Speaker Grilles: On or Off and can you explain?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard_S, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    This is quite a newbie question and probably another subjective question but is it more common to keep the grilles on or have the grilles off? I forgot what the function of speaker grilles were. Can anyone please explain the pros and cons of having it on and having it off?
     
  2. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    Speaker grilles are to protect the speakers from curious fingers. Some folks claim they can hear the difference with the grilles off. I cannot.

    --Steve
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I hear a difference with the grills off. I find that a little detail in the sound usually at the high range, are a little muffled with the grills on. It's a slight difference but enough fro me to keep them off. P.S. there cool off.
     
  4. Ariel

    Ariel Stunt Coordinator

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    depends on the manufacturer. some manufacturers are advising to keep the grilles on as this is included in their design for the best sound dispersal.
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Paradigm Reference for example are designed to have the grilles on. The grilles on these speakers fit around the drivers flush mounting with them becoming part of the baffel. When you take them off you are removing part of the baffel which screws up the dispersion pattern the Paradigm engineers designed into the speaker.

    For some other manufactures it is purely cosmetic and/or protective. As you can see from Steve and Jerome's comments, some hear a difference some don't.

    Unless the speaker has had the grille specifically designed for it the grille will definately impact the sound. This impact from a decent grille should be neglagible. If you think you can hear the difference and don't need the drivers protected, take them off. If you can't hear a difference or need the drivers protected keep them on.
     
  6. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I have Paradigm References. So I should keep the grilles on then?
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Definately. On Paradigm Reference the grille is part of the baffel, remove it and you are completely changing the baffel from what the Paradigm engineer intended it to be.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    What sounds better to YOU? Is the real question.

    I can only hear a slight difference with them off, and also only with the higher frequencies (Mini monitors).
     
  9. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    My speakers have the tweeter on top of the speaker in a separate enclosure, so it remains unobstructed when the grill is on. Since the lower frequencies (midrange, bass) can permeate the grill fabric, perhaps that's why I cannot tell a difference?
    If I didn't have three pairs of curious hands running around I'd probably take the grills off, though. The speakers look cooler that way [​IMG]
    --Steve
     
  10. RossB

    RossB Extra

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    Well there is the other reason no one touched on also...
    the spousal override..."why did you take the covers off your speakers...I don't like it...they ruin the look of the room...put them back"[​IMG]
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    The MiniMonitors are the Monitor line. They don't have the same grille design. They aren't integrated as part of the front baffel.

    For the Monitor line I'd say it's personal preference. For the Reference line the grilles should stay on.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Actually, the monitor line do have a similar grille design, Acousticly transparent fabric over wood baffles, with only small openings for the speakers to protrude through.
     
  13. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    But the Reference series drivers are mounted in such a way that they protrude almost a 1/2" from what you would call the baffel when the grille is off. When the grille is on a reference speaker the grille then literally becomes the baffel. The Monitor series drivers don't protude very far in front of the baffel if at all. The grille then rests on the baffel and doesn't really become part of the baffel. In that sense the grilles of the two series are very different. Contruction material wise though, I agree, the two series grilles are almost identical.
     
  14. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    The monitor line manuals do state that the grill is part of the speaker design. If you look at the back of a monitor line grill, you will notice that the opening for the tweeter is a funnel outward into the room. That is, it is cut to aid dispersion, and is not just a round hole.
     
  15. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I don't know. At first I thought having the grill on sounded better (sound more direct) while having it off was more dispersed then today I thought having the grill off sounded better because it let more sound through.

    Maybe I should really listen more. But ya I do like the looks of it off but I would have a dust prob? But if the grilles are part of the speakers like you guys said then I'll keep it on.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Who cares what WE say? If you like the sound with them off, then leave them off!! I take my grilles off when I listen to music. [​IMG]
     
  17. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    For the Monitor series I agree whole heartedly with John. For the Reference series, keep'em on.
     
  18. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    With my JBL S-series speakers, I keep them off. Not only do they look much better that way, but my S310 speaker grills were wrecked in shipping. [​IMG]
    Sam
     
  19. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Totem Acoustics sells their grills seperately and try to discourage their use where ever possible because it's a compromise to the tuning of the speakers.
     
  20. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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