The Townshend Audio Enigma preamplifier promises to bring the outstanding Allegri + to its most propitious heights!

In case you may not be aware that the Townshend Allegri passive Autotransformer preamplifier is one of the few extraordinary sounding passive preamps available, in fact, it has earned a widespread ‘cult’ following among numerous audiophiles, having received many accolades and notable reviews from the high end audio press. This remarkable, little British made unit has been what one might call, a quiet ‘self-effacing’ musical giant and is arguably, the most discerning passive preamp on the market!

In fact, the now current Townsent Allegri + preamp has been intuitively upgraded in the last few months and it should be fascinating to observe some of the highly proclaimed differences in sound quality it has to offer! (Watch our site!).


Townshend Audio’s Enigma

Not satisfied to rest on his laurels, Max Townshend, the creator of this amplifier has now ‘pushed the limit’ by taking the Allegri+ to an even higher standard; hence we have the Enigma passive autotransformer preamplifier which will be available in approximately 6 or 7 weeks from now.

The new ‘Enigma’ claims to be “a remarkably versatile, ultra-high performance pre-amplifier, combined with an extremely high-quality solid-state, class A headphone amp; all with a separate power supply”.

The unit will feature a hand-built 72 (0.85dB) step volume control, that Max claims to be an “electro-mechanical device of unparalleled performance” The Enigma will be incorporating a unique auto-transformer design, fully utilizing the Townshend’s proprietary F1 Fractal™ wire technology. The technology claims absolute transparency with vanishingly low distortion and zero noise. Max has made sure that the Enigma is “super purist” in technology and will present a larger, separate power supply for even lower noise and extremely fine sound quality, using a 50 VA (volt-ampere) transformer.

The preamp has six stereo phono inputs at the rear and a 3.5mm jack on the front panel (in parallel with the sixth input). Additionally, two pairs of balanced XLRs are paralleled to inputs 1 and 2. It has two stereo phono outputs, one pair of balanced XLR outputs and a 6.35mm headphone socket.

For optimum component performance, the casework is soundproofed with double-layer constrained layer damping, and feet incorporating soft vibration absorber modules. The Enigma will be available in natural or black anodized aluminum.

Appreciatively, the Enigma will offer a remote control (not currently with the Allegri) that is a standard Apple remote. The phono inputs will now have wider spacing that will include XLR connections. All push-buttons are illuminated and a light above the volume control flashes to indicate a remote-control operation.

The Townshend Autotransformer preamps have acquired the highest ratings as to “natural sound quality” from from an amazing amount of audio enthusiasts as well as receiving the most stunning reviews in the world’s most prestigious audio publications. It is interesting to note that these preamps are used by two of the world’s most eminent speaker manufacturers as the master controller when voicing and setting the tonal balance of their new speaker range(s) – chosen because they are the lowest distortion, lowest noise, most natural and uncolored sounding preamps they can find.


Back of the Townshend Audio Enigma passive preamp

The class A headphone amplifier has a three-stage gain switch to accommodate high, medium and low gain headphones. The gain is adjusted by a slide-switch mounted on the left underside. Next to this is a second switch to select the output impedance. This is to accommodate the wide range of headphone requirements. In situations where higher preamp gain is required, the output of the headphone amplifier is ideally suitable. This converts the Enigma to an active preamplifier, with up to 14dB of gain.

LINEAR DC POWER SUPPLYThe Enigma Linear DC Power Supply is designed to be the optimum power source for the Enigma Preamplifier, especially the headphone amplifier. The supply delivers 24V DC at 2A peak. The mains input is filtered by a triple-choke low-pass filter to remove as much mains noise as possible before the power is fed to the large toroidal mains transformer. The transformer is considerably underrated, as this delivers by far the best sound. There is 30,000µF of filter capacitance and three stages of voltage regulation. This ensures the purest DC possible

In the sphere of the most definitive quality, greatest sounding audiophile electronics, Townshend’s new Enigma passive preamplifier will be a component to watch!


American Distributor: Dan Meinwald :


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