Originally Posted by rps123
I considered them, but there was so little information around about them. Not to mention that how hard the Audioholic guys were pushing them turned me off. Although I don't question their objectivity, with so many other seemingly similar speakers available at comparable prices (or cheaper), I had a hard time accepting that it was a don't miss deal.
For $30 more per speaker, I went with RC-30s. But I'd be interested to hear about the EMPs and Infinitys compare.
I have never seen nor heard the downsized Impressions towers. But let me provide some experienced information that may help. The major value in the EMP line is that it is sold manufacturer direct. That means there are no dealers and no dealer markups in the chain. You need to compare them to speakers at about twice the price in order to have a fair comparison. Comparing EMP to Infinity is not meaningful.
On to the product. It appears to me that they have simply removed one midrange and one bass driver from the Original Impression tower and put the remaining drivers and crossover into a smaller enclosure. I can probably give you a meaningful guess as to how they will sound.
The sweet spot of the original towers (the ones most of us own) is the mid range. It is truly glorious. The weak part of the Impressions is at both extremes. I find the Impressions a bit light in the bass but that isn't an issue since one can support the bass with a subwoofer.
The other issue is the tweeter which, in my opinion, doesn't compete very well with the dual mid range drivers and causes a somewhat dark (warm if you prefer) presentation overall. I resolved that personally by changing to a more sensitive tweeter. Most people prefer the dark presentation, I think, so my comment relates to my preference, not to some universal truth.
If we remove one woofer, then we get less bass. Again that is not an issue if you use a subwoofer. By removing a midrange driver we reduce "glorious" mid range to sub "glorious" midrange but brighten up the overall presentation by reducing the sound with which the tweeter has to compete. Overall, the smaller Impressions should sound a bit brighter - more like the small bookshelf models.
I would bet that the speakers you mentioned will not hold a candle to the EMP. You simply can't pay a dealer at the low end of the speaker price pecking order and put as much into the product. I've heard the Infinities and they aren't in the same league as the large EMP towers. I've never tested them head to head, however. I don't think they will compete well at all with the smaller towers either.
If you remove the woofers from the small towers and remove the excess enclosure space, you wind up with the E5 bookshelf speaker which are excellent by the way. I think you would get about the same sound from the E5's + subwoofer as you would from the small tower + subwoofer. So look at the difference in price between the small towers and the E5 plus stands and use that as a guideline. I think that might be a more fair comparison that comparing to the large tower.
A lot of guesswork in this post, of course. That's the best I can do.