Tandberg TR-1020

This unique stereo is the Tandberg TR-1020. Introduced in the early 1970’s it retailed for about $430.00. It was made in Norway and featured 30 watts per channel. It has a sleek minimalist look to it with very clean lines. All the controls on the left are square push buttons and on the right are ridged knobs. The TR-10xx line followed the earlier TR-2xx line. By the mid to late 70’s Tandberg had introduced the TR-20XX line.

The TR-10xx line included the TR-1010, TR-1020, TR-1040 and the TR-1055. There were A and P versions of the same model numbers. The face plate is satin aluminum. The ten push buttons have a heavy feel to them and look at those ridges on the knobs! The signal strength and tuning meters are not too impressive but do have a nice light blue lighting.

An interesting ‘hidden’ feature of the TR-1020 is that you can pull out the speaker selector knob and it converts the signal strength meter into a peak-responding audio voltmeter. It monitors outputs to the speakers showing the higher of the two outputs so the user can get a rough idea of the average operating power level.

The entire lower panel beneath the buttons and knobs is hinged and swings open to reveal eight small push buttons. One controls stereo/mono switching. Two others are for Mono L and Mono R and connect the corresponding input channels to both outputs. This means that if you depress both buttons the stereo channels will be reversed. The other buttons are for Loudness, a LO filter and a two HI filters, and a pre-amp record button. The pre-amp record button connects the Tape 3 output on the front panel to the pre-amp section so that you can use the controls on the amplifier to modify the signal before sending the signal to your recording device.


  • AM/FM
  • 38 watts per channel
  • 0.2% THD
  • Bass and Treble tone controls
  • Two sets of speaker outputs
  • Two HI filters
  • LO filter
  • 17 x 12 x 4 3/4 inches
  • 20 lbs
  • Hardwood cabinet

The TR-1020’s tuning section is electronically tuned. Instead of the usual mechanically variable tuning capacitor Tandberg’s engineers utilized voltage controlled diode capacitors.

There are three knobs underneath the TR-1020 that control the sensitivities of the Phono, Tape 1 and Tape 2 inputs.

In the U.S. Tandberg was mainly known for their reel-to-reel and tape recorders. There was a market for their receivers though not as large. The TR-1020, and other Tandberg receivers for that matter, are very well built and perform well. Their distinctive design and appearance make them an interesting conversation piece as well.

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4 thoughts on “Tandberg TR-1020

  1. Tr 10xx series outperformes the Tr20xx series to my ears.
    Capcoupled, single ended, sounds very open.
    Beautiful stereo performance.
    Same quality or even better then Sansui, Pioneer , Marantz from those years….

  2. I own a 1020A which I bought new in 1974($550.00 as I recall). I still use it today with a pair of Boston Acoustic speakers and it sounds great. Could use a good cleaning as there’s quite a bit of ‘static’ when turning the volume and balance knobs but otherwise works great.

  3. I have a Tanberg TR 1040 receiver. Is there a market for it today? How much do they sell for? I also have a reel-to reel tape recorder under loan to a friend. I s there a market for it?

  4. Rob,
    There is always a market for well-cared for Tandberg equipment. The reel-to-reel units are especially sought after.

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