Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer
We had a fun listening session today. Vic brought over his Gallo CL-3s and Bitterwaste brought over his EmpTek E55 towers. I enjoyed it, especially because I was able to hear some different music other than the same stuff I have been using for the last couple weeks. It is impressive how big the E55 towers are, even taller than the Ultra towers. The finish is also is very nice. The CL-3s are definitely the midget of these speakers. It was also pretty apparent to all of us that the EMPs and SVS towers were cousins, so to speak, as far as their sound. The Gallos and Phils also were similar, probably because of their tweeters. We also tried with Vics PB1000 sub both on and off.
As far as how they sounded, again it was somewhat track dependent, but we did notice definite differences. With most tracks you could really not notice if the sub was on or off while the Ultra towers were playing. The other 3 sets did benefit from the sub at the bottom end. Everybody marveled at the wide soundstage of the Phils and commented how they disappeared compared to the others. We all liked the richness and fullness of the SVS towers. The difference between the Ultras and the EMPs was subtle. I can't really put a good description on the difference. On some tracks the EMPs were a bit thinner in the mids but on some the SVS seemed to be a bit less clear. The SVS to me did sound overall a bit better with all genres, but value-wise what you get with the EMPs at $800/pair is remarkable. Did I mention they are really tall!
As far as how the Gallos sounded vs. the Phils, I thought they were a bit too bright and the lacked some depth to the mids. (I have both diffuser pads on the Phil tweeters, so they are not running hot right now.) The Gallos definitely needed the sub the most of the 4 sets. On some classical and acoustic tracks they shined and did the best, but overall they were not my favorite sounding set.
It is interesting to compare ears to specs. The amount of bass on the Ultras seems considerably more than the other sets, but they are only rated 4 hz lower than the Phils or the Gallos, which are rated down to 32 Hz. Also, the EMPs are only rated to 40Hz. But, listening, I would say the EMPs and Phils had similar low end, pretty great, while the Gallos were not nearly getting as low. I have read that the bass gets better once the filling in the Gallos settles, so maybe the fact that they were transported over to my place adversely affected them. Also, Vic noted that they sounded better to him at his place away from boundaries, maybe due to their wide dispersion tweeter. But that was impossible with the speakers all next to each other. So, maybe they did not get a fair shake.
I think the other guys agreed with me that the SVS and EMPs did best on rock and more intense music while the Phils/Gallos were better with acoustics.
here are some pics:
I was relieved that none of the guys ended up being axe murderers!
It was fun sharing some beers and meeting other enthusiasts. It was also great of the guys to load up their sets and haul them over to my place.