How long do high quality speakers "last"

I am the original owner of a pair of ProAc Response 2 speakers. They are almost 7 years old, but have never been driven excessively hard. How long (i.e. useful lifespan in years) can I expect these speakers to "last" (i.e. no significant sonic degradation) if I care for them carefully? When they do start to degrade, what mechanical failures and sonic degradations can I expect to occur? Thanks in advance!!!

"One should be in a position to get 20+ years out of reference speakers.

Much will depend upon the company staying in business and providing both service/parts/drivers."

Yes, this is very important. Unfortunately sometimes even the manufacturer won't keep the required parts in stock forever.

Currently I'm looking to find a bass driver for a friend's KEF floorstanders from 1997 and was told by KEF themselves that my best chance is to look on eBay. 

I'm still hoping to find a decent one with dust cap still intact but not with much luck so far. I'm guessing that if they had developed a crossover malfunction that would, in most cases, have been terminal. 

So, yeah 20 years seems like a good estimate. Then it can get tricky.


An excellent summing up post! 
Still enjoying my JBL L65s that I bought from Pacific Stereo in early 1978.  They had the surrounds redone and some other maintenance back in the mid 90s.  Sound good as ever to my ears!
I have a 5.2 system that comprises Gallo Reference 3.1s all around.  The speakers are now about 13 years old and I fully expect to get another couple of decades from them.  My reasoning is that they are *very* well constructed speakers: they have butyl rubber surrounds, they do not have cabinets so no possibility of veneer delamination, the midrange drivers are carbon fiber, and the tweets are made of Kynar - polyvinyl fluoride.   The speakers have always been kept in temperature and humidity controlled rooms, and have never been directly exposed to sunlight.
I am exceptionally pleased with the sound quality of this system and will probably make no changes for the rest of my life - I'm 65 yrs old today! The icing on the cake is that I purchased all of them, gently used, from fellow 'Goners.  And I didn't pay more than 35% of retail for any of them!  They're being controlled by an Integra 803.1 preprocessor that incorporates Audyssey XT32 room correction and I am simply over the moon with what the Audyssey has done to improve the sound quality in my room. Unfortunately, this was the last prepro that Integra produced using Audyssey, the next models all used their own, greatly inferior room correction system.
FYI, I have another NOS 803 processor that has never been used.  Anyone looking for a smokin' deal on an outstanding prepro, nudge, nudge, wink, wink??
The foam surrounds and electrolytics in the crossover are what will go first.

10 ish years on the first, 25 on the latter.  Keep them out of direct sunlight and excess moisture.
Won’t the wiring and other metal parts oxidize over time? Before I got Anticables, I was using Monster Cable. Every year I would cut off the ends and peal back the jacket to expose fresh (less oxidized) copper. It always provided a big jump in clarity.

My Wharfedale Opus 1 speakers are internally wired with Monster Cable. But there is no way for me to perform the same type of operation. And after 16 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if even the unexposed wire has some degree of oxidation since the jacket cannot perfectly seal around stranded wire. I have heard of people rewiring their speakers, which would solve the problem if there is one.