Speaker Grills??

I put on my speaker grills on my Hales T5's to see how it would look and sound and it looked OK and sounded OK but the difference in sound with the grills off is actually significantly better than with them on. With the grills on the sound was restricted and kind of muffled. With the grills off the music opened up and had much more life to it. Is this normal? The difference with the grill on or off is not subtle. I cannot listen to my Hales with the grill on as the difference in sound is so different for the better with the grills off.Is this normal?
Yes, this is normal. Grills cause diffraction and frequency response abberations. Joe D'Appolito has said that he never met a grill that he liked. Now you know why : ) Sean
My grills sit in a cupboard...they sound better there...lol...seriously though...I feel the same way...no grills sounds better than keeping them on. Uh-oh...we might be letting the cat out of the bag...now speaker manufacturers may start offering grills as options...I can't have that...what would I put in my cupboards?

My grills still have the protective covering on them when my speakers were shipped!

Grills off!
Kids, pets, & WAF = grills on.
Best sound = grills off, unless the speakers were designed to be listened to with the grills on - some speakers have a high end which is designed to be heard thru grills.
Newbee: Does this mean that the speakers are bright and they use the grills as "mufflers"??? : ) Sean
looks and sounds better period
If you MUST put a grill on yer speaker, i highly reccommend Propane instead of charcoal. Not because propane tastes better, but it is easy to simply shut off when not needed and less chance of it burning down yer house.
LOL Slappy.
i too have noticed that my xrt22s sound better with the grills off but with 2 children & their freinds comming & going i leave them on till i listen.

Because of their sonic degrading character, speaker grills also work well at distorting your voice when used as a mask during bank robberies.

I always felt guilty when using my girlfriend's pantyhose for heists. In the event I was nabbed, with the DNA evidence recovered from the make-shift mask they'd be able to trace the hose back to her, and she'd get in trouble too.

"We want to hurt no one. We're here for the bank's money, not your money. Your money is insured by the federal government, you're not gonna lose a dime. Think of your families, don't risk your life. Don't try and be a hero."

The Theil 5's were definitely designed to be listened to with the grills ON. The grills actually complete the design of the exterior of the cabinets.

Sean, I believe you are right - but it wasn't the Theil I had in mind, but then on the other hand........
I mentioned no names, so anyone jumping to conclusions / naming names did that on their own. I simply made a comment and you guys let your "theater of the mind" run away with ideas... : ) Sean
serious listening = grills off. always!!
Depends on the grill material. Also, it depends on the speaker configuration. My planar speakers, MG1.6, have woven grill cloth that is very transparent, but besides that the planar diaphram movement is so small and the audio pressures so small that I don't think the grill cloth has any effect. With cone speakers, it is usual to see the grill cloth vibrating in front of the woofer, and that vibration cannot happen without soaking some energy out of the audio.
Grills off? While you're at it, might as well take your clothes off too. If the speakers are booging free and clear without any sonic obstacles, you should be swinging free to the tunes as well.