I was a fanatical partisan of Empire cartridges for many years. 888's, 999's 1000's etc. Every time they would make a new one I would buy it. They were remarkably smooth sounding, and they would track anything. I tried one of those Shure Audio Obstacle Course tests with my 999, and it knocked off all the Shure V-15's, which supposedly would out track anything. I liked the sound better than the comparable Shures because the Shures of the period, such as V-15 III had a really agressive ear biting midrange.
In the late 70's and early '80's the Empire build quality started to deteriorate severely. I had 2 or 3 2000Z's where the stylus cantilever came loose from the rubber block, and the stylus actually came adrift, one right after the other. That suggested that I needed a more reliable unit. I bought a used Shure V-15IV from a buddy who had replaced it with a Koetsu Onyx. It had a brand new stylus and I got it for $50. It had a much better sound than the earlier Shures, and I was satisfied with it. Didn't chew your ears off. I would say that if you can find a 2000 with a good reliable stylus you will have smooth response and really good tracking, but if you like a hot midrange, the Empire may not be for you. For clarification, I had a couple of 2000E's and they were OK. It was the 2000Z's that were shaky.
Hope this helps!