As noted above, you've got a potential winner here, depending on condition. The platter and bearing and motor are all exceptionally fine, even by modern standards. The tonearm is not well-loved, however as a real heavyweight arm it is a very good match for a Denon 103R cartridge. And Empire made some very fine cartridges itself which should work well.
You should definitely check out the big Empire thread over at AudioKarma. I believe the Empire 498 is a suspended model, and was made at the height of Audio Empire's production.
There is much that can be done to ensure that the Empire is brought back up to snuff. Specifically, you should get the right belt (Turntable Basics probably has it), plus you should replace the three rubber grommets that suspend the motor, since they are likely to be dried out and stiff. With fresh grommets you should not hear any motor noise when setting the needle down.
I don't know anything about setting up the suspension on these, but the 498 used the same heavy weight platter (I think) as the earlier 208/298/398 models, and it is a beauty. Exceptionally well machined & balanced. It does have a tendency to ring however (mine used to ring for 30 seconds after tapping it with no mat on it). There are several methods one can use to dampen the platter, but perhaps the best is to get one of the thicker Herbies mats, which can be custom-cut so that the center hole is correct for the Empire platter.
The motor is an exceptionally robust 3-phase unit, and is well-known for its speed stability. You might need a little lubrication in the motor well, and a few drops of light oil in the main bearing and you should be good to go!
Best of luck and happy listening!