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user210282 19th March 2013 11:19 AM

Sound quality of old/aged speakers
Does the sound quality decrease in a speaker by prolonged usage or after some years? I was just thinking, that the voice coil or the magnet might get weak and the sound quality might diminish after using the speakers for a long time or after aging. Does speaker suffer such things?

Mooly 19th March 2013 11:38 AM

I think the biggest problem is physical deterioration of the cone and particularly the cone surround. Thats a "mechanical" issue due to the parts disintegrating. Voice coils should not change with age or usage within the intended current carrying capacity of the coil.

Magnets... I've never heard of sensitivity reducing for normal speakers due to flux loss as a general rule, although there probably exist some drivers where poor materials made this a factor (such as ribbons ? am I imagining that or have I read something somewhere)

user210282 19th March 2013 11:44 AM

Thanks a lot Mooly

davidsrsb 20th March 2013 03:40 PM

Add to the list - Stuffing rotting away, PVA glue disappearing so the cabinets come apart and ferrofluid drying out

Doggyboy 30th March 2013 05:22 PM

Capacitors degrading or dying over time would change the performance of the crossover. I've heard of people needing recap older speakers to maintain performance. Even though the 40 year old stuff I have all sounds great to me because it was well cared for (zero degradation of paper because always kept indoors for instance), I imagine if the paper was degrading that things like the crossover might well be degrading as well. Things like resistors or transistors shouldn't degrade from what I understand though, it's just capacitors.

Lakeellis 30th March 2013 05:36 PM

Too many variables to say. Stored in the right environment? Driven by the correct amp? Mostly used for Sinatra, and not Rush? I am currently using some old Klipsch Cornwalls...never restored, but superb sound. Also have the original drivers in a 1950's Magnavox console, and they are wonderful!

sco1t 11th April 2013 07:13 PM

I've got 2 old 1950's 10 inch 15 Ohm Celestion speakers and they sound very good on a nice valve amp :) good on transistors too!!

jekat 16th April 2013 12:36 PM

I repaired a IBM laptop which noised when the music was playing, later I found it has a problem of the speaker, the paper of the speaker lost of elasticity.

JMFahey 16th April 2013 01:48 PM

Paper cones degrade slowly, it may take 40 years for it to become dry/crumbly.
Less if it sits in the Sun.
Unlikely at home but sometimes happens in commercial installations.

Foam edges rot in 10 years, that's a given and the reason that there are so many "refoaming" kits in the market.
Sunlight can absolutely destroy it in a year or so, if continuous exposure.

Alnico magnets easily lose charge, 40% or more is not unusual; JBL for example offers a regaussing service for old speakers as a routine.

Ceramics are forever.

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