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Pioneer SX-980
28 Reviews
rating  4.82 of 5
MSRP  650.00
Description: 80 wpc beast from the 70's. Exellent sound.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by roger sorenson a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I purchased my Pioneer SX980 used and reconditioned from a stereo component shop about 26 years ago in Chicago. Got it hope, hooked it up...and nothing. Back to the shop, where they installed the missing bridges for the preamp (yes, you can easily up the power on this bad boy). I now live in California and still have the same amp.
Several years ago, I lost a channel. A neighbor, who worked as a tech in a stereo store in town, offered to repair it for me at his shop during his lunch hour. A few weeks passed. Still not back. I asked him how it was coming and he returned it to me the next day. He sheepishly admitted he had taken it home and tested it there for awhile. His boss came in while he was repairing it and wanted to know if I wanted to sell it.
I just bought a pair of Klipsch Heresy loudspeakers at an estate sale. They pair perfectly with the Pioneer and made me appreciate all over again what a truly fine receiver it is.
The vintage stuff is still the best!!!!!!!!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by theo11d a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2009

Bottom Line:   
price paid $600.00, purchased from post exchange while stationed in Korea

bought this to replace a 1010 that was stolen from my barracks room.

have dragged it around the world for over 30 years (has taken quite a beating). I will periodically buy a new system, but usually within 3 months, the new box will be out in the garage, and the 980, back in the house.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ronco willy a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Price paid - $15 from Thrift Store.

Hands down, the best sounding amp I have heard. Makes my vintage Sansui speakers sparkle.

It is truly a work of art. Adjusted for inflation, would be $2000 new ($650 originally).

They don't make them like this any more because they CAN'T! The killer analog parts simply aren't available.

If you love pure analog gear, this was the zenith of analog technology. Only a few short years later, digital circuits became fashionable and gear like this vanished.

The 3 pound weight behind the tuning knob says it all. This was built to be the BEST and it IS.

Mine is mint. I replaced 3 light bulbs and blew out the dust with a compressor and it works perfectly.

Just do me a favor if you get one. KEEP IT STOCK! Don't go punking it out with LEDs like some jackass I saw on ebay. These are made for incandescent shine. If you find one, you are not just the owner, you become the caretaker for future generations.

Turn it up halfway without earplugs at your own risk!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Barry a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2008

Bottom Line:   
To clarify my earlier review: BOTH the 80s series and 50s series Pioneer receivers contain the irreplaceable FM circuitry chip. I stated in my prior review that it was only the 80s series but that is incorrect. The good news is that my technician said these chips are "bulletproof" because they are totally isolated from the rest of the circuitry of these receivers and that it would take a "bolt of lightning" hitting the receiver to damage the chips. He also said that long after I'm buried six feet under, my receiver will still be glowing brightly, so if you are interested in one of these great Pioneer receviers, don't hesitate to pick one up and have it properly serviced for decades of trouble-free pleasure!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Vintage electronic s



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Barry a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I purchased my Pioneer SX-980 in 2005 for $350 and have used it for two years. I purchased it from a vintage audio store (I won't mention the name) and was assured the piece was in excellent shape and had been "gone over" by the owner who used to be a Pioneer technician. I did not want to use E-Bay. Upon receiving the SX-980, it had a volume knob from something other than Pioneer, the mute lever was from a lower model Pioneer and the "fork" that the lever slides over had been filed down to fit the smaller and wrong color lever. Also, there was a chunk of wood missing from one of the corner pieces of wood. Upon opening up the piece, there were HUGE collections of dust throughout the piece, and light bulbs were all hot-glued to the ceramic light bar. In addition, one of the wooden corner supports for the cover had fallen off and was laying on top of the circuits. Basically, this thing was a cosmetic semi-disaster and clearly had not been "gone over." I called the owner, and he got me the correct volume knob and the correct mute lever switch and knocked $100 off the price. He was very cooperative, but still I was less than impressed. I purchased a new light bar, light assembly and mute switch and cleaned the unit thoroughly. I am not a technician, so it was just cosmetic cleaning. NOTE: Don't ever use an air spray can to blow out the dust. All that accomplishes is embedding most of the dust further into the components. The only saving grace was that all the lamps worked correctly, and the unit functioned perfectly (for a 25-year old piece). Now it was time to restore this receiver. After much research, this Spring I dropped my receiver off at Stereo Surgeons in Hartford, CT, and Ken restored the receiver to it's original glory, including replacing the mangled mute switch and light bar. I paid close to $300 for the restoration, but it's the ONLY way to ensure your piece is functioning properly. Anyone who takes a 25-year old receiver and simply plugs it in, is running the risk of damaging the unit and is not getting the full sonic benefits of it. The SX-980 sold for $650 when new, and I've probably got about $500 into mine. Money WELL spent! The tuner is amazing, and the sound is superb. I have heard people use the term "warm" sound, but that is a term more accurately used for Marantz or Macintosh receivers and amplifiers. The Pioneers actually produce a very neutral, clean, uncolored sound superior to the Marantz equipment. I am running a pair of Decware RL-1.5 radial speakers and a Denon 2900 player, and I am thrilled with the sound. You cannot get CLOSE to this much value in today's audio components for $500. If you are considering the purchase of one of these wonderful units, then go for it, but understand to truly get the most out of these components and operate them safely, leave room in your budget to have the unit checked by a trained technician. You will never regret it.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   online (not E-Bay)




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