Do hifi components deteriorate from lack of use?


Novice Member
Hi all,

I've got a hifi (mk1 roksan caspian amp and cd player, AVI Biggatron speakers) which is 16yrs old and for past 7 yrs has been unused and boxed.

I set it up and used it recently and it did not sound as good as I remember. It was not very clear sounding at all.

I used my iPad streaming Quobuz through a dragonfly DAC, connected via a phono to RCA lead to the amp. In comparison when I used AKG 550 headphones connected to the dragonfly it sounds so much better.

So my question is do hifi components deteriorate from lack of use?

Thanks in advance



Distinguished Member
It is possible. If boxed, that should have protected it from dust. But, if stored in the attic or cellar with extremes of temperature and moisture, it is conceivable that it could deteriorate.

The most vulnerable components are electrolytic capacitors which degrade to a degree under the best of conditions.

The next factor could be corrosion on switches and potentiometer. For those who don't know, a potentiometer is a volume control, a tone or balance control, and similar. This last catagory can be dealt with, but it is not for the ham-fisted, or the uninitiated.

Some times just toggling switches multiple times can help clean them, and rotating switch dials multiple times can wipe the contact clean, or at least cleaner. Same with volume, tone, and balance; rotate them multiple times to wipe them clean.

Curious, what speakers were you using?

Roksan, in general, makes pretty highly rated amps, though I confess I'm not familiar with that one model.


Distinguished Member
OK, the AVI are apparently highly rated speakers though with modest bass. Just wanted to make sure the problem wasn't the speakers.

What is your source, that is, what is the file type? MP3? FLAC? Other?

An additional point on the CD player, it probably has several belts, these belts can dry out over time and become brittle. Getting replacement might be difficult, though it could still be possible. If you have trouble ejecting the CD tray, that is probably a sign that a belts has worn out.


Eagle 123

Active Member
Try some electrical contact cleaners your local electric shop can help also clean the connectors with isopropyl alcohol or wipes


Well-known Member
Our ears deteriorate over time!!! Seriously though we get used to different sounds so what we perceive as good changes. I have experienced this many many times, your ears/brain adjust and your points of reference change. I use headphones (4 different pairs) and the sound is very detailed and I am sure you tune into this type of sound. Going back to my main system from a long listening HP session leaves me initially finding the sound a little warm and lush but this soon diminishes.

I would make sure all contacts are clean and leave the components on for a good few days to properly warm up. They are really good components and should sound really good albeit very different to headphones.

If you still don't like the sound will swap the lot for a pair of AKG Q701's and a Musical Fidelity HPA!!!!!!


Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
You can also get dry joints which most service engineers can resolve.

If its speakers then some to tighten and you have to run them in again.

Regards, Shane.


Well-known Member
Do the AVI speakers have foam rather than rubber surrounds on the bass/mid drive unit? If so, I would expect time related deterioration of the foam.

Whilst I suppose not all drive unit foam surround materials are identical, my foam-surround Peerless midrange drivers visibly deteriorated at about the age of your speakers and my mates Mission bass/mid drivers turned to dust a bit sooner (greater excursion of a bass/mid driver possibly hastened their demise). I suspect there might be some deterioration in performance even before foam deterioration is bad enough to become visible.

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