Why did this 1975 amp sound so good?

A friend let me borrow a Tandberg TR2075, which I paired with a pair of Energy CF70 towers. 

With equalizer flat, the sound was considerably more energetic, lively, and with more energy. The bass coming from the 6.5” woofers was so substantial I could feel air moving from the towers’ front port. 

Fast forward to today, and the same speakers are on a Denon AVR-X4000. And, what’d you know, they do not have the aforementioned qualities the Tandberg provided. 

To keep the comparison apples to apples, I’ve let the towers play on the Denon full range similar to how they would have been when they were on the Tandberg. 

I kept the source the same with a turntable.

Am I going crazy here? Why was the sound much better with the older power?

Ag insider logo xs@2xi3eyond55
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Tandberg made outstanding audio gear!

Tandberg TR-2075


Tandberg TR-2075

This is the Tandberg TR-2075 from Norway. It was built from 1975-1977 and retailed for $999.00. The Tandberg’s unique styling with the large square push buttons and dark blue meter and dial lights make it easily identifiable. They are very well built receivers and have great FM tuning sections. Their phono section is a little weak though. There was also a later MK II model.

The TR-2075 put out 75 watts per channel in to 8 ohms and had some interesting features such as:

  • Toroidal power transformer
  • 3 speaker outputs
  • 2 headphone jacks
  • A Mid tone control
  • 515 x 155 x 353 mm or 20.3 x 6.1 x 13.9 inches
  • 2 phono and 2 tape sections
Tandberg TR-2075 Inside

You can see in this picture the large toroidal transformer that Tandberg used.

Tandberg TR-2075 Back

Tandberg receivers are fairly popular with collector’s and audio enthusiasts – especially in Europe. Some models require DIN plugs which can be a little difficult to find.

+1 @ogiboy Also Tandberg made some droolworthy cassette decks! BTW there are few used Tandberg receivers over on Audiomart you may want to check out.

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Is there such a thing as a cost effective 2 ch power amp I could connect to my Denon’s pre’s and expect the same result as the Tandberg?

imo tandberg is the best-sounding of all the 70s receivers. i briefly owned the 2045 and a 2055, both of which outclassed the yamaha/sansui/pioneer that preceded it, although the latter were more durable. @i3eyond55 you could try adding a tandberg amp like the 3003 to your denon (i've seen 'em around for $500 or so) and see how it sounds, though i suspect a tandberg amp + preamp would be more pleasing--synergy and all that.