Pioneer SX 838 Receivers

Pioneer SX 838 Receivers 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 14  
[Jul 31, 2013]
Dave
AudioPhile

I have an sx 838, 939 and a 950. They all sound great, but I find myself listening to the 939 more then any others. It sounds warmer and I like the tone controls allot better. The 950 seems a little crisper, but it may be due to a recent rebuild. bottom line out of all the vintage equipment I have owned, including a dozen or so other Pioneers and about half as many Marantz models. If I could have only one it would be my SX 939 pushing my Klipsh Fortes.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 11, 2012]
Steve M
AudioPhile

When I bought my Pioneer SX-838 (for $300 in 1976) it was the Tech Hifi demo for speakers, it was a year old. It was left on continuously for that period. They had to sell it, as the 1977 models were going to brushed aluminum face. This receiver was the staff favorite, and I soon learned why. This relatively small 50 WPC, OCL amp really kicks butt. It will drive almost any speaker on market at that time (Bose 901 being the notable exception). It's real worth is in it's warmth, detail, low distortion, low noise, large dynamic range, large selection of inputs and triple pair of speaker outputs. I spent about a year comparing performance specs and price, auditioning the likes of Yamaha, Onkio, Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, McIntosh, Technics. The Pioneer sounded as good as the pricer units and much better and the similarly priced ones. It's been 36 years of listening pleasure. If you can find a good clean used one under $300, you can't go wrong. Even one the needs a little work is worth investing as most parts and service literature are still available and it is easy (for service professionals) to work on. I have upgraded my music systems serval times over in 35 years, but I could never part with this little gem.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 08, 2009]
RocknRum
Audio Enthusiast

This is also for the SX-939. It was a pleasant surprise. I didn't expect it to sound as good as it does. A very warm and detailed sound. The best Pioneer I've heard so far. Comparable to any Marantz's I own. Doesn't seem to get hot like my SX-980. I could listen to it all day and not get tired. I paid 150$ for it and well worth the price. I don't know of any other receiver that you can get this cheap, that has that much power and sounds this good. This one is a keeper for me. Internally some controls are hard to access when using Deoxit or other contact cleaner.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 15, 2006]
danfalk
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Pretty blue display, pioneer quality from 1975. Marantz 2270 is 2 to 3 times the price, which sounds simular. One of the best values out there.

Weakness:

Mine has a touchy tuner and controls were dirty when I bought it. Not quite as good as a sx-950 but half the price.

This review is for the pioneer SX 939. The sx 838s big brother. You can get these units real reasonable. At 75 wpc (100) at 4 ohms. They are one of the best sounding and powerfull for the money. Once you clean all the switches and controls it performs wonderfully. The tuner on mine is a little touchy. Have to zero it in real close to get signal. Works well just touchy. This is a perfect 10 on value. I had a sx 1010. It didnt sound as good, too boomy in the bass department and the s/n ratio not as good. It may have just been old and tired. I also have a sx 850. That is a slightly better sounding unit (Near Perfect).It would have to be the best 65 watt receiver I have ever heard. I also have a kenwood kr-6600. Its nice and sounds smooth. At 60 watts(Kenwwod) its good but the sx 939 is a step up and the sx-850 is a slight step up from the sx939. On ebay the sx939s are going cheeper than the sx850,950,1050 etc. all of which are wonerfull receivers but expensive. If your looking for best bang for your buck grab a sx-939. Otherwise might as well jump up to a sx-1250, Kenwood Kr9600 or a Marantz 2325.

Similar Products Used:

pioneer sx-750, sx-850,sx-3700,sx-1010,kenwood kr-6600,Marantz 2245, Yamaha cr-1020, I can't remember them all.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 31, 2006]
hankclever
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The look, the power, the feel of the knobs. The tuner section is the best I've ever heard.

Weakness:

Vinyl veneer on the sides. I wish it was wood, but nothing to speak of besides that.

This is for the SX-939, not the SX-838 but they are almost the same.The 939 is 75 wpc RMS and the 838 is 50. I bought it on Ebay a few years ago from a seller who had 0 feedback and advertised it as an old receiver. What I got was a near mint(no scratches at all!!) in the original box with all the paperwork SX-939 receiver. I hooked it up to a pair of CS-99 speakers and this thing sounds AMAZING!! I never intend on getting rid of it. It sounds better and plays 100% louder than any new stuff you can find at bestbuy. I recommend it for anybody that wants lots of power, good sound, and about $300.(Its gone up a lot in value lately)

Similar Products Used:

CT-F9191 tape deck, CS-99 speakers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 30, 2003]
Rafa
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Power, clear and warm and strongful sound, at low and high volume.

