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Allegri Reference


The Allegri Reference opens a window into your favorite music. More than that, it is a portal that doesn’t just bring the performance into your room, it brings you to the performance! Subtle tones and textures, the artists deepest intentions, are revealed as never before. Its minimalist all-passive design delivers amazingly high resolution with enormously deep and wide sound stages and fully dimensional holographic imaging. You don’t just “see” each instrument, you feel it. You are there!
So many veils are lifted, so much detail revealed, and dynamics are delivered so fast and with such exquisite aplomb it is hard to believe. It achieves this with custom-made in-house designed autotransformers and Townshend Audio’s remarkable Fractal™ treated wire throughout. The Allegri Reference brings your treasured recordings alive as never before.
The key that opens the door to such movingly involving performance is the Allegri Reference’s passive autotransformer volume control. In engineering terms, our autotransformer has low leakage inductance for incredible transient performance and a flat frequency response. With its very high input impedance and low output impedance it has much better performance than a passive resistive volume control. This translates in your listening room to music vibrant with life, rich with subtle shadings, and true to the natural beauty of each and every instrument. 
Every connection exposes your precious music to micro-arcing, eddy currents, and all manner of distortions, all of this coming as a direct result of the connections alone. With its continuous loop of Fractal™ wire the Allegri Reference eliminates all but the irreducible input and output. Here is a clear case of less is MUCH more!
The laminations are 49% nickel, 51% iron mumetal, an alloy chosen for its superb bass performance and lowest overall distortion (less than 0.001%). For once, a bottom octave that must be felt to be believed.

This purely passive autotransformer design is wired throughout with Townshend Audio’s unique Fractal™ wire, which was developed over many years of critical listening, by the most discerning audiophiles and is audibly superior to plain copper, silver and even DCT copper wire. The result is the most accurate, uncoloured and open-sounding preamplifier possible, offering astonishing transparency and resolution of the finest details.

Why is this so important? Each and every musical instrument has its own unique timbre, its own individual pattern of overtones. Our music systems, even down to the wire within them, also have their own patterns of resonance, that we call distortion. This coloration is so prevalent, especially in the case of wire, that we often assume it is the room, or speaker, or anything other than what it is- the wire! Once removed, the combination of Fractal™ wire and Townshend Audio engineering reveals, probably for the first time, what these instruments really sound like. An unforgettable experience!


The front panel design is both functional and elegant. In addition to being able to change inputs with the control on the left, you can also press it to access the display illumination options and other modes. The volume control on the right can be pressed once to mute and un-mute, or you can also un-mute simply by turning the knob. They have a deft feel to them, the perfect balance of solidity with smooth precision. 

The sleek and svelte Apple-style remote control is deceptively simple, yet powerful and sensitive. A convenient magnet attachment secures the remote under the unit, out of the way yet readily at hand. While appearing sleek and simple it is surprisingly full of features.
One press of the volume button changes volume up or down by 0.5dB. Held down it will continue turning up or down, at a rate that increases the longer it is helping, a very intuitive feature that feels just right. 
Input levels can be preset through a wide range to help match levels and avoid one source being a lot louder or quieter than another. All inputs can also be set to a fixed zero dB for home cinema bypass. This feature allows the Allegri Reference to effectively disappear as it directly connects the AVR to the front left and right power amplifiers. The volume is then controlled by your AVR, while your Allegri Reference mute function remains active and also doubles as a standby control. Perfect for dual stereo/HT systems!
Even something as seemingly minor as an LED display can introduce subtle distortion and noise that can get in the way of your music. The culprit is the continuously running refresh clock most common displays use. The easy to read LED we use instead is powered by interference-free DC. Another small but important “less is more” step that brings you closer to your music.
An ambient light sensor controls brightness, and the display can also be programmed to light for 5 seconds, or 5 minutes when the remote is pressed, or to remain off. Even when off the decimal point will still light briefly to confirm remote commands. 

Digital clock oscillators introduce noise that degrades the fidelity of your fragile audio signal, so this sound-blurring internal clock is disabled when listening. The clock is only activated when the remote control or the front panel controls are operated. Seamless and automatic, another thoughtful detail that makes it even easier for your music to carry you away.

The signal path is as simple as possible, with just four of the 102 ultra-reliable reed relays in the signal path at any one time. Reed relays are chosen for their superiority over all other switches. Ours have a life cycle in excess of 30,000,000 operations, far longer than regular rotary switches, which tend to wear through the thin contact plating after a few thousand operations. Further, our relay contacts are in a vacuum, so there is no oxidation- and there is a slight rubbing action when the reeds close, which ensures perfect contact for your music. All internal connections are hard-wired with Fractal™ wire, and there are no connectors in the signal path.

The phono circuits are unbalanced for simplicity and the XLR connectors are wired in parallel with the phono connectors. The configuration is pseudo-balanced with pin 2 of the XLR signal and pin 3 ground. This avoids the use of an extra balancing transformer with all the associated complications and degradations in sound. The Allegri Reference has five stereo phono inputs and two pairs of balanced XLRs, in parallel with inputs 1 and 2. There is a 3.5mm jack socket on the front panel, in parallel with input 5. For output, it has two sets of stereo phonos and one pair of balanced XLRs. The result is a preamplifier that can perfectly match any “Red Book standard” source component to any modern power amplifier.


All microprocessor programming is designed in-house by Townshend’s digital team.


Seismic Isolation is fundamental to the design of the Allegri Reference. Similar to that used in our Podiums and Pods, these are engineered custom matched to the weight of the Allegri Reference, integral to the reinforced and mass-tuned chassis, and achieves isolation down to 3Hz in all three planes. Blocking structure-borne vibrations from reaching the autotransformers has a remarkable effect on sound quality and one that is easily demonstrated by bypassing the suspension. When bypassed the sound is exceptional by any normal standards. But when the suspension is used the soundstage expands dramatically, with height, width, and depth being greatly increased. Individual instruments appear with more body and focus, and there is an obvious improvement in natural tone and timbre. 

Frequency response at -10dB:
10Hz, -0.03dB, 20kHz, +0.1dB.
Maximum signal level:
4V RMS 8Hz; 10V RMS 20Hz and up.
Maximum DC offset :

5mV (For undistorted 8Hz).


2V, 1kHz, -113dB, 0.0002%.
10V, 1kHz, -96dB, 0.0014%.
2V, 20kHz, -96dB, 0.003%.
2V, 10Hz, -86dB, 0.005%.
2V, 20Hz, -115dB, 0.00014%.
(2nd and 3rd harmonic only).

Intermodulation distortion:

19/20kHz, 2V. -86dB, 0.005%.

Channel separation:

20Hz-20kHz: Better than 110dB.


At 0dB, input impedance is 20kohm. At -10dB (normal listening) input impedance is 200kohm, for a power amplifier load with 20kohm input impedance.


Five pairs of RCA phono sockets (gold plated). Two pairs of XLRs in parallel with inputs 1 and 2. One 3.5mm stereo jack on front panel, in parallel with input 5.


Two pairs of RCA phono sockets (gold plated) One pair of XLRs.


Width 234mm (5.3in), Height 100mm (4in), Depth 380mm (15in).


9kg (20lb).



90-260V, AC 50-60Hz. Universal.


12V DC. 0,5W.

Guest Hifiwigwam

A real improvement of focus @ the top end. Even the bass is tighter. Huge change in the soundstage, The system has almost gone from stereo to surround sound. The Dusty in Memphis album, female vocals, full orchestra, especially show how the individual instruments are separated. It's quite possible to identify which bit of the cymbal the drummer is hitting. Pet Sounds of course uses every instrument in the book. Bass harmonicas, tambourines, and the vocals are just so separated & tight. Porcupine Tree, beautifully produced & pressed vinyl. Every instrument inhabits a different piece of the soundscape. Strip the Soul is just exquisite. I'm sure as they bed in, the Townshend's will get better still, but... so far it's love at first sight. Always loved the 989's but these supertweeters have taken them to a whole new level.

Mains Audiogon

We sat down and i played one of my all time favorites Neil Young Comes a Time i now this album very well but not heard it like this before, the attack of the guitars, the extra resolution and bite of the guitars was nothing short of amazing, there was more snap to the drum beat, the top end is so much more realistic and enjoyable, while the mid range has gained resolution and body, the vocals are very natural sounding but also revealing, the bass seems to have improved, there is definitely more of it its early days but I'm keeping them and i am very happy with level 3, my speakers are Soundlabs Dynastats,

Patrick Thomas email

Lossless on the MacBook, DAB, Cd and analogue, vinyl and tape cassette all benefit from a fuller more emotional sound. Science is great, and will one day crack cancer and HIV but it struggles to quantify certain things in life and one of those things is emotion. I'm sure my hearing doesn't extend much above 16kHz or so and yet the super tweeters work and work well for me. I think transients, atmosphere, detail, attack and sustain all benefit as does timbre between instruments, sounds and especially vocals within the hearing range due to less distortion, less smearing and better definition at frequency extremes. Definitely not snake oil in my opinion.. ..A worthwhile investment and I will not be returning them or selling them on. Many Thanks Toni and keep the music musical..