The SERENE Project
- Two years research and development
- Five re-engineered components
- Innovative materials. Precision manufacturing
SERENE is a game changing series of upgrades for Linn owners to enhance the organic sound of the LP12, whatever the model, whatever the age. Designed, developed and manufactured in the UK, the result is SERENE. Exceptional upgrades for the LP12.
Whichever upgrade you choose, the objective is the same. The removal of vibrations and colourations within the LP12. A lower noise floor means you hear more detail, more focus and a greater soundstage. Most importantly this means increased ability to follow the tune. Simply put, more musicality.
Our aim has been to develop the highest quality affordable upgrades. Stack Audio doesn’t believe high-end hi-fi always has to come with high-end prices.
SERENE is available in complete sets, staged upgrades or individual components to suit your needs.
Core Design Philosophy
The SERENE project is based on a fundamental understanding of the effects of vibration and acoustic resonance on sound quality. A combination of objective analysis using the latest software and subjective listening with independent experts is applied to every product from Stack Audio.
Replay starts with the vibration of the stylus in the groove. Any vibration picked up other than from the groove and the stylus is distortion and this distortion masks detail in the musical signal. This is then amplified by the rest of system. The immediate dissipation of vibration is the primary objective of the SERENE project.
We trialled many different materials throughout the SERENE project, but one stood out: Solid Surface. This material is a composite of acrylic polymer, aluminium and minerals making Solid Surface profoundly inert and stable. As a composite it resonates significantly less than aluminium, steel or wood and is denser than acrylic alone.
The SERENE Sub-Chassis, Cross Brace, Arm Board, and Base Board are all machined in-house from Solid Surface by Stack Audio.
Advanced Vibration Dissipation Composite
AVDC is used in the SERENE Cross Brace, Top Plate and the optional 3-layer Ultimate feet for the Base Board. This advanced material acts as a laminate, trapping and dissipating vibration immediately by turning it into heat. AVDC is a key part of the system of SERENE upgrades focused on the dissipation vibration within the turntable.
SERENE Sub Chassis
The sub-chassis is the backbone of the LP12 and has been at the core of the SERENE project development. Refined through 3 phases, the SERENE Sub-Chassis is machined from 12mm Solid Surface with a honeycomb shape on the underside that provides maximum structural integrity and even dissipation of vibrations. Varying machined pocket depths ensure this highly complex form has the mass and balance of the original sub-chassis. Improving the performance of the suspended design of LP12 is the aim - enhancing the organic sound of the Linn not detracting from it.
SERENE Sub Chassis
The SERENE Sub-Chassis can be fitted to any LP12 and works with original arm boards as well as SERENE Arm Boards. The combination of SERENE Sub-Chassis and a SERENE Arm Board ensures the vital connection between the sub-chassis and the arm board is assured over time. No loosening of the fixings maintains a rigid base for the arm and the cartridge to do their job. Stack Audio believes that the SERENE Sub-Chassis and the SERENE Arm Boards perform at the very best when paired together.
SERENE Arm Board
Made from Solid Surface with threaded brass inserts, the underside of the SERENE Arm Board is hollowed out to ensure a perfect centre of gravity and minimal contact with the sub-chassis thereby minimising vibration transmission. Removal of the last colourations and vibrations at the final point of contact with the tonearm ensures that the SERENE Arm Board allows your preferred arm to reveal more detail with increased focus.
Machined for balance and Performance
Commensurate with their performance SERENE Arm Boards are finished in a luxurious deep gloss piano black. The SERENE Arm Boards are available in 6 standard fittings for Linn, Rega, SME and Naim plus the option of custom fittings for any other tone arm.
SERENE Cross Brace
Stack Audio is unique in offering an upgrade for the Linn cross brace made from 8mm Solid Surface and AVDC with 6 rubber mounts for the power supply. The SERENE cross brace stiffens the plinth and, crucially, isolates vibration from the spindle and motor to the power supply oscillator. The purpose of the oscillator is to control the timing of the motor. Any vibration that reaches the oscillator will alter this timing to the detriment of the performance of the music.
Like the SERENE Sub-Chassis, the SERENE Cross Brace has been refined through 3 phases. A straight forward replacement for the original Linn cross brace, the SERENE Cross Brace comes with all necessary fixings.
The top plate is the most connected component within the LP12. It is harbouring vibration transmitted from the motor, the spindle and plinth. It has the largest, thinnest surface area in an LP12 picking up vibration in the air caused by the speakers and acting as pipe transmitting it to sub-chassis and spindle. To counter this Stack Audio offers you a choice of two significantly enhanced top plates: the SERENE and the ULTIMATE. Both incorporate our AVDC vibration trap, are precision cut to fit flush and come with all the necessary fixings. To support different customer requirements, we offer both top plates with and without a switch cut-out and in both standard and 7 o’clock motor positions.
SERENE Top Plate
The SERENE Top Plate is made from high grade brushed stainless steel and is a direct replacement for the standard LP12 top plate. Laminated to the underside is a recessed 1.5mm frame which ensures the top plate is less prone to warping, more rigid and sits flush on the plinth. The lamination between the top plate and the frame consists of a layer AVDC providing vibration dissipation across the whole surface.
ULTIMATE Top Plate
The ULTIMATE Top Plate is made from aluminium and has a deeper frame underneath with the AVDC layer between. The ULTIMATE frame is precision machined on both sides and will ensure the top plate never warps. With hexagonal pockets and 4 extra contact points, the ULTIMATE Top Plate builds upon the SERENE Top Plate with even more secure fixings, rigidity and enhanced vibration dissipation. As standard, the ULTIMATE Top Plate is anodised aluminium with a choice of black or silver finishes. Alternatively, if you prefer, we can supply a brushed stainless steel Top Plate with the ULTIMATE frame for the classic LP12 look.
SERENE Base Board
The SERENE Base Board is made from 12mm thick Solid Surface purposely designed to sit flush with the bottom of all LP12s. The Base Board with its large surface area is the first line of defence against external vibrations from loud speakers and other sources reaching the listening room. In combination with the other SERENE components it further helps dissipate vibration from within the LP12
The SERENE Base Board has access holes allowing easy adjustment of the suspension springs and bolts without unscrewing the board. Fitted as standard are precision machined aluminium SERENE feet with a Sorbothane layer.
ULTIMATE Isolation feet
Available as an optional extra are our new ULTIMATE feet made from wood with four layers of AVDC in addition to the Sorbothane layer. It also comprises of two metal parts. Fully adjustable, the ULTIMATE feet provide the maximum level of vibration dissipation between the LP12 and its stand.
Adrian M (Australia): Ultimate Full Set
I particularly enjoy being able to follow vocals, even when buried in the music mix, hearing far more emotion in the the phrasing of the lyrics. The soundstage is solid, deep and wide, base notes really are notes - powerful and easy to differentiate. The treble is spectacularRead More
Trevor C (UK): Top Plate, Sub-Chassis, Arm Board, Base Board
Having taken the plunge and purchased the Stack Audio top plate, subchassis, armboard and base board I can honestly say the quality of manufacture and attention to detail is absolutely first class.Read More
Keith G: Sub-Chassis, Arm Board
Solid Surface Sub-Chassis and Arm board - wow !! What a difference - gone from a Fiesta to a Ferrari !! Many thanks.Read More
To give the LP12 a last chance and tempted by the price and concept I decided to give the Solid Surface combination a punt - turns out a great move - best value and most significant upgrade I have ever made.
Andrew T: Sub-Chassis, Arm Board
The original Linn sub chassis did not resolve complex mid-range recordings such as Abba. With the Serene Sub-Chassis every word was audible and there was space between the instruments. The arm board fitted very securely and looks and feels a million dollars.Read More
Tony P: Sub-Chassis, Arm Board, Cross Brace (Platform Set)
I’m noticing far better soundstaging in all three dimensions where recorded and I’m hearing more of the engineering decisions made during recording and mixdown. Tonal balance has been largely unaltered. The general effect if I may use a video analogy is that the systems’ contrast has been turned up and made more vivid allowing expressions in the music that are often lost in greyness to emerge and make musical sense.Read More
Ross B (Snowdonia, UK): Sub-Chassis, Arm Board, Cross Brace (Platform Set)
In terms of sound quality there are huge improvements, top end is clearer and more detailed and lower registers are much more defined and bass hits you in the chest! However midrange is detailed and retains some of the 'warmth' that the LP12 is renowned for and something I like personally, female vocals in particular are excellent.Read More
Mike W (USA): Cross Brace
While installing I noticed that the new braces are much more rigid, are dead to the "rap" test and fit more tightly; the stock ones "ring" and flop around until bolted down.Read More
During playback, on both decks the most noticeable difference was "blacker blacks"; not so much more detail as less background grunge competing with detail.
Mathew S (Yorkshire, UK): Sub-Chassis, Arm Board, Cross Brace (Platform Set)
The difference is really quite stark, whilst trying to avoid the usual hi-fi cliches it sounded like there was more headroom and the individual instruments have more space, noise that I hadn’t realised was there was now clearly absent.I think they have a product here that could turn the whole 3rd party upgrade scene on its head.Read More
Robert J (USA): Arm Board
The three brass inserts allow a faultless connection between the sub-chassis and the arm board, bettering many offerings at up to five times this price point, and dare I say it, giving some well known extremely high end one piece solutions something to think about.Read More
SERENE Set Content
Structure Set: The SERENE Top Plates, Base Board and Cross Brace stiffen up the rigidity of the plinth, dissipating vibration from external and internal sources.
Platform Set: The SERENE Solid Surface Arm Board and Sub-Chassis are the perfect platform for your tone arm and platter to sit on along with the added acoustic benefit that the SERENE Cross Brace provides through isolating the internal power supply
Full Set: All 5 components of the full set of SERENE upgrades combine to provide the highest level of improvement. The maximum removal of vibrations and colourations within the LP12. The lowest possible noise floor that means you hear more detail, more focus and a greater soundstage. The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts. Simply put, more musicality.