I don't know about more recent vintage speakers, but I have a mint pair of Electrovoice Patrician 800's that are 30 years old and they sound fantastic. When new, these were perhaps the best speaker in the world and 30 years later, I can understand why.
I still own speakers bought new in 1985 and they function flawlessly and the surrounds are fine. If you find the surrounds are cracking or worn, then regardless of age, they are worn. This can be fixed though it might alter the intended sound of the speaker.
I'm running Snell Type A's that are 28 years old and they sound GREAT. The woofer surrounds have been replaced. If you use the right surround replacements and break them in you should be good to go.
Seven years old...? Just nicely broken in.
I know mine will last at least 25years, thats when the warranty runs out. I think that we live in a culture where we assume that we need to continualy change and that everything is very temporary and easily replaced and I think that colors our perception of longevity. I think speakers will last many many years if well cared for.
Go for it (as long as they are in good condition and come with the stands). I've owned Avalon Monitors- 2 pairs, and Eclipses, all were/are great speakers. They don't wear out, per se. But more likely to be abused and troulblesome.
Again, if they sound good, they will last many years.
I have a 1986 pair of Rauna Tyr II monitors in my bedroom system that still sound absolutely superb. The woofer surround is rubber so it has many more years of good use. I have these powered by a rebuilt Pilot 402 receiver(1959 vintage) and it sounds better than I had ever hoped for.
7 years old? what a youngster! ditto I have some speakers 30 and 35 years old and they sound great.
I had to throw my thirty year old speakers away. Then again, I only paid $40 dollars for them used.
The speakers you're looking at are a great buy. As long as the surrounds are good, they will last many more years.
"BUT seven years old!" Why do you think that is old? My experience has been that most speakers last a very, very long time. Maybe cars, computers, and TVs seem old after seven years, but most speakers are more like a wristwatch or camera - moving parts yes, but so what? Seven years is nothing with these items or with most speakers.
I have a pair of EPI from the early '70's 2 way 8 inch that sound great. I have never opened the hood on them. Got them at a thrift store 10 or 15 bucks. Heavy little buggers too, 25 lbs. each at least.
My mother is using my Leak speakers bought 2nd hand in 1969 and my son is using Monitor Audio speakers bought in 1988. Can anyone beat 37 years?
The problem is aging of the rubber surrounds of old drivers and presumably, crossover component failure.
my reaction is the same as others above - 7 years old is nearly new!
"Older" speakers can be a far better value than newer - especially in this hobby where we're prone to upgrade. The price/performance far exceeds new speakers, and most of the depreciation in value is done.
I have multiple speaker sets from the '90s and earlier. I have a pair of Infinity Monitor IIa's I bought in '75 that still sound wonderful.
7 years isnt old. I've got stuff in my refrigerator older than that...!
I would guess that a 7 year old Avalon that has not been abused should be fine for a long, long, time. Some foam surrounds on woofers had a short life, but, that was discovered a while back so your speakers should be safe.
I know a lot of people running 60 year old drivers in systems that would completely shock those who think technology has advanced the state of the art.
Altec Valencia B's.Basically Yoice of the Theatres in a more domesticated enclosure.Early 60's,making them almost 45 years old! Accordian paper surround on woofers,metal diaphragms on horns.Oil bath capacitors.Great with low power set triode amps,a little edgy with solid state.Almost nothing above 10,000hz,but you won't miss it.I added APT supertweeters to mine.A lot of support for these,a lot of pro audio stores carry parts as the components used are the same/similar.Low WAF,though. These are very room imposing.Many Klipsch horn speakers are in the same category.
Thanks to everyone. Sorry if I left the impression that I dump my gear every couple of years. I owned my first serious speakers (Arcus TL200) for about 15 years myself. Only, I did have my doubts whether it is worthwhile to still buy components of a certain age. From what I read, I need not worry.
Very interesting to read how many different speakers are still going strong after decades. I like the thought that the instruments of our shared passion mark a stronghold of quality in throw-away society, at least those where the manufacturer must have shared the passion as well. Comforting.
I would say that you should buy them. If you can inspect them prior to purchase, then take the front covers off and inspect the surrounds, etc. This should solve any hesitations.
I suspect that years alone is a poor measuring tool.
I would guess hours of use, how the speakers were driven, and temperature/humidity conditions are more important determinants.
Nice thread and a possibility to find info on a pair of Mission 750's I recently brought. The back of the spkrs say limited edition(1977-1997) 20th anniversary and are signed. Biwireable and sound great. They replaced a pair of Epos ELS-3. The woofers remind me of the Monitor Audio gear. Good listening Karelfd.
Oops! My EV Patricians are 40 years old (not 30 as I indicated). They are from ther late 60's. And, again, they still sound great.
30% off does not seem like a good discount on used speakers, but if that is the "market rate"....
They are 30% of original list price, 70% off seems very good.
I recently purchased a pair of Infinity RSIIIBs from 1985 and they sound amazing. I have heard many medium to high end speakers such as Paradigm, Sonus Farber, B&W, etc prior to purchasing this vintage set and although all of them sounded good, to me, for the thousands they cost they simply could not beat my Infinity's when concidering sound and cost.
7 years is nothing, I probably wouldnt even worry till almost twice that age..... or even longer.
My Shahinian Diapasons are coming up on 20 years old. It was only this year that I had to replace the passive radiators. When mine were built the passives used a foam type surround. It took about 19 years for them to distintegrate. Fortunately Shahinian eventually went to passives that used a hybrid rubber surround. I bought these and replaced them myself. The woofers already used this type of surround and show no sign of deterioration.
I think a well made speaker should have every chance of lasting a good long time. As long as the Avalons had not been misused then they'd still be considered youngsters at 7 years.
BTW, in all that time I have yet to hear any speaker up to the price range of my Diapasons that I'd want to replace them with. I guess if you find a pair of speakers you love they also have every chance of still sounding great years later.
"I suspect that years alone is a poor measuring tool.
I would guess hours of use, how the speakers were driven, and temperature/humidity conditions are more important determinants"
I agree. Very important criteria.
Speakers and their crossovers are good for decades. The foam surrounds on older speakers may rot after 10 or 12 years but that is easily replaced with modern foam which is good for 20 years or so.
The crossover components should be replaced by thirty years. I say that but until recently my computer room had a pair of Dynaco A-25's from the early 70's that sounded good. They still have the original parts in them.
So the moral of the story is speakers don't really wear out. Now there are stats and panels that do have issues much earlier but that's a different subject.
7 years is a non issue. The speakers I'm listening to now I bought new three years ago. In 20 years it may be a problem somewhere. There's alot of speakers from the 70's that work as they did new.
I know this flies in the face of everybody else's experience, but my Advent New Large Utility speakers, which I got new in 1978 (!) still work fine. The tweeter level switches need a cleaning (I think), but so far, the foam woofer surrounds are in tact!
My Altec 604s were made in 1974 and they are still making beautiful music.
a lot depends on the actual speaker components. SOme speakers have a foam that breaks down pretty easy. Other designs this does not appear to have a problem. lots of altecs, jbls, klipsch speakers out there that push 30-40 years and still sound good.
I just pulled my very first set of speakers out of storage. I haven't heard them in 20 years and they have been in storage for 12. I Am happy to report they work perfectly. Frazier Concertos- 10" woofer, 3x5 horn, dreaded piezo. The pleated surround on the woofer is in great shape and the 32+ year old speakers sound better than expected. My 12wpc t-amp plays as loud as I will ever need. I'm really enjoying them.