Aural Thrills AudioSerenadenewAural Thrills Audio Serenade All TubeSerenade phono amplifier Hello, thank you for your interest in my amp. I have been working on this same circuit for over ten years and am therefore very familiar with it's design and sound. In my ...999.99

Aural Thrills Audio Serenade All Tube

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Ships fromGarland, TX, 75042
Ships toUnited States
Package dimensions21.0" × 14.0" × 8.0" (20.0 lbs.)
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Serenade phono amplifier

Hello, thank you for your interest in my amp. I have been working on this same circuit for over ten years and am therefore very familiar with it's design and sound. In my experience that means from dead neutral sound to very colored (rich old tube sound). I have built and listened to hundreds of variations over the years. I was a music major in college and took four years of Zoltan Kodaly ear training so it is something I love to do. In my experience the better your system is, the more neutral you want the phono stage to be. If your system is 1980's solid state, then you want a more colored tone. There is not really one perfect unit. The only caveat to that is the quality of the parts used. More expensive parts sound better in any system. The point is I can build a unit just for you! Below is a link where you can read the full, product of the year review by the Absolute Sound Magazine.
Phono stages are very special to me. I have a large record collection and never made the switch to digital. I had a field day when everyone was selling their record to Goodwill. $1 each. I fear these good old days are over as others are discovering the magic of vinyl. I have been building phono amps for many years and have tried many and built many others. My favorite is to use tubes for the amplification. The main downfall of this approach is that tubes can be noisy. Phono amps multiply the signal many times over. Much more than other types of amps. Noise is multiplied as well. So what is the solution? I have found that there are a few ways of making an all tube phono stage quiet. When using a cartridge of less than .4mV of output you need to use a head amp or tube noise may become too loud.
I started with a commercially available board. All traces on the board are made of Silver for detail and power. All tube sockets are Gold plated for trouble free service. All parts are hand selected to insure a large soundstage. Transformer is  a custom made shielded Torrid, which can run on 120/230/240 volts.  It has that you are there quality.
I have been making this amplifier circuit for over ten years. I have a 100% customer satisfaction rating for over 20 years on both Audiogon and Ebay. As you can see I have changed to a new board and custom, hand made power supply which maximizes the design. It is more quiet and with more bass than ever. The Serenade Amplifer is equal to amps that cost much, much more. Please read the reviews.

TAS Review


I have used parts from suppliers all over the world. Included are parts from Japan, Germany, China, and USA to keep cost down. I have used a standard chassis instead of paying hundreds for a custom job with printing. This allows me to buy superior parts and still keep cost down. You will not find this unit anywhere else. It may be the best deal in the audio business.
  • custom Torrid shielded transformer for quiet operation
  • 120/230/240 Volt
  • RIAA circuit built in (recording industry association of America
  • MM/MC
  • computer designed power supply
  • 4X 12AX7
  • Carbon Film Resistors
  • best sounding unit around
Here are the latest customer reviews:
Just wanted to let you know I received the unit
in great shape. I am leaving in the morning on vacation and won/t get to
listen much until I get back. From what I have listened so far, all I can
say is awesome, awesome, awesome. I will just rotate my Moving coil
cartridges. I have some older preamps for MM. Other cartridge I have is Low
output moving coil Grado Sonata. Haven/t tried it yet. Thanks for
everything. Don/t know what brand of tubes are in it, but they sound
excellent to me. David.
Here is another one.
Hi Tom
I changed the setting back to M C @ 100 ohms after trying a higher setting,I took the sot out of the configuration, I warmed the amp up with one side of Bach and then I played my reference album, Dark side of the moon.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this would equal  the most discerning systems at any cost, the separation and darkness of the sound stage just blew my mind I am not changing the cartridge, it could use a little more mv output to be perfect but it is not worth the effort as this turntable is a bear to change. Thank you for leading me away from the H O M C, I did buy the denon 103 r and I am going to install that on a Thorens 160 that is being refurbished and up graded with todays technology or possibly a VPI classic if I can get the right price on that and sneak it into the house so my wife doesn't see it.
At any rate I could not be happier with this very fine pre amp you would be hard pressed to find one that functions as flawless at any price. It is a great product and you are a absolute pleasure to deal with.
I will send you the tracking # when I go to the post office, but now It is Beatles time
Here is another review just received:
Douglas Robert Hounsell Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:25 PM
To: Tom Kenny
Good afternoon Tom,
The preamp is here and I must say I am quite impressed with the build quality and construction of piece. First rate and it looks great in the rack. However looks aside after plumbing it up into system the real proof of your Phono pre with the balanced outs is what really matters to me!  After listening to a MFSL Rolling Stones “Let it Bleed” I was quite pleased, then on to Stealy Dans “Aja” I  was rapidly becoming an Aural Thrills Audio fan big time. The punch combined with a subtle smoothness is magnificent. Lower register notes on piano are outrageous clean, tight and dominate. I am fully aware how difficult it can be to accomplish this as I worked my tail off with Leon Russell’s engineer one evening getting this very thing “right” at a show I produced and engineered some years ago. Thank you for your devotion to what matters in your craft. Perfection takes its toil on the less passionate but their always will be folks like me that understand and appreciate folks like you. Now on to the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”
Thanks Again
Doug Hounsell
[Quoted text hidden]
Hi Tom,
Yes I received the pre amp in good condition and I sent you a response on Ebay for your product.

I set it up and it sounds great! I've invested in an affordable LP vinyl washing system, and with a modified vac system, my record collection has been given new life!

