Polk RTi12 v Emp Tek E55Ti - AVS Forum

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germ79's Avatar germ79
11:17 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 28
12-10-2013 | Posts: 114
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I have an order placed with Emp Tek for a speaker package I got on their Black Friday sale. They haven't been shipped and I now see that there is what appears to be a good sale on the Polk RTi12's. The price of the Emp Tek package and the Polk package would be almost identical.

So, how do these compare? Are the Polks a better speaker than the Emp Teks?

FYI, I'd be using 3 RTi12's for L/C/R and getting a pair of their dipole surround speakers. I'll also be using a Denon X4000 receiver and a Rythmik FV15HP sub if that helps.

Thanks so much! I appreciate your quick responses!
Elihawk's Avatar Elihawk
11:28 AM Liked: 172
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I haven't heard the Polk Rti12 and if I had, it would be irrelevant because what sounds good to me might not sound good to you...but I have heard the EMPtek Impression series speakers and in fact, own them. Very outstanding speaker, considering the price. Very detailed and neutral...not as much bass as some speakers, but if you have a sub that won't be an issue. Excellent midbass and midrange sound! Btw, I own the smaller cousin to the speaker you ordered, the e5Ti speaker...
FMW's Avatar FMW
12:11 PM Liked: 805
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I don't know if I've heard the Polk speakers or not. I did visit Best Buy one day and listened to some speakers. Some were Polk but I don't remember the models. What I do remember is that Best Buy didn't have anything I would trade my E55's for.
mr266's Avatar mr266
12:29 PM Liked: 619
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Best Buy usually has the lower end Polks on display so chances are you didn't hear the 12's.
From what I understand the EMP's and Polks are apples and Oranges. Not one better than the other, per se, but different.
Again, my understanding is the EMP's are more laidback (neutral) and the Polks are brighter (forward but nowhere close to harsh).
Just depends on what you like. I originally was going to pick up the much talked about Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers. They were the first ones I listened to and thought they sounded pretty good, until I listened to Polk, and everytime after that the Pioneers sounded muddy to me. You gotta hear a speaker to really know if you like it.
germ79's Avatar germ79
12:30 PM Liked: 10
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I don't think they typically sell the RTi line in Best Buy, so I'm guessing you heard one of Polk's lower lines.

I continue to hear great things about the Emp Teks, but want to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck!

Thanks for the responses so far, guys!
Elihawk's Avatar Elihawk
12:45 PM Liked: 172
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Best Buy has the TSi/TsX series Polk tower and book shelf speakers, don't they? and some crappy subwoofers...
germ79's Avatar germ79
12:52 PM Liked: 10
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Yeah, I think they do, but I am looking at the RTi series.
AllenA07's Avatar AllenA07
12:55 PM Liked: 80
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I've never heard the Polk's, but I'll vouch for the EMP speakers. I've got the E55Ti's and I love them. They are very neutral speakers which might be something that you don't like. It's hard to describe without you hearing, but the most accurate review I saw on the E55Ti towers is that they don't hit you with a wall of sound. Not sure what exactly your personal preferences are, but I love my EMP's.
FMW's Avatar FMW
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I wrote a review of the E55s that is somewhere in this forum. Laid back is a decent term I guess. I find two faults with the E55's. One is that the tweeter is slightly insensitive for my taste. Pioneer MCACC agrees with me because it installs a boost from 15 kHz and up in my receiver. That solves it. I didn't think at my age I could even hear 15 kHz. The other negative is that the bass performance is on the quiet side. It has enough extension do what most music needs done but it is on the quiet side. Support from a subwoofer resolves that without any problem. Overall, the speakers sound pretty neutral. It is possible that the MCACC might deal with the Polks in a completely different manner. I don't know. You can hear the E55's by ordering a pair and listening to them. You can return them if you don't like them. Shipping is free to you but you pay the shipping for a return. I assume you can hear the Polk speakers at a dealer.
AllenA07's Avatar AllenA07
01:43 PM Liked: 80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I wrote a review of the E55s that is somewhere in this forum. Laid back is a decent term I guess. I find two faults with the E55's. One is that the tweeter is slightly insensitive for my taste. Pioneer MCACC agrees with me because it installs a boost from 15 kHz and up in my receiver. That solves it. I didn't think at my age I could even hear 15 kHz. The other negative is that the bass performance is on the quiet side. It has enough extension do what most music needs done but it is on the quiet side. Support from a subwoofer resolves that without any problem. Overall, the speakers sound pretty neutral. It is possible that the MCACC might deal with the Polks in a completely different manner. I don't know. You can hear the E55's by ordering a pair and listening to them. You can return them if you don't like them. Shipping is free to you but you pay the shipping for a return. I assume you can hear the Polk speakers at a dealer.

