Should I buy "NEW" spker technology or "OLD"??

I have been pulling my hair out over the following dilemma: Should I buy "older" speaker technology over "new". I realize the major parameters that determine the outcome of such a decision: electronics, room size, type of music, budget, etc., but I would like this question addressed from the "standpoint" of: what is a better value and what has more performance potential?? So here it is: I have several times considered over the last year buying either a "used" pair of Audio Physic Virgo II, "used" Thiel 2.3, "used" Revel F-30's and even "used" Vandersteen 3A's(the Vandy being the least favored in the mix.) Nevertheless, a new dark horse has come onto the scene, but it is not "older" technology or on the "used" resale block. It is the Meadowlark "Osprey" speaker which is finally arriving in showrooms. Other posts on this site have offered some evaluation of this new model which uses a new transmission line technology, high quality drivers, and cabinet material, etc. The returns are early and none conclusive as to the overall "performance" of this product. I have heard the Thiel 2.3, Virgo II, Revel F-30's, but not the Vandersteen 3A's. I can't spend my days and nights auditioning. I know each of these speakers have strong advocates on this site, especially the Vandersteens and AP's.... The Virgo II were "MAGICAL" when I first heard them (but less so every other time,I happened to hear them which began to turn me off) and every owner and ex-owner seems to think as much. The Thiels and Revels, though, clean, neutral and coherent were not as "boxless" and airy in their presentation as the Virgo II which is its "core" magic and strongest performance skill. Nevertheless, the question is whether the technology that was built into the VirgoII which made it a run-away bestseller, can/will that be superceded (and also its sound) by the technology that the Meadowlark's "Osprey" now offers. I realize this is as much a matter of personal taste as speaker engineering, but I am curious as to what others think about the simple issue of buying "new" versus buying "used" ESPECIALLY related to these particular models. Finally, let me add, that I clearly recognize that some speaker designs are just so good that they remain to outperform even what is new. The vintage speaker market, that is, models of the last 5 to 7 years, I think proves this out. All opinions welcomed!!! Happy Holidays To ALL
Jim, there is very little "new" speaker technology. Most "new" technology in speakers is just a facelift of "old" technology. The key here is to have a good execution of a good technology, whether it may be new or old.

Get something that your amp can drive well, and has the sonic attributes that you like.

I'd like to disagree slightly with Twl. While the technology of actually making sound isn't new, the tools that designers have is. Metal, silk and Kevlar weren't used in dynamic speakers fifteen years ago, but are now. MDF is relatively new, as are the exotic cast materials that Rockport and Eggleston (?) use. Computer models for cabinets and crossovers are better. Some might argue that corssover components are better, though that may ba attributed to the realization that component quality is important to sound quality.

In addition, used speakers are like used cars in that you might inherit someone else's problems. Rotten surrounds on dynamic drivers, shorted or dicey ES panels, etc.

All that said, I've voted right with Twl in buying used. I bought used Apogee Stages over ten years ago and haven't looked back.
Hi Jim,

I have wondered the same thing with the B&W line. Is a 7 year old 802 series III at around $2000 a better buy than the newer CM series or the CDM 7 nt's? I agree with Twl that the technology is fairly mature with new designs more likely to be tweeks on older models rather than "ground breaking". Manufactures wouldn't practice planned obsolesence would they?

Macdonj, I agree. There are some new materials and concepts that are worthwhile. I didn't mean to ignore them. Thanks for bringing that point up.
The speaker world is one of gradual improvements....most hi-end compaines dont "reinvent the wheel" with every new offering...however...over 2 or 3 incarnations...wich is generally a 10yr span...the improvements will be more profound...I recently upgraded from a highly acclaimed older model...the Spica a new Brit monitor...the Quad 12L...and couldn't be more terms of detail,bass extension,etc...the Quads win out...however...imaging,transparency,and soundstage are about a wash...actually...the SPicas 3-d imaging was a little better...but they were extremely "rolled off" and mushy sounding in the mids...not too surprising for a speaker from the mid-80s...and a very power hungry 4 ohm load...not the ideal speaker for tubes...but considering the age...still pretty good for a starter or 2nd I guess it depends how far back you go...I personally wouldnt go back farther than one model removed from a current offering...or five years...which ever comes first...
Meadowlark is a very good company...I love the of the better floorstanders around at the price...wasn't that impressed with the Swift(very lean)...but that speaker is $400 cheaper...have not heard the Osprey...let us know what u think...
New vs. old technology in speaker design should not be a factor in buying a speaker.

Most of the new speaker technology has to do with using newer materials and techniques to make cheaper speakers sound as good as "old speaker" technology, which is usually built better but more expensive to produce. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but you will always have audiophiles who will swear that a paper driver is better sounding than one made with new tech aluminum or kevlar. In the case of dynamic cone speakers (which all of speakers you mentioned have), there hasn't been any major breakthroughs for the last 50 years or so. The breakthrough will come in a different application and will be expensive or dangerous like plasma tweeters.

I hate to use analogies, but why can't modern violin makers using new tech build a violin that sounds better than an old Stradeverious? Mostly, because it is not the materials but it is the art and execution that counts (as TWL pointed out).
For better or worse...speaker amps and digital geared toward cleaner, hi-definition
sound reproduction...modern general...vs. older counterparts...sound cleaner,less muddy,and are far more analytical...old school purists would describe them as "leaner and dry" is getting more difficult to find a speaker that doesnt sound thin and bright...I happen to like Brit speakers in this regard...especially if you go with a monitor...SPendors,Quad L series,Proacs,Castles,etc...these might not win the "detail" battle...but they sound very full in the midrange...where 90% of all music lies...