Grimm Audio - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 10-26-13, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
HTS Moderator
AudiocRaver's Avatar
Wayne Myers
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,609
Grimm Audio

Grimm Audio - Room 537

Sorry, forgot to snap photos. Here is a link to the Grimm Audio web site.

Models represented:

Component MSRP
Grimm Audio LS 1 Reference Loudspeakers $15,000 / pair

Wayne's Impressions

The Grimm Audio LS 1 Reference Loudspeakers came to my attention recently as sought-after mastering speakers, and were on my must-see list for the show. I spent close to half an hour in the room alone with the owner/engineers of Grimm Audio and was impressed by their attention to engineering as well as visual and auditory aesthetic detail.

The sound of the LS 1's, or lack thereof, was the definition of neutral. They did not quite disappear into the room, but projected a nice, natural soundstage. Imaging had its imperfections, which surprised me with the degree of amplitude and phase matching accounted for in the design. The venue-supplied chairs had us sitting higher than the preferred on-axis level, and stooping down to get on axis improved the imaging and soundstage markedly. Mentioning this, the designers pointed out that the LS 1's come in two standard heights, the one before us meant for causal seating (four or five inches lower that our seated height), and a higher model for professional settings which often have tall work stools. Any desired height in between would be an easy custom build.

The design incorporates DSP and a subwoofer built into the base. The flat front blends into rounded sides and bottom to reduce diffraction, with the top surface left flat - they did not like the cabinet's look with a rounded top - which pushed the tweeter under the woofer/midrange to keep high frequencies away from diffraction at that top sharp edge. I consider the configuration ideal, as it tends to keep the properly-seated listener at the midrange driver level, almost always better for soundstage. The DSP does crossover filtering, small amounts of driver compensation, and allows compensation for toe-in preferences - very nice - as well as for external acoustical effects of the cabinet. Thoroughly thought out, this includes judiciously-applied phase correction at "normal" DSP latency settings (7.3 mS as 2-way, 40 mS with subwoofer), with system phase adjusted to minimum-phase to eliminate pre-ringing. A low-latency setting of 5 mS bypasses phase correction. The published step response curve showing the success of their approach is textbook clean. Amplification is by Hypex, with 120W per driver, 400W for the subwoofer.

The lack of an optional zero-latency setting is a minor design drawback. The available latencies are adequate for mixing and mastering, but even 5 mS can be disruptive to some instrumentalists while tracking if the LS 1 is the monitor they are using. Of course defeating DSP altogether (assuming the LS 1's sound pretty good with all DSP bypassed) means no crossovers, either, so there is not much to be done about it. All of this a known problem with DSP-implemented active crossovers, not just an LS 1 problem. A minor complaint.

Other than that, they seem to have thought of everything. Frequency response specs indicate unsmoothed anechoic response from 30 Hz to 20 KHz +/-0.5 dB, and that is about how they sounded. Given the whispy nature of the imaging imperfections, I suspect proper placement and room treatment would clear them up.

The design seems to beg close seating, either a near-field or mid-field arrangement. SPL's of 105 dB are possible, not bad for a 2-way plus subwoofer. Think of the Grimm Audio LS 1's as super-duper flat and neutral small-setting free-standing reference monitors for studio or mastering lab, with only minor limitations for studio use, but with unbeatable neutrality when called upon. For this, the LS 1's have no equal.
AudiocRaver is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 12-09-13, 01:52 PM
Senior Shackster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 705
My System
Re: Grimm Audio

Check your link, it leads to a "404" page. I think this is what you were looking for.

They look very nice but at $15,000 they are way, way out of my price range.
typ44q is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 12-09-13, 02:03 PM
Elite Shackster
Owen Bartley's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 1,969
My System
Re: Grimm Audio

It usually seems that very accurate or neutral speakers that measure well aren't always thought to SOUND great to some ears. Wayne, aside from their neutrality, was the sound something you would look for in a regular 2 ch listening setup, or are they more suited to studio monitor use? Would they be good for extended listening at home do you think?

- OJ -
DIY Ported Original Tempest Sub (offline)
DIY Dipolar rear surround
DIY XLR to RCA cables (offline)
DIY 1 to 4 RCA splitter
Owen Bartley is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 12-09-13, 07:17 PM
Elite Shackster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,368
My System
Re: Grimm Audio

This is an interesting design choice. It fits my thinking very closely. I also use the SEAS DXT tweeter with active XO and some response shaping. It's an excellent tweeter with very broad coverage. It can create a great sound field. I would have liked to heard this one for comparison to my DIY's.
jtalden is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 12-10-13, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
HTS Moderator
AudiocRaver's Avatar
Wayne Myers
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,609
Re: Grimm Audio

You would not call this a "fun" speaker. Some listeners tend to use words like "clinical" meaning it negatively. In reality, anything that is not totally neutral has some amount of coloration, which is also not necessarily bad. The speakers I enjoy the most are usually pretty close to flat with a little bit of personal flavor, but not much.

These are flat-flat-flat, no flavor. For two-channel listening they would seem pretty dry initially, then I think a patient listener would realize that they were really hearing the music and the music only and would grow to appreciate that transparency.

The use of high-quality DSP is becoming more accepted in speaker design, even for high-end audiophile speakers. Let's face it, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a listening experience where the sound has never been in the digital realm at some point. It seems acceptable to me - all my source is digital on a server and if that can go straight to the speaker DSP so there is only one DtoA conversion, I have no issues with it at all. Understood that there are those who object to the thought.

For DIY designs, DSP/active crossover seems like the way to go. I would much rather deal with that than analog crossover design issues. Plus a little carefully-managed gentle response contouring here & there to taste... Sounds like fun!
AudiocRaver is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 12-10-13, 06:55 AM
Elite Shackster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,368
My System
Re: Grimm Audio

Yes, that's the great thing about active DSP setups.

It's hard to plug a passive XO into a couple drivers as get optimal results. With enough work it can be (and is) done by the best companies. A smart selection of drivers and skilled XO engineering is needed make this happen. That is problematic for DIY.

With my active setup I have evaluated dozens of very good setups such as low order Vs. high order XO filters, crossover points, phase tracking, linear phase, various house curves and different room EQ approaches among other more esoteric settings. It's almost like owning dozens of different speakers to listen to. The only major limiting factor is basically my choice of drivers.

For manufacturers it must be real trick to decide what settings to use that will appeal to the most people in most situations. The dry sound could have been due to various factors including room acoustics and speaker locations as well as the DSP design choices. It is definitely not an innate result of the drivers chosen.
jtalden is offline  


audio , grimm

Quick Reply

Register Now



Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address



Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.


See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome