How long do speakers last?

I ask because I have an opportunity to buy a pair of Von Schweikert VR-33's for an insanely good price. I get it: "it depends how hard they have been driven", but judging by the condition they were very nicely taken care of. My only concern is that will need repairs in the future whereas I could just spend that money on new speakers. On the other hand they sound fantastic. Just curious about the lifespan. They'd be a nice upgrade from my Klipsch bookshelves / sub combo.


nice review here


My speaker's drivers were made in 1958.

I have re-coned the 15" woofers 3 times over the years

The tweeter horns and mid horn are both impregnated linen, essentially indestructable, the voice coils do not burn out

The crossover is elements buried in a tar filled can. I found someone who makes modern crossovers for many speakers, he knew mine, and said if working, don't replace them.

I have had to replace my L-Pads, 2 each side, I neeeded to find 16 ohm.

I also have a set of spare drivers, for the next generation.

I moved my innards to new enclosures, but yours are special with sand filled cavities, rear tweeter, ... The grille cloth may be weak from age, is not normally removable, but there must be info on the web.

If the speakers, both or one, was located near a heat outlet, that side drivers, especially the woofer lower near heat vents.

I would contact the maker and perhaps buy spare drivers now.

Upgrade ideas must be out there, perhaps you will be modifying the crossover

Gee, let's see.  My Tympani I-C speakers have been sounding better than any other speaker since 1974, so that would be 49 years for mine with no repairs, etc.

Now, I am sure their new ones sound even better, so if you want a "forever" speaker, at least TRY a pair IN YOUR ROOM with good hardware.


This comes up from time to time.  Capacitors go over time; 15-25 years.  The other important thing is consistent humidity.  Too wet and stuff rots, rusts and shorts.  Too dry and the enclosures can warp and come unglued, and the driver cones can deteriorate more rapidly, based on their composition.

A lifetime and then you can ship the drivers to Bill Legal at Miller Sound in PA to fix them.

My Spica TC-50 are 40 this year. Re-capped with all polypropylene matched to original cap values in 2018.

See  ieLogical Audiophilia Redux