Pioneer SX-3800 Receivers

5/5 (3 Reviews)


Product Description

In Pioneer's extensive receiver lineup for 1980, The SX-3800 was in the upper third in terms of power and performance. It was rated at 60 watts per channel, which was more than sufficient to rock the house. It had extremely low THD: .005%, It's phono S/N ratio was an amazing 115dB. It had a list price of $500 and weighed in at over 35 pounds.


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I purchased a new-in-the-box unit in 2006 from an eBay store http://stores.ebay.ca/envirosponsible. The price was high, $875, but I was willing to part with my hard-earned cash for such a rarity. I've seen many SX-3800's that were used go for much less, but I wanted to be the first to use mine. I'd always wanted one when they were released in the early 80's, and only recently found new-in-the-box units at the same time I had the cash.

When I received it and pulled it out of the box I was flooded with memories of longing for this shiny piece of gear. The best was yet to come though. When I hooked it up, the sound was crystal clear and very warm. While it's less power than I've become accustomed to, the 60w per channel really lit up my listening room.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $875.00

Purchased At:   http://stores.ebay.c



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

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2006

Bottom Line:   
After years of suffering with the lousy sound quality of various boomboxes, crumby shelf-systems, and mediocre computer speakers, I figured it was about time that I get a serious sound system so I can do serious listening on something other than my Grado SR325's. I bought a pair of Epicure 100's off ebay and needed a receiver until I could afford my own. So I dug my dad's Pioneer SX-3800 out of the garage and hooked it up. This thing rocks. I tested it out with a toshiba CD player and busted out some Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Marcus Miller, Led Zeppelin, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits. I don't know if it will be worth it to take this receiver out of the rig if I can buy another one. The sound is crystal clear and super-detailed. The quartz locked radio tuner is amazing. It gives its digital descendants a run for their money with its precision and clarity. The high per channel wattage is insane, I barely have to turn it up to be overwhelmed by the volume. The equilization control is minimal, but highly-functional. You can tweak your tunes a lot with the bass and treble controls. So overall...great sound, great features! It also looks awesome. It's got that old-school look of professionality and class, like something that wouldn't look out of place in a recording studio or at home. It's got super-sturdy construction. The thing weighs a lot. It was a frightening experience to lift it off of an overhead shelf, so watch out! I really like the system to connect the speaker cables to the back of the unit: a real slick approach where you just push in a button, insert the cable, release the button...and bingo! You're ready to rock. (A trivial detail I know, but it's pretty danged convenient.) Anywho...this is definately worth a look!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I remember these receivers from when I was a kid roaming around the department store. Incredible sound, brilliant highs, fat bass and those cool blue flouroscan power meters. I decided the time had come, and picked up a used one on ebay. Now, lets not forget these things are 25 years old now and unless you buy one in mint condition, you are going to need to do a little work.

After blowing the dust out, cleaning and lubricating all the knob and switches, wiping off the grime off the inputs and soaking the faceplate in the kitchen sink this thing sounds incredible! I had thought that my hearing had deteriorated after all these years, but I had just been listening to a surround sound system too long.

They simply don't build em' like this anymore folks! It weighs about 35 pounds, the faceplate, knobs, switches, and buttons are all solid aluminum. The chassis is a thick steel stamping, and there is nothing on this unit that isn't resolutely screwed down.

The sound compared to my Denon surround sound receiver, is much better in every way: better imaging, warm bass and crystal clear highs. The dynamics are also better with quiet passages not losing any detail and loud transients having more punch and definition (enough to scare the cat off the couch). They say an amplifier is only as good as it's power supply and in this case it certainly shows, the transformer and filter capacitors in this thing are pretty good size, rated at 60wpc it sounds like it easily puts out about 80 and still has the reserves to not lose any detail or get muddy.

Comparisons: All these were done with a pair of JBL ARC1000's. I have a friend who brought over a pioneer sx-780 which is an earlier model with nearly the same specs, in a side by side comparison they sound very similar but I think the SX 3800 was cleaner sounding owing to it's lower THD rating and better S/N ratio. Another comparison: to my Sansui 9090db (this thing is a monster, 120 wpc and has a real warm "tube" sound and has a transformer the size of a canned ham) The sx-3800 had better presence and imaging but not quite as much midrange detail and of course, raw power. Compared to my modern Denon, it wins in every way. It's not that the Denon sounds bad it just was not built to be a 2 channel stereo system. While it has a stereo mode it just lacks the detail and soundstage of the pioneer.

Bottom line: The collectors on ebay have not driven the price of these up too high yet like they have on the earlier model sx 750,780,850,880,1280,etc. So if you are looking for a great sounding reciever for 2 channel music I think this is a great buy, as are many other quality units built from 1970 to 1982.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   ebay




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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