Hardest decision of my speaker life, down to 2 choices - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hardest decision of my speaker life, down to 2 choices

emptek r55ti towers plus matching center = $872 total

ascend acoustic 340 mains and 340 center = $895 total

i live in california, i am being charged tax by ascend, no tax by emptek.
also, i have to pay shipping for ascend setup, free shipping from emptek.

i will have to buy speaker stands for ascent mains, not for emptek. so far the emptek sounds like the best deal to me. but, i dont know which setup would produce the superior sound. i want the best sound for the money.

so basically i have no idea what to choose here. i will use these with bic f12 and emptek W3b mini bookshelves as surrounds. mostly movies and regular direct tv watching, some music.

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post #2 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 09:18 PM
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Join the club of thousands . It's never easy to make a decision, especially when narrowing it down to two good speakers. Unfortunately I haven't heard either one and it's doubtful (but possible) that others haven't heard the two of these either, but both would be nice to have in your home. They obviously won over several other speakers you were thinking about. And guess what? Those who own EMP Tek will prefer them, and those who own the Ascends will prefer those. There is no wrong answer here, but my advice is to use your gut and take the plunge. If you don't like whichever one you've chosen (I'd be surprised), send them back and try out the other speaker (the Ascends would be cheaper to ship back over the EMP Tek's).

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post #3 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 10:00 PM
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I would go with EMP TEK option without a doubt due to three reasons:

Full range 3 way towers (enough said)
Far better appearance (can matter to some a lot)
Cheaper

Both are neutral speakers so I would imagine sound quality is very similar.
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post #4 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 10:10 PM
 
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Ascend is just down in San Clemente, possible to go audition? or at least pickup and maybe they'd pay shipping on return? Auditioning in your own space, especially if its long term use in that space, is a good thing, though.

EmpTek I think is also SoCal? So maybe you've got a few more options before you decide if you don't mind some traveling (405 to SC wasn't one of my favorite trips when I last was down your way).
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post #5 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 10:24 PM
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and I would go for the Ascend ....

You might also consider the Golden Ear AON series ... best of both worlds.
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post #6 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 10:29 PM
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EMP Tek is based in Utah.
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post #7 of 39 Old 12-04-2014, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
emptek r55ti towers plus matching center = $872 total

ascend acoustic 340 mains and 340 center = $895 total

i live in california, i am being charged tax by ascend, no tax by emptek.
also, i have to pay shipping for ascend setup, free shipping from emptek.

i will have to buy speaker stands for ascent mains, not for emptek. so far the emptek sounds like the best deal to me. but, i dont know which setup would produce the superior sound. i want the best sound for the money.

so basically i have no idea what to choose here. i will use these with bic f12 and emptek W3b mini bookshelves as surrounds. mostly movies and regular direct tv watching, some music.
Here is what audioholics had to say about the EmpTek speakers:
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 E55Ti's Impression Floorstanding speakers should fit the bill nicely. The E55Ti tower consists of six drivers, and is a vented 3-way design standing nearly 4ft tall. They produce 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!

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!

http://www.audioholics.com/tower-spe...s/emptek-e55ti

Also there is a nice selection of EmpTek towers in the clearance, 450 shipped for a set of tower speakers WOW!

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post #8 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 05:00 AM
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Yeah I'll vote for EMP too, I am biased sure but they offer some good advantages over Ascend. Both speakers sound great, Ascend should have a more pronounced top end, but only because the EMPs are slightly rolled off. Both are otherwise very neutral with a good sound stage and imaging, but I would MUCH rather look at the EMPs than the Ascend speakers

You can save some money, get a nicer looking product, and get to say you own RBH speakers now!

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post #9 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 05:37 AM
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I have heard both and in fact in the same room. Both speakers have there strength- the Ascends, I think will hit a bit lower and maybe just a bit louder and but the EMPs have better midrange (and are capable of getting plenty loud!). I gave the EMP a slight advantage for HT and the Ascend CMT340 a slight advantage for music. In terms of looks, it ain't even close, for whatever that counts.
If it is going to save you tax and shipping, that will make the EMP quite a bit cheaper...so that is the route I would go. Both great speakers, however!

