Can you wear out speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Daniel T., Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Daniel T.

    Daniel T. Agent

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    Not like overdriving them, but simply wear em out? I pop in a CD when I walk thru the door after work, and usually have one playing till I go to bed. Ambient levels, sometimes enough to feel the tight mid/bass in yer limbs.

    I know surrounds and such age and need to be replaced due to time, but is using them hurrying thier demise?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Daniel,

    A lot of that depends on the particular speaker. For instance, the deteriorating surrounds you mentioned – that’s typically the foam surrounds; they should last at least ten –15 years. I have a friend with some JBL speakers that are close to 30 years old, and they still work fine; they didn’t have a foam surround.

    I think most companies these days are using different, more durable surround materials – like rubber – that should significantly outlast the old foam stuff. If you have speakers like that, chances are you can pass them on to your kids.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    With technology today the raw driver will in most cases
    never wear out.. The Magnet will loose some of it's field
    strength over time (probably not audible and it would take
    more than our lifetimes before it would become audible).
    Surround materials today (even foam) are now treated with
    UV and Fungus inhibitors so it's unlikely they will rot..

    Cone materials will last practicaly forever, even paper..

    The one part of a speaker that will go bad.. The Crossovers!

    Electrolytic Capacitors will eventualy wear out and leak..
    That will take decades to happen.. And they are easily
    replaced.

    Internal Speaker wiring will get oxidized in time to the
    point where it will probably need replaced (maybe 30 years?)

    So basicaly a set of speakers can and will last a lifetime
    if they are taken care of.
     
  4. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    I have this feeling that butyl ( rubber ) surrounds will dry up and crack after a certain amount of time.
     
  5. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I have worked with a pair of Dali III bookshelfs that are about 10 years old. The foam surround just crumbled as I touched it and the cone was flimsy like cloth at some areas.

    Seems like they weren't taken care of I guess. [​IMG]

    Oh, I've seen countless factory car audio speakers go bad but those are in a harsher environment.
     
  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chris,

    The Environment has a lot to do with it... But materials 10
    years ago are not what they are today. Foam Surrounds years
    ago were not formulated with UV Coatings and Antifungal
    additives. They could easily crumble from the sunlight or
    even develop mildew induced rot. Those days are pretty much
    gone. Most Foam surrounds today will last a very, very long
    time.

    The foam surrounds on my car sub woofers (which care more
    than a decade old) are perfect and they have been in some
    harsh environments [​IMG] I keep them cleaned up with Armorall
    and they have never let me down.
     

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