So i've now compared these using my Onkyo tx-nr3008 all eq and vol mgmt disabled. EMP e5bi were speakers a, the Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf speakers b. I started with a classic dvd-a of BB King and Eric Clapton. There are plenty of guitar and bass guitar runs in addition to some in your face vocals. The Aperion's proved to be able to handle more instruments without losing fidelity and they also have a much more transparent sound. With my eye's closed it was truly difficult to physically place the speakers. The emps sound a tad dull and localized in comparison. Neither blended with my sub particularly well. Though I would say the e5bi was a tad better in this regard. My tc sounds lms-r 15 doesn't seem to like to play up to 80hz! I went through various tracks, all piped in through hdmi @ 192khz/24bit, stereo mode.
I listened to various tracks including jazz, rap, indy rap, indy rock, rock, classic rock, and blues. No matter the kind of music, my general impression remained unchanged. Though some music made the bookshelf to sub gap less noticeable.
However, for $200 more (less if you are buying stands) you can purchase the e55ti floor stander... There was little comparison between the grand verus bookshelf and the e55ti towers. The towers just dominated them. They simply had more to offer in all freq ranges.
I initially thought the Aperions had a much nicer build quality. Then I tried to remove the MAGNETIC grill! The magnets holding the grill have a stronger bond than the plastic-ish finish on the front of the speakers! I tried to pop the grill off with a butter knife and the plastic broke right off without the grill even detaching! I wasn't able to remove the grill until I was packing the speakers up. I had the first one all wrapped up in perfect condition for return. The second speaker slid down the cotton sock and pulled out of my hands falling off my couch and onto my foot\carpet! When I opened the cotton sock I found the approx 14" drop to my carpet had detached the grill and cracked the plastic much worse than trying to remove the grill!
Clearly I'm an Aperion audio owner for life now!
They do sound good, but I think a number of things need to be addressed.
Mainly the quality of this plastic coating, the quality of the stands, and the grill design.
Just to be clear, I don't mention the plastic coating because of the drop damage but because it breaks right off if you attempt to remove the grill.
If I were starting from scratch or just had a few grand to spare I would go Aperion. However I'm not certain they offer enough improvement in sound quality to justify spending an additional $2500 to complete (tower\center) the replacement of the EMP Impression series.
Plus both are little known brands and are likely difficult to sell.
I took a huge loss when I sold my last EMP series, after shipping I barely got any money out of them!