• 11-20-2006, 04:15 PM
    zoltar
    How long to speakers last?
    I am thinking of buying some used speakers that are about 5 years old. I am not talking about blowing speakers out, but how many years it would take them to age to the point where the sound would be degraded. I have have heard about surrounds becoming dry and cracking, but this is like after 20 years. I have noticed that speakers depreciate quite a bit if they're only a few years old, like a previous model, and you can pick them up for a lot less.
  • 11-20-2006, 05:49 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Yup, occasionally the capacitors will dry out and the surrounds will crack, other than that, they should last for a good long while, well over 20 years. You shouldn't have any problem getting a lot more mileage out of 5 year olds.
  • 11-20-2006, 06:19 PM
    zoltar
    okay, thanks!
  • 11-20-2006, 11:06 PM
    emorphien
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Yup, occasionally the capacitors will dry out and the surrounds will crack, other than that, they should last for a good long while, well over 20 years. You shouldn't have any problem getting a lot more mileage out of 5 year olds.

    replaceable bits!

    If you don't do anything stupid to them they'll last quite a while. Most things that go wrong can be replaced.
  • 11-21-2006, 12:28 AM
    swwdts
    My stepdad has a CHEAP set of VERY old speakers that he got from his dad & they are old 2-way 6" 40watt peak paper cone speakers.They were kept in good condition.They play like brand new & they are over 40 years old.
  • 11-21-2006, 05:51 AM
    Geoffcin
    I have some vintage speakers
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoltar
    I am thinking of buying some used speakers that are about 5 years old. I am not talking about blowing speakers out, but how many years it would take them to age to the point where the sound would be degraded. I have have heard about surrounds becoming dry and cracking, but this is like after 20 years. I have noticed that speakers depreciate quite a bit if they're only a few years old, like a previous model, and you can pick them up for a lot less.

    And they play quite well. A quality 5 year old speaker is still in it's prime, and should give you many years of good service.
  • 11-21-2006, 08:16 AM
    Feanor
    Yep, foam surrounds
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoltar
    I am thinking of buying some used speakers that are about 5 years old. I am not talking about blowing speakers out, but how many years it would take them to age to the point where the sound would be degraded. I have have heard about surrounds becoming dry and cracking, but this is like after 20 years. I have noticed that speakers depreciate quite a bit if they're only a few years old, like a previous model, and you can pick them up for a lot less.

    Foam surrounds are by far the most common failure in older speakers. 20 years is fair benchmark, (I had a pair bought in 1983 that failed in 2002 after being moved 1200 miles across country). But I would avoid foam surrounds if over 10 years old or showing damaged.
  • 11-21-2006, 08:48 AM
    Geoffcin
    My 35 Y.O. KLH model 6's are still going strong!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    Foam surrounds are by far the most common failure in older speakers. 20 years is fair benchmark, (I had a pair bought in 1983 that failed in 2002 after being moved 1200 miles across country). But I would avoid foam surrounds if over 10 years old or showing damaged.

    But they use a treated cloth surround. The foam surrounds on my EPI's went many years ago, and have been replaced. It's not such a bad job if you have the right replacement part.
  • 11-21-2006, 09:22 AM
    basite
    my Advents are still going strong, yes the foam dryed out, but then we replaced the woofers with new ones with new, not breaking surrounds.
  • 11-21-2006, 11:02 AM
    bfalls
    I've had my Klipsch Kg4s since around 1985 and they're still going strong. I play them daily which I believe keeps the surrounds pliable. I've read where surround deterioration is partially caused by exposure to ultra-violet radiation, so you may want to limit exposure to your 70's vintage black lights and of course sunlight.
    I also owned a pair of Advents, but replaced them with the Klipsch'. The new owner reported the surrounds failed and were replaced a couple of years later.
  • 11-21-2006, 03:00 PM
    audio_dude
    haha, a while back, before i got my Atom's i had some cheap "Soma" brand speakers, by the end, neither bass driver had ANY foam left...ya, i pretty much KILLED those pooor speakers...
  • 11-27-2006, 06:40 PM
    Sansui71
    wow 40 years. I thought that mine were great at 35 years...Pair of Sansui's,SP-2500X that I brought back with me from Japan... I regulary clean the inside's with the soft brush from a canister vacuum..
  • 11-27-2006, 08:32 PM
    spasticteapot
    You know, having speakers re-foamed is very inexpensive.

    My 12-year-old speakers' tweeters are dying, but I blame that on the amp. As soon as I can fix them, they'll be good as new - and I might modify them a bit while I'm at it.
  • 11-27-2006, 09:14 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Now you tell me.

    You know, I never would have discovered audiophilia if I hadn't blown a woofer.
  • 12-06-2006, 09:21 PM
    filecat13
    Things that can go wrong with vintage speakers:
    1. The foam surrounds rot.
    2. The wood veneer dries out or the paint/vinyl gets scratched.
    3. Crossover components go bad.
    4. You over- or under- power them and blow a driver.
    5. Your kid/pet/spouse/drunken friend sticks a pencil/screwdriver/knife/finger/toe through a cone or dust cap.
    6. Your angry girlfriend/spouse/partner smashes them with an axe or hammer.
    7. Your angry girlfriend/spouse/partner throws them out of a second floor window.
    8. They get stolen.
    9. They burn up in a house fire.
    10. You run over them with your car.

    Numbers 1–5 are fixable, and you can return them to new or better than new performance. This assumes they were good speakers to begin with.

    Numbers 6–10 mean the death of the speaker, whatever its age.

    I have some vintage JBLs that are 35+ years old that have never had a lick of work done to them. They look as new and still sound great. I have some 15 year old speakers that had foam rot, pushed in Ti domes, and damaged veneer. A little work and some professional refoams put 'em right, and they sound fantastic still.

    Many of the best deals are on 5–15 year old speakers.