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View Full Version : How to safely remove the grilles



shseto
20-05-2008, 05:52 PM
Alan,

I know they are supposed to be left on while listening, but i really would like to open it up to see those beautiful Radial. It has been 2 weeks since my C7 ES3 arrived at my home.

I saw people suggested using paper clips in another thread which i could not figure out how it works, i could get one clip in and when i pull it , it seems so tight that i will not come out or do i need to make use of 2 ?

How do you remove them at Harbeth/ yourself? it seems very tightly fitted.

I promise to put i back for listening. its like if you bought a Jaguar, surely one would want to open the bonnet to have a look.

Thanks !

SH

A.S.
20-05-2008, 09:14 PM
Please email me privately with the serial numbers of your Compact 7s please.

A.S.
21-05-2008, 06:31 PM
OK, we've hunted down the best paper clip following the great suggestions from our users and plan to make a little video of this for release here over the next week or so. Remember: we recommend that your Harbeth grilles are left on, but if you insist in removing them, this tool may be needed. If the grilles come off easily themselves, you do not need this tool.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the tool with dimensions. We recommend the brass clip compared to the standard shiny steel one, as it is stiffer and is also a little thicker. These are sold as "large brass paperclips" in a packet of 50. You will need a pair of pliars to make the 7mm bend. Note, this 7mm needs to be accurately made.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN USING TOOLS. ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR EYES.

Paulg1
24-05-2008, 05:13 AM
Can front cloth covers of my new Compact 7-ES be removed? I have Tigerwood and I would like to be able to see it from front.

shseto
28-05-2008, 04:03 AM
Alan,

Great stuff ! How many of these do I need to prepare?

and looking forward for the video.

SH

tricka
13-12-2008, 10:12 AM
Hi everyone

well I got off my covers on my 7's with a pair of needle point pliers covered in electrical tape. I promptly put them back on.

Alan isn't kidding when he say they sound better with the grills on! Off they sound less coherent, less integrated and slightly brighter. On they sound perfect.

Thanks again for an amazing product.

Best Wishes
Andrew

Hu
13-12-2008, 03:19 PM
Waiting for the video, I just want to remove them sometimes to clean in inside part.

coredump
13-12-2008, 03:52 PM
Waiting for the video, I just want to remove them sometimes to clean in inside part.

attack from the corner. align the modified clip thru the tiny gap at the top corner, slowly pull it out a millimeter by a millimeter

A.S.
14-01-2009, 09:59 PM
Noel at Skylan has invented an ingenious tool for removing even tight grilles. He's made a prototype which he's demonstrated on this little video I made at CES Jan 09. The removal tool is called the Syklan "Grille Remova".

If there is any serious interest in this he will consider selling it at a reasonable price in a final form. Only one piece is required per pair of speakers as once one corner has been pulled out, you can reposition the tool on another corner and work around the speaker pulling each corner individually if needed.

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/library/flashfiles/noel3ctp.swf

.

feuilly
13-04-2009, 06:18 AM
Noel at Skylan has invented an ingenious tool for removing even tight grilles. He's made a prototype which he's demonstrated on this little video I made at CES Jan 09. The removal tool is called the Syklan "Grille Remova".

If there is any serious interest in this he will consider selling it at a reasonable price in a final form. Only one piece is required per pair of speakers as once one corner has been pulled out, you can reposition the tool on another corner and work around the speaker pulling each corner individually if needed.

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/library/flashfiles/noel3ctp.swf

.

Seriously, if I have to buy an accessories to open the bonnet or boot of my Jaguar, I would not even consider owning a Jaguar in the first place.

harbethpr
13-04-2009, 10:27 AM
We've tried to be helpful to our users. I'm sorry that we can't satisfy this user who states in his profile that he is a Harbeth owner. A considerable amount of thought and effort has gone into this with two solutions presented here.

I recall that we have mentioned here quite frequently that all Harbeth speakers are actually designed to be used with the grille on. This may be counter-intuitive but that's how we work. I guess removing the grille could be alikened to driving that Jaguar with the bonnet removed and the motor exposed. There are always methods for opening the bonnet ....

Pluto
13-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Seriously, if I have to buy an accessories to open the bonnet or boot of my Jaguar, I would not even consider owning a Jaguar in the first place.

