Serge belonging to Ken Stone

This Serge was assembled by Warren Burt, originally for the Center for Music Experiment at the University of California, San Diego, and was imported into Australia to be used at the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre. It was later acquired by Rainer Linz, and used in a number of performances of Stelarcs.

The 1/8 inch jacks were used because Roger Reynolds at CME felt that banana plugs would be too flimsy and prone to bad connections. I have heard of certain brands of banana connectors failing with time, so perhaps that decision was justified, but I will add that by the time I received this instrument, barely any of the 1/8 inch jacks were still operational due to bending of their contacts, and corrosion build-up. Being open-frame jacks, they were repairable.

After initial restoration (around 2002) I decided to upgrade the VCOs with something more stable and with better tracking.

In 2011, I decided to do a general upgrade of the instrument, replacing the aged 1/8" jacks with banana jacks. The paperface panels, lifting mylar film and all, have been kept.


VCO Panel

Original VCO panel, sans knobs.

Rebuilt VCO panel. Some extra labelling is required.

Rear of rebuilt VCO panel. The mixers and VCOs have been replaced with CGS units.


Sequencer Panel

Sequencer panel before reconstruction. The Mults graphics to the left were originally designed to be horizontal under a single row sequencer on a 5 row panel. The artwork has been subject to a lot of cutting and repositioning.

Rebuilt Sequencer panel. Darkened paper was used for the modifications, but it was still too light.

Rear of rebuilt Sequencer panel. Some scrap PCBs have been used to modify the sequencers - upgrading them from 6V to 12V operation, and adding the CV outputs. The original envelope generator has been replaced with the CGS prototype so I could test it. The original Peak and Trough was on perf-board, so it has been replaced with a board I made. Pots have been added to it to allow manual peak and trough settings. Some of the gold plated steel transistor pins on the sequencer boards had rusted through, so those transistors had to be replaced.

Testing it on the bench. The envelope generator is being used as the sequencer clock.


Envelope Generator Panel

Rebuilt Envelope Generator panel. Darkened paper was used for the modifications. Cycle switches have been added to each generator. The blue knobs are mixer inputs for a mixer common to all generators, the output being the blue jack to the right of the last knob. This effectively creates a Super Psycho of sorts from the panel, while maintaining full original functionality as well. The perf-board Peak and Trough to the left end of the panel has been replaced with a mixer. Both mixers are part of the CGS81 PCB.

A localized 6V supply has been added.


Photographs copyright by Ken Stone.

 

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