Project: Serenity Part 5

Back to part 4

Serenity is now complete, after 3 years of R & D. I know it’s a lot of time but life has its ways of getting in the way…
Anyways, on with the review!

Serenity in the great outdoors.

Serenity in the great outdoors.

This amp has been my testbed for all these years. High-gain designs are so difficult becouse you have to have large chassis and be very careful with the topology and grounding. Needless to say, I am very happy with the result in this not-so-big chassis. Shielding all signal cables was a must and, although tedious, it was sure as hell worth the effort and time.

 

As loud as a whisper…

One of the final modifications I installed in this baby was the Power Scaling mod by London Power. After I installed it and played, I realized that this thing should be in every high-powered amp out there by any player that values his/her hearing health and his/her music. Hell, I could even play at 2 in the morning having a great sound at such a low level that my guitar’s strings were more audible.

Of course, the speaker has to be low power for the best results in such low volumes, high rating devices can sound a bit sour. Yet, it is always safer having a speaker whose power rating matches that of the amp (actually double the amp’s power rating), just in case you forget and turn up the power settings into Party Mode. 🙂

Power scaling mod

The two pots controlling the power scaling mod

The two pots have to be turned in unison for maintaining the same tone with the power variance, but having the ‘OUTPUT’ pot at, say, 12 o’ clock, I could use the ‘COMP’ pot from 12 o’ clock down to 7 o’ clock using it as a Master Volume with great results! One would wonder why not put both controls in a dual pot, but the ‘COMP’ pot is actually a dual pot.

Kevin O’ Connor himself helped me out whenever I needed assistance, so kudos and many thanks to him!
For more info on the Power Scaling mods you can visit this page.

 

Other Features…

Overall, Serenity is a 0-50W variable-power, switchable-gain, 2-channel amplifier.

Other features include:

– Point-to-point construction.
– Adjustable bias knobs with sensing nodes for each output valve
– Feedback and individual preamp stage switches for accessing a wide palette of
gain levels various playing styles and musical genres.
– All-tube FX loop with adjustable SEND and RETURN pots.
– Foot-switchable channels
– Power-Scaling variable power circuit with adjustable pots that vary the output down to 0 Watts while maintaining the same tone and response.
– Engraved and painted aluminium front and back panels.

Serenity's backplate.

Serenity’s backplate.

Individual Bias adjustment pots, a.k.a. yet another ‘Must’…

No more need in buying matched tubes, this feature not only compensates for that but it lets you recalibrate the valves over time easily, only with the help of a Digital Multimeter, since each valve is unique and ages at a different rate. Plus, you can use different types of tubes with interesting results… if you know what you are doing, that is!

Another detail of the backplate.

Another detail of the backplate.

In the coming days I hope to find the time to record some clips. So stay tuned and
thanks for reading. Catch you later!

 

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