Pioneer SX-980 Receivers

Pioneer SX-980 Receivers 

DESCRIPTION

80 wpc beast from the 70's. Exellent sound.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 30  
[Feb 02, 2017]
Jeff Bell, Jr.
Audio Enthusiast

I'll try to make this short.
My wife came home with pictures of "stuff" from an estate sale. A lot of digital equipment she captured, but I kept catching corners of this receiver in photos. Next morning, fresh and early, I had her take me. I ended up coming home with this CHERRY SX-980 and a set of near mint Bose 601 series III's for less than $400.
All of the equipment was connected (not to each other) at the sale, so I didn't feel the need to test prior to posting for sale.... but... just for s&g, let me check it out, since I hadn't heard the 980 with the 601's...
MIND BLOWN! OK... I came up listening to "real" equipment. I've had several pair of the 601's pass through my hands over the years that I sell immediately, because I own a pair of L100 Centuries that (I believe) create the best sound in the world. BUT, connected to this Pioneer... I almost forgot my loyalties..
This receiver creates some of the warmest and completely overtaking music reproduction, I have ever heard, without tubes. I won't hook it up to my L100's because I don't want to fall in love. I'm holding out for a Sansui Pure Power G series receiver.
This Pioneer SX-980 totally blew my mind! I honestly can't wait to get home this evening so that I can spend a little more time with it, prior to posting for sale.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 25, 2014]
Keith
Audio Enthusiast

I'm 59 years old and was heavy into steros while stationed overseas in the mid '70s. Gawd, what a great time for equipment and music, huh?!

I have my original SX-780 and C-77 speakers from the '70s. I started collecting Pioneer stereo components about two years ago and found my SX-980 at an estate sale last summer. I walked the entire sale and never noticed the reciever on a card table in the middle of the garage. As I was leaving my wife asked what I thought of the reciever in the garage. I turned around and there she was with a ray of light shining on her from heaven above (actually fron a spot light in the garage.) This reciever looked as if it was brand new, like, I'm back in the '70s man! I picked it up for $50.00 thinking that I had some work to do.
Nope, this unit is absolutly perfect!

The sound eminating from this component is perfect. I listen to it daily over my SX-780 and Kenwood system.

Yep, it was a God-send alright...nothing can beat vintage equiment, but thats my ears talking.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 18, 2012]
roger sorenson
Audio Enthusiast

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!!!!!!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 18, 2009]
theo11d
Audio Enthusiast

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 01, 2009]
ronco willy
AudioPhile

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!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 12, 2008]
Robert Barry
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build quality, sound, cosmetics, functionality.

Weakness:

None at all - a joy to own!

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!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 12, 2008]
Robert Barry
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build quality, sound, functionality, cosmetics.

Weakness:

None

To clarify my prior review: The Pioneer 80 Series AND the 50 Series receivers both contain the irreplaceable chip in the FM circuitry. The good news is that these chips are virtually "bulletproof" and are totally isolated from the other circuitry of the receiver. I was informed it would take a "lightening bolt" hitting the receiver to get to this chip, so no need to let this be an issue. My technician also told me that they would be putting me six feet under long before this receiver fails. Once again, these are beautiful components with a build quality you will not find in today's market. Take the plunge!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 12, 2007]
Robert Barry
AudioPhile

Strength:

Excellent build quality, beautiful design, great sound, top-notch FM tuner.

Weakness:

The only weakness to consider is that Ken Bernacky at Stereo Surgeons pointed out that the 80 series receivers use a very specific internal component on their circuit board. You can see them when you lift the cover off. They have the word "Pioneer" printed right on them, and are about the side of a fingernail and rectangular in shape. Once they fail, there is NO replacement for them. So if you can live without the power meters, the 50 series receivers (950, 1050, etc.) do NOT use this component and replacement parts are available. Both the 80 series and 50 series receivers are amazing, and either choice would be a good one. I just wanted to point out that small caution. I've had people mention the protection circuity kicking in at high volumes. Mine NEVER does this - probably because mine is fully restored and up to spec. I wouldn't even consider that an issue at all.

I plan keeping this receiver FOREVER. I will never "upgrade."

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.

Similar Products Used:

Too many to list.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 26, 2007]