Removal of a speaker grille isn't so much akin to opening the bonnet of your Jaguar, it's more like removing the crankcase. While you might have an innate desire to run the engine with the crankcase off so you can admire the wonderful crankshaft and beautiful valve gear, you know it would be unwise to do so.

It's only fashion and fascination that drives you to remove the grille of loudspeakers - that and the fact that some makers seem incapable of producing an acoustically transparent grille. In most environments, the protection afforded by the grille, against accidents that can damage fragile cones - even beautiful RADIAL ones, is rather valuable.

Which sounds better - a grille that's a little too tight (when new) or one that's a little too loose?

shseto
14-04-2009, 08:14 AM
I think most harbeth users knew that they should use the speakers with grille on while most of us want to take it off to look at the cones, be it for inspect for damages for simple admire how they look. its not unresonable.

forget the bonnet /boot thing, we can agrue here all day. we are looking at speakers and grille.

if design call for such tight fit that it can't be removed by the average owners (safely), i suggest it would be good to let the buyer konw by stating this fact in the owner manual perhaps? mention only offical dealer with office Harbeth tools should be opening it?

and the best is a free grille opening tool with new speakers sold? if the cost isn't silly?

i would pay up to 10 quid for the tool myself.

A.S.
14-04-2009, 10:02 AM
I think that this thread of late proves one valuable lesson (to us/me). There really is no place in this User Group, run by and managed by Harbeth UK, for public comments along the lines "I wouldn't buy Harbeth for this reason .....". They simply don't contribute to the general goodwill accumulated here - especially when they come from users who state in their profile that they do own Harbeth!

The purchase of hi-fi equipment is a democracy: the user is free to select from between hundreds or thousands of brands. Personally I think that 'knocking copy' has but one long term effect: it makes us as the designers/manufacturer more cautious about what we say, what we reveal, what we admit to, what we offer as solutions to inevitable issues that crop up from time to time. In short, it motivates us to do what other corporations do: admit nothing; blame the user. Surely that's not want you want or expect from me or from Harbeth? Wouldn't you want us to remain open? If so, then we have to very lightly intervene here from time to time to keep the overall tone here positive as it has been these past years.

Pluto
14-04-2009, 11:50 AM
...most of us want to take it off to look at the cones...

Provided you do it in the privacy of your own home, fair enough - it's just that in thirty years of owning and using high quality speakers both personally and professionally, I have never felt a need to examine the cones of a speaker system that is giving no sonic cause for concern. Neither do I see any great aesthetic beauty in speaker cones - not even Harbeth RADIALs - that necessitates the removal of the grille for any reason other than the simple fashion for "exposing" the technology.

shseto
14-04-2009, 04:14 PM
Provided you do it in the privacy of your own home, fair enough - it's just that in thirty years of owning and using high quality speakers both personally and professionally, I have never felt a need to examine the cones of a speaker system that is giving no sonic cause for concern. Neither do I see any great aesthetic beauty in speaker cones - not even Harbeth RADIALs - that necessitates the removal of the grille for any reason other than the simple fashion for "exposing" the technology.

there are times, honestly, i admire the sound only , not the cone to be honest but after my harbeths arrived home, i really 'wanted' to take a look at the drivers sure to confirm they are in goo shape. I have a pair of old harbeth where the tweeters were depressed by naughty kids at home and therefore I am kind of ....... always check these things and konwing the grille and is soft.....i hope you understand.

grunt72
26-04-2009, 01:48 PM
Noel Nolan of Skylan has devised a great little tool to open the grilles of the Harbeths. Drop him a note...

A.S.
26-04-2009, 02:27 PM
Yes, we already covered that here in my posting of 14 Jan 09 ....

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?p=4281#post4281
(http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?p=4281#post4281)

zhangyu.H
29-04-2009, 03:05 AM
I have my own way to do it.http://www.jd-bbs.com/viewthread.php?tid=1871052&highlight=harbeth

Don Leman
02-09-2009, 08:52 PM
When I first learned of this grille removal tool, I didn't think too much about it. After all Harbeth spearkers are designed to be listened to with the grilles on. Occasionally though I would get people over who would want to see the drive units and I felt a little uncomfortable telling them the grilles were hard to remove and just showing them a picture.

