Do speaker grills really effect sq?

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ric71

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Hi all,
Maybe a silly question but what are your views on removing speaker grills?
I only ask as I removed all the grills from my MA Apex system and it is a huge improvement.It sounds so much more detailed and delicate.Pin point and accurate.I can hear every nuance where as before it was great it now sounds like I have upgraded the speakers. Sorry if this is obvious to you guys but my old speakers the grill was not removable so just never occured to me.
Thanks
 

lindsayt

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Most speakers sound better with the grills off. Some sound better with them on. Some speakers have non-removable grills and still sound fine. It's the treble that is most affected by the grills.

Sometimes it's a practicality issue. Keeping childrens fingers away from delicate tweeter domes, or shielding the drivers from direct sunlight.
 

plastic penguin

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ric71 said:
Hi all, Maybe a silly question but what are your views on removing speaker grills? I only ask as I removed all the grills from my MA Apex system and it is a huge improvement.It sounds so much more detailed and delicate.Pin point and accurate.I can hear every nuance where as before it was great it now sounds like I have upgraded the speakers. Sorry if this is obvious to you guys but my old speakers the grill was not removable so just never occured to me. Thanks
Yes, it does make a [small] difference. Try speaking with your hand close to your mouth and then remove it and hear the difference.
 
A

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That's funny PP, didn't, realise hands where acoustically transparent lol, no seriously, grilles are suppose to be transparent, but they do have a slight effect on high frequencies.
 

Singslinger

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In my experience they make very little difference, if any. The speakers I'm currently using in rotation with various systems are - Spendor SA1, PMC DB1i, Harbeth P3ESR, Elac BS243 & 244, Tannoy DC-700, ProAc D-18 and very soon, the ProAc Tablette Anniversary. In all cases, I find no difference when I take the grilles off, so I leave them on.

It's also worth mentioning that Harbeth for example, make it very difficult for their speaker grilles to be removed and recommend keeping them on.

By the same token, the Neat Petite SX is supplied without grilles as standard, though customers can buy them separately.

Still, if the individual listener enjoys the sound better with the grilles off, then by all means remove them.
 

CnoEvil

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My speaker manual says, "Kef suggest removal of the grille for serious listening", and then goes on to recommend "replacement following use".

I've noticed a clearer presentation with them removed, for all speakers that I've owned; also the dealers would always remove any grilles for the demos that I've attended.

Cno
 

chebby

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"Kef suggest removal of the grille for serious listening"

I have always left grilles in place. Speakers look a bit rubbish without them.

I guess i'm not a 'serious listener'. (Do I need to furrow my brow, concentrate hard and have an earnest expression for this 'serious' business of listening?)
 
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plastic penguin

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chebby said:
"Kef suggest removal of the grille for serious listening"

I have always left grilles in place. Speakers look a bit rubbish without them.

I guess i'm not a 'serious listener'. (Do I need to furrow my brow, concentrate hard and have an earnest expression for this 'serious' business of listening?)
"Furrow permitted, Jones..."

Perhaps buy some MAs - they look the biz with grilles off.
 

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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Each to their own, but I love the look of speakers. The more industrial looking the better!

I don't have children and my pets are only sixinches long, so I leave my covers off. I noticed a small difference in sq, but I mostly leave them off for aesthetic reasons.
 

MajorFubar

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Hold your hand about 8 inches from your mouth, blow on it, then do the same again while holding a speaker grille between your mouth and your hand. Notice the difference.

Sound is a movement of air just the same, so seeing that speaker grilles certainly do affect the movement of air, ergo they must effect the sound to some degree, even if only by diffusing the focus.

The real question is, can one audibly ascertain that difference. I've never been quite sure, but I take them off during serious listening, even if only for the placebo effect. Actually I find my Mission 794s look better without anyway.
 

chebby

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plastic penguin said:
Perhaps buy some MAs - they look the biz with grilles off.
MA RX1s and Castle Knights were top of the list - when I bought the M-CR603 - until these R3s came along.

Both the RX1s and Castle Knights had fantastic finishes, but would both have stayed 'grilles on' in the living room. Especially the RX1s with those rather too noticable bass/mid drivers. (I was worried they would remain visible through the grille cloth.)
 

CnoEvil

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chebby said:
"Kef suggest removal of the grille for serious listening"

I have always left grilles in place. Speakers look a bit rubbish without them.

