Originally Posted by TnTBigman
The Empire is perfect for music, and really good for movies. On it's own, the Empire is really sweet for music. Yesterday for 4 non stop hrs I've thrown my favorite tracks from Sarah Mclachlan (Mirror Ball), 3rd Eye Blind (Semi Charmed Life), koRn (Follow the Leader, Issues), DMX (Its Dark N Hells Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, And Then There Was X), various reggae dub and instrumentals I'm familiar with....and it was non stop enjoyment. The drums in Mirror Ball tracks, particularly, were present and potent (listening position is center @ 13 ft away from the sub). The intro to one my favorite track (both album and live version) "Possession" had the hairs on the back of my neck stand- not with spl, but how it sounded. Heights y'all. The koRn tracks surprised me allot too. I never liked how they sounded with a single Tower- they seemed to miss something, and after hearing it with the Empire, it was "middle" that was amiss. Mid bass was present and enough low to provide an overall well balanced sound. It didn't once sound strained and not able to produce the material's range. It was more than up to the task and easily handled the bass tricks Fieldy does. All In the Family was just sick. I thoroughly enjoyed the Empire for music. Thoroughly.
Movies were enjoyable was well. Strong mid bass presence that was fast and had no problems getting louder as the material required. Low frequencies were also present but not at Epik Tower levels. Scenes where the Tower just shook the room and the popcorn ceiling felt as if it were about to fall, the Empire shook, but not at that intensity. But it sure handled having to do both mid bass and low deep bass simultaneously very well. No signs of strain or distortion.
With a big mid bass boost and supplemental down low capability that both compliments the Tower, I have them presently working together and it is amazing. I used to have a bass suck-out at one of the seated listening position.that's gone. Both music and movies kick with room filling bass. And the system overall sounds very balanced. Walking along the back of the HT area behind the listening positions from left to right, the bass response sounds balanced with no suck outs or peaks. In Terminator Salvation the gas station scene, when the robot drops it's feet as it walks, the bass sounds deeper and has more of a nice, dense sound to it (was not getting that with the lone Tower). Popcorn ceiling shook. In Transformers RoTF, the Devastator assembly scene was reproduced just as how you saw it on the screen- quick, loud, punchyand trembling.
I was a bit worried about mixing a ported with sealed, and wondered if I would have localization problems. But the bass response is seamless and when you sit to listen, all you hear and feel is the bass. If you haven't gone dual, but have the space and money, you should. The HT and music experience has been much more fulfilling since combining the two.
I ran some REW sweeps for the Empire alone and I'm getting it at 13Hz @ 75db in room. Out of 12 total sweeps, only 3 resembled a in-room REW sweep @ 75db (with the drop off near 80Hz crossover setting). The remaining 9 sweeps looked like sound card feedback sine waves starting from 30db constant straight line and shooting up at 60Hz to 85db as a sin wave with decreasing wavelength. The good sweeps weren't consecutive either. I'm using the SoundBlaster USB Audigy 2NX. But this weekend I'll do more sweeps (Empire alone, Tower alone, combined) with my X-fi Titanium.
In terms of placement, I have it co-located with the Tower up front. One driver is 8 from the TV stand, and the other is a good 4-5 ft from the corner wall. The side with the Epik emblem faces the LP. I've turned the Empire so that one driver is facing the listening position and the other to the back wall and noticed less of a bass response. Changing the distance between the back wall, and the driver firing into it from 13 - 6 had no effect on the bass response at the main LP by my ears. In the final position available to me, I placed the Empire in a corner with both drivers firing having their own wall to fire into. It sounded much better to my ears, but REW was not showing this as the trace looked similar. None the less, more sweeps will have to be done this weekend.
So, that concludes my little review. Hope it helps. For the introductory price, the Empire is at a robbery price (you're the bandit). And if you could pony up for duals, go for it. As a side note, I must mention (as I have found it to work with my pop's Onkyo HTIB system, and my computer's Klipsch Promedia Ultra sub with SWS sub addition) that placing the sub along 1/3 the length of the wall (as Onyko recommends. Mabye other manufacturers that I'm un aware of) was a quick way to find the best bass response.