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Sound Rating: 8.5 / 10 Avg.Price: 150 # Owners: 2
Relaibility Rating: 8.5 / 10 Views: 138 # Reviews: 1

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Technical Details

Brand: Tandberg


Category:Super High Fidelity


Electronics:Solid State


Country of Manufacture:Norway

Release dates:1978 - 1978

Original Price: $2400

Tracks:1/2 Rec/PB

Speeds: 7 1/2, 15

Max Reel Size("): 10.5"

Number of heads: 3

Dimension: 43.5x45x19.5

Head Composition: Permalloy, Ferrite

Head Configuration: Stereo - Stacked

# Motors: 4

Voltage(s): 110-120v, 220-240v, Multi

Outputs: RCA, DIN

Sound quality rating:8 / 10

Long-term reliability rating: 8/ 10

Weight: 17 kg.

Additional Details


This was the second last recorder Tandberg produced before their demise in December 1978.

The TD 20 A was Tandberg’s first open-reel recorder to incorporate a new Actilinear recording process. This replaced their previous approach of using a crossfield 4th head. ACTILINEAR recording brought a significant 20 dB increase in the ability of the electronics to handle a much stronger signal, resulting in lower distortion and better transient response while improving intermodulation distortion. Tandberg were also many years ahead of their competition having chosen to use higher grade Elna electrolytic capacitors that still perform well to this day. It should be noted however that the power supply capacitors were of a different type, Frako, that didn’t have as long lifespan so these should be replaced without exception. The musicality of this deck is quite significant relative to any top-end Japanese recorders. When used on a higher end sound system, the 20a offers a much richer, detailed sound.
In recent years, owners of these machines have discovered some relatively small problems that can be overcome to keep them running (read service suggestions below)
The Tandberg 20A was available in four configurations, half track, quarter track, high-speed (15 – 7.5ips) or low speed (71/2 – 3 3/4ips)


  • Full-logic functionality with smooth transitions through all the functions.
    Four Motors – Capstan brushless synchronous motor with belt drive and a heavy flywheel to isolate vibrations from the motor to the capstan. Direct coupled reel motors controlled by a program read only memory with a trial output to provide constant tape tension.
    – Four record-level controls with a master record control for mic/line and line/line mixing
    – Front-panel bias adjustment controls
    – Switchable 25 dB microphone attenuator
    – Peak-reading equalized meters
    – Optional infra-red remote control


Additional Info

Service Suggestions
Top of the list includes removing the pinch roller arm assembly and re-lubricating the pivot and this should be done on all 20A’s including SE
Replace Frako big capacitors in power supply x 4
Belt replacement x 2
Optional- replace the capacitors in the signal path with audio grade capacitors like Elna Silmic II or Nichicon UFG

Wow and Flutter
38 cm/s: 0,03%
19 cm/s: 0,05%
9,5 cm/s: 0,10%
Frequency Response
38 cm/s: 15-34000 Hz
19 cm/s: 15-30000 Hz
9,5 cm/s: 20-18000 Hz
Signal to noise ratio 69 dB


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