My guess is that while there may be some degradation of the cone materials and surrounds over time, there is no life time limit on the functionality of speakers, especially Vandersteens. They've always been built on the premise that a good design can and should last a long time, as opposed the trying to be the flavor of the month. My recommendation would be to check out the refurb program, because this company is known for supporting their lines and customers. In fact, many of their speakers are sold based on the fact that they can be easily upgraded, which leverages your original investment. In closing, I'm willing to bet that of all the components in an older system, the speakers are often the least likely to get 'left behind' with changing technology. If you're itching to spend $$, you might find better ROI on your sources, especially if they are older digital pieces. Hope this helps.
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