Speakers....grills off?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by George Caronan, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. George Caronan

    George Caronan Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if this applies to ALL brands of speakers...maybe, maybe not but does anyone here run their speakers without the grills. Does it affect the sound like say make it "breathe" more for a lack of a better analogy? Just a general question posed looking for answers. Thanks all in advance. I live in a pet-free, child-free, smoke-free but unfortunately not free mortgage house. [​IMG] Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Cheers.
     
  2. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I often take the grilles off my speakers (B&W DM602 & DM601 S3s) just because I think it looks cool. I always leave them on when I'm not watching a DVD though. I have convinced myself that it does make a very small amount of difference to the sound, at least if you are 2ft from the speaker, but that's proably just psychology!


    [​IMG]
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I very rarely take the grills off. No good reason, they sound great on or off...[​IMG]

    A/V-2s
     
  4. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    I listen to my front trio with grills off. The surrounds have the grills on.

    BOK
     
  5. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    is it wrong to stare at that picture of the b&w and drool, even though i own them too?
     
  6. Bret Pritchett

    Bret Pritchett Stunt Coordinator

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    ^ is that speaker stand made just for those B&Ws?

    it looks very nice
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes. It affects the sound.

    That does not mean that you should or should not use the grilles. Likely, most speakers are designed for grilles off, but listen, and do what you prefer. For instance, paradigm designs the grilles as part of the sound, they've got a baffle thing on the reference series, for instance. You are *supposed* to use them with the grilles on.

    The grilles will tame the highs just a touch, so listen with them on and off, and see what you like.
     
  8. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    It probably doesn't make any difference in HT. But most music audiophiles will swear that speakers with grill off sounds "better". Specially with the high frequencies. I never had to ponder the question with Martin Logans CLS2z.
     
  9. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  10. george.Legeza

    george.Legeza Stunt Coordinator

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    I leave the grills off of my B&W DM303s and my LCR3. I'm pretty sure I can hear a difference with the grills on, but it's not enough of one to make me have a preference one way or another based on sound.

    On the other hand, I think these speakers look great with the grills off, so that's the way they stay. Cleaning the grills of dust and whatever else collects in them is a pain too, so this fuels my laziness as well. [​IMG]

    I do keep the grills on the Polks I'm using at my rear, though. They're in somewhat odd places and the grills help them to blend in with the surroundings a little better.

    Edit- CharlesD, your speakers are making me jealous. [​IMG]
     
  11. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    While I'm not an audiophile I can hear the difference with my Kef Q35.2s with grills on or off, they sound better with grills off. That might just be a phsychological situation though, the speakers look very beautiful to me and I may be biased [​IMG] Still I leave them on all the time. When watching movies they distract me as they are a couple of feet away from the TV if the grills are off, and I can't hear the difference with movies anyway. With music I leave them on as well as I'm too lazy to put them on and off frequently...
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Hell, I thought these were pretty honest answers.

    It's pretty safe to say that the speaker grill is part of your overall system's frequency response and it's something entirely else to say that whomever designed the speaker did so with the knowledge that they would adjust the speaker's response characteristics to include that of the grill. As to whether these differences are of a significant nature is entirely a different matter. After all, something like an 1/8" increased toe-in, or leaving the blinds open or closed also has an effect on the FR.

    There have been measurements done by individuals where the frequency response can be affected by several dB with the grills on and off and this occurs in the treble regions. Below a few kHz these differences essentially vanish. The situations where there are measureable differences are attributed to diffraction and interference effects from the driver. All of this is highly dependent such things as what drivers are used, where the crossover points are, where the driver is located on the face, the nature of the grill, etc.

    So is it possible? Sure. If you happen to feel comfortable leaving them off, knock yourself out. You do realize though that this exposes your drivers to the elements and to the curious explorations of pets and children.
     
  13. Rich.S

    Rich.S Auditioning

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    I have Hales Concept 2s and whenever I'm doing serios listening, I take the grilles off. The grill assembly is about 3-4 lbs, and has a metal frame, with a bar that intersects the length of the speaker - so it's likely my grilles interfere more with the music than the average. Reviews might be a good place to read about the on/off dilemna. If you speaker has been reviewed, there's a good chance they mentioned what they sound like with the grilles on vs. off. Some speakers actually sound better with the grilles on.
     
  14. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    If I had some B&W's like that, I'd leave the grills off too. [​IMG]
     
  15. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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  16. Kevin G.

    Kevin G. Second Unit

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    NO S@#t!!! THOSE are SSOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!
    glad I didn't see those when I was auditioning, (or maybe my wife is glad) It took me long enough as it was to decide
    what's the price range of those pups?
     
  17. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    MSRP for the 602s is $600/pair (w/o stands) but typically they go for around $550. They sound as good as they look, so they are a bargain at the price IMO [​IMG]
     
  18. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    I'm going to demo some Monday hopefully. I'm going to try to compare them to the Studio 20's, because I was VERY impressed with those.
     
  19. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Paradigm has designed the grills so that the speakers sound better with the grills on. A rep from Vienna Accoustics recommends that there speakers be listened with the grills off.
     
  20. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    IMO, the 600 series is not fairly competitive with the studio series. The CDMs are more on par with the studio series, but more $$. The 700 series i've not yet heard, but is even more, and replaces the CDMs. I don't know how they will stand with regards to the V3 studios.

    The 600 series is much more comparable with the monitor series in both price and performance.
     

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