View Full Version : A speaker's life

21-01-2010, 09:40 AM
I own a pair of Harbeth c7, the original non SE , dated 1996. I wonder if their beautiful sound qualities will remain unaltered in time, or will they sound different in the next 10- 15 years or more? Is there an answer? Thank you

21-01-2010, 09:55 AM
:-) if you listen to it everyday or often, it will sound the same. :-)

Speakers are physical and are made of things which deteriorate, the rubber surrounds on the woofers, the capacitors but truth to be honest, i have a pair of 18 year old Rogers and i cant hear a difference since i got them.

Speakers can do with a bit of maintenance though and ill probably get shot here for saying this... if you are brave and you take out the rear binding posts and the bit with the crossover, wipe it with a white cloth after 15 years, that cloth will be soiled (oxidised material). if you plug the whole thing back together, your speakers will sound different i promise...almost like new, all things equal. but our ears would have changed after 15 years,

21-01-2010, 11:53 AM
As a generalisation, speakers are reliable providing that they are treated with respect. The soft parts - as you say, rubber surround etc. - are the most vulnerable.

Personally, I'd just leave them alone to age gracefully. If the speakers are in storage and not in use for months/years I'd turn them upside down to even out the pull of gravity on the voice coil. A nice wipe down with a barely wet cloth over the veneer every year or so should keep them looking fresh. You're right - our ears probably age more than the speakers, certainly over 15-20 years (sadly).

21-01-2010, 01:32 PM
Thank you, I will follow your suggestion!

21-01-2010, 01:53 PM

Do not press, push or tap or knock the bass unit or tweeter cones

21-01-2010, 06:09 PM
Thank you Alan for your reply, actually I was a bit worried about some replacement of capacitors or other parts of the speakers, but as long as you don?t see the need of it, that?s all right with me!

21-01-2010, 07:11 PM
No problem. As a matter of policy, we try to use super long-life 'traditional' capacitors wherever we can even though we need to bank many of them together to achieve the total capacitance value we need. For example, on the P3ESR circuit board (see bottom still picture here (http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.php?section=products&page=designersnotebookdetail&id=15)) in the top-middle of the board there is a group of four very large (red-brown) dry-film capacitors, total value 40uF (4 x 10u) when one small 40uF 'modern' capacitor could have been used. We had the board area available so I decided to use the traditional polyesters. They should last virtually forever, certainly more than a human lifetime.

When not constrained by cost or size, the designer has a free-hand to design for longevity.

22-01-2010, 12:33 AM
I am old compact 7 owner too. Many thanks for this thread. I own a pair of SHL5 too, the C7 sound still keep impressed me when ever I listen to it.