TOWNSHEND AUDIO ALLEGRI + PASSIVE PREAMPLIFIER
Supplied with 12 months warranty
Factory seconds or slight B stock sometimes available please do not hesitate to contact us for availability thank you!
"MULTI-AWARD WINNING" Townshend Audio Allegri + Autotransformer Passive Preamplifier, used by MAGICO and B&W Loudspeakers in their Reference systems as the master controller when voicing and setting the tonal balance of their new world-class speaker ranges chosen because its the low distortion, low noise. The most natural and uncoloured sounding preamp in its class.
Unrivalled sound quality with crystal clear treble, open mid-band and subterranean bass.
Ultra high-end performance, purely passive autotransformer design wired throughout with Fractal-Wire™ to perfectly match any source component with any power amplifier. No mains noise, no electronic hash and no requirement for esoteric mains conditioners or power cord.
The Allegri + Passive Autotransformer preamp is exceptionally transparent, has absolutely no noise and has an enormously wide bandwidth.
The nature of the transformer design eliminates the problems usually associated with resistive passive controls. At the zero dB setting the input signal is directly connected to the output. This means that the output impedance of The Allegri + is the same as the output impedance of the source component. Further, the input impedance of The Allegri+ is equal to the input impedance of the power amplifier at this setting.
"The closest thing to straight wire with gain."
At -6dB (output voltage half the input voltage), the input impedance of The Allegri+ is four times the input impedance of the power amplifier and the output impedance of the Allegri+ is one-quarter of the source impedance.
At -20dB (10 to 1), the input impedance of the Allegri + is one hundred times the power amplifier impedance and the output impedance of the Allegri+ is one-hundredth of the impedance of the source component. It is thus clear that the interconnect cable capacitance will have no effect on the performance of the Allegri+.
There are no coupling capacitors or active devices in the signal path in The Allegri + and the absence of a noise-injecting power supply guarantees ultimate sound quality.
The Allegri+ has a six-position input selector, a mute switch and 24-position volume control with intervals chosen to cover a wide range of volume levels in different systems. Its state-of-the-art autotransformers are wound with Townshend Audio Fractal-Wire™ and laminated with ultra-thin mu-metal laminations for the highest possible resolution. There are six pairs of gold plated stereo phono inputs and two pairs of outputs and a 3.5mm input jack on the front panel. The case is made of anodised aluminium.
Preamps of today do not require gain as all quality source components have an output of about 2 volts with a low output impedance. Any competent power amplifier will achieve full output with typically 1 volt and have a high input impedance. Unlike conventional passive controllers, the Townshend Allegri+ matches the impedance requirements of source and amplifier so that full dynamics are retained.
Fractal-Wire ™ results in the most accurate, uncoloured and open-sounding preamplifier possible – with astonishing transparency and resolution of fine detail. It is DC coupled with no capacitors in the signal path.
It is essential to use F1 Fractal-Wire™ interconnects for both input and output of the Allegri+, so as not to compromise the profound advantage of the Fractal-Wire wound transformers.
For the very best sound quality, we recommend optimising your system by using Townshend F1 Fractal™ Interconnects and F1 Fractal™ Speaker Cables. Female XLR to Phono and Phono to male XLR adaptor cables are available separately, enabling full, balanced operation.
Frequency response: 8Hz-100kHz +/- 0.1dB Maximum signal level: 4V RMS 8Hz; 10V RMS 20Hz Maximum DC offset : 5mV. (For undistorted 8Hz) Distortion: Less than 0.01% at 400Hz, 10V (2nd and 3rd harmonic only) Input impedance is dependent upon the load impedance and gain setting. So, with a power amplifier having 20kohm input impedance (typical) Impedance: At 0dB, input impedance is 20kohm At -10dB (normal listening) input impedance is 200k Inputs: 6 pairs RCA phono sockets (gold plated) One 3.5mm stereo socket on front panel. Outputs: 2 pairs RCA phono sockets (gold plated) Width: 135mm (5.3in) Height: 53mm (2.1in) Depth: 326mm (12.8in) Weight: 2kg (4.4lb)
...............There is something about hearing extra layers of sound and effects in a complex mix. If you want to hear more of the nuance and phasing in your favourite records, whatever format they may be in, then the Allegri+ is something of a bargain... It imbues the music with extra energy that some consider to be lacking in passive devices, making the Allegri+ very engaging.” -Jason Kennedy - THE EAR
POSITIVE FEEDBACK -Robert H.Levi
“From the inventor of the world's first practical equipment and turntable isolation devices, the first practical and most utilized ribbon super tweeter, the most effective turntable/tonearm design with both isolation and active tonearm damping, and probably other "firsts" I am unaware of, comes the first totally passive audiophile preamp (no power cord, no tubes, no transistors). The Allegri+ is a true breakthrough design and musical triumph. At $2995 and only single-ended, its performance will captivate and thrill any listener in any system where RCA terminations are all you need.
Allegri+, welcome to America!
I replaced my reference E.A.R. 834L linestage, tube-rolled with NOS Mullard tubes, and connected the 6 sources to the Allegri+. I connected one output to my subwoofer and one to my E.A.R. V12 Amplifier. It sports 6 inputs addressable on a front selector knob and 30 discrete gain positions on a selector knob as well.
Also on the front is a useful mute switch and a 3.5mm input for digital audio players (DAPs)! The entire package is finished in silver, compact and elegant in every way.”
In over 50 years of audiophile exploration and music listening, I have never found a passive preamp I could abide at any price. The last one I experimented with was the pricey SMc by Steve McCormick, which was very good, but not really passive, just low gain. Before that, I listened to the Adcom 750 designed by Nelson Pass for Adcom. It had a switch which eliminated all the active circuitry and converted the unit to passive. Unfortunately, the switch also eliminated the highs and most of the impact of the music.
Without buffering the output, the impedance of your source components will probably not be correct to run an amp. In this case, a typical passive line stage will sound muffled and polite. With conventional buffering of resistors/capacitors etc., you lose output rather dramatically. Since you have only a volt or two from the source, any loss is tragic to the music. I would estimate a 25% loss from typical passive setups with conventional circuitry. You cannot achieve full output from most amplifiers or extended frequency response, even, if your impedance is corrupted with conventional passive designs.
Enter Townshend Allegri+. Its use of fractal wire to create the proper impedance, over 800 feet of it in this small unit, gives you perfect impedance, and only reduces the voltage from source components by about 5%, not 25%! Welcome to the 21st Century!.
It has no sound of its own. I heard no real or imaginary effect of the Allegri+ on the output. Volume and dramatic impact are unaffected. Nothing polite here. Even my 1959 Scott 350 Tuner drove my amplifier exceptionally well, as did every source I had. My Astell & Kern &ultima SP1000 connected via the 3.5 input jack in the front was fantastic with all hi-rez material. Most—maybe 95%—of the noise, colorations, golden glow, haze, crispness, and lack of musical textural nuance I blamed on the amp, was in fact the reference active preamp or my choice of cables. I switched to my best UITAudio Cables, Kubala-Sosna, and Kimber Select and WOW! Extraordinary clarity! You can hear to the rear and sides of the studio with no haze or glaze at all.
Width and height of the soundstage increased significantly. In addition to extra clarity of images, distortion of every variety was reduced dramatically. This was not subtle improvement my friends. You hear MORE music with LESS grunge.
I had a visiting "Audio Guru" over for a visit recently and played the system with the Allegri+ on board. He was shocked and stunned by the definition, musicality, and utter lack of distortion. He made it clear he needed an Allegri+ as soon as possible. I did not even give him a comparison; the performance of the Allegri+ was that fantastic.
There may be a system that passive does not work. If you have a DAC with at least 2 volts output, phono stage with 2 volts out, tuners with 2 volts out, or DAC with 2 volts out, try an Allegri+. You can beat the performance of the Allegri+ with my reference E.A.R. 912 and get balanced facilities and tons of features, too. It is only $9000 more than the Allegri +.
I would normally just call improvements to methods for reproducing music in the home an achievement or tweak. The Allegri+ is not that. The Allegri+ is a breakthrough in design as much as ultra-linear, FETs, DSD, or the like. Fractal wire impedance control is hard to implement. No one has ever tried to do it before now, or even thought about trying. All I can say is the Allegri+ is a stunning marvel for our audio age and a bargain, too.
The Townshend Audio Allegri+ Preamplifier's U.S.A. premier opens a whole new category for audiophile line stage owners: exceptionally high-quality Passive System Control. With the use of outstanding new wire technology, the Allegri+ Preamplifier is the world's first honest-to-goodness high-end audiophile passive line stage. You have no power cord to choose, no tubes, and no transistors. With no describable sonic weaknesses or colorations, it provides a flexible controller for your finest gear to produce their true musical excellence.
After months of listening I cannot and will not do without the Townshend Audio Allegri+ Preamplifier. Though it sounds like nothing at all, it allows everything else to shine! There's nothing like this on the planet—until now.
My highest recommendation!” - Robert H.Levi - Positive Feedback
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"I have used the Allegri+ for long enough now to appreciate that it is just as transparent, tonally neutral and wide in bandwidth as its predecessor, probably a little more so in fact. Which means that you can hear pretty well everything that the source sends to it, regardless of whether that source is a streamer, a phono stage or a DAC, and that makes the job of reviewing a lot easier. It also makes listening to your favourite music a totally immersive and fabulous experience. I have used other transformer passives in the past but while they can have a smoother more refined character they do not offer the bass extension or the sheer detail resolution of the Allegri+. The Townshend does nothing to polish or sweeten the sound, it gives it to you just the way it is and if you’re after maximum fidelity that’s the way it should be. Take a look through my source component reviews on this site and beyond and you’ll see that the results have often been exemplary, totally engaging and revealing. That’s because nigh on all of them have been reviewed with an Allegri+, a preamplifier that allows any source to reveal its true colours whatever they may be.
That also includes the many products that have onboard volume controls, which when it comes to DACs in particular is legion. It has been a very rare occasion indeed to find that the Allegri+ has not sounded better than connecting that product directly to the power amplifier. There is a theoretical advantage in eliminating an interconnect and the wiring of the autotransformer and selector switch but this is virtually always outweighed by the relative quality of attenuation between the source and the Allegri+. Bypassing the volume control in most sources and using this preamp results in a more open and dynamic sound with greater transparency to fine detail. Openness is one area where I have not found its equal, it’s almost as if it’s a characteristic of the Allegri+, but the scale of differences between recordings suggests that it is just better at allowing that aspect of the signal to get to the power amp than most other preamps.
The Allegri+ is genuinely devoid of the characteristics and colourations that are found with the vast majority of preamplifiers, which all add something to the signal by comparison. With transistor designs it’s hard to get away from the fine grain that amplification tends to add, basically the presence of electric current overlays itself on the signal and unless the power supply is uncannily good this can be heard. Tube preamps tend to be more obvious and have a warmth that the harmonic distortion of the devices adds, it’s a nice and often harmonious colouration but it’s still a change. Auto transformers are not without their shortcomings of course but they seem to be smaller than those in active preamps and less obvious than other passive designs.
The Allegri+’s only shortcoming is that you have to get off the sofa to change volume, which is good for your health of course but a chore nonetheless. Townshend has created the Enigma to provide this and other facilities but it’s rather more expensive as a result. The other minor complaint is that the inputs are a little close for the chunkier variety of RCA plugs, it’s a small back plate so this is hard to get around without losing an input but if you have a lot of sources and hardcore RCAs it’s a consideration.
But these are the strongest criticisms I can come up with in the context of a preamplifier that has few peers and none to my knowledge at anywhere near the same price. And that’s before we get to timing, this aspect of music reproduction is very, very important when it comes to recreating an engaging, true to life result with recorded music and the Allegri+ gets it bang on every time. It doesn’t matter what type of music is involved the notes stop and start precisely as the source dictates, with no added smear or overhang.
I believe the Townshend Allegri+ represents incredible value for money in sound quality terms, it’s not big and shiny but it is capable of truly transcendent results of that few preamplifiers are equal to. For this reason the Allegri+ warrants a greater recommendation than our Best Buy and Five Star awards, this product and a very few select others warrant an Editor’s Choice, an indication that it is the best product in its class at the time of review. - Jason Kennedy, THE EAR
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"OUTSTANDING PRODUCT AWARD" HIFI PIG
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"Highly recommended? Hell, things like the Townshend Allegri don’t come along that often. If you like music, you will like the Allegri. It’s that simple." ALAN SIRCOM – HIFI+ September 2014
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