Grills-On or Off?

imsjry
imsjry Posts: 120
I know I know...but after all these years of high end home audio, I was wondering if there is a general consensus on keeping speakers grills on or off? I have to assume the manufactures test the sound quality designed with the grills on..but maybe not?

Comments

  • gce
    gce Posts: 2,158
    Use your ears.
    Anaheim Hills CA,
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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,952
    imsjry wrote: »
    I know I know...but after all these years of high end home audio, I was wondering if there is a general consensus on keeping speakers grills on or off? I have to assume the manufactures test the sound quality designed with the grills on..but maybe not?

    Manufacturers are no different than you. Some voice their speakers with grills on others grill off.
    Only you can make the ultimate decision as to which sounds best to your ears.
  • imsjry
    imsjry Posts: 120
    It just always seemed odd to me they would manufacture speakers with grills that might pose a hindrance in audio quality. I assumed people had their grills off strictly for visual aesthetics (myself included).
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,686
    I don't's gots no grilles...

    24051079897_52426f965b_b.jpgDSC_9984 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    I think the case can be made for the grilles as removable covers to protect the drivers from dust and -- you know -- fingers and stuff.
    There's no doubt in the olden days loudspeakers were meant to be used avec grilles; nowadays it's less clear. Heck, they're optional at extra cost on some loudspeakers nowadays.

  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,499
    My Silverline Audio Sonatina MkIs come with grilles. But with the grilles on, the grille cloth makes constant contact with the dome midrange driver which seems to me would be detrimental...so I run without the grilles all the time.

    For my Ushers, I think they look better naked.

    For my LSi7s, I run them with grilles on. Same with my Monitor 5s.

    My JTRs have metal mesh grilles over the drivers and I leave them on all the time.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,612
    My KEF Q150's don't include the grills when you buy them new. KEF sells them but they must be purchased separately. So, I don't use grills with these speakers.
  • verb
    verb Posts: 10,002
    I like the look of grilles off. Makes it look more interesting, IMO. The SRS's look impressive with all the drivers exposed, and the massive PR. Or the look of the Klipsch speakers with the copper colored drivers. :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS 1.2tl's, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,McIntosh MCD301 CD/SACD player, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2, Series2 Digital Cables, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Series2 XLR's, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
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  • mlistens03
    mlistens03 Posts: 2,767
    My KEFs are one of the speakers Doc Hardy mentioned, the grills were an extra $25 and there was no white option to match the white finish. I decided that if I know there were gonna be little kids around, I'd switch quick to my Dad's Bostons that I am storing, since they have grills and still sound pretty good. :)
    And on some speakers, it doesn't really matter, my KEF's tweeter has a waveguide/armor:
    sqzuzxf0jj8f.jpg
    Picture looks a little weird because they are playing at the moment, but you can see what I'm talking about.
    But yeah, like others said, let your ears decide. :)
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,909
    Grills are to protect the speakers, not enhance the sound. Many Magico speakers do not have grills. The S series does, but for protection. I take my grills off when I listen, and you can hear the improvement with grills off.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
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  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 10,278
    I leave mine on to block dust from getting on the drivers.

    I do detect a slight, but perceptible, difference in the sound with grilles off vs on.

    However when they are on, I feel more content and at ease. So I just leave them on.
  • tophatjohnny
    tophatjohnny Posts: 3,403
    F1nut wrote: »
    If they come with grills they stay on. Besides, if you're looking at the drivers while listening you're not really listening.

    Amen!
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,686
    verb wrote: »
    I like the look of grilles off. Makes it look more interesting, IMO. The SRS's look impressive with all the drivers exposed, and the massive PR. Or the look of the Klipsch speakers with the copper colored drivers. :smile:

    Hmm...
    Maybe @verb is ready for... Kabuki ;)

    n0l6a0h8ndcl.png

    fqc6s474rzvs.png

    as3mc6tx4n63.png

    (all borrowed images, Gott sei dank B) )
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,298
    Since stereo speakers create an illusion, having speaker drivers visible can distract from that. Good speakers themselves are designed to acoustically disappear. When I got my LSiM 707s the big grills kept sliding off the magnetic attachments. I tried them without grills for a week then decided to apply a permanent fix by putting velcro attachment points on the grills and cabinets. Looking at drivers when listening bothers me.

    Those Kabuki speakers were designed to be looked at, not listened to. Mirror imaging a pair for stereo would have been unnecessary work. Worked for Quadrophonic sound maybe. :)
  • imsjry
    imsjry Posts: 120
    I will say visually, I like to look at the drivers vs grills. Any perceived audio enhancement i always assumed was a placebo effect just by nature of seeing the drivers looking at you. I like the mindset that the speakers should seem invisible. Interesting to read these opinions!
  • verb
    verb Posts: 10,002
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    verb wrote: »
    I like the look of grilles off. Makes it look more interesting, IMO. The SRS's look impressive with all the drivers exposed, and the massive PR. Or the look of the Klipsch speakers with the copper colored drivers. :smile:

    Hmm...
    Maybe @verb is ready for... Kabuki ;)

    n0l6a0h8ndcl.png

    fqc6s474rzvs.png

    as3mc6tx4n63.png

    (all borrowed images, Gott sei dank B) )

    Yeah Baby! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS 1.2tl's, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,McIntosh MCD301 CD/SACD player, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2, Series2 Digital Cables, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Series2 XLR's, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
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    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated Amp, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage #1: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
    Garage #2: Cambridge Audio EVO150 Integrated Amplifier, Polk L200's, Analysis Plus Silver Oval 2 Speaker Cables, IC's TBD.
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,454
    It depends on how they were designed/engineered. Often grills are provided simply for protection or esthetics.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi - Shop: Yamaha A-S501 Integrated Amp - Speakers: Elac Debut 2.0 B5.2
  • cfrizz
    cfrizz Posts: 13,414
    I always leave mine on, I'm supposed to be focused on the music/movie not looking at my speakers. They are there to provide sound not be looked at.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,909
    LOL. Why aren't some of you listening to music instead of looking at the speakers?
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
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    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,892
    Grills on unless my green army men are repelling down my speakers, then I like to see em get blasted when they try to get past the drivers.
  • codycatalist
    codycatalist Posts: 2,663
    Grills on because they are SDAs and that's the way they were intended to be listened to.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

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  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,453
    How you supposed to cook if you don't turn thr grill on?
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,909
    Listening to tunes.

    y875rp07rht5.jpeg
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    Depends on the speaker.

    Some grilles do alter the highs a good bit, but not just in amplitude, but create peaks and valleys in the treble region.

    Measure the response with grill on and off. If it just reduces the treble a tad, which most do, then decide with ears.

    If it creates several peaks and valleys, (due to diffraction) then better to remove them.
    Lsi15, Lsi9, LsiC,Rta11t,M5jr+,M4, SDA SRS 2.3TL, Rti6....Still listing stuff, a work in progress.
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