“Max Townshend is the real deal,” says Jason Kennedy, editor of The Ear online audio magazine, and “the Allegri Reference is [his] latest and most successful passive preamplifier.” So what makes it so successful, and “a true high end component”?
Townshend Audio’s Allegri Reference preamplifier builds on the original Allegri autotransformer based linestage, and the Allegri+ preamplifier still currently in production.
With the Allegri Reference, designer Max Townshend has sought to provide a wider range of finer volume steps and to offer remote control, using 120 reed relays to offer 129 half-decibel volume steps.
“Reed relays are electrically operated switches that are contained in a vacuum in order to avoid corrosion and thus wear,” notes Kennedy. “To my knowledge [this] is the only TVC to incorporate this type of switch because combining them with transformers is a complicated business, but they offer lifetime longevity and brings sonic benefits too.”
And what of those sonic benefits? “What first hits you when using the Allegri Reference for the first time is that there is no grain, no edginess, no glare. It’s almost miraculous that sources and recordings which seemed hard and forward are suddenly listenable and easy to enjoy. Yet it doesn’t smooth over the mid and treble to achieve this, there are mountains of detail and it’s presented in a totally coherent and precisely defined fashion.”
“[It] does fabulous things for your music, opening up every recording so that you can hear precisely what went on in the studio and transporting you to that spot behind the mixing desk (recording quality allowing). But it’s not just good for great recordings, it’s great for all of the music you love because more is more when it comes musical enjoyment.”
“The Townshend Allegri Reference is a true high end component, not because it has lavish metalwork or a huge price tag but because it is genuinely revelatory in its fidelity to the source… it is an absolute corker.”
Read the full review online at www.the-ear.net
Discover more and track down your nearest dealer at www.townshendaudio.com