I will fully agree that the bass performance on the EMP speakers is on the weak side. If the OP is going to buy them, I strongly recommend a decent sub. I've got mine paired with a BIC-F12 and I've been happy.
germ79's Avatar germ79
02:16 PM Liked: 10
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It sure how much it matters, but the Polks are bi-ampable, where the Emp Tek's are not.
germ79's Avatar germ79
02:16 PM Liked: 10
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Also, this will be used for 98% movies.
Kini62's Avatar Kini62
02:27 PM Liked: 404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germ79 View Post

It sure how much it matters, but the Polks are bi-ampable, where the Emp Tek's are not.

It doesn't matter at all. rolleyes.gif Lots of threads on the usefulness of passive bi-amping or rather the lack of usefulness.

BB Magnolia should carry the RtiA series which are just the newer version. The Rti A9 is the equivalent model.

The Polks should be more efficient and probably better for HT where brighter speakers tend to be favored. At least IME.
ousooner2's Avatar ousooner2
02:50 PM Liked: 84
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They should be somewhat close to the same, with the polk being slightly more forward (possibly the low tweeter crossover from a subpar driver or low HP crossover on the midrange) and having more bass ouptput. I had minimal time to listen to the RTi line so I can't really comment. Post in the Polk and EMP threads with your location and see if anyone is near you to have a listen. Obviously they will sound slightly different in your own environment, but still...it's better than going in blind!...or deaf I guess I should say lol.

Also, look at things like size that might play a factor in your room. The RTi 12's are roughly 8" wide and 21" deep, while the e55ti's are roughly 8" wide and 12" deep. I'm not sure how much real world effect this has, but the impedance drops down to 4ohms at around 60hz on the Polks, while your lowest impedance drop on the e55's is about 4.5ohms near 500hz. I don't know much about the RTi line, but I always see people saying they need an amp to really open up. Seems like the Polks have more usable bass, but usable does NOT equal quality. Not saying the EMP is better either...just pointing this out.

Again, your best bet is to post in each respective forum and ask if anyone is close by. Have a listen and then purchase
Gmash's Avatar Gmash
06:41 PM Liked: 98
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The Polk rti series have real wood veneers. Just another point to consider.
MrEastSide's Avatar MrEastSide
07:46 PM Liked: 53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenA07 View Post

I will fully agree that the bass performance on the EMP speakers is on the weak side. If the OP is going to buy them, I strongly recommend a decent sub. I've got mine paired with a BIC-F12 and I've been happy.

In fairness, most speakers require a subwoofer for heavy duty low end. Sure, some speakers do it well enough, but no tower woofers ever get down like a good 10"-15" woofer that is dedicated to LFE.

That said, both sets of towers are real nice at their respective sale prices.
germ79's Avatar germ79
08:02 PM Liked: 10
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Hmm... I'm hearing that thy are both good speakers. This will be the nicest setup I've ever personally had, so I'm sure I'll be blown away with either one.

Perhaps I'm just looking for your opinions as to which way you'd go if you were in my shoes.

I appreciate it!
mr266's Avatar mr266
08:21 PM Liked: 619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germ79 View Post

Hmm... I'm hearing that thy are both good speakers. This will be the nicest setup I've ever personally had, so I'm sure I'll be blown away with either one.

Perhaps I'm just looking for your opinions as to which way you'd go if you were in my shoes.

I appreciate it!

