The C-Band All-Sky Survey (C-BASS) is a project to map the full sky in total intensity and linear polarization at 5 GHz. The northern component of the survey uses a broadband single-frequency analogue receiver fitted to a 6.1-m telescope at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in California, USA. The receiver architecture combines a continuous-comparison radiometer and a correlation polarimeter in a single receiver for stable simultaneous measurement of both total intensity and linear polarization, using custom-designed analogue receiver components. The continuous-comparison radiometer measures the temperature difference between the sky and temperature-stabilized cold electrical reference loads. A cryogenic front-end is used to minimize receiver noise, with a system temperature of ≈30K in both linear polarization and total intensity. Custom cryogenic notch filters are used to counteract man-made radio frequency interference. The radiometer 1/f noise is dominated by atmospheric fluctuations, while the polarimeter achieves a 1/f noise knee frequency of 10 mHz, similar to the telescope azimuthal scan frequency.