Buy a pair of ten year old $40,000 speakers for $4,000 or new ones at that price point?


Hi. There are bargains to be had on really high-end components that are more than a few years old. DACs change too much and we need the newer technology. How about speakers? I know it can depend on the specific model but in general is a 10 year old speaker system that was $40,000 in 2009 and now sells for $4,000 a better value than a new system that sells for $4,000 in 2019?  How much has speaker and crossover technology evolved in the past decade or so? (I posted a similar questions about amps in that forum). Thanks for all the input and wisdom.
Ag insider logo xs@2xmcmanus
I got a pair of B&W 802 Series 80 floor standing speakers from 1981 for nothing from a woman who was downsizing to move into a smaller apartment. She paid approx. $4,000 in 1981 for them, which in today’s dollars is closer to $10,000.
The dealer upgraded the midrange/tweeter heads so they’re technically Model F’s.
She drove them with an underpowered integrated amp with 12 gauge speaker wire in the 35 years she owned them. Knowing that the caps needed to be upgraded, I sent the crossovers to Walt D’Ascenzo, a brilliant audiophile who solved a ringing issue for Dave Wilson of Wilson Audio and shared tips with Walt Jung, the legendary audio engineer. What he sent back improved the 802’s to a much greater quality than they were originally. I’ve heard the latest offerings by B&W and have been underwhelmed. As a side note, with every tweak I make with better interconnects, power cords, and power conditioning, the speakers sound more fantastic. So when considering old speakers, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
mcmanus, I would look for new speakers at $4,000.00 rather than used upmarket speakers.  There are a number of reasons for this.  First is warranty.  There will always be a warranty with new speakers.  Even if you get a 'warranty' from a dealer on the second hand speakers it will likely be only a few months.  Second is technology.  There have been a lot of advances  over the past decade, and there continue to be.  Driver materials in particular are always improving.  What was top dog ten years ago is not top dog now.  Third reason is wear.  Moving parts wear and there is not much getting round that.  Time will also ravage the finish on products.  A possible fourth reason is design.  This won't apply to all speakers but do you really want your lounge looking like an antique shop?
I have been buying and selling used audio equipment for over 45 years and will assure you that that any pair of speakers that was built by a well known and respected manufacturer that originally sold for $40,000.00 will not sell for $4,000.00 ten years later, unless they are stolen or heavy damaged, the average price of such speakers would be $13,000.00 depending on condition. After consulting several experienced techs who have worked on $40,000.00 (there is not many) all agreed that the quality of the crossovers and drivers in a $40,000.00 speaker that is ten years old would be considerably better than a new speaker that cost $4,000.00 or even $13,000.00 today. 
We don't normally invest in speakers that are over 15 years old (unless there classics) and most of the problems we encounter with speakers of that age is not from parts going bad but rather from misuse and or abuse, a few examples are (1) Exposing a speaker to direct sunlight for ten years will fade the finish and deteriorate the surrounds (2) Over driving your speakers or clipping your amp, can get you a big repair bill or maybe worse, the knowledge that the speakers can't be repaired at all.
devekayc rightly put :
  "Anything that was 40 grand and has the possibility of being 4 grand today is a scam either then, or now. ."
You wouldn't buy a used car that was once 40k for 4k would you? Seams kind of suspect unless of course your into total restoration then those speakers or that car might seem worth it albeit you'll be dropping a pretty penny to revive either..just go with new, if you can?..