The speakers I was referring to are Harbeth HL MLIIs from 1980 so that is older than 20 years.
I also have a pair of Harbeth HLP3ESs that while mini-monitors ala the LS35A, absolutely kill the older, bigger Harbeths.
At the time I bought them I thought they were fantastic, not the end-all be-all but certainly fine speakers and a fine example of English 2-way design.
I guess I should clarify my statement.
I'm not a believer in the retro-speaker thing.
Old Advents, Bozaks, JBLs, Altec-Lansings.
Speaker technology has come a loooong way in the last 20 years, imo.
There are very few designs that have stood the test of time fundamentally unchanged.
Magnepans are an example that comes to mind and even these have been gone through changes but are essentially the same design and technology.
Like all technology, there is a plateau of technological refinement. It's just a question of when it is attained.
Take the PC for example, performance has essentially plateaued for several years now but the real change is in price vs. performance.
Certainly the Performa3 line is a prime example of price vs. performance.
That's not to say that refinements aren't going to happen and the "Ultima3" won't out perform the predecessors.
I think my Studio2s have reached a level of performance that barring some unforeseen break-through will satisfy me until I win the lottery.
Which won't happen because I know the statistical probablilities