My Impressions of the EMP Impressions. I'm a solidly mid-fi sort of guy. I left the high end audio world behind about a dozen years ago and never looked back. I appreciate great sound but I've given up on the obsession. It was pointless and expensive. My home theater is what some would call modest and others would call middle-of-the-road. You can see a picture of it here with my new EMP Impressions E55TiB main speakers. With that background I offer some personal impressions of these speakers. You did what?, asked my wife. I ordered some new speakers for the home theater. Why? Because I think they will sound better than what we use now. But you don't know? Not until I set them up and hear them. You're nuts, she said. She's probably right. Why EMP? It's hard to say. I thought they were nice looking and not so large that my wife would want them sent to the speaker graveyard. They were designed by people at a fine speaker company, made in China for high value and then sold direct to the public without any middle man markups. Seemed like a deal, so I ordered a pair in black to match my HT furniture. They arrived yesterday by Fedex and arrived in their double boxed glory without a single scratch. Setup is just a matter of attaching the enclosed feet to the bottom of the cabinets and wiring them up. I used the rubber feet for my wood floor but they also include spikes if you have carpeting. I had two issues with the setup. The first is that one of the blind nuts for attaching the feet to the cabinet was missing so the screw had nothing into which to screw. I'm not sure what to do about it. I will probably just drill a new hole and put a wood screw in it. The other issue was the binding posts. My preference for speaker wire is to use tinned bare wire rather than connectors. My preference is for the binding posts that have a hole through them to get the strongest possible connection. These binding posts don't have such a hole and aren't what I like personally. Also, the binding posts aren't color coded so you want to be careful to phase them correctly. The speakers are not bi-wireable or bi-ampable, by the way. That is no issue for me but it might be for others. The speakers are about 4 feet high, a foot deep and 8 1/2” wide in front. The cabinets are curved and, in the case of mine, covered in glossy black wood grain composition veneer. The fronts sport a piano black finish and include grills which are not shown in the image. The system employs 3 6 1/2” woofers for the bass and a pair of 5 1/4” midrange drivers with a 1” fabric dome tweeter in an MTM configuration for the higher frequencies. There are two rear firing ports. The cost is $695 for the pair shipping included to the 48 states. So how do they sound? Basically I would say they are pretty neutral. There is nothing “in your face” about the presentation but they aren't particularly laid back either. The bass is controlled and tight, the midrange is spectacular and I thought the speakers would sound better with a second tweeter apiece but that is just a matter of preference. My ancient ears appreciate a little brightness in the presentation. The bass is not loud but extends enough to reproduce the E string on an electric bass with authority. I didn't feel the need to use a subwoofer. I liked the way they played my kind of music all by themselves and that, of course, is the goal with any full range tower speaker. I don't listen to much rock. I am mostly a jazz enthusiast so I don't need bass that reminds me of a woofer laden car approaching from a quarter mile away. I like my bass tight and neutral and I liked the way the Impressions handled it. They will play loud without falling into a frenzy of distortion. My wife continually asked me turn things down during my listening sessions and she wasn't in the same room. That tells me that they remained clean well up the db scale. I didn't feel any serious vibration from the cabinets by touching them and didn't hear anything that I would describe as serious cabinet resonance. Nor did I detect a serious mid bass rise. All in all they are pretty neutral. Do they compete with expensive high end speakers? No, of course not, but I think they will outperform anything you can hear at our local Best Buy and will hold their own with most speakers in the under $2000 per pair price category. They sound great and, considering the entry level price of $695 per pair, they sound spectacular. Finding something that sounds as good as these for under $1000 per pair would be a serious challenge. I haven't run the calibration to integrate these speakers into the home theater yet. My listening has all been CD's played through my Panasonic Blu Ray player and Pioneer Elite VSX-92 AV receiver set to the stereo pure direct mode. Here are some random impressions. I started with “I've Been to Memphis” on Lyle Lovett's Joshua Loves Ruth CD. It starts with a guitar then adds drums and then the bass guitar before Lovett starts singing. The bass guitar is punchy and authoritative and the Impressions reproduced it nicely. The snare drum was crisp and quick. No sibilance in Lovett's voice. The next track was “Black and Blue” from the Gene Harris Quartet CD of the same name. I like Gene's stuff because he plays something like my all time favorite jazz artist, the late Oscar Peterson. His drummer has one of the most beautiful Zildjian ride cymbals I've ever heard and I thought that cymbal might give me a feeling for the performance of the tweeter. It did and the tweeter handled it pretty well. I could easily hear the sticks colliding with the brass and the cymbal sounded as beautiful as ever. My pop music choice was “It's Growing” from James Taylor's Covers CD. Taylor normally sings his own compostions but this album has him singing “covers” or his version of other peoples' compostions. It is extremely well recorded and mixed. As someone who has done some recording myself, the quality of this recording nearly brings tears to my eyes. Here I was listening for the sound of brass. This track has a trumpet in the mix and the Impressions midrange drivers reproduced it perfectly. That's what motivated me to call the midrange spectacular above. Finally on to some difficult classical music. One of the most difficult instruments to reproduce in my view is the harpsichord. Unlike a piano that has a hammer which strikes the strings, the harpsichord plucks the strings. That plucking sound should be apparent in any good recording. I used the Bach Quartet in A Minor as source material and was impressed that the Impressions delivered that sound of the plectra against the strings without any difficulty. In other words they are quite revealing and accurate and amazingly so for their modest price. So my conclusion is that the EMP Impressions are keepers for my mid fi system and something I would recommend without any reservation to someone looking for a pair of entry level speakers. These are priced like entry level speakers but they have the look and sound of speakers a level up the food chain. They are worth every nickel of the purchase price. Time to get busy integrating them into the rest of the home theater. Go get a pair. You'll see what I mean.