Do speaker grills really effect sq?

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Anonymous

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I use speaker grill to protect the drivers when there're guests (mainly children ) at home but I never use them for a serious auditioning. Grills muffle mid an high frequencies.
 
T

the record spot

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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
Not something I lose sleep - or sound quality - over in fairness. I leave the grilles on at all times on mine, although tried the 752s without theirs a couple of times for a few tracks and I'm not losing out.
 

CnoEvil

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Audio Maniac said:
I use speaker grill to protect the drivers when there're guests (mainly children ) at home but I never use them for a serious auditioning. Grills muffle mid an high frequencies.
This just proves to Chebby, that we serious listeners are a flourishing breed, and not on the edge of extinction.
 
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Anonymous

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My grills never come of but luckilly my cables make up for it.
 

ID.

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chebby said:
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"?
Yep pretty much sums up when I have the grills off. I find there is a difference, but usually not massive. Currently listening to PMC DB1i with the grills off. The music is on shuffle, so some of it is seriously non-serious.

I've heard of speakers being voiced so that they are meant to sound their best with the grills on, but of the few speakers I've been intimately acquainted with, there is a bit of an improvement with grills off. Mind you, when I first pulled the grills off my B&W 685 my wife's immediate reaction was ooh, and moved to press the tweeter because it looks temptingly like a big button.
 

busb

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Jun 14, 2011
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ID. said:
chebby said:
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"?
... when I first pulled the grills off my B&W 685 my wife's immediate reaction was ooh, and moved to press the tweeter because it looks temptingly like a big button.
Time for an upgrade? ;)
 

KiwiMoto

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My 685 tweeters bit the dust within a couple of days of me removing my grills.They definately sound better grill less,but now I just sit there listening and looking at my deformed tweeters :(( I think my four year old thought they were the 'on' button!
 

True Blue

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Oct 18, 2008
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Gosh, must get into this "serious" listening........sit up straight, clean ears with dewaxing fluid. Turn off the phone, doorbell, silence the dog, carefully remove grills, check speakers are level seeing as the weight has changed and therefore the centre of gravity...........................................

Jeeees, just listen to the music, they are there to protect the cones thats it.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Bring back proper grilles made of plywood frames and Tygan :)

(Or 'Vynair' !)

Pressed in tightly onto Velcro strips and almost impossible to remove without damaging the cabinet.

The tension (and strength) of those 'old school' grille cloths and the tight fit of the frames (usually held with generous amounts of Velcro or glue) prevented all but the most determined to go poking around where they shouldn't.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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KiwiMoto said:
My 685 tweeters bit the dust within a couple of days of me removing my grills.They definately sound better grill less,but now I just sit there listening and looking at my deformed tweeters :(( I think my four year old thought they were the 'on' button!
You could push the domes out again if you are careful, you will have to remove the driver first though.

The question is, do your speakers now sound better or worse than when the grills were on?
 

Jame5

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Always leave the grilles off my speakers as they muffle the high frequencies quite noticeably. My tweeters have an additional mesh cover, so I do wonder what they'd sound like with the tweeters fully exposed.

By the way, serious listening is what you do when you've just spent a week's net salary on a new piece of kit.
 

Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
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
I did warn you that it was a geeky test ;)
It does demonstrate how big a difference they make though. I must say, I've not noticed an issue when using dimmer switches though. I know that theoretically they do, but in my room I cannot hear it. But then again the lights and mains ring are on different circuits in my house.
 

CnoEvil

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Sliced Bread said:
I did warn you that it was a geeky test ;) It does demonstrate how big a difference they make though. I must say, I've not noticed an issue when using dimmer switches though. I know that theoretically they do, but in my room I cannot hear it. But then again the lights and mains ring are on different circuits in my house.
If you come up with a geeky test for dimmer switches, let me know! :D
 

marou

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By insisting that their grills should stay on (and making it damn hard to remove them) those thoughtful people at Harbeth have taken this decision out of my hands.
 
A

Anonymous

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I don't know if I would go as far to say that sound 'quality' is affected, but it does change, that's for sure. My ProAc's sound far better with the grilles on, if I take them off they're just that very slight tad too bright for my liking. My 804 Nautilus' tweeter grille is meant to be there and always stays on, which is good, because testing them with some electronics they are shockingly bright!

