Why Harbeth tweeters have protective grilles ...
I have borrowed a pair of speakers made elsewhere to evaluate at home. The cloth grilles are held on in the usual way by pegs and sockets, the pegs attached to the underside of the grille. Due to my carelessness in correctly aligning the grille pegs with their sockets, one peg skidded across the baffle and hit the tweeter. Had this been a Harbeth tweeter no damage at all would have resulted but in this case, for fashion reasons (?) the dome is completely exposed - and now destroyed. This is an embarrassing and doubtless expensive mistake for me.
It reminds me that recently one of our Distributors reported that he was being aggressively pushed by an prospective end customer for us to design-out the protective metal grille from the M40.1 'or he would not buy it'. I declined. The reason we fit the protective tweeter grilles is quite simple - we do not run a spare parts operation as a profit centre. We really want you to buy our speakers and then never have to be concerned about their running costs - ever. So, we protect the tweeter so that even probing children's little fingers do not result in expensive and irritating repair bills.
It disappoints me that any speaker manufacturer could pretend to be unaware of inquisitive human nature and supply speakers with totally naked diaphragms - but many do. That strikes me as madness.
Picture of typical open-weave Harbeth steel grille and naked unprotected alternative attached.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK