speaker degradation question

I know this isn't a brilliant question, but every salesman I speak to obviously tells me to replace my Linn Helix front channels because they are 8 years old. I burned them in properly and they still perform perfectly. I am told to upgrade because they were not designed for both HT and Stereo. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated, thanks.
Add a good subwoofer for HT if you like your main speakers. The salesman is doing what all salesmen try to do...make you discontent with what you have in hopes that you'll buy the latest "hot" item. It's not like he doesn't profit when you fall for his line and buy his goods...:)
Justy-Plato is right. The only different requirement for HT is a good subwoofer for the effects channel (and maybe another if your L&R have no real bass, like my NHT Superzero's). If you are going to upgrade, spend the $ on a good center channel that matches well tonally with your L&R. And of course at least equally good speaker cable for the center.
I have an excellent sub, (sunfire signature) and a center that i feel is timbre matched (Sonus Faber). I suppose my question should be, loudspeakers have not changed much enough in the past decade for me to worry about obsolesence, right ?
Justy: If you find your current speakers/sub musically satisfying by all means use them for home theater. New does not neccesarily make better. Do not fall for the salesman's hype.
Justy, there have been alot of changes(more so in formats) in the past 10 years, but there are a number or great speakers being made with technology arround 10 years ago. I aggree with above, if you like the sound stick with what you have. Another idea would be to audition some of these new up-to-date speakers. If a saleman tells you there would be significate changes, make him put up. Most quality dealers will let you try them in your home. A/B them against yours. If the difference isn't worth the money, tell the salesman he was wrong. Have fun and happy listening...LR
I think that speakers do experience some level of degredation over the years. I know my 12 year old vandersteens were starting to sound loose and 'chuffy' in the bass. This may have been due to my listening to more modern designs. I understand that speaker manufacturers have considerably better options for drivers and wire than they did ten years ago. I know there was a world of difference between my vintage vandersteen 2C's and the modern day 2CE signature. Same basic design, but with more modern components. On aging, speakers are an electromechanical device, and I know that there is a certain amount of 'flex' built into speaker cones. This is speculation, but it would seem logical that after a number of years these become more flexible and produce a less accurate sound. If your linn's sound great to you (which they should!), you should just keep them until you find something better. On the topic of 'home theater' speakers, there is some truth to the fact that a home theater designed speaker tends to be a little brighter and able to product the exaggerated special effects of movies. Way-overcooked bass being an example.
Providing that your speakers don't have foam surrounds they should last a very long time, unless you expose them to very high levels of UV. Bright sunlight will destroy many different materials over time. The old Magneplaners had a problem with it.(they use a UV resistant adhesive now). I am sure you have also seen an old loudspeaker with crumbeling foam around the woofer. The Rodgers Ls35a's I bought in 1978 still sound as good as they did when new. I still use them in my bedroom. 8 years old is just broken in!
John_l, I think what you said about HT speakers all depends on what speakers that you are using. I suppose if the setup is one of those bargain HT speaker packages that you might be correct. For HT, I use Aerial 10Ts as L/R, CC3 as center, and SR3s for surronds. In that case we're talking hi end speakers all arounds, with all the glory attendant with such fine speakers. Justy, I do agree with the philosophy that if you like what you have, be happy!
Yup Sfbaydude, thats what I meant. I have heard some of these Boseo-targeted five speaker 'systems' that the mass-market retailers want 1500 for, and I cannot believe how bad they sound. You can get EXCELLENT two channel speakers (like Linns!) for that much. Further, some systems, like my small tube amp/imaging speaker setup, are great for music, but too wimpy for home theater. Others, like my receiver and bass heavy 'bright' speakers, are good for home theater but too coarse for music. Most (I know, not all) home theater components - vcr's, dvd players etc don't have good enough output sections to merit high end speakers/amps anyway. I just bought an $1100 Sony DVP-S7700 DVD player, and I think it sounds 'just ok' playing cd's. It doesn't hold a candle to my 12 year old sonographe sd-1 cd player. (probably not worth $50 on the used market). Movies sound very good through it though. Boom! Pow! Ratatatat ! Asta la vista baby!
John_l, I'm kinda surprised that you find the Sony DVD just OK on CDs. I've heard (read) that it does quite well as a CD transport. But then I did have a Sonographe pre many years ago and loved it. The Muse 8 and 9 are great for CD and DVDs.