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Integra AV receiver
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post #10 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
emptek r55ti towers plus matching center = $872 total

ascend acoustic 340 mains and 340 center = $895 total
Both are decent choices, and I would not let taxes get in the way.

The Ascend should have a more linear frequency response - and the RBH/EMP, will have a
built in frequency bump around 1 to 2 khz to enhance the midrange presence, and a slight
roll off of higher frequencies. It is a matter of preference and choice.

All in all with either choice - you should have a nice system

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post #11 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 09:55 AM
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While Ziegl is probably right, the two speakers are both very clear, detailed and accurate! They sound more similar than different. You will not go wrong with either...at some point you just have to make a decision, hopefully enjoy your speakers.
Now, if you like a more dynamic, forward speaker, like a horn loaded tweeter might provide, then these two might not be the best choices!

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Integra AV receiver
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post #12 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 11:12 AM
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All good points in here OP. Both sets are going to be more alike than different. Their responses are very similar. The slight bump at 1.2kHz is VERY narrow and shouldn't really be an issue with the RBH towers. Both are flat as can be for this price and will sound great to the majority of users interested in them.

I was also looking at the Ascend 340 setup a few years back, but decided on the RBH/EMP setup. Reasons? Cost and where they were being set up. Mine are in the main living room so I need something that looked nice as well.


Ascend 340's = $568 (on sale for $500 right now)
Stands = $180
Center = $300

Add another $104 for shipping and I was at $1,152. If you didn't want the stands..$934. Most will need stands though so that will need to be added. With the sale price on the 340's now, you're looking at $1,084 w/ stands & $866 w/o stands

*During the BF sale (not sure if that's still going right now or not), but I picked up a 5.0 (e55's, e56 and e5's) for a good price. Less than they are now!

Compared to the Ascend setup above..

RBH r55ti = $556/pr (they have clearance up right now for $225/ea...so $450/pr)
RBH r56ci = $316

That's $872 shipped or $766 shipped if you went with the clearance r55's.

I didn't want stands with a newborn coming, thought the RBH's looked nicer and they were cheaper. They also the 30-day trial like Ascend so my mind was made up. Doesn't hurt they obviously know what they're doing with the RBH stuff and trickle down tech is likely. I assume that's how they get it priced so low. Honesty, either one will work great. Good luck!

Currently Auditioning: Klipsch RP-150M
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post #13 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 12:16 PM
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Too bad the Chane Arx A5s are not available yet. They bested the EMPteks (and all others) in Home Theater Shack's $1000 tower shootout.

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post #14 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Too bad the Chane Arx A5s are not available yet. They bested the EMPteks (and all others) in Home Theater Shack's $1000 tower shootout.
I really wish they would offer another finish, maybe a piano black version or something with a wood veneer. Those seem like great speakers, but they are very plain looking and have some issues with peeling.

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post #15 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 12:22 PM
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Road trip! Go listen to the Ascends. Or Buy the both and auditioned them.

I always vote for road trips though
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Yippee-ki-yay...
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post #16 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cesar123 View Post
Road trip! Go listen to the Ascends. Or Buy the both and auditioned them.

I always vote for road trips though
I always vote for road trips too
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post #17 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Too bad the Chane Arx A5s are not available yet. They bested the EMPteks (and all others) in Home Theater Shack's $1000 tower shootout.
Bested?

...the EMP/RBH's weren't even at that shootout



Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I really wish they would offer another finish, maybe a piano black version or something with a wood veneer. Those seem like great speakers, but they are very plain looking and have some issues with peeling.
I agree. I've seen countless issues with peeling veneer, which is kind of crummy at that price and if I had them in my living room that'd be kind of embarrassing. I don't mind the wood grain veneer that much, but multiple finishes would be nice. Never know why they're peeling, but with it happening multiple times I figured it was a bad batch or something.

At some point though, you have to actually have speakers in stock. Seems like 3/4 of the speakers are OOS for months and months and months. I figured the merger thing with Chase would help, but I guess not. Seen quite a few people go elsewhere due to the fact that nothing is ever in stock and no real date for when it will be.

If the A5 was in stock and looked a little more refined I think I'd pick it up in a heartbeat. I wonder how the center compares to my e56ci. I know Jon Lane was talking about a larger tower model (A7), but no telling if that's going to come out and if so, when. Either way, if they sounded so similar to the ML Motion 12's (and likely the Motion 40's) then they're a very nice sounding speaker. Even if you can do some work on the exterior and increase them to $1,000 pair for custom finish, they'd still be a steal compared to your ML Motion 40's which are like $1,700ish I believe

Currently Auditioning: Klipsch RP-150M
SOLD: EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
FOR SALE --- 1 EMP Tek/RBH Sound e1010i sub: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...al-10-sub.html

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post #18 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post
Bested?

...the EMP/RBH's weren't even at that shootout



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post #19 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:17 PM
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I wish they were! Sonnie didn't want to test any 'glossy' speaker from what I heard. Would have been nice. Especially with the HTD being there too, though it sounded like it was messed up from the get-go.

Currently Auditioning: Klipsch RP-150M
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post #20 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
:
They were in this shootout > however, they lost the blind test - yet won the sighted test.
http://www.audioholics.com/tower-spe...ff-methodology

I guess the Red Burl plays a part.

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post #21 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
They were in this shootout > however, they lost the blind test - yet won the sighted test.
http://www.audioholics.com/tower-spe...ff-methodology

I guess the Red Burl plays a part.
Thanks. Forgot all about that one.

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post #22 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:46 PM
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Did you even read that test lol. There were so many WTF moments I can't even count them.


With EMP directly compared to Axiom
Comments from trained listeners:

Very natural life-like sound with pristine midrange and smooth top end.
Fuller sound, more natural and pleasing blend of frequencies than the other speaker.

Comments from other listeners:

Lacked details in highs with average imaging and soundstage.
Female vocals were deeper but other speaker had more impressive soundstage
Great vocal clarity but bass was boomy.
Bass was tighter and drum solo sounded more life-like and real than the other speaker but overall sound was somewhat mushy.

So it's natural, life-like with pristine midrange and smooth top end, but lacks details? What? Bass was boomy, but yet bass was tighter? Drum solo sounded more real, but mushy and the other speaker was better? HUH? Realistic is bad?

This one is kind of all over the place...


With EMP directly compared to JBL
Comments from trained listeners:

Natural midrange, tight bass though not very deep, clean sound.
Very similar tonal balance with tighter bass than the other speaker.

Comments from other listeners:

Better vocals and imaging than other speaker.
Good imaging and midrange.
Midrange is nice, guitar strum very clear though bass is a little messy.

Again, seems like most think the bass is tight, clean and precise, but yet one or two think it's messy and mushy. Sound is subjective and all, but something is wrong with where they're sitting or their ears

Better midrange, better tonal balance, better vocals and imaging....but it's worse? HUH?



With EMP compared to Klipsch
Comments from trained listeners:

Clear highs, natural sound, tight punchy bass.
Forward sounding and bass not as deep as the other speaker.

Comments from other listeners:

Lacking in highs, imaging and soundstage not as good as other speaker
Nice midrange, messy bass.
Crisp bass but overall sound less impressive than other speaker.

Lacking in highs (compared to Klipsch...yeah...probably!). Soundstage not as good. Sounds like a placement issue where the directivity of the horns have won out for ease of placement. Horns are great for that, but hopefully they took a little time. Messy bass. Crisp bass. Again...what?


Then you go to the 'sighted' results and it's completely different. The Klipsch is heavily bass bias, very bright with poor midrange. JBL & Axiom possibly had some messy, bloated bass. Axiom was said to have lacked definition in the midrange, but EMP's sighted says it's good midrange, natural sound, sounds like a live performance, tight bass, etc etc. Sounds like the untrained ears didn't what what the heck they were listening for or to. Taking the comments, sighted and unsighted into account, it becomes apparent why the 'score' is a little weird looking
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post #23 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:52 PM
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Did you even read that test lol.
Yes - why would one not read it?

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post #24 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 01:57 PM
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See above.

Currently Auditioning: Klipsch RP-150M
SOLD: EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
FOR SALE --- 1 EMP Tek/RBH Sound e1010i sub: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...al-10-sub.html
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post #25 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post
See above.
Already read that too - it does not take from the fact, that in the blind test most
voted for the Klipsch - it also does not mean that I would buy Klipsch or any of
them speakers reviewed, based on blind or sighted test.

Emp/Rbh/Destination Audo is a good company, and I have owned some bookshelf
speakers from that company from the past - however, while they were not for me
at that time > I would still consider them in the future.

I remember, that you even considered Klipsch to replace the EMP speakers awhile
back - due to some problems in your room.

It all comes down to the individual owner, and no one can guarantee anything.

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post #26 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 02:20 PM
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I love these types of tests, mainly because they are all over the map. It may tell you if someone is sitting off-axis, or it may tell you they prefer different type of voicing. I had read that article quite awhile ago and totally enjoyed it. Thanks for posting the URL, zieg. I enjoyed reading it the second time.

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post #27 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post
I agree. I've seen countless issues with peeling veneer, which is kind of crummy at that price and if I had them in my living room that'd be kind of embarrassing. I don't mind the wood grain veneer that much, but multiple finishes would be nice. Never know why they're peeling, but with it happening multiple times I figured it was a bad batch or something.
My A5 did peel which made me speed up painting them over. In its defense I've owned $2500 towers from a top French brand that also peeled. Depends on where you live I guess.

Going back to the topic, comparing towers with large "bookshelves" is a matter of room placement and usage intention. It's not even apple to apple. Only the OP can decide.
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post #28 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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id like to drive to ascend and listen to the speakers but that is at the very least 4 hours of my time on a weekend via socal traffic (that is not appetizing) plus gas adding to ascend cost. they are 65 miles from me.

im leaning heavily towards the emps. its just hard to pull the trigger because i wont be upgrading for at least a year so i want to make sure i get this one right.

im finally upgrading from 1st generation andrew jones pioneer speakers. the easiest choice is emptek but why is it so hard to pull the trigger. maybe i should start drinking a few beers now to make it easier for myself and pull the trigger on the emps tonight.

Last edited by Luisfc1972; 12-05-2014 at 09:20 PM.
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post #29 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
id like to drive to ascend and listen to the speakers but that is at the very least 4 hours of my time on a weekend via socal traffic (that is not appetizing) plus gas adding to ascend cost. they are 65 miles from me.

im leaning heavily towards the emps. its just hard to pull the trigger because i wont be upgrading for at least a year so i want to make sure i get this one right.

im finally upgrading from 1st generation andrew jones pioneer speakers. the easiest choice is emptek but why is it so hard to pull the trigger. maybe i should start drinking a few beers now to make it easier for myself and pull the trigger on the emps tonight.

Or save up some more money so you won't be upgrading your speakers in only a year?
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post #30 of 39 Old 12-05-2014, 09:33 PM
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I just picked up a pair of the R55Ti's for my dedicated 2 channel listening room and boy am I impressed! I haven't heard anything so enjoyable, and with such a good soundstage since my DQ10's. Has to be one of the best bang for the buck speakers out there. I got them at the BF sale and thought it was a crazy good price. Just noticed that you can get a pair of B stock for $450! Haven't heard the Ascends, but I sure am happy with the EmpTeks.
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