The Monitor Audio GR20's we have are not (at least not that I can hear) affected by the grilles. Neither were dad's old Mission 704A's.
 
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Anonymous

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i have a pair of bbc rogers ls3/5a from 1982 the grills stay on as thats
the way they were desinged to be used, so always make sure you can remove the grills without altering the sound.
 

ID.

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busb said:
ID. said:
chebby said:
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"?
... when I first pulled the grills off my B&W 685 my wife's immediate reaction was ooh, and moved to press the tweeter because it looks temptingly like a big button.
Time for an upgrade? ;)
The tweeter was never touched, but I did upgrade to PMC DB1i in less than a year (for other reasons)
 
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Anonymous

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Overdose said:
You could push the domes out again if you are careful, you will have to remove the driver first though.
Remove the drivers and you'll find they are closed backs anyway, else the bass driver would trash them!!

Use sellotape or a hoover to suck them back out again.

ETA: Grilles affect the sound from diffraction against the grill frame and if the cloth is too thick or acting as a diffraction grating. Diffraction is the main effect however, causing odd variations in treble energy as you move around the room.
 
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Anonymous

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Globs said:
Overdose said:
You could push the domes out again if you are careful, you will have to remove the driver first though.
Remove the drivers and you'll find they are closed backs anyway, else the bass driver would trash them!!

Use sellotape or a hoover to suck them back out again.

ETA: Grilles affect the sound from diffraction against the grill frame and if the cloth is too thick or acting as a diffraction grating. Diffraction is the main effect however, causing odd variations in treble energy as you move around the room.
now your speaking boom boom.
 

dannycanham

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MajorFubar said:
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.
No changes in air pressure are not the same as air movement. In air movement the air particles travel from one point in space to another point in space. In air pressure the particles press up against their neighbours and then oscillate back to their own space eventually to rest at/near their starting point. The pressed up neighbours press up against their neighbours and this pressing up propagates outwards.

Air movement and air pressure do not react the same to materials in the way. You see microphones covered in material to stop air movement and cut out wind noise. Materials can do this very effectively. This material does affect the air pressure as well and hence the sound but in a miniscule way in comparison.

Having a grill reduces the number of air particle neighbours to press up against. Having a grill puts a material that gets pushed up against that reacts differently to air. This will affect what pressure fluctuation gets to your ears but in a very very minor way. As is often the case. It is the knowledge of change that affects the perception of the audio rather than the actual change in the audio.

A simple test for trying to picture pressure is to play in the bath. Try using your hand to splash the top and create high frequency waves and its difficult. Easy with your finger. The opposite is true for low frequency waves. You get to see an approximation of the mechanical situation that occurs with large and small speaker cones. Now try the same holding your fingers into the water and splash with the other hand. The fingers approximate a grill a little. You should see the pressure waves propogate outwards almost as well as without the fingers but with visible distortion as the wave navigates past the fingers.
 

Lee H

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No idea, but my BX2s look better with them off. I've not got the most expensive amp, speakers or cable in the world. My floor is wooden and the speaker layout isn't the best. Frankly, I'm not sure it'll make a jot of difference in my system/room
 

MajorFubar

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dannycanham said:
MajorFubar said:
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.
No changes in air pressure are not the same as air movement. In air movement the air particles travel from one point in space to another point in space. In air pressure the particles press up against their neighbours and then oscillate back to their own space eventually to rest at/near their starting point. The pressed up neighbours press up against their neighbours and this pressing up propagates outwards.
Yeah I know that. Tbh it was a pretty crap analogy but the best I could think of lol
 

Inter_Voice

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My experience is like most folks that there is basically not much difference in SQ with or without speaker grills. However according to some audiophile magazine it mentions that the grill will affect soundstaging in partucular on the HFs but by not much.
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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I've had my KEF Q500s for a couple of weeks now and have loved them. Took the grilles off this afternoon and, whilst I'm one of the most sceptical people you could meet about "tweaks", this makes a fantastic difference. A veil has been lifted. I'm frankly astonished and delighted.

Chris
 
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