The SERENE Project
Two years research and development
Five re-engineered components
Innovative materials. Precision manufacturing
SERENE from Stack Audio is a game changing series of upgrades for Linn owners. Enhance the organic sound of your LP12, whatever the model, whatever the age. Designed, developed and manufactured in the UK, the result is SERENE. Exceptional upgrades for the LP12.
Sub–Chassis. Arm Board. Cross Brace. Top Plate. Base Board. Whichever upgrade you choose, the aim is the same. The removal of vibrations and colourations from 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.
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.
Innovative Materials and Design
We trialled many different materials throughout the SERENE project, but one stood out: Solid Surface. A composite of acrylic polymer, aluminium and minerals makes Solid Surface profoundly inert and stable. It resonates significantly less than metal or wood and is denser than acrylic alone.
The SERENE Sub-Chassis, Arm Board, Cross Brace and Base Board are all machined from Solid Surface by Stack Audio.
Advanced Vibration Dissipation Composite is used in the SERENE Cross Brace, Top Plates and ULTIMATE feet for the Base Board. This advanced material acts as a laminate, trapping and dissipating vibration immediately. AVDC is a key part of the system of SERENE LP12 Upgrades targeting all sources of vibration affecting the turntable.
The SERENE LP12 upgrades are designed and manufactured in the UK. Solid Surface is machined and polished in-house by Stack Audio; the steel and aluminium top plates are unique Stack Audio designs manufactured specially for us with bonding and final finishing in-house.
The sub-chassis is the backbone of the LP12 and is the core of the SERENE project. Refined through 3 phases, the SERENE Sub-Chassis is machined from Solid Surface with a honeycomb structure on the underside for maximum strength and dissipation of vibrations. Varying pocket depths ensure this complex form has the mass and balance of the original sub-chassis. Improving on the performance of the suspended design of the LP12 is the aim, enhancing the organic LP12 sound
The SERENE Sub-Chassis can be fitted to any LP12 and all arm boards. The combination of the Stack Audio SERENE Sub-Chassis and Arm Board however ensures this vital connection is assured over time – they work at their best when paired together
SERENE Sub-Chassis price = £220
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 but secure contact with the sub-chassis. Removal of the vibrations at final point of contact with tonearm ensures the SERENE Arm Board lets your preferred arm reveal more detail and more focus.
Reflecting their musical performance, SERENE LP12 Arm Boards are polished to a high gloss piano black finish. They are available in 6 standard fittings for Linn, Linn Ittok, Rega, Rega 3, SME and Naim plus custom fittings to order
SERENE Arm Board price = £66
SERENE Cross Brace
Stack Audio offers an upgrade for the Linn cross brace made from 8mm Solid Surface with aluminium and AVDC isolating tabs for attachment to the plinth. 6 rubber mounts provide additional vibration dissipation for internal power supplies.
SERENE Cross Brace price = £44
The top plate is the most interconnected part of the LP12 and is subject to both internal and external vibrations. Like all the SERENE upgrades, the Stack Audio top plates are designed to be rigid and stable and dissipate vibration. There are two levels of top plate to choose from, SERENE and ULTIMATE. Both feature a sandwich construction incorporating a layer of AVDC and are precision cut to fit flush to the plinth. They can be ordered with and without a switch cut-out, and to suit either 7 o’clock or 11 o’clock motor positions.
SERENE Top Plate
The SERENE Top Plate is machined from high grade brushed stainless steel and is a direct replacement for the LP12 top plate. Bonded to the underside with AVDC is a recessed 1.5mm frame which ensures the top plate is less prone top warping, is more rigid and sits flush with the plinth
ULTIMATE Top Plate
The ULTIMATE Top Plate is made from black or silver anodised aluminium. It has a deeper frame bonded with AVDC which is machined flat on both sides with hexagonal pockets and 4 extra contact points for more secure fixing.
SERENE Top Plate price = £150 ULTIMATE Top Plate price = £355
SERENE Base Board
The SERENE Base Board is machined from 12mm thick Solid Surface carefully designed to fit flush with the LP12 plinth and accommodate internal power supplies and DC motors. With its large mass and vibration dissipation properties, the SERENE Base Board acts to reduce internal vibrations transmitted via the plinth and external vibrations from the rack or shelf.
The SERENE LP12 Base Board is available in two versions: SERENE and ULTIMATE. The difference between the two is the feet. ULTIMATE feet can be retro fitted to any SERENE Base Board. Both the SERENE and ULTIMATE feet are precision turned and finished to the same standard using a Sorbothane disk for contact with the support surface. Both are adjustable so that you can perfectly level your LP12. They come in sets of 3.
SERENE Base Board price = £140 ULTIMATE Base Board price = £215
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.