Paul Cocksedge's Vamp Stereo plays music wirelessly on any two old speakers
Paul Cocksedge has unveiled the latest design in his mission to save vintage speakers from obsolescence, with a small Bluetooth device that can now provide stereo sound (+ movie).
The Vamp Stereo is an update to The Vamp – a tiny amplifier by the London-based designer that can connect any Bluetooth-enabled phone, laptop or computer to a vintage speaker.
The previous version could only be hooked up to one speaker, so Cocksedge has updated the design to provide stereo sound with two speakers and increase the maximum volume.
"We wanted to go further with the product and improve on sound quality, so now it has a stereo output and the ability to use two speakers for stereo separation," explained Cocksedge. "It still has the same philosophy of bringing old and new technology together."
The devices were created to tackle the growing problem of electronic waste as people throw away their old hi-fi systems to replace them with Bluetooth-compatible speakers.
The aim is to save old speakers from landfill as well as providing users with better sound quality than most affordable Bluetooth-enabled versions.
"When we discovered that 10,000 speakers a month are sent to UK recycling centres, with many others ending up in landfill or incineration plants, we knew we had to get these speakers back into circulation and preserve our musical heritage," said Cocksedge.
"Of course this won't end e-waste, but we hope it is a step in the right direction," he added.
The Vamp Stereo weighs 400 grams and is designed to be portable. It is shaped like a cube, with one corner cut off to provide a flat surface for it to rest on and the electronics housed in an ABS plastic case. It can also be attached to a speaker using a magnetic disc.
It is charged via a USB and connects wirelessly to a user's device via Bluetooth. Two ports at the back provide input for speaker wires, while a jack port can connect The Vamp Stereo directly to a phone or other music source.
Cocksedge has also launched The Vamp Speaker, a sound system made from oriented strand board created using wood from sustainable sources and recycled electronics.
It features a notch in the top surface to nestle The Vamp Stereo into, with a magnet to keep it secure.
The system was made for those who don't have old speakers to reuse, but it also allows the Vamp Stereo to be connected to an additional two speakers to create a louder output and allow users to spread their speakers out around a space.
"A lot of modern portable Bluetooth speakers are very designed and stylised, often made of injection-moulded plastic," said Cocksedge.
"We wanted to go back to the way speakers were originally put together, which is actually really simple: six pieces of wood which are joined together with some holes where you can add cones and tweeters."
"It gives really great volume and sound because you're working with materials that work well with sound waves," he added.
Both The Vamp Stereo and The Vamp Speaker launched on Kickstarter this week, echoing the strategy for the original The Vamp device, which launched on the same crowdfunding platform in 2013.
Cocksedge has also relaunched his #saveaspeaker campaign on social media to coincide with the Kickstarter campaign and encourage people to keep their vintage speakers.
Photography by Mark Cocksedge.