“Intoxicating listening”: Hi-Fi Plus is enchanted by Townshend’s Allegri Reference linestage passive preamplifier

“Max Townshend in not the sort of guy to make a product and then focus on marketing and selling it: he is an engineer to the core and cannot stop thinking of ways to improve his products,” writes reviewer Jason Kennedy, who thinks he knows what he’s getting with the new Allegri Reference – then thinks again! 

“[Townshend] is one of the few in this industry that doesn’t follow the herd, who goes back to the science to find new solutions to the problems of audio signal retrieval, control and transmission,” notes the review. The Allegri Reference is thus a development of the original Allegri+, which Kennedy describes as “one of the best sounding preamps you can get,” but which was somewhat limited by its small size, basic features and lack of a remote control.

“I have been using an Allegri+ for some time now and rarely find a preamplifier that can match its transparency, openness and timing abilities… So I thought I knew what I was getting with the Allegri Reference but boy was I wrong!”

Allegri Reference line drawing

“It’s a monster of the most refined and revealing variety that I have ever encountered. It has many of the characteristics of high-end preamplifiers such as a very smooth effortless delivery, wide bandwidth and high transparency to detail, but it goes further in all these departments than the majority. What is so entrancing is the combination of speed, resolution and a total absence of grain; it’s massively refined yet infeasibly dynamic and reveals so much that the tendency is to play longer and louder than is good for one’s familial partnership.”

“Like other Townshend products, you get state of the art sound quality for a significantly more accessible price than preamplifiers at this level usually command, and that seems like a pretty good deal to me.”

Discover more and find your nearest dealer at www.townshendaudio.com

Read the full review in the June 2020 issue of Hi-Fi Plus.