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To grill or not


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I regularly remove the grille covers when listening.

(i.e. no grill cloth attenutation to worry about).

Is there a particular sonic reason why the AR speaker grille cloth should be in place when listening to music, or is it mainly aethetics?

I like the authentic look with the "original" grill cloth, but when I look at the photos of frequency test measurements in the AR library they do not included the grille cloth on.

So, I am I right in assuming the advertised figures are taken without the grille material!

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If you are referring to my grill cloth study, you'll notice in the table on page 6 I included a control consisting of NO grill cloth. Then, the AR3a cloth had no difference with the control. Then the light and heavy weight linen also had no difference with the control. It is thus concluded that AR grills covered with original cloth, light and heavy weight linen will all perform the same as not having a grill on the speaker at all.

BTW, none of the linen fabrics in the study were obtained from a craft store, nor are they of the type used for cross stitching. That is not to say that Roy's findings are not valid either. I looked at cross stitch fabrics but found the heavy weight linen to be a closer match to the original grill cloth.

Remember, it's all about the music


Carl's Custom Loudspeakers

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I too have not found the linen to effect the sound in any negative way.

The "weight" and thread count of the AR cloth varied with era. I have found cross stitch/needlework linen to be a close match to many of them.


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Sorry for the possible confusion, no, I wasn't refering to your study, my reference to "advertised figures" was to the AR marketing figures on their brochures and the pictures in the library of AR engineers taking measurements.

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Hi Richard;

The reasons the AR grille cloths were glued on is is two-fold.

First they were really, really ugly with them off, I still love them though, even if they are ugly.

More importantly, people of all sizes poke and prod at anything that shouldn't be.

On rare occasion I do the tour, through a hifi store or at London Drug's which has an Audio-Video department.

I always shake my head at the pushed in domes of, tweeters, mids and woofers.

Even looking at some of the parted out drivers on ebay are nippled speakers.

There is, out on the market, a pair of Allison tweeters for sale, as I write this.

There is lots of photos at different angles.

It does not say in the write-up that the one of the domes is completely missing, but the photo does. DUH.

Fingers, etc, can nipple the tweeters, poke holes in surrounds, and toys can puncture drivers as well.

AR-4X tweeters are still sticky around their perimter after all these years.

Dynaco glued their classic grille cloths on as well.

Advent and KLH used Velcro on some of their grille cloths.

It is possible to place a grille cloth on upside down which may damage mostly dome tweeters or other drivers.

Heathkit specifically warned against this practice, because of the tweeters location and the Heathkit logo location.

If one was to have grille cloths with Velcro attached to them, the cloths could get damaged and would get soiled with each removal.

Plus the drivers are now more vulnerable to physical damage with it off.

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>So, I am I right in assuming the advertised figures are taken

>without the grille material!

Hi Richard,

That is an interesting question. It was not until well into the '70's that AR began using velcro. Until then the grilles were glued on rather securely (as many of us here have learned the hard way) making routine removal not an option.


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Greetings all,

Being a a real stickler for AR details, I am familiar with all the variations of AR's common biege linen material from the 60's and 70's. I went down to Michael's, as per Roy's recomedation, and looked and handled the the cross-stitch material. I can say without question that the material in question will work just fine. BTW, lots of chicks in that store :-)

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Guest postjob62

Since Roy brought the Michael's linen to light, I'll mention that if you check your Sat./Sun local newspaper Michael's often has a 40% off on one item coupon. It will take 2 packs of the linen to do a pair of 2's or 3a's; if you plan a little you can get a pair of 4x's out of one pack.

I've used this stuff a couple of times since Roy put me on to it and it really is close.


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