Shelf Life Of Speakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by danmc_82, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    How long would good quliaty speakers last if they were taken care of and never driven hard?

    Reason I ask is that mine are 8 years old (Still look & sound Perfect) but how long could that last on average.

    How old are all your speakers and are there any issues?
     
  2. kbfern

    kbfern
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    25yrs at least, I have some Gale 301's that are around 35yrs old that are in daily use and still going strong. I did have the woofers changed about 6-7 yrs ago but that was only because the foam surrounds had perished so decided to put new drivers in where I could have just replaced the foams.
     
  3. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    That does seem to be a common fail in Speakers, the foam surround. Can I assume most modern speakers are rubber? unless they are foam under a thin layer of rubber.
     
  4. kbfern

    kbfern
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    Yes the replacement drivers have a rubber surround which I think is what they are usually made of these days.
     
  5. kinggo

    kinggo
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    My m74 are some 17 years old and I do drive them properly :D
    Apart from blown twitters a few years back (wifey :mad:) that I replaced with original ones (hard to get and not cheap) and few scratches from cats they are still as good as when I bought them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  6. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    I have two pairs of Wharfedale Diamond 1s that are 32 years old and work perfectly.

    Monitor Audio 652s - 29 years old and working fine.

    Capacitors don't last forever so expect them to need replacing soon.
     
  7. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    Do you think modern speakers are built to last as long as speakers from the 90's/00's?

    Some high end speakers can look luxurious, but are they built as good as they look?
     
  8. TobyKenobi

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    I bought my Castle Severns almost 20 years ago. About 4 years ago the drivers in one of the woofers blew (horrible rattle on bass notes). Castle had gone out of business, but sent them to Wilmslow Audio who replaced them with sonically similar units for less than £200, both done including delivery - a lot less than buying similar quality speakers.
     
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Most certainly a couple of decades. I have speaker drivers that are from roughly 1978, and I use them every week. They work fine. Though they have Rubber Surrounds (more on that later).

    As others have mentioned, the most likely thing is that the Foam Surrounds, which are the flexible rings that attach the actual cone to the frame, will deteriorate or disintegrate with time. Though environmental aspect can speed or slow the process. Things like exposure to sunlight, and general pollution. Fortunately the Foam/Rubber Surround Rings can be replaced.

    But short of the Surround Ring deteriorating, there is no reason why you can't get 20 years out of a well cared for speaker.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    Thats good to know. Some parts are expensive, expecially the older and rarer the speaker.

    What about sound qulaity, would that deteriorate over time, or are speakers like a fine wine, they better with age?
     
  11. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Certain types of tweeters can deteriorate. B&W had issues with a metal domed ferrofluid cooled tweeter that would leak fluid. I had a Monitor Audio B2 where the tweeter ferro fluid leaked.

    I have known tweeters that have been driven hard to sound less lively.
     
  12. Longy00000

    Longy00000
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    Apart from the rubber / foam surround rings it's often the tweeter that gives up first. How much of that is from the
    " I know I shouldn't touch it but I just can't help myself sticking a finger in it " syndrome that comes with every tweeter I don't know !
     
  13. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    Haha which all kids seem to have. Im quite lucky theres a mesh grill over mine.
     
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    The Power Distribution across the spectrum is not even, with the bulk of the power being in the lower frequencies, and light power in the tweeter range. So, it is not uncommon, purely as an illustration, for a 100w speaker to have a 100w Woofer, 50w Midrange, and a 25w Tweeter, and to still be rated as a 100w speaker. Typically when people blow speakers it is the tweeter that goes partly because it is low powered and partly because it has very limited excursion.

    [​IMG]

    And as others have noted, Ferro-Fluid can leak from tweeters, though I've never had a problem with it, and not all tweeters use Ferro-Fluid.

    But generally, it is extremely common to have a speaker for 10 years without any problem, and many of us have had speakers for 20 years or more. My old speakers are coming up on 38 years and are still in pristine condition. Though they have horn mid and tweeters. But the Surrounds on the bass drivers look as good as they did they day I bought them (Butyl Rubber surrounds).

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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