I guess i'm not a 'serious listener'. (Do I need to furrow my brow, concentrate hard and have an earnest expression for this 'serious' business of listening?)
The whole business cannot be taken lightly. A well trimmed beard and small, round, metal rimmed spectacles are a requisite. Smiling is an affront, and laughter a transgression. :(
 

plastic penguin

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chebby said:
plastic penguin said:
Perhaps buy some MAs - they look the biz with grilles off.
MA RX1s and Castle Knights were top of the list - when I bought the M-CR603 - until these R3s came along.

Both the RX1s and Castle Knights had fantastic finishes, but would both have stayed 'grilles on' in the living room. Especially the RX1s with those rather too noticable bass/mid drivers. (I was worried they would remain visible through the grille cloth.)
Fair enough - it's a little Col. Blimpish though...;)
 

grifz

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MA-RX6s have magnetic grills for easy removal/fix when required which are ideal for my full blown 2 children puppy ,cat [All well behaved of course]
 

chebby

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MajorFubar said:
I've never been quite sure, but I take them off during serious listening...
There's another one :)

Please can someone tell me more about 'serious listening'? Is it done with serious music?

I thought our systems were about bringing us some pleasure.

If I put on a serious documentary (or a serious drama) to listen to, then of course it's not going to make me dance around the room. Is this what you mean?

Can you 'listen seriously' to music that is bouncy, rhythmic, uplifting, joyful? Does playing air guitar, or doing anything else that expresses pleasure, ruin the serious listening experience?

Are we (as I suspect) talking about... sitting in the 'hifi chair', dead centre, perfect alignment, eyes closed, don't move otherwise the 'sweet spot' is lost, speakers angled perfectly, grilles off (of course), "don't disturb your father he is doing his serious listening again"?
 

CnoEvil

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chebby said:
MajorFubar said:
I've never been quite sure, but I take them off during serious listening...
There's another one :)

Please can someone tell me more about 'serious listening'? Is it done with serious music?
My best analogy: serious relationship vs casual relationship. :bigsmile:
 

busb

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Talking of the Proms - I've just missed the Glagolitic Mass - damn & blast. Heard it the Proms ~ 20yrs ago though.

My Celestion SL6's did sound slightly better without the grills - not a huge amount but they sounded slightly indistinct with them on.

Can't comment on my current Arros - they don't come with grills. My understanding is that nearly all speakers sound better without but a very few models sound better with. How much worse, no doubt depends. The grills on my SL6s had quite a thick wooden board with cutouts for the drivers. Whether or not the edges of these cutouts caused refraction artefacts, I can't say.
 

MajorFubar

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chebby said:
MajorFubar said:
I've never been quite sure, but I take them off during serious listening...
There's another one :)

Please can someone tell me more about 'serious listening'? Is it done with serious music?
My definition of serious listening is when the wife is probably out, definitely when the kids are out or in bed, and when there's nothing to distract me from the act of sitting down in (otherwise) silence in my favourite sweet-spot and enjoying the music.
 

garyw77

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For me a definite improvement in detail on my PMC DB1i's once the grills are removed.

They look fantastic as well with the great build quality 8)

No kids or pets to worry about so they stay off through all my listening and only get replaced when the systems off. ;)
 

Sliced Bread

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A really good geeky test for speaker grills using Dimmer switches for lights.

Wait to the house is empty and it is quiet then set your dimmer switch to “dim”. If you listen carefully you’ll hear a buzz from the switch.

Now get your speaker grill and hold it in front, then remove it. Repeat this and listen to the buzz. You’ll notice quite a significant drop in the buz with the switch in place.

So yes, I agree! They do effect sound quality. Interestingly different speakers grills seem to have a slightly different level of influence on the sound.
 

CnoEvil

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Sliced Bread said:
A really good geeky test for speaker grills using Dimmer switches for lights. Wait to the house is empty and it is quiet then set your dimmer switch to “dim”. If you listen carefully you’ll hear a buzz from the switch. Now get your speaker grill and hold it in front, then remove it. Repeat this and listen to the buzz. You’ll notice quite a significant drop in the buz with the switch in place. So yes, I agree! They do effect sound quality. Interestingly different speakers grills seem to have a slightly different level of influence on the sound.
Brilliant! The dimmer switch test for grilles. I truely admire the fact that you are brave enough to admit this. ;) ......and the ironic fact that the dimmer switches may have a bigger effect on the sound, than the grilles do! :D
 
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