Tandberg 3015A CD player Anthony H. Cordesman, from January 1987

Sidebar 1: Anthony H. Cordesman, from January 1987 (Vol.10 No.1):

The Tandberg CD player is in a state of transition, and a 16-bit, 4-times oversampling machine might be out by the time you read this. Based on preliminary listening, I suspect that Tandberg may be the first to solve the problems in the Philips 16-bit machines.

The existing Tandberg machines, however, are quite good. They have excellent phase response, use top quality components, and use a direct-coupled signal path—no capacitors—from the output of the D/A converter to the output sockets. The Tandberg uses zero negative feedback, has its own headphone amplifier and volume control, and is exceptionally well built—rivaling the California Audio Labs in overall construction quality.

The Tandberg 3015A also has a different sound character from the other players in this section. It has the highest resolution of detail at all dynamic levels. It has particularly strong—sometimes slightly overstrong—deep bass. At the same time, it's more two-dimensional and lacking in depth, and the upper octaves are more prominent. The upper midrange is not hard, but it is very much more apparent than in any of the US-made players I have auditioned. The transient and dynamic response is excellent, and the centerfill and overall imaging is very good.

The Tandberg 3015A will, therefore, be best suited to the audiophile who likes detail and a forward, live sound. At the same time, it is worth noting that the 16-bit prototypes have more depth, and a sweeter upper range. If Tandberg can solve the 16-bit problem, its CD player is likely to be even more competitive than it already is.—Anthony H. Cordesman

Tandberg of America, Inc.
Plainview, NY 11803 (1988)
Company no longer in existence (2020)

georgehifi's picture

Good old TDA1541 equipped converter player, certainly more "musical" than the Sony's of the same era.

Cheers George

Ortofan's picture

... used the "good old" TDA1541 DAC chip.


volvic's picture

It was a sad day when Tandberg exited the hi-fi world in the mid to late '80s. Their products were built to a standard people pay thousands for today. True, this CD player and their Taiwanese built receiver weren't their best products and in some cases marked the beginning of the end of the company in North America. But their other products were magnificent. Still kicking myself for not buying a pristine pre-amp/power amp at a local HiFi store a few years ago. Might never get a chance like that again. Tandberg is the one company I still miss after all these years. Never selling my TR-2060.

georgehifi's picture

Yes, I've still got a Tandberg 5001 FM tuner somewhere, when aligned it's just as good as any Kenwood, Marantz or Dynalab ect

Cheers George

Ortofan's picture

... Tandberg model 5001 FM tuner?

georgehifi's picture

Ooops!! 3001, old age

tonykaz's picture

it was typical of the post 33.3 demise of 1985ish.

AHC was probably the best reviewer of that era, I purchased his recommended items which never lived up to his endorsements.

As CD mania overwhelmed the market in 1985, I shuttered all my Audio Industry businesses and returned to General Motors, never looking back until I happened to run into Tyll Herstens & Steve G. at RMAF11. They introduced me to Schiit & Sennheiser, god bless em !

Reading this old review refreshes the anxiety I felt about all things audio in the post 33.3 era. It felt like a Train Wreck finale for a promising Era. I still feel like: after all we'd been thru it has to end like that! ouch, hurt & whoa is me. .

Back to the Salt Mines.

Tony in Nevada ( which is even more corporate confining and entrapping than evah !!! )

ps. Gordon Rankin ( it had to be someone ) brought Redbook Greatness to Everyman, sealing 33.3's fate as a niche Collector/Hoarder endeavor

T-NYC's picture

The audio part of the company shut down Dec 31, 2000. However, a new company licensing the Tandberg name was formed by the service team who in addition to supporting existing products, released additional new Tandberg products that had been designed but not manufactured by the original firm. The other divisions went on to variously become the leading data backup supplier, a data router company, the world's largest language lab provider, plus one more I do not remember. They eventually were all sold for several billion dollars, which amply justifies the Tandberg Group's management decision to exit high-fidelity, although much missed and still greatly admired.

volvic's picture

Wow, in my neck of the woods by the late '80s the one store that carried them for decades, had pulled the plug on their products citing cheapening quality and no support. I have to be honest I never saw another of their products after that so surprised they were still around up until the late '90s. A crying shame all the same, one of the best hi-fi companies ever in my opinion.