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  1. #1

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    Default Grills on or off?

    Hey Guys,

    Which do you prefer on or Off?
    Is there a big difference in sound?
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  2. #2

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    I myself typically leave them off. But that's more because I like to be able to see my speakers...and watch the speakers excursion and all that.

    Speakers grilles are typically designed to be completely acoustically transparent, so there shouldn't be much of a difference in sound. Try both and see which way you like it.
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  3. #3

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    Speakers: Polk LSi15
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  4. #4

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    been there,, done that,,, grills on the SDA's.;)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  5. #5

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    I must say that the A5s look mighty good grills off:D
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    grilles on unless the catch hasn't been declawed... then they have to be off. :p
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    Quote Originally Posted by danger boy View Post
    grilles on unless the catch hasn't been declawed... then they have to be off. :p

    Good point neighbor, my damn cat trashed one of my 70's grilles. Needless to say that cat is no longer with us, lol.
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  8. #8

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    i go both ways, sometimes on , sometimes off. i leave them on for awhile and then take them off and its like i have new speakers, then put them back and what do you know i got new speakers, i am easly ammused.

  9. #9

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    Well...I've been listening to my 7A's without the grilles for the last few days. I just popped them back on and listened to a couple CD's. They sounded the same to me. Possibly a little bit more muffled...bit I'm guessing that was just my imagination more than anything.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwm27 View Post
    i go both ways, sometimes on , sometimes off. i leave them on for awhile and then take them off and its like i have new speakers, then put them back and what do you know i got new speakers, i am easly ammused.
    too funny!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by danger boy View Post
    grilles on unless the catch hasn't been declawed... then they have to be off. :p
    HaHa, Yes went through that with "Mr Kitty" the first night i got my A-7's. No sooner do i get them hooked up, he decided to Hone his claws. Thought about trying to send current through the grill's, but curt suggested "Red Pepper" which has kept him at bay. But do like the grills on or off, and really havent noticed a difference in sound.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by retro152 View Post
    HaHa, Yes went through that with "Mr Kitty" the first night i got my A-7's. No sooner do i get them hooked up, he decided to Hone his claws. Thought about trying to send current through the grill's, but curt suggested "Red Pepper" which has kept him at bay. But do like the grills on or off, and really havent noticed a difference in sound.
    I accept paypal.;)

    The red pepper works wonders though. I wish I would have known about it years ago.
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  13. #13

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    Grills on the RTI's and grills off on the SDA's and Monitors.
    I think the RTI series speakers look pretty cheap with the silver around the woofers and ports. Just my opinion.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by leroyjr1 View Post
    Grills on the RTI's and grills off on the SDA's and Monitors.
    I think the RTI series speakers look pretty cheap with the silver around the woofers and ports. Just my opinion.
    I disagree in regards to the RTi A's.
    But the old RTi series look pretty cheap with the whole front being silver plastic.

    I keep my grills on for the most part, just for protection.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by metal83 View Post
    I disagree in regards to the RTi A's.
    But the old RTi series look pretty cheap with the whole front being silver plastic.

    I keep my grills on for the most part, just for protection.

    You can't disagree with me I'm always right. Atleast that's what the devil tells me.:p

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by leroyjr1 View Post
    You can't disagree with me I'm always right. Atleast that's what the devil tells me.:p
    Ironically the devil told me the same thing. Leroys not lying. He IS always right.

    I think the RTi A's are some sexy speakers myself. Especially in cherry. I much prefer them to the RTi's with their silver faces.

    I've got an idea now...one grille on, one grille off. That's the best way to find out which sounds better...maybe...
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablycurt View Post
    Ironically the devil told me the same thing. Leroys not lying. He IS always right.

    I think the RTi A's are some sexy speakers myself. Especially in cherry. I much prefer them to the RTi's with their silver faces.

    I've got an idea now...one grille on, one grille off. That's the best way to find out which sounds better...maybe...
    One on, One off, thats pretty good;)
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  18. #18

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    I recently answered the very same question on the Carver site! by saying that speakers are designed and tuned with the grills on, so why would anyone take them off? I was then informed by RichP417, the site owner, that my post was not a valid "contribution" and fell under one of the following, "tantrums, childish, inane or false." He then deleted most of my posts and made it so that I'd only be able to post in one section of his forum.......Hilarious!!!

    So, be very careful how you answer any question should you venture there.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  19. #19

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    How exactly does that fall under the category of "tantrum, childish or false"?

    I'll have to remember not to give any good answers to questions if I ever join up at the Carver forum.

    Jesse's right though. Speakers are designed to be used with the grilles on, that's how they're tuned.

    I prefer having them off though...I like to see my drivers moving and all that. The grilles go back on when I'm done listening though just for protection purposes.
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  20. #20

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    Curt, let me clarify. The Carver Audio forum (http://www.carveraudio.com/phpBB3/) is not the forum I was speaking of. There was a splinter group that started up another forum, the Carver site! and that's the forum I was referring to.

