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Tandberg 3018 Analog Vintage Preamp - Super Rare and Collectible

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Tandberg 3018 Analog Vintage Preamp - Super Rare And Collectible Preamplifier

Tandberg 3018 Analog Vintage Preamp - Super Rare and Collectible

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States



Flagship preamp from Tandberg's 3000 series, super rare and collectable.

Don't be fooled by the simple control panel, to really appreciate the build quality and design you'll need to have a look inside.

It's an absolute work of art. From the layout, to the parts quality and attention to detail, every bit looks like a $10k preamp by today's standards.

Has built-in MM and MC circuity worthy of being its own dedicated product.

A perfect companion to the also uber rare 3016 Amplifier we recently listed.

This 3018 was tested in our lab and found to be in excellent working order. It was serviced a few years back by a local tech who sorted out a noise in the phono section and did a great job.


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Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCB’s for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

When we first power on a preamplifier we connect its RCA output to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates real world loading conditions and gives us an oscilloscope interface. The first order of business is checking that the volume control works smoothly throughout its entire range with acceptable channel balance. This is accomplished by feeding a 1KHz sine wave into one of the preamp’s line level inputs while monitoring the preamp’s output on an oscilloscope. We then switch to a 1KHz square wave to test the tone controls, loudness function, and filters where applicable. During this step we are watching for equal alteration of the test signal by both channels. This also helps us identify dirty controls that will need treatment. Once the basic line stage functions are verified, we test each input individually. This is especially important for devices that use relays to select their sources. If the preamp is equipped with a phono stage we test that as well. We use an inverse RIAA filter which allows us to feed a reference test signal into the phono input with the proper RIAA equalization and level. A square wave or sine sweep is used to verify that the device’s phono stage is faithfully reproducing the RIAA curve. If the preamp under test has balanced inputs and/or outputs these are tested as well.

We finish up our bench testing with a listening test with our bench amplifier and reference speakers. During this test we check for hum or hiss that may not have shown up in earlier testing. We also check that all of the tone controls and filters perform as expected. If the preamplifier has remote control functions these are also tested. Preamps with tube circuits or complicated power supply topologies are connected at our long term test rig for extended stress testing under real world conditions.


Frequency response:
20Hz to 20kHz

Total harmonic distortion:

Input sensitivity:
0.6mV (MC)
1.0mV (MM)
80mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio:
74dB (MC)
78dB (MM)
90dB (line)

Channel separation:
53dB (MM)
53dB (MC)
58dB (line)

0.5V (Pre out)
5.0V (Pre out Max)

Power consumption:
40W max

17.2" x 13.8" x 3.5"
(435 x 350 x 89mm)

12.5 lbs.

Approximate Year:


The Tandberg 3018A control amplifier (preamplifier) is a companion to the 3016A power amplifier, which it matches in styling and all black finish. The 3018A shares many design features with its companion, including the exclusive use of polypropylene capacitors, metal-film resistors, and discrete active devices (transistors instead of integrated circuits). 

Like the power amplifier, the control amplifier uses no negative feedback, depending on close component tolerances and a special circuit topology to maintain the intended performance. The same design approach is carried over into its RIAA phono equalization, which is accomplished by means of passive components used with separate "blocks" of gain instead of the common practice of building the equalization network into a negative-feed-back loop of the phono preamplifier. A toroidal power transformer is used because of its very low external magnetic field.  

The 3018A is a "minimalist" control amplifier, with no tone controls or similar features. Its basic front-panel operating controls consist of a single large volume knob, with a concentric balance lever, and two small knob-operated switches that independently select the program source to be heard and the source being supplied to the two sets of tape-recording output jacks on the rear apron. Also on the front panel are a pushbutton power switch with LED indicator, a headphone jack with a small volume knob (the headphone output is completely independent of the main volume-control setting), and a subsonic filter button with indicator light. Although the fact is not specifically mentioned in the instruction manual, the filter operates only with phono sources.  

The program inputs are identified as aux, DD (for digital disc), tape 1, tape 2, tuner, and phono. As in the 3016A, the signal input and output jacks in the rear of the unit are gold-plated. There are separate inputs for moving-magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges, selected by a toggle switch between them. A second three-position toggle switch near the MM input selects the capacitance, shunting the standard 47,000-ohm input resistance in parallel with 150, 330, or the normal "0" picofarads to suit the requirements of the cartridge. In addition, the d.c. blocking capacitor at the output can be short-circuited if desired when the 3018A is used with a power amplifier, such as the Tandberg 3016A, whose input already has a series capacitor.  

The technical specifications of the Tandberg 3018A are extremely detailed and follow the requirements of the IHF A-202 standard (now incorporated in EIA RS-490). The rated frequency response is unusually flat: +0, -0.1 dB from 1.6 to 250,000 Hz through the high-level inputs and ±0.2 dB from 20 to 20,000 Hz through the phono inputs. The exceptionally low noise and distortion ratings are equally noteworthy, as is the input-overload rating of greater than 20 volts for high-level inputs and 290 millivolts for the MM phono input.  



Original Box

Not Included


Not Included


Not Applicable


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition (Info Here)

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

SKU: 103909