Seasoned ears only

I've got too much time on my hands. Like many audiophiles, I'm always trying to achieve that symbiotic system nirvana; the sound you remember from one place or another that you just can't seem to achieve again. I was thinking that several companies have introduced truly remarkable speakers in the last 30 years, but many of us are obsessed with the "newest thing."

Think of such speakers as the ugly but brilliant Yamaha NS-1000 monitors, the many Quad electrostatics, the AR-9, the original Von Schweikert VR-4. Some truly amazing speakers that you can find at a fraction of their original cost today.

How do those of you with the more seasoned ears think a pair of, for example, Von Schweikert VR-4 would match up with most of today's under $10,000 speakers? Sometimes I think the Quads, VR-4 and NS-1000 knocked my socks off at the time more than most speakers introduced today. Do you think we are being seduced into buying the "newest thing" because of our audio bug vulnerability, or are today's speakers really any better??
I agree completely on the Yammies. I've got two pair, and still feel they are better than almost everything else I've compared them to over the widest spectrum of music over many years.

Here I am, about to buy a pair of Sonus Faber Guaneri Homages this weekend to replace my B&W 805s that I use as small remotes to match my Yammy mains, and wondering why I'm preparing to spend the money.

Must be the looks of the Guaneris, I suppose.

If the Yammies looked like that, they would probably have dominated the speaker market Microsoft-style for a generation.

I only once heard original Quad ESL's, in a shop. That was the first time I was blown away by speakers after buying my first Yammies many years ago. They completely changed my idea of what audio was "supposed to" sound like. It was as if all of my life I had been inside a room, looking at paintings on the walls, thinking they were windows looking out into the real world. Then one day someone put a photo on the wall, shocking me with detail seen for the first time ever, changing my perception of everything, but the photo was in black-and-white.

Too bad there is no way to fit those ESLs in my odd-shaped ancient house. I'd love to have those in one room and my Yammies in another.
Loved those double stacks of Advents. We used to set those up at friends house over by KSCO.
Now, I'm not really sure that you have the best garage set up in Capitola.
My current speakers are around 20 years old. I've heard many current models, some of them in my own home on my own equipment, and don't feel the need to change.
I feel a good design is still a good design. If well executed, I don't see a reason why it won't sound good today. The only thing that might spoil the party are ageing parts, especially on electrostatic speakers.
Speakers have gotten better, but progress is gradual -- so gradual that the best speakers of 20 or 30 years ago can still satisfy. After all, they were great to listen to then. And there are great bargains to be had, if you're prepared to deal with problems of aging and parts availability. The safest approach may be to buy something that was made within the last 10 years or so -- not likely to have problems, parts are probably available, technology hasn't improved all that much, but you can get a good bargain by buying something off the "have to have the latest" crowd. On the other hand, if you're willing to put in some elbow grease, I'll hazard that you can come pretty damn close to a pair of Magicos or anything else for not much more than pocket change.
Progress is also not even across an entire industry. The best speakers of 25 years ago will still be better than mediocre speakers of today, often regardless of cost. OTOH, mediocre speakers of years ago will only seem worse with time.