    To answer your first question.....I'm still scratching my head while LMAO at the same time.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  21. #21

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    Ah...I get ya now.

    Doesn't exactly sound like the most welcoming forum, if you're being "reprimanded" for telling someone that they design/tune speakers with the grilles on.

    Oh well...I'll have to remember to avoid that message board...lol
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  22. #22

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    The “correct” answer to this question is how well does it sound to you with the grills on or off. If you do not detect a difference in sound quality then aesthetics is the next criteria. Do you like the appearance with the grills on or off.

    If a manufacturer wants you to keep the grills on then they will tell you that removing the grills will negatively impact the sound quality. No reputable speaker manufacturer will want their product degraded. Especially if they are assisting the degradation by providing removable grills. My suspicion, is the design goal for grills is to be neutral in their effect. Ideally, on or off the sound should be the same.

    For example, Tyler Acoustics charges extra for the grills. The implication, to me, is that the grills degrade the sound of their speakers.

    http://www.tyleracoustics.com/woodmere.html

    Personally, I am using my front LSi15s in the HT with the grills off, and the rears with the grills on. The living room stereo, with PSB Synchrony 1s, is grills off. It looks awesome, at least to me. Plus, it sounds good.
    Last edited by BlueFox; 01-31-2009 at 01:44 AM. Reason: Adding grill conjecture

  23. #23

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    I would think that the grills would affect the tweeter sound more than mid/bass drivers.
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  24. #24

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    In Home Theater Mag's review of the RTi series, the reviewer said the CSi A6 sounded sibilant and that putting the grille on mellowed it slightly.

    I've only had my A6 for 3 days and I've kept the grille on so far, but I've listened to other speakers with and without grilles and most of the time, there's little if any difference. I've been a pro-audio engineer for the better part of 15 years, so, at the risk of sounding a bit full of myself, I think I'm equally qualified to detect differences in sound as the Home Theater Mag reviewer. Then again he may have developed super-sensitive hearing listening to fine home theater speakers while I was blowing my eardrums out mixing rock concerts.....

  25. #25

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    The CSiA6 sounds natural with the grill on to me:D
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  26. #26

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    Im Starting to like them with the grills-off;)
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  27. #27

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    If the grilles serve a meaningful purpose then why are they so easily removed? I always thought they were just there to make them look more streamlined and low key. Would you put a piece of fabric over your mouth before giving a speech? Just a thought. I really don't know the right answer here, it's just what seems to make sense to me. Also not so sure about this concept that speakers are "tuned" to have the grilles on. So they built the speakers, put the grilles on, checked the results, and then tweaked the speakers to accomodate the grilles? Uh... I don't think so. Maybe I'm a dumbass though, still trying to figure this out.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by messiah View Post
    If the grilles serve a meaningful purpose then why are they so easily removed? I always thought they were just there to make them look more streamlined and low key. Would you put a piece of fabric over your mouth before giving a speech? Just a thought. I really don't know the right answer here, it's just what seems to make sense to me. Also not so sure about this concept that speakers are "tuned" to have the grilles on. So they built the speakers, put the grilles on, checked the results, and then tweaked the speakers to accomodate the grilles? Uh... I don't think so. Maybe I'm a dumbass though, still trying to figure this out.
    They design speakers while keeping in mind, that most people are going to leave the grilles on. It's not like they build the speaker...then put the grille on and retweak it. The speakers are designed from the ground up with the grilles in mind.

    They're removable for the purposes of knowing what you have, and being able to show others what you have. I like to be able to see the drivers in my speakers.

    Some people prefer them on...some people prefer them off. I personally leave them off. It doesn't make a real drastic difference in the sound either way though.
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  29. #29

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    I like them off too. It's not like I really dislike the way they look with them on, I just think they look cooler off, and for the life of me can't think of how they could actually IMPROVE the sound.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by messiah View Post
    I like them off too. It's not like I really dislike the way they look with them on, I just think they look cooler off, and for the life of me can't think of how they could actually IMPROVE the sound.
    If the speakers are designed with the resistance of the grilles in mind, then without the grilles on, theoretically it could affect the sound. It would affect the tweeter more than anything else because of the nature of high frequency waves. They're a lot more directional, and of a much shorter wave-length, and obstructions affect their sound more so than a mid-range or woofer.

    Like I said...it's not going to be a night and day difference...but if the speakers are designed to have the resistance of the grilles there, then ideally the grilles should be on. I don't hear much of a difference myself...if anything the highs might be a little bit brighter with the grilles off...but that could be my imagination too.
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    Adcom GFA-545 power amp
    PolkAudio SDA 2A's/PolkAudio Monitor 7A's
    Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables
    Audioquest Sidewinder IC's
    Audioquest Black Mamba IC's
    Signal Cable Analog II IC's

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