After a couple of conversations with Noel (he's a nice guy), he offered to send me one to try out. It arrived last week and I've got to tell you this is one nice toy. Not only does it look good, its fun to use. Now I look for opportunities to show off those terrific looking RADIAL drivers.

Noel says he can make them up for about $22 Cdn which includes shipping. So buy one for your wife... tell her its the ultimate fridge magnet, then borrow it once and a while when you have your buddies over.

I'm attaching some updated pictures of it with my old HL P3ES-2's.

Don
West Coast Audio

Supersnake
03-09-2009, 09:53 AM
Question 1:
If you have your speaker amplifier turned ON while you apply the magnets are you damaging any components in the speaker?

Question 2:
If you have your speaker amplifier turned OFF while you apply the magnets are you damaging any components in the speaker?

Question 3:
Will the damage be temporary or permanent?

harbethpr
03-09-2009, 10:31 AM
No need to worry about the Puller's magnets interfering with the speakers. It doesn't matter if the speakers are off or on. But be sure that the Puller doesn't touch any part of the speaker other than the grille's steel frame. Keep away from the tweeter and woofer and cabinet work!

C K Chan
29-11-2010, 03:54 AM
Hi Alan/Harbeth PR,

I have recently acquired a SHL5. I have every intention of keeping the grille on but as a new owner one would naturally like to take a look inside - to admire the beauty of it and for inspection for damages (ok I understand your speakers must have gone through thorough quality inspection but all the same...).

I have another reason for my curiosity - about one-fourth down from the top (probably around where the tweeter is) there is a little object protruding and touching the grille. It does not seem to vibrate (I did not dare touching it directly). This protruding thing can be seen on both L/R speakers at the same place.

I would just like to have assurance that it's part of the speaker design. Thank you.

with best regards,
ck chan

{Moderator's comment: it would be helpful if you could measure how many cms down from the top of the grille this object is .....}

C K Chan
29-11-2010, 01:48 PM
The object is about 15.5cm from the top edge of the wood.

kittykat
30-11-2010, 10:13 AM
I would just like to have assurance that it's part of the speaker design.

Hi CK Chan, think its the dome of the tweeter you're noticing. It does touch the surface of the cloth. Its perfectly natural and normal.

C K Chan
01-12-2010, 04:12 AM
Hi CK Chan, think its the dome of the tweeter you're noticing. It does touch the surface of the cloth. Its perfectly natural and normal.

Thank you very much for your explanation, Kittykat. My next question will betray the fact that I am no "audiophile" (I just enjoy listening to music and I do now with the Harbeths and that's good enough for me), is the doom not a moving part and therefore it should not be in contact with the cloth? Perhaps the answer is obvious but I would be grateful for clarification.

With regards,
C K Chan

{Moderator's comment: to be clear it is the protective grille over the main tweeter.}

A.S.
01-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Actually 15cms or so from the top wood is the protective mesh grille over the main tweeter.

Sebastien
01-12-2010, 06:45 PM
Hi everyone,

I want to share an experience I had while removing my SHL5 grills for the first time. Even if I used Noel's tool from Skylan stand and go very gently, I unfortunately made a small chip on the veneer of an inside corner of one of my speaker. So be CAREFULL! I was curious and meticulous like everyone but this happen...

After this happen, I glue that chip on and it's now almost invisible and so small. That was the last time I remove the grill from that speaker.

Sebastien

kittykat
02-12-2010, 01:06 AM
That was the last time I remove the grill from that speaker.
Sebastien

Hi CK Chan, yes, as Moderator and Mr. Shaw describe it more correctly, it is the mesh (non moving) over the aluminium tweeter surface (moving) which is in contact with the cloth, so it’s does not “affect” the sound in any way. Its perfectly all right.

Sebastien, Ive almost perfected a way of removing the grilles without any tools or potential damage, and hope this works for you.

1. Run the tips of your fingers right around the cloth of the rectangular grille frame of the SHL5’s where it protrudes ever so slightly from the bevelled edge. Do this a few times with your eyes closed. There will always be a spot where it is slightly further out than other parts and this will be your starting point.