I'd go with the Polks, mainly because I like the sound of Polk speakers. Others may not, and you may or may not. I think both speakers will be well built, but it all comes down to what sound you like. If you like more of a neutral sound, go with the EMP's, if you like more of a forward sound, go with the Polks. If you're not sure what you like, then I would probably go with the EMP's and you probably won't notice the difference between neutral and forward unless hearting them next to each other.
XStanleyX's Avatar XStanleyX
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I've bought lots of speakers on a blind buy. "For the money" all the Polks I've owned were well worth the money especially at a sale price. For what the RTi12's are going for at Fry's I'd have no problem pulling the trigger on those if I were in the hunt for speakers. They are a huge bargain at that price. If you have a Fry's locally go put your ears on them. You won't lose a lot of money if you ever decide to sell them.


GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s
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The Fry's Electronic sale is excellent. I was also looking into buying the RTi12. I too placed an order with Empteks, but I cancelled them on Monday. Brian told the ETA was after XMAS eek.gif This was due to their Holidays sales. I was thinking of ordering the RTi12 until I saw that they wouldn't shipped until Dec 20th. So, I went back to my first choice and ordered the Arx, which by the way I ordered them on Saturday, and they will be here Tuesday biggrin.gif

From my experience, I found the Polk Monitors and the RTiA line to be on the bright side. Emptek and Arx will be on the neutral side. However, if you are going with the budget the RTi12 are hard to beat for that price.
germ79's Avatar germ79
07:58 AM Liked: 10
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Ok, so I did it. Cancelled my Emp Tek order and ordered the Polks. Got 3 towers for L/C/R (acoustically transparent screen) and will also be getting the F/XiA6 surrounds. Total price is nearly identical with both setups.

Hope I like them!!!
GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s
08:05 AM Liked: 601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germ79 View Post

Ok, so I did it. Cancelled my Emp Tek order and ordered the Polks. Got 3 towers for L/C/R (acoustically transparent screen) and will also be getting the F/XiA6 surrounds. Total price is nearly identical with both setups.

Hope I like them!!!

Let us know how you like them. Those RTi are power hungry.
ousooner2's Avatar ousooner2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

The Fry's Electronic sale is excellent. I was also looking into buying the RTi12. I too placed an order with Empteks, but I cancelled them on Monday. Brian told the ETA was after XMAS eek.gif This was due to their Holidays sales. I was thinking of ordering the RTi12 until I saw that they wouldn't shipped until Dec 20th. So, I went back to my first choice and ordered the Arx, which by the way I ordered them on Saturday, and they will be here Tuesday biggrin.gif

From my experience, I found the Polk Monitors and the RTiA line to be on the bright side. Emptek and Arx will be on the neutral side. However, if you are going with the budget the RTi12 are hard to beat for that price.

I don't think you can go wrong at this price with either the EMP's or ARX's. Either will be a great buy for the money it seems

One thing I've constantly seen on the ARX speakers is that the veneer peels/chips A LOT it seems. It seems almost every single classified listing for them has some sort of issue with peeling, which is a little scary. If you like the ARX speakers you get, be careful with em! Both companies seem to have great customer service too
GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

I don't think you can go wrong at this price with either the EMP's or ARX's. Either will be a great buy for the money it seems

One thing I've constantly seen on the ARX speakers is that the veneer peels/chips A LOT it seems. It seems almost every single classified listing for them has some sort of issue with peeling, which is a little scary. If you like the ARX speakers you get, be careful with em! Both companies seem to have great customer service too

I've seen a few adds with the same issue, but that was due to being dropped. I'll be getting the speakers today. I can't wait to test them out and hear them.
FMW's Avatar FMW
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Let us know. The guys at Home Theater Shack did a shootout with a bunch of under $1000 speaker pairs and the ARX won over all the others. Unfortunately, the EMP were not included in the shootout.
ousooner2's Avatar ousooner2
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I tried to get him to include the e55's, but he didn't want a glossy finished speaker he said
FMW's Avatar FMW
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He said the same thing to me.
jaygax's Avatar jaygax
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and i just got mine.
Tags: Emp Tek E55tir Tower Speakers , Polk Audio Speakers Rti 12 , Denon Avr X4000 7 2 Channel Home Theater Receiver , Fv15hp Subwoofer , Bic America F12 12 Inch 475 Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
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