Pioneer SX-1250 Receivers

4.85/5 (39 Reviews) MSRP : $950.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sescds a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Last week I picked up an SX-1250. My brother had a mint condition one and I have generally been a Sansui man, but I still had a yearning for a bix SX. Well thanks to Craigslist, I found one nearby. It didn't work and it was filthy and crappy looking. I ended up paying $160 for it, but I wanted the challenge. Soon I discovered it needed 3 main filter caps, so I decided to recap the entire unit. I changed out the main filter caps with 4 new 80V 35,000UF Cornell Dublers and got the rest of the caps from Digi-key. I completely disassembled the unit, painted the heat sinks, top cover, bottom cover, refinished the wood case and did the recap job. cleaned all knobs, switches and controls (pots), and adjusted the center of tuning meter. After a box of q-tips and using a toothbrush and rags and just about anything I could find small to clean out all the nook and cranny's , it became a clean respectable unit. Best of all, after powering it up, and with no bench equiptment to adjust it with, it came back to life after what I suspect was many years of sitting as a door stop. I'm preforming the "burn-in" of the unit now, and I couldn't be happier with it, even though I have slightly over $300 total investment in it now. I hope it lasts for another 30 years!

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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 Allen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2009

Bottom Line:   
My score is the average as of this date, 4.84. Close enough to it. The unit is very heavy. It is large and solidly built. The amplifier is sweet, smooth, crisp and powerful. The switches have a distinctly good feel of quality. The flywheel tuning does just that, with one turn, the slide rule covers the entire tuning dial. The amp sounds like a powerful tube amp. The FM tuner is excellent. I suspect that many of these units have a slight tuning calibration problem. I have never used the AM section. I own two of these and use them daily. The two units have differences, for example only one of the units has a flying flywheel! The other one has a regular, slightly less enthusiastic response. I believe that many of these units have been rebuilt over the years which accounts for the variations between the two I own. My overall feeling about the SX-1250 is that it is about as good as I am willing to spend and still enjoy what I consider to be perfect quality musical sound. The purity and clarity of the amplifier makes all of my components sound so much better than the many other systems I own and use every day. I own and use enough other stuff that I can make somewhat of a comparison. To summarize, I like this product because it is rock solidly built, heavy-duty, powerful, sweet-sounding and actually, it is a good looking product. This is my favorite overall audio component. That is quite a compliment!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 5Hero a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2008

Bottom Line:   

Bought about 5 years ago on eBay for £400, since then it's grown to be one of my most treasured audio possesions. I have a thing for vintage Pioneers, the build quality of the best is about as close to true high end you'll find unless you're willing to spend a lot of money on modern high end gear. Sure, I'm not under any illusions and they're far from perfect, they have far too much complexity to ever earn the respect to be classed as true audiophile but they're still pretty good and deserve a place in a hall of fame somewhere - modern consumer grade Pioneer is a joke compared to this, it hurts me to say that but it's true. If you really want to experience a high end Pioneer, the years 1975-78 were the pinnacle...after this the quality gradually decreases into the early 80's where it's virtually worthless.

This came in near mint condition with the manuals and some sales literature, it was stock except that somebody had replaced the volume control and ripped out the speaker terminals and put a plate with binding posts on set A - the other two sets were cut off and the wiring taped up inside. Found an original volume control in the US, I'd fitted an Alps which worked well but didn't have the tap for the loudness circuit, I never use the loudness but wanted everything working so spent ages until I found an original part.

One thing with these receivers is that you need decent speakers. When I first had this I was running a pair of Wharfedale Valdus 500's, these were woefully out of their depth on most decent audio systems, let alone this one...they sounded really pushed in the low end with no dynamics and a false, glassy treble. A while later I came accross the chance of a pair of Celestion A3's from a studio - these are large speakers which can sink large amounts of power and are able to reach very high sound levels on a good amplifier. The best word for the resulting sound between these two is impressive - these are a high end pair of speakers which would need quite an amp and large room to really shine, however the SX-1250 makes a good stab at driving them with apparent ease and the deep soundfield and tight, dynamic bass coupled with the sheer amount of clean sound and the warm tonal quality of the receiver really sounds something special. The sound is so clean that you don't realise how loud it is until you walk into the room and try to speak over it, at those levels the imaging has ample depth and on a good recording it sounds like a very believeable surround sound. I'm gradually getting into high end audio gear but the sound of this is really something to sit down to and enjoy even if lacks the outright transparency of good purist audio.

There are a lot of connections, more than you'll find on most amps, including two sets of tape connections, two phono inputs and a pre in/out which can be split to run another preamp with the SX-1250's amp or vice-versa. Also there's three sets of speaker outputs, ideal to use the first two for a pair of bi-wired main speakers and the third for a small pair of monitors. You can't use all three at the same time but then you shouldn't need to. The tone controls here are good, rather than having 'turnover' switches for the bass and treble, you get two sets of controls for both - main and sub. The main controls are roughly in the places where they are on most pre-amps, 100hz and 10khz, the subs set at 50hz and 20khz, right on the edges of the frequency range. The sub controls work well, the bass will add to the weight and definite punch at the extreme low end without mudding the sound while the treble will add some sparkle right at the highest frequencies without altering the midrange at all. Aside from this you get the usual high and low cut filters (for FM/tape noise and turntable rumble), also mono/stereo and loudness switches and a -10dB muting switch which gives more control of the volume at low levels.

One of the few minuses lay with the stock speaker connections; these are a joke, I can't understand why Pioneer didn't spend an extra few $$ on better connectors so that people could hook better cables up. Somebody had attempted to put binding posts on mine and had hacked the original wiring short, I made a set of binding posts on aluminium plates and replaced the speaker wiring with audio grade stuff and everything is very happy running thick gauge speaker cables now. One of the few parts of the design I've never been happy with was with the speaker wiring snaking all the way around inside the receiver to the push switches on the front, I'd never have thought those tiny push switches could take the current of the receiver on full bore...apparently they can. I once toyed with fitting some relays somewhere to shorten the wiring run but if it ain't broken, just enjoy it for what it is.

If you're after pure, naked, high end audio then this isn't for you. However, if, like me you enjoy music with a solid, room filling sound, depth and clean dynamics, something with soul and character to enjoy like a classic car for what it is rather than crave absolute perfection then this is probably one of the finest pieces of equipment you'll find for the money, even after 30 years.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   eBay UK



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim Alanthwaite a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have to smile at the price most of you guys have paid for the Pioneer. The price I mention was in 1976 pounds sterling, when my hourly wage £0.30! Now as then I'm serious about my kit, and have it hooked up to Mission Pilastros, which it drives very well. My speaker cable cost me ten times as much as the receiver in money terms, therefore you can see I rate this beautifully built receiver very highly.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $649.00

Purchased At:   Comet



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nolaguy a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I just purchased this receiver at a garage sale this past weekend for $30. The guy who sold it to me used it as a PA when he worked as a DJ. I lost my old stereo in Hurricane Katrina last year and I have just recently got settled in my new city. I don't speakers yet, but I have decnt headphones. It plays great at low volume ( I am not comfortable cranking it up as I live in an apartment now). The FM comews in clear even without antennae. Judging from the other posts, it seems I got a pretty good bargain. I would like to have it cleaned, as it was very used. Any ideas where I could send it?

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   garage sale




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