Grills on? Grills off?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Alan Wise, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    What do you you prefer, the sound of your speakers with, or with out the grills on?

    The other night I read in the Infinity Beta 10 review in the current issue of Hometheater Magazine that the reviewer (forgot his name) prefered the sound with the speaker grills off.
    This got me wondering. So, while my wife was off at school last night I performed a test session. I fired up my Led Zepplin concert DVD in my Denon 2900 and played "Stairway to Heaven" from the 1975 concert at "Earls Court" in both Dolbly Digital with DPLIIx Music, and DTS with DPLIIx Music. I played both formats with the grills on my seven Bostons, and then repeated with the grills off. I then repeated this sequence twice more.
    My opinion is that my Bostons sounded slightly more open (revealing?) with the grills off.
    It makes sense to me that speakers rely on the movement of air to create their sound, thus any kind of a cover would hinder their performance. Kind of like trying to sing with a surgery mask on.

    I am interested to know what you think?

    Thanks, Al. Wise
     
  2. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard that some speakers are designed to be played with the grills on, therefore they would sound worse with the grills off! I really doubt it matters that much! Just one guys uneducated opinion[​IMG] .
     
  3. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    Aaron is correct. Some manufacturers design their speakers with the grills in mind. Some do not. You can consult your manufacturer or just try it both ways and see what sounds better to you.

    James
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've never heard a speaker that sounded worse with the grills off, including Paradigm's, which are supposedly to be used with them on.

    As James said, it pretty much comes down to personal preference.
     
  5. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    I personally don't hear a lot of difference with my B&W 601s and 602s with or without the grills. I think they look better without the grills, but my wife's opinion differers. In our case though, we have a 12 year old and an 8 year old and their friends who can all be a little rowdy. For this reason, the grills stay on in our house. For pics though, I always take them off. It just looks cooler to me.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    This has been discussed in the past before, as noted some design with them on, some with them off. I've preferred my digms in the past with them on, and my dynaudios now with them off, via listening tests.

    The difference is relatively minimal, but if you have a nice setup and listening room, you should be able to listen critically and hear the slight lowering of brightness when you put the grilles on. I enjoyed the slightly tamed digms, my dyns are not fatiguing or anything, so off is better here. Again, user preference. Of course things like protection of the speakers from prying fingers can trump this.
     
  7. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    Grills on! Protect your investment! [​IMG]

    Unless they are those old fashioned cheesy grills with no support and just nylon across the front, tear that crap off. But if the grill has reinforced plastic inside, leave the grill on, to protect your drivers.
     
  8. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I only pull grills if I am doing critical listening - but I don't notice any difference, it just makes me feel better.
     
  9. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank guys. This is good feedback.
    I'm on the fence as to what looks better. It is just the wife and I, no little fingers to poke at the woofers or tweeters. I agree, they sound a little brighter with the grills off.


    Al. Wise
     

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