Weakness:

I have the same Problem with the left speaker, sometimes it weaks down, dissapers. After "switching/trying" the selector, it works again...

I've had a Harman-Kardon Amp, it gave up 2 years after i buyed it. So, what to do ? I went to the little electronics second hand store at the corner near my app. I found this thing, heavy, old, ok. 20€ (Germany), why not. Connected it to my CD, DVD, PC, to the speakers. Switch on, pull up the volume - great ! I never had a so well balanced relation between a good bass, clear voices and crystalclear highs without anoying highsounds, or too much bumping basses. And a very warm sound, unique !

Similar Products Used:

none

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 08, 2003]
MorePower
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Power, Clear, Strong Tuner

Weakness:

Selector Switch

I am a audio nut, and really love vintage gear. I tend to like Marantz, but this pioneer has a lot of good qualites. I repair vintage equipment on the side, and this one had a problem with the function selector(AM,FM,Phono,Mic,Aux) once pressed the left speaker would cut out. I cleaned it well, and it seems to work fine now. This receiver it a good quality and is one of the best made, has a lot of power and sounds great at higher volume. I say pick one up, it you can find one.

Similar Products Used:

SX-737, SX-3800, SX-1250, SX-1980, Sansui-9090, Luxman R-1040

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 30, 2003]
staldini
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Power, aesthetics, options, build quality

Weakness:

huge, and very heavy... minor complaints for all the positive aspects!

I bought this at a garage sale when I was 16 (about 4 years ago), without much in the way of money - but wanting to put together a stereo of my own. The reciever will push any speaker I have, or any speaker my dad has at home. It has great build quality, a massive power supply, a pretty good tuner, and LOTS of options for hook up. Plenty of power, clean sound, and I got it for a hell of a good price.

Similar Products Used:

Pioneer SX 1700 - a great disapointment

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 25, 2002]
Adam Guha
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

60 watts per channel- very powerful with excellent bass and treble, supporting 3 sets of speakers at 8-16 ohms. Not one, but TWO phonograph inputs, and TWO tape inputs. Allows you to adjust bass and treble for just one channel at a time if you want. There are also indicators on the dial that tell you which set of speakers are being used, and what input device you are using. Very useful, because it is hard to see where the small line is pointing on the selector switch. The signal strength and tuning metres are also nice. This unit also makes it easy to connect the speakers. Simply unplug the plastic adapter, connect the speakers to that, and then reconnect them in the back. All of these things are great, but I think the best thing about this reciever is it's sensitive FM tuner, which I have yet to see be equalled.

Weakness:

None so far.

I tend to be pretty fussy when it comes to listening to music. I like the sound of the old tube type gear, and find that the newer stuff's sound comes no where close to it. I had been using a Technics SA-424 from 1981. While it was a good receiver, it had a very crisp sound to it which I did not like. So, while looking around at a moving sale, I found this Pioneer. I paid the $50 they were asking and brought it home. I was first surprised at how heavy it is... my Technics weighs nothing compared to this. I hooked it up to my Bose 201 speakers, and the sound was incredible. It wasn't crisp like the Technics, it was slightly more mellow and the bass sounds were more clearly defined. I honestly can't say enough about this reciever... the FM tuner's sensitivity is great. With just a fairly short piece of TV wire, I can get stations in from NY that sound as good as the stations based locally. The signal metre is also nice; as is the tuning metre... although I wouldn't trust it too much, it seems that the stereo indicator only comes on just about when you have tuned past the station. Still, I just can't say enough good things about this great receiver. If you see one in good condition, be sure to pick it up. You won't find anything like it on store shelves.

Similar Products Used:

Technics SA- 424, Sansui clone (w/ no name), Kenwood KR-2090

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 10, 1999]
Steve
an Audiophile

I have a SX 838. This receiver does about 80+ watts into 8 ohms, and about 100+ watts into 4 ohms. This is when they put enough heat sink in them to be safe into 4 ohms! It has a twin "dual gate" mos-fet front-end, and 4 each crystal filters, so the fm is sensitivety in unmatched with any thing out there today. It seems that every modern receiver's signal meter just jumps to the far right when you get next to a station, regardless of that stations strenth. Whereas the 838's meter shows relative signal strenth. I suspect the public thought there was something amiss, and pioneer dropped this effort after this series. Because the receiver can resolve a very week station, and soung good, the meter only shows mabey 1 or even a half out of a posible 5 on a week station. All so this was the first time a receiver hade a "smart " speaker switch. You could hook up 3 sets of speakers. but you could only listen to 2 pair at a time! What a repair bill saver. Probibly the most unusuall control was the record selector switch. This allowed you to record a tape from a record while listening to the radio, or vise versa.....Cool! ok enough

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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