2. At this area where it protrudes so slightly, with the tips of your fingers, try to edge it out but only just very slightly. It will yield just a little but please don’t try to “pull it out” in one go. Its physically impossible as it is a fairly long edge sitting in a tight groove. Look at it as trying to “raise” the frame in equal deliberate measures a bit at a time starting from the original position. The grille should never be removed at an angle, eg. yanking it at one point while another is still sitting in the groove. If someone does this, there will surely be damage to the cabinet as the grille edge sits in quite tightly.

It is a very clever piece of engineering which does away with bits and bolts of ugly hardware. We are left with the beautiful Harbeth cabinet.

C K Chan
03-12-2010, 09:22 AM
Thank you for all the replies.

Now I know the mesh is not going to get in the way I am quite content. I am making inquiries if Noel of Skylan is still sending that little magnetic tool - if so I would still like to open the grille for a close up look. At present I can only do that at the dealer's and that is not my pair.

By the way, my dealer does not seem to be very educated about the grille; one of the staffer said there was a belt or something in the middle part of the frame which one could pull on but there would be risk of warping the frame. Of course I did not try.

Best,
Ck chan

skylan
03-12-2010, 07:52 PM
Hi CK
I am sending you a Grille Puller, have to work on a few at present and will send you details later.

Cheers,
Noel.

Takis
07-12-2010, 05:35 PM
Hi,
here is my tool for removing the grilles:

1) Buy a pack of blades for a cutting tool (the small usual size) for € 0,50 - € 1,00
2) Remove the blades and keep the plastic box or you may use any plastic box of similar size.
3) Fill it with small neodymium magnets (about € 5,00 each). I used 5 of them, the rectangular shape, it fits with the plastic box better.
4) You may use a cable-tie as a handle.
5) I use it (very rarely) on any corner of the grille

Those magnets are very strong but they can't wound the fabric because they don't touch it. The plastic does, so the contact is way smoother.

Pay Attention!
If very close, they can easily harm credit cards, laptops, or any storage device. Don't put them in the same pocket with your wallet!

(For Moderator: I've typed the post 3 times until I edited the first (this) one. So you have to delete the two others please).

Takis
07-12-2010, 07:30 PM
I've edited the post. It was the same as #32

orkney
23-01-2012, 02:42 AM
Hi,

Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I've tried with Noel's tool to ease off the grilles of my new Compact 7s -- and no dice. Those suckers are in there but tight. Has anyone had luck with the brass paperclip method (shades of Poirot...).

o

hifi_dave
23-01-2012, 11:45 AM
When I first had Harbeth speakers, I spent at least ten minutes, lovingly hand crafting a pull from a large, brass paper-clip. Cut a long story short, it just bends and is nowhere near man enough to remove a grille.

I have the magnetic tool, which is more successful but removing the grilles is not something I do or would recommend. The speakers are designed to be used with grilles in place.

Staxxx
30-12-2013, 01:21 PM
As a brand new owner of a pair of SHL5 speakers I would like to make sure the drivers etc. have survived the arduous and dangerous journey from the UK to Asia.

I would hate to rip the fabric or something like that...any new ideas on how to remove these carefully?

Rdubya
18-04-2014, 07:57 PM
Fortunately for the rest of us who do appreciate the beauty of and right to (on occasion) remove and inspect our lovely Harbeth speakers, without the grilles on, in the privacy of our own homes, we don't have to answer to and justify ourselves to Pluto. His opinion has been nnoted, however it appears then in his 30 years of professional ownership, he has never Google searched Harbeth speaker images online (he must find the search results offensive), seen them on retailer sites, online auctions, or audio shows, where almost always the preponderance of viewing choices (apart from friends or fellow enthusiasts homes) are with the speaker grilles off.

For the rest of us, in addition to their supreme sonic qualities, these are also beautiful speakers to behold. They take up featured floor space in our respective living spaces, where the veneers and cones are works of art and a thing of beauty to behold. The merits of manufacturer recommended improved sound quality with the grilles on are surely more appropriately addressed in other threads, no?

Pluto
19-04-2014, 03:40 PM
...it appears then in his 30 years of professional ownership, he has never Google searched Harbeth speaker images online (he must find the search results offensive)...

Perhaps you ought to appreciate that the sole reason I advocate leaving the grilles in place is as a means of protection from those little accidents. You would be amazed at the number of occasions upon which drive units have become damaged due to their exposure; damage that would have been a lot cheaper to repair had the grille been present to absorb the blow or resist the inquisitive little finger.