How do reference speakers rank to today's standard

I think that most of us at this forum had an experience like I am having now: to choose between a once reference speaker and a recent midrange speaker.
For 8 years I have been the owner of Audio Physic Spark III's and I love the sound of the AP's so I want to cling on to this brand. But what to do.
I can choose between two offers, both in the same price range. One is the Audio Physic Avanti II (the year 2K version, the Century), 11 years old and once a reference speaker.
The other one is a 2 1/2 year old Audio Physic Tempo VI.
I know that speakers do age and that 11 years old speakers won't sound as they did 11 years ago.
Also, in the 8 1/2 years that seperate these AP's there has obviously been some development in speaker design.
But do you think that the Tempo's sound better than the Avanti's ?
And what about the (remaining) lifespan of both of them. For the record, I am not able to listen to them at home. Any advice is highly appreciated. regards, Ton
IME, speakers seem to wear out about like cars. 2.5 years may be a safe bet, but 11?
Yes, 11 years is a long time. But cars still drive after 11 years, and, when taken care of, will do so after 25 years. But how does a speaker sound after 11 years compared to the younger Tempo ?
Most conventional dynamic speakers do not wear out. Some might have components, such as the rubber surround, that will age (primarily from exposure to pollutants in the air, such as ozone), but not all do.

Eleven years old would make MOST speakers pretty young, in terms of such aging or any sort of wear. Abuse, is a different matter.

I recently bought a compression driver that is more than 70 years old. I would put this up against ANY other midrange driver. If it has lost anything with age, it must have been unbelievably good at the time it was made.
I agree w Larryi. Most speaker updates are evolutionary. But I cannot offer anything about the specific speakers you are considering.
Ok, so Larryi, you're saying that 11 years is not a big problem when quality speakers are used ? But what about the 8 1/2 year of "evolution" between the Tempo's and the Avanti's. Could that make the Tempo's a better speaker even if it ranks lower in AP's list ?
If the drivers have a foam surround they (the foam) would most likely have to be replaced. I have a pair of 20+ yr old speakers with a rubber surround and they still sound great. I don't use them too often in the last 3 years since I've upgraded to speakers that 10X as much.

That being said I would be very concerned if they may have been abused (overdriven or driven to the max).
Thanks all, and I agree, abuse is more concering than the 11 years. The drivers and the filtercomponents in the Avanti are all of high quality and will still be Ok. I also assume that the audio enthusiast that buys an Avanti will automatically take good care of his speakers.
But are there any Audio Physic owners who could say anything about the two types ? Will the Avanti still overpower the Tempo's in all aspects ?
I purchased a pair of Avanti Century's 2 years ago. They replaced active Linn 5140's with 6 channels of Chakra amplification. There was no contest. At the time I was looking at new Linn 212's and auditioned Sonus Faber, B&W 804 and a few others. The Linn's were of omission only, lacking dynamics and not great imaging etc. I went to listen to the Avanti's and within 30 seconds I had to have them. Extremely fast, dynamic, pin point imaging, tall expansive sound stage and seamless speaker integration. I was afraid they had to be placed 1/3 into the room. Not so. I guess an $8000 speaker in 2000 should be good, $2500 was a bargain. Against todays $3500 speakers that I looked at there was no competition.
Hi Jarecneps, thanks, I think that your answer makes the choice easy. Also your remark about the positioning into the room was helpful, that was also a worry. In favour of the Avanti's is that it's an enclosed system while the Tempo has a port at the back, making it, I think, less easier to put the Tempo's close to a wall. On the other hand, the Avanti is a side fire, so I guess he won't like it close to a side wall.
I will not say that technological changes don't matter, but, when looking at a particular manufacturer's line, it is often changes in philosophy, deliberate change in the kind of sound to match perceived changes in market demand, etc. that matter more. You can hear this evolution in certain lines of speakers, often to their detriment (for my taste), as the overall market shifts. Some even drift one way and then back again when their core customers start to move away.

As far as abuse to an Avanti is concerned, I know of at least one example of spectacular abuse that the drivers survived. A friend of mine does installations and servicing of some gear. He fixed an Avanti that must have been subjected to sustained, extremely high level signals. The inductor on the crossover board was so overheated that the board and the plastic parts around the inductor had melted (not warped, melted and had started to flow away). Amazingly, the drivers, including the tweeter, were unharmed.
Agree with the opinions here. With the exception of overt abuse a speaker built to a high standard of construction and upper level quality parts, 11 years are nothing in terms of wear. Performance should be very good for many years to come. I`ll always go with the higher quality-older component than a newer but built to a lesser standard one.
Linkingpin if it is any help, mine are set up to also serve home theatre in a strictly 2 channel system. They sit 12 inches from the back wall and about 30 inches to the side wall. They stradle a 100 inch motorized Stewart Screen and are still feed Linn electronics. I'll never get rid of them, but would like to hear them run on tubes some day.
Hi Charles1dad, Jarecneps, great to hear about your positive experiences with older high level speakers.
The point is taken, 8 years is by long not enough for the Tempo's to reach the standard the Avanti's have set, and 11 years for quality parts is perhaps only half way their lifespan. I will try and get the Avanti's if the price stays reasonable, not many are offered every year, so there are more interested enthusisasts.
Larryi, that is indeed surprising that the drivers were unharmed. Here I have a (small) picture of the the crossover used in the Avanti's, . It's from the Avanti III.
I can't find any documentation how the crossover of the Avanti II is built nor could I find any picture. Would be very interesting though.
About melting your coil, as in the answer Larryi gave, here is an example you should not try at home. A guy was testing his speakers with a 4hz tone. And was surprised he blew up his woofer :(
Not agreeing with the basic premise here, that speakers don't sound as they did when they were 'newer'.
Our perceptions change, but barring damage or deteriorating surrounds (again damage), they should measure and sound the same.

Good listening,

I own a pair of Avanti Centuries and a pair of Vandersteen 3A Sigs that are nearly 20 years old. If I had to buy new speakers every 2.5 years I would be listening to Bose or robbing banks.