH has applied this same philosophy to their new sister company EMP Tek whose products are available exclusively online.   In short - these are not your garden variety speakers nor company for that matter.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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