The EMP ES1010i subwoofer is a compact dual 10" ported sub with 250 watt amplifier combining beautiful aesthetics with competent performance. NO this sub won't win any output or extension wars. If that is your primary goal, then look elsewhere, but also realize you will likely be getting a large pedestrian black box with little to no WAF at this price point (and even possibly higher). The ES1010i does deliver solid bass performance at a modest price without requiring a forklift to move it or without occupying too much precious floor space since it's taller than it is deep. It blends perfectly with their matching E5Tti or E55Ti towers, but can also work extremely well with small satellite speakers due to its rather extended upper frequency response. This sub produces nice thick bass for its modest size and price and has an off the charts WAF. $499 delivered to your door with a generous 30 day return policy seems about right to me and I surely hope you agree if youâ€™re looking to add some boom with style to your system. The ES1010i earns our Audioholics Bassoholic "Small" room rating making it ideal for 1,500 ft^3 listening space or slightly larger rooms for users not concerned with achieving full-scale reference levels.
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Last edited by gene; 03-04-2012 at 11:29 PM.
This sub appears to achieve nearly identical performance to the Emotiva Ultra-12, while costing the same. The Emo is more compact, but the EMP is definitely more attractive, so it probably comes down to priorities for the user.
Despite the similarities, I noticed that Clint gave the Ultra-12 a Value rating of 5, but you only gave the ES1010i a Value rating of 4.
I own some Impression series speakers in Red Burl, and to me the major selling point is the aesthetics/price ratio. I think you need to move up to Monitor Audio Platinum, Salk, or the now-defunct Mirage OMD series to get an equivalent or better-looking veneer, all of which are several times the price of the EMPs.
Since the performance/price ratio of the Impression Series seems to be in-line with other offerings, the fact that the aesthetics/price ratio is off the charts should bolster the 'value' rating. Especially since an equally-performing ugly black box from Emotiva got the top value rating.
Also, the Ultra12 eventually came down in price far below $499 before it was discontinued.
Both are good values for the money and I've heard both directly. I'd still give the performance nudge to the EMP if you can accommodate its larger size.
Thanks for the reply Gene. What are some other competitive ~$500 subs that make any attempt to look good? i.e. features like a wood/gloss veneer, curved cabinet, etc.
It seems like these features don't start to appear until the ~$750+ range with other offerings.
Nice review Gene, this is really a gorgeous looking subwoofer. This sub may actually solve the problem I have in my family room. My wife has pretty much told me that I can do what I want in our downstairs media room, but she is 100% against "a big black box" in our family room on the main floor.
I think this sub will pass the WAF test, and when I do watch some TV upstairs, it will give me the bass that I am looking for.
I also noticed these subs sometimes are sold as "B" stock and I may just watch for one of these to go on sale.
I was very impressed with the build quality and components used. EMPtek does not seem to have cheaped out on this budget subwoofer.
The only thing that worries me about the EMP is that those types of nice finishes arent cheap. So if the company spent extra money on the finish then they had to skimp out somewhere else to keep the cost down....driver?...amp? Thats all there is left.
Whereas yes, Emotiva, HSU, Rythmik etc may offer the "ugly black box" but the money has been spent on quality parts & performance engineering. I prefer quality & performance over looks myself. Not to say the EMP didnt perform well for its price, its the components used in question.
Gene, did you remove the driver or amp & have a look around?
(i havent read the entire review so if the answer is in there dont bother replying)
I would love a sub to look great, perform great & have top notch materials but at this price you have to pick & choose 1 or 2 of the 3.
T.V: Panasonic TC-P54V1O Receiver: Yamaha RX-A2OOO
Turntable: Lenco L75 w/ custom plinth
Phono Stage: Rolls Bellari VP13O Bluray/CD: [COLOR="Red"]
Sub: HSU MBM-12 MKII D.I.Y Sub Platforms
Shaker: Earthquake MQB-1 Power Filter: APC-C5
Interconnects: UltraLink HT Series
Home Theater & Turntable Build Photos:
Gene, did EMP make the port change based your input, or from testing of the sample units before the production run? Do you think I got the updated port design if I received my ES1010i back in November?