Speaker Longevity

Can someone give me some advice on how speakers wear? I have a 10 year old pair of Vienna Acoustic Beethoven's. I have never turned them up and l don't listen to rock, I basically listen to Solo vocal, Acoustic, Sacred Vocal, and Chamber. I have been running them through an all tube system by Quicksilver Audio, with a Vandersteen sub.. Do they degrade over time? Or, do speakers either work or not work?
Thanks, I would really appreciate some knowledgeable input.
Has the sound degraded? In what way!

If it has, the speakers may just be the messenger and the problem could be elsewhere (if there is one).

If sound has degraded, I'd suspect a tube or tubes in the other gear to be the most likely culprit. ?
Speakers have two vulnerabilities.
#1 biggest is the deterioration of the surround material on the larger drive units. IF the material is either paper, only on very old (1950's) types, or real rubber, then the surrounds are good for at minimum 20.30 years.. For the unfortunate with foam surrounds, the lifespan is typically 8/12 years.. sooner if speakers are used hard, longer if used gently, but foam rots from the ozone in the air and not as much from usage. Foam surrounds are very soft and easily snagged or torn.
foam surrounds are easy to replace, and many kits are available to replace foam surrounds. Expect to pay $100/150 for a four surround do it yourself kit. You need only to have minimum handyman skills to replace foam surrounds.
For rubber and paper, the speakers need reconing, a more labor intensive job best left to professionals. Rubber is usually black roll, and flexible, hard to tear, and pretty good, better speakers almost all use rubbler now. Paper surrounds were on older speakers from the 40's and 50's.. paper lasts nearly forever. but is also the hardest to have fixed properly if damaged. A real expert is needed to fix them.
The way to tell if your surrounds are bad is to look at the surface of the cones, The cones have a surround, Is it intact? Yes then no problem. Do not replace them until they are broken or cracked. (If a crack allows air to bypass the cone, it is broken, no matter how small the crack or tear.) Do not get surrounds fixed as a 'preventatative measure. One never knows how long a surround may last, and a repair may fail before the original would have.. so if it is not broken DO NOT FIX IT.
The second weak spot in a speaker is the crossover in the capacitors. Capacitors usually last about 20 years, and again, the problem is inherent in the design, and use or non use in a speaker does not matter too much. If the speaker does not play correctly, and it is not a scratching sound, and the surrounds are not broken or ripped, then it is invariably the capacitors in a crossover.
Replacing all the crossover caps after 20 years as a preventative measure is a reasonable idea.
As for the rest, a speaker can last 70 years, easily without a problem..even longer.
A scratcing sound indicates a speaker voice coil is damaged. This involves the same cost as a reconing. Voice coils become damaged from extreme hard use. So I do not think you would ever have this problem.
I am sure the speakers have degraded over 10 years, but the question is have your ears degraded even more during that period ?

I would quit worrying about it and enjoy the speakers. Popular wisdom (?) on the net has it that speakers can last up to 30 years without significant deterioration.
I am equally sure that they haven't. Why would you think they would? I just sold my newest pair of speakers, they were 11 years old. The ones I listen to most are 18 years old. Barring damage or the kind of things Elizabeth describes speakers last a long time. It takes many speakers a considerable length of time to sound their best. I would bet that a significant percentage of the speakers for sale on Agon aren't even fully broken in.
Rickpur...are you asking out of curiousity or are you experiencing a degradation in the sonics from your system? If you are running an all-tube system and things have been getting gradually worse, or even if they suddenly got worse, I would look at your tube amps and make sure you don't have a bad tube as Mapman suggested. Do you know how many hours you have logged on your power output tubes, the input and driver tubes, etc...?
My mother is still using the Leak mini sandwhich speakers I bought second hand in 1969. They sound ok to me. Is this a record?
I feel it depends more on the owner than on the loudspeaker... how long they'll last in someone's house.

Flavor of the month crowd:
For component (s).... about six months.

Monitors are about the same as components or about six months. They’re just too easy to pack and ship.

Floor standing Speakers stick around a little longer... a year or two... or so it seems. See packing and shipping.

the Speaker first club
they may never leave.

Speakerage is key to system synergy but not the end all be all...
From one yr to 5 yr. Usually two or three yrs.

Couldn't sell them if I wanted too as no one knows anything about them

Love 'em and will keep 'em till they turn to dust...

. I've one pr which are closing in on 11 yrs I think. Another pr which are over 25 yrs old.

both of these now 'vintage' speaker sets have either been 100% rebuilt from the orig factory, or will be soon as it’/they break somewhere or something.

Primarily ‘cause I’d have to spend a whole lot more to replace what they are capable of with newer units.

It's very nice to buy speakers that the orig maker still supports BTW. many claim only 5 - 10 yrs out from the close of the speaker model run. Some quit supporting older units when they are halted or are no longer current production.

A surround went on my large two ways at around 20 years old... on the larger driver in one box only. Thereafter I had both boxes drivers and x overs redone completely. $250 incld shipping.

Controlling humidity and temperature while keeping them in play regularly will add to their life expectancy, more than storage in uncontrolled environmental conditions will. Keeping them out of direct sunlight too will help. That is of course if the cover grills are removed and the drivers are exposed... or so I've been told by more than one speaker maker.
Elizabeth & Jim -- great posts!

I'll just add that some of the most expensive and sought after speaker drivers in existence today are the field coil drivers from 1930's Western Electric theater speakers, which go for stratospheric prices on the rare occasions when they appear for sale.

Drivers from certain high-end 1930's radios, such as the 18 inch drivers that were made by Jensen and used in McMurdo Silver sets ca. 1935, can also command multi-kilobuck prices.

Which would seem to say something about how long well-made raw drivers (as distinguished from crossover elements) can last and continue to perform well.

-- Al
I've had a pair of Radio Shack Minimus 7's on my back porch for 20+ years.After several hurricanes and no telling how man backyard parties,they are still going strong.I can't explain why they have lasted so long and frankly,I don't really care,as long as they continue to do so.
Drivers still are made with paper surrounds. I have loudspeakers that I listen to daily that are older than I and never rebuilt. Im 45. I would say about 15-20 years for most quality loudspeakers depending on conditions or abuse.
Well, it’s been many months since I checked this post. I just want to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge- especially Elizabeth. I was really just curious if I should brace myself for a $6k purchase in the near future. Or- can I spend some money on upgrading cables. Never thought a power cable could make such an unbelievable improvement. For those of you who are not familiar with Voodoo Cables, I highly recommend checking them out.

Again, kind thanks..