Vintage Receiver Upgrade – Norwegian Wood

It’s an exciting day at Innerspace Labs! Our latest vintage amplifier upgrade provides clean and detailed sound and gorgeously complements our Denon DP-60L turntable as both units feature a rich rosewood finish, further mirrored by the liquid wood ear cups of our AudioQuest Nighthawk closed-back circumaural headphones and our pending order of ORA GrapheneQ wood ear cupped cans presently forecast for delivery later this year from Kickstarter.

Long-time readers may recall that our first receiver upgrade took place in 2009 when our beloved and trusty Yamaha CR-840 (1979-1981) Natural Sound Receiver was replaced with a McIntosh 4280.

Here is the Yamaha –

Yamaha CR-840 and Denon DP-60L Rosewood Turntable 04-09-19.JPG

And the MAC 4280 –

McIntosh MAC 4280 Front lg.jpg

Sadly, the amp had some issues and after 3 years of service attempts at McIntosh Labs headquarters it was declared dead.

In 2012 I was generously gifted a replacement MAC – a MAC C39 pre-amplifier paired with an Integra adm2.1 power amplifier. They made my Focal 814v Chorus series floor speakers sing beautifully.

McIntosh C39 Pre-Amplifier.JPG

Integra ADM2.1 Power Amp.jpg

Focal Chorus 714v b.jpg

Eventually, that MAC was retired as well, and I returned to my beloved Yamaha which, with only a single transistor replacement around 2006 and a Deoxit cleaning in 2019, it has served me faithfully for nearly two decades, and has been kicking since it was built 38 years ago in 1981.

But Sunday evening it occurred to me that I had one more component I’d never tried with my system. This is the Tandberg TR-2060, manufactured in Norway, which debuted in late 1977 and was introduced to US markets until about 1981. It originally retailed for $700 in 1977 ($2,919.85 in today’s dollars.) Though fairly scarce, they are available on the used market at an affordable price and perform impressively well. I found it for a few dollars at a junk sale several years ago.

Tandberg TR 2060 Vintage Receiver 04-07-19 01.JPG

The amp has two sets of speaker outputs with a power output of 60 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo). The only snag is that the inputs are DIN connectors. Thankfully, I remembered precisely where I’d stored a pair of DIN-to-RCA conversion cables which I’d ordered years back when I originally acquired the receiver.

Tandberg TR 2060 Vintage Receiver 04-07-19 05.JPG

I polished and connected it and was really pleased with its powerful sound. The classic Yamaha Natural Sound receivers of the same vintage are far more neutral, and there is really something to be said for the stunning rosewood cabinet of the Tandberg matching the finish of my Denon. (I am an unabashed fanatic for rosewood.)

Tandberg TR 2060 Vintage Receiver 04-07-19 10.JPG

It’s always a thrill to incorporate new vintage gear into my setup, and I’ll be curious to see what I think of the punchier, bolder sound this amp provides over the more transparent signature of the Yamaha, and to test various favorite recordings with both the speaker and headphone outputs. It will be a fun project for the spring!

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am always pleasantly astonished at the love you pour into your hobby, and the world of music collection and preservation is richer because of you.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words and for following my impassioned madness! 🙂

  2. Hello! I am very new to all of this but I have a tandberg TR 2060 receiver, a AT LP60-USB turntable, and Boston Acoustics CR4 8 Ohms Compact Reference Series Bookshelf Speakers. I see that I need to get a 5 Pin Midi to RCA Cable to connect the receiver to the turntable but how do I connect the speakers. Am I missing anything?

    • Hi! Thanks for reading. I wasn’t immediately familiar with your speakers but I researched them and checked the back of the Tandberg receiver to see how they are intended to connect.

      The speaker outputs on the Tandberg TR-2060 are the common spring loaded clips – real easy to use.

      From what I found online it looks like the back of your Boston Acoustics CR4 8 Ohms Compact Reference Series bookshelf speakers have similar speaker wire binding post terminals – the kind you can screw open and closed with your fingers.

      So from what I can see, you can just take whatever gauge speaker wire you wish to use, and connect the negative (black) terminal of your right speaker to the black spring loaded clip on the “Speaker Right A” input of the receiver, then connect the positive (red) terminal of your right speaker to the red spring loaded clip on the “Speaker Right A” input of the receiver, and then repeat this for your left speaker and the “Speaker Left A” black and red inputs on the receiver.

      The receiver also has pairs of speaker inputs for the left and right labeled “Speaker B” for a second pair of speakers if you wish to connect four instead of two. You would use the “A” and “B” selector switches below the input selector buttons on the front of the receiver to enable one or both pairs of speakers for playback.

      That should do the trick. If you have any additional questions I would consult someone who can demonstrate what to do physically with you and the receiver for more clarity.

      Thanks again!

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