How long do speakers last?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisAG, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd assume that the rubber surrounding the drivers eventually breaks down, after 15 years or so. Can this be prevented by applying silicone rubber protector?

    What else can go wrong or wear out?
     
  2. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    The crossovers could endure some damage from constant eating and cooling, no?

    Termites too?
     
  3. Myram

    Myram Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    If properly cared for, speakers can last a very long time. On the Klipsch BB there are many many people with 15-25 year old speakers that sound just as good as anything you can buy today. My Klipsch Quartets are 1991, my Klipsch Academy is 1991......and I'll put them up against any new speakers.
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, the surround is the weak link in speakers. In the past, foam was used for the surround. The foam disintegrated after 10 or so years. So the makers switched to various rubber compounds. These rubber surrounds are much less prone to break down. At this point speaker surrounds should last 20 or more years.
     
  5. Claude M

    Claude M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a pair of Phase Linear speakers from 1982. The woofers were repaired in 93. They sound great, and to get something better I'd have to spend big bucks.
     
  6. Rich Kraus

    Rich Kraus Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 3, 2000
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    how long do they last? until you upgrade, of course. [​IMG]
    (sorry, i had to...)
    counting back to my first pair 15 years or so ago, im on my 5th pair of mains. the ones i have now are here to stay (of course ive said this four times before....)
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    My dad has speakers that are older than me... and I'm no spring chicken [​IMG]
     
  8. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm still using a pair of KEF C40s for my room stereo system, and it is still an incredible speaker, especially for the $199 that I paid for it.
     
  9. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    The foam surrounds are easily repairable, too. Even when they deteriorate it's not necessarily an excuse to pitch the speakers.
    Foam re-edging kits cost about $15, but I just had Orange County Speaker Repair re-edge two ten-inch Boston Acoustics woofers. It cost me $25 per speaker and they look and sound as good as new.
     
  10. Chad_Louis

    Chad_Louis Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    well, if you have foam surrounds, there is not much you can do to protect them, other than keep them out of direct sunlight. The good news is that you can order foam surround kits to fix busted surrounds. I did this on my dad's 1975 model year Advents a few years ago, and they are still working great. As for other things that wear down, the spider can lose some control as is wears down. Also, if you have certain kinds of capacitors in your x-overs, they will dry out over time and lose capacitance, changing the x-over point. Other than that, as long as you don't abuse you equipment, it all should last at least 20 years provided it was decent to begin with.

    "he crossovers could endure some damage from constant eating and cooling, no?"

    well, if you are eating your speakers . . . um. ok.
     
  11. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a pair of Altec-Lansing 803A 15" woofers made in 1957 that work fine. Some people are very keen on Western Electric and Lansing Manufacturing speakers made in the 1930s. If well made speakers seem to last and last but that's a big if.
     
  12. Susan S

    Susan S Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    They'll last as long as you take care of them..no excessive humidity or heat, etc. My '77 Tannoy horns are still as sweet as the day I bought them. I did have to re-foam the surrounds last year as the foam decided to shred and disintegrate in the space of one week. I found a guy in Australia that sold me factory surrounds and did the work myself, so it all only cost about $75 (far better than the $450 quoted by Tannoy).

    In today's controlled-home environments they should last even longer than before...they're not like car speakers being subjected to vast temperature swings. Like anything else, it's probably a "buy the best quality you can find" kind of thing. With the newer kevlar and titanium surrounds and tweeters, I suspect the longevity will prove to be even longer with the better lines.

    Susan
     
  13. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 1999
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    My JBL L100's were purchased in 1978 and are still pulling duty as my mains in my HT. The dispersion foam around the tweets disintegrated several years ago but these babies just keep kicking. Like a previous post, I'd have to spend a lot of money for something better than these.

    Last year, I replaced the tweet with a titanium one to get closer to a timbre match with my other newer JBLs. Several years ago, I refoamed the grills and was lucky enough to find grill foam that is almost exactly like the original.

    Yes, you sure get an attachment to some of these oldies especially when they are as good as some of them are. Sentimentality is one thing but the quality of the output is certainly a major factor too. I have purchased several high dollar speakers for my HT that just didn't match up or do anything better and sometimes not nearly as good as my old JBLs.
     

Share This Page