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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tandberg of Norway

My looong love-affaire with Tandberg began several decades ago, when I swapped ESS' (dr. Heil tweeter) speakers for a Tandberg TL 5020 three ways speakers.

The Norway-made enclosures where so vastly superior in sound quality, I was using a HK Citation 12 and 11 combo, at the time, and also the finish was truly hitting my strings.

After some years, I sold them to a friend and bought, always pre-owned, a Studio Monitor model... incredibly nice and dynamic...

I used them for several years and sold them - now regretfully - when I got a Quad ESL bronze grille electrostatics...

Then, after some years, Stax F 81 and Futtermann H3AAA and Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 followed, but that's another story;-)

I recently got a nice pair of coaxial, Alnico speakers - i.e. - Tandberg 114-116-8 which was really gorgeous in appearance and sound... I sold them to a friend because I was in love for my Cabasse Dinghy 221... but when I purchased for cheap one pair of Tandberg System 11, still in use on the Foundation Designer stands, well... I kept them, dearly!

I realized that Tandberg of Norway is among the few manufacturer where the quality was paramount from bottom to top of the line models... and that, summing it up, I owned more gears from this very brand than other makers...

Yes: I owned Stax F 81 and Stax electrostatic earspekers, Quad ESL and ESL 63 and Quad 33, 303, FM3, 405, Quad II, and Studer B62, B67, A730... but...

I still own Tandberg 11 and Tandberg TD20A 2-tracks 19/38 cm/s open reel (at home, it's so elegant and homely vs. Studer's studio look...) and Tandberg 9200 XD 4-tracks, 3 speeds and also owned a 3500 open reel 4-tracks (fantastic sound quality in a cheap, unassuming package), now the property of a friend... and someway, I'm in love with these gears... they seem to own a their own relaxed, timeless class, reminding to early hi-fi days, when purchising one of these fine electronics was an heavy expense, always well pondered and considered.

Sound-wise, all Tandbergs' plays AMAZING and are very, very nice building quality... being sort-of prehistoric hi-fi and quite out of the BIG vintage deal, prices are still right and spares are quite common on Ebay.

I compared some master-dubs played on my pristine, serviced and aligned Telefunken M15A (78 db s/n!!!) with my Tandberg TD20A at 15 IPS and... you cannot believe it!!!

Nuances are so well treated... a true audiophile machine, deserving the VERY best audio system!

I invite everyone serious about audio and, most of all, open reel and tapes collecting, to give a try to Tandberg's... you'll be maybe out of high prices collecting hypes, but you'll get premium quality music.


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