The VK-1 Dipole Loudspeaker


Given my great interest is amplifier design; it makes sense that I should also hold a great interest in loudspeaker design. I usually liken this to the profession of a shipwright: it makes a lot of sense to know a little bit about the ocean…

Earlier this year I designed and built my first dipole system, the VK-1 Dipole Loudspeaker. I had two particularly important goals for this design. First, the minimization of stored energy: the backwave from a driver needs to go somewhere and, although fiberglass is good at acoustic absorption, it still takes several reflections about the inside of an enclosure to drop to an insignificant level. Second, the proper “voicing” of each driver: an aluminum ribbon tweeter for airy highs, a paper former/hemp cone driver for natural midrange, and a large paper cone driver for solid bass.

After six months of listening the impossible has happened: I have not made any further “tweaks” to the system and the “honeymoon” is not over! It is a joy every time I sit down and listen to whatever I am in the mood for. It is certainly not the perfect system, and doubtless it would appeal more to some than to others, but for my personal tastes it comes fairly close.

2 Responses to “The VK-1 Dipole Loudspeaker”

  1. Peter Juul Says:

    Hello–I am seriously looking at building an open baffle but still deciding which one. If you would not mind: which 8 channel amp and dsp did you use for the
    VK-1 project? Any sort of resistor or other protection before the tweeter?
    Thank you for your time. Peter

  2. Joey White Says:

    Hi Peter,

    The amplifier is the Ashly Audio NE8250PE. This is a really great sounding 8x250W amp with built-in DSP and Ethernet communication (available for $2100 from Amazon, for example). The DSP is easy to configure via the software and can do all of the functions you’ll need for an open baffle. I use a capacitor in series with the tweeter, since it’s a ribbon, but for a dome tweeter or compression driver I wouldn’t use anything. I’ve been listening to this system for about 5 years now and still enjoy it very much.

    Best, Joey