Speaker Lifespan

I’m looking at purchasing some replacement speakers and was wondering what people considered the effective lifespan to be. Would a 10 yr old set be regarded as “to old” ?

I have a 30 year old pair of Royds that work fine and sound great despite a bit of cosmetic damage. Anything that has been treated with care should last well over a decade.
Things that can go wrong with age include foam surrounds on drivers which might start to disintegrate. Drivers themselves can often be replaced quite easily. The caps in passive crossovers may need replacing. There are not too many things to fo wrong with a speaker that are purely age related.

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Thanks, I’d expect some form of mechanical deterioration over time but if they can last that long I can expand my search a little.

My Kef R107’s are at least 30 years old. But they’ve been completely refurbished with new surrounds, ferrofluid, and recapped crossovers, and they sound excellent. Can’t imagine replacing them.

I have a pair of Rega Ela speakers in my second system. The cabinets were a bit bashed up when I got them secondhand otherwise seem fine. They still sound good enough to my ears.

Likewise, also have a pair of original Ela (and Kytes) and they still sound very good indeed.

In terms of speaker lifespan, I think it comes down to how sensitive the bass / mid driver unit surrounds are to perishing / disintegration, plus if tweeter ferro fluid starts to dry up, and if those repairs or replacements are available and cost effective.


I’ve got a pair of Spendor SP 3/1 speakers that are fast approaching 30 years old. They have been used daily since first purchased.

A couple of years ago I figured they must need a service by now, so took them to a technician. He said there’s nothing they need, they are just fine.

Still using Rogers BBC Studio Monitors that I purchased second hand in 1974…

No idea when they were built, but they sound good enough for me, and anyway replacement would be too expensive. Although audio fashion has changed, a good speaker design remains a good design, and the requirement of the BBC to have an accurate way to monitor broadcasts, particularly voice, seems recomendation enough for me. Voice is what we spend most time hearing, unless we never talk…

However you may want to see what Naim reveal with the New Dawn as see if is a speaker that meets new fashion statements…

Got a set of Sonus Faber Concertinos that have happily passed the 20 year mark and is currently connected to my Star.

Using a run of Van de Hull Clearwater cable I bought with the speakers and in terms of sound they sound better than attaching my Sennheiser HD660s to my Star.

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My old Spendor BC1s, bought in 1974, are still giving sterling service in my younger brother’s system.

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I’m still using a 1983 Linn DMS Isobariks I had the tweeters replaced in 1988 and upgraded crossovers. They’re still giving me wonderful music to listen to.



Pair of Image 302 purchased 93 and still going strong.

I still use my original Spendor SP2s (1986 vintage I think!). The only mod I’ve made is to improve the crossover capacitors (to Mundorf Supreme) and all the internal wiring (including the crossover itself).

The speakers were still working as per spec, but with more recent developments that weren’t available 30+years ago (particularly in capacitors), it’s been possible to actually improve the performance of the speakers beyond the original performance.

Usable life seems to vary quite a bit between different manufacturers of drivers. I sold my Heybrook HB2 a few years ago, I think they were 35 years old and the cones and suspension looked and sounded absolutely fine. Even the little used foam grilles (which had been stored) were in amazing condition.

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