The Marantz SR8001 amp and Technics SP15 turntable/Grado cartridge are sounding really clean with your phono stage.

Thank you for your excellent workmanship.



Received the amp and plugged it in to the CD input of my Yamaha A-S700 amp. I have a Yaquin MC-100B that’s been modified by a tech in Australia and a pair of Sonus Faber Concertinos, but all unfortunately still in storage.
I am listening to some Australian country music, the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up - I’ve honestly never heard it sound so clear, present and detailed.
Can’t wait to spend some quality time with your preamp. Maybe I’ll just plug the headphones in and kick back for a couple hours….
Thanking you, sir.

Picked it up this afternoon. I've attached a picture of the phono section opened that Tom sent me while it was still on his bench. I'll do more pics and the power section later. I have to say, even not being broken in at all, the sound is really impressive and a perfect match for the rest of my set up. Running analog direct, the level of detail, the air around each instrument, the extension, the tightness of the bass, the depth of the sound stage, all are incredible. It was a real bargain at the price I paid, too. All I need now is an Emission Labs 274B and time to break it in.
  • Now that I'm getting a few hundred hours on the caps and other components, it's time for a bit more of a review and a few more pics.

    First, Tom at ATA was great to work with. He answered all my questions and helped me make decisions on a completely custom, hand-built, phono stage. As you can see in the first pic, the signal path consists of Mundorf S/O as the output coupling, along with Sonicaps and silver mica caps in the passive RIAA section, with Mills resistors. Electrolytics are used only for the radio frequency filtering, which is outside the signal path. Everything except the Mundorfs are part of the standard 100 dollar upgrade (normal price for the stage is 899, 999 for the upgraded version). Those ran an extra 200 on top of the upgrade. I also decided to go with a choke input on the 274B rectified power supply, and a linear power supply instead of a switching after talking to Tom about the pros and cons of each. I'm also now running his recommended Amperex 12AX7s, which I really like. Into this, I'm running an Empire 2x8 fitted with a Rega arm that's been heavily upgraded and a Shelter 501 Mk II cart using a Baerwald (sp?) alignment for Rega arms. The phono IC comes from the Cardas DIN to custom solid silver cables w/ WBTs, and out from the pre via a custom cable that's a single silver and a single copper 28 ga. OCC strand twisted together w/ DH Labs RCAs and cotton insulators. That feeds out into my Pio SC-05 and out via analog direct into my Mackie's then to my RTi12s @ 850 wpc. So that's the setup.

    The sound is very balanced, with many good qualities, and no bad ones that I can hear. The sound stage is quite wide and deep, and instruments have a very nice space, but they sound neither big nor pinpoint. Instead, instruments sound life-sized. Vocals have a good weight to them, and it's very easy to count the number of singers when multiple vocalists come in. A good example of this is the 2nd track on Jackson Brown's Running On Empty, where there's a close harmony between 3 male vocalists. On my old Parasound, I thought it was a weird mix where Jackson's voice was spread all the way across the sound stage. After hooking up the Aural Thrills Audio stage, I was able to discern that it was actually 3 different vocalists in close harmony, with Jackson mixed center, and one voice mixed into the left channel, and one into the right. Female vocals also receive very good treatment. Ella and Aretha are even more engaging than ever. It's especially fun picking out which vocalists have good mic technique, and which one's tend to lean into and away from the mic while singing. Cymbals ring for a ridiculously long time through even the densest tracks, and have plenty of that brassy shine to them that you hear if you strike a cymbal yourself. It's even easy to discern where on the cymbal it's being played, down to how far from the bell the drummer is striking it, and exactly which type it is (ride, china, etc.). Drums have amazing slam, with a deep, tight bass. I find myself listening to Rolling Stone Under Cover just to listen to the drums. Also easy to hear is the ring of the drum head after being hit, as well as the transient from the strike. Bass guitars and bass violas, whether plucked or bowed, sound fantastic. Deep, lots of overtones, just like they're in the room. Acoustic guitars (and all wood-bodied instruments) again sound very realistic. Picking out a small bodied acoustic, or a dreadnought, etc., all are quite readily distinguishable. Violins and other stringed classical instruments have a very slight sweetness to them, but again, the wood of the body is clearly distinguishable especially during solo passages, but also during denser passages. Horns all have their own proper sound, and the breath of the player can easily be heard when wind or reed instruments are present. It's especially fun to listen to pieces with both flutes and piccolos present, since the tonal differences are so readily apparent. Finally, piano pieces sound excellent, right down to the hammer striking the strings. So in short, this pre wasn't cheap, but it's an excellent value. I can't wait to see how it sound after another 200 hours.
Vacuum Tube Complement 4 x 12Ax7 4 x 12AX7
Inputs 1 pair single-ended RCA 1 pair single-ended RCA
Outputs 1 pair single-ended RCA
Gain (Total 60dB) 60 dB 50dB
Output Impedance 425Ω
Frequency Response +0 -1 dB 10Hz – 50kHz
Maximum Output Voltage <1% THD 20V
Cartridge load impedance Variable: 200Ω, 510Ω, 1.2k 1.8k 47kΩ,  Please see Note in instructions
Minimum Recommended Cartridge Output 0.4 mV 1.5 mV
Signal to Noise Ratio 50 dB 56 dB
Channel Separation > 50dB (20 Hz – 20 kHz)
Power Consumption 20W
Dimensions W x D x H 17 X 12 X 5
Weight 14 lbs  packed


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