Townshend Audio Rock Reference TurnTables

5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $4000.00


Product Description

Belt Driven, High Mass Turntable with Front end damping trough


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason Feston a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2012

Bottom Line:   
The Townshend Rock Reference with Excaliber Tonearm happens to be one of the finest turntables I have ever heard haveing own turntables from Alpahason,Vpi,Goldmund,Pink Triangle,Avid Acutus just to name a few I always come back to the mighty Rock reference as the finest turntable I have heard. The construction with its massive multi layer platter is breathtaking together with its massive subchasiss. The sound has the most uncolored midrange no glare or hardness together with the most solid bass you will ever hear just gets deeper into your records line nothing else.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt McNulty a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2010

Bottom Line:   
This a review of the ORIGINAL Townshend Rock Reference from the 80's. An absoutely awesome TT. One of the best sounding turntables EVER made. You owe it to yourself to hear one of these in full swing! Problem is, if you did you'd want to buy it! And they are VERY hard to find, mainly because owners won't sell them. The bass control, depth and detail is the best of ANY turntable i've ever heard, and i've heard pretty much all of them!! The most amazing ability of this turntable is that it is totally tonally neutral and you will be hearing all your records EXACTLY as they are recorded. (For better or worse!). Partnered with it's Excalibur arm, and used with the trough, it is awesome. When I got mine, however, after a 15 year search...it had an SME V on it - none too shabby either! I have a double outrigger headshell on it so i can use the trough with the SME V and everyone that hears it says it is the best they have heard. I use it with a Dynavector 17D2 (which it was designed with) but i'm looking to upgrade this to one of the more esoteric Dynavectors, Zyx, Shelter, Koetsu or 47 Labs Cartridges.

Soundstage width and depth (airspace) of this TT is sometimes seemingly less impressive than some other top flight turntables costing around 10K and upwards, but i've compared mine directly (as in, in the same system) to an SME30/12 and all listeners agreed they thought that although there was less space the stage was more tightly de-lineated and accurate. I think preference may have come into it here, as it does elsewhere! The mid and treble can only be what i describe as natural - light, delicate and fast, like the rest of the spectrum - it's hard to find any character at all, across the whole spectrum, to be honest. The only time you notice a lack of character is when you directly compare it to something such a s a top-flight Sondek, and the difference is huge - you can see clearly how inaccurate the Sondek really is then!! In fact, with a turntable of this calibre at the front end whenever you upgrade something further down the stream you notice THAT piece of equipments character as well!. As such, my system has remained fairly static for many years as i've tried so many pieces of equipment (especially amps!) that were just no improvement over my current system, which is fairly old and modest by current high-end standards! A major improvement in my whole system was brought about by the addtion of a Tom Evans Audio Design 'The Groove' - Again the Rock stepped up to the mark, and my whole record collection improved with 'The Groove' - Again, you owe it to yourself to hear this piece of equipment if you have a decent TT. It was a huge step up in quality for Phono stages when it was released. I bought one of the first ones available when they were released and have not found it necessary to upgrade it!. (Cartridge will be next!) The rest of my system is as follows: Michell Argo HR pre-amp with Hera PSU, Michell Alecto (Mk1) Monoblocks and Living Voice Audio IBX-R speakers, (which are also amazing High end bargains i believe)....So, as you can see I have equipment made by English audio companies and it will stay that way! (I acknowledge Max Townshend being Australian of course!) In fact, having been in Audio a long time (25 years i guess), and having worked for a famous loudspeaker manufacturer in the past, the equipment I have chosen is basically from the 3 of my heroes in audio. All of them have different ideas but all three are long term, dedicated audio designers that have gone to amazing lengths to redefine the state of the art in audio and improve my (and hopefully yours!) listening experience. In no particular order, I thank you, Max, Tom and Kevin.

Other turntables I have owned are: Rega Planar 3, Original Rock Mk 1 with Excalibur tonearm, Voyd, with Helius Cyalene tonearm, Kuzma Stabi S/Stogi S tonearm.
Other turntables I have heard are: SME 30/12, 10, 20, Clearaudio Master Reference, Avid Acutus and Volvere Sequel, VPI TNT, Linn Sondek, Pink Triangle Anniverary, Brinkmann Le Grange, Michell Orbe and Gyro, Townshend Rock Reference Master, V, and 7, and Original Rock mk1 with Kuzma Stogi Reference arm, Goldmund Reference, Forsell Air Bearing Reference, Basis TT's (various but can't remember names!), La Platine Verdier, the Roksan TMS, Oracle TT's and many many others!!

Cheers,
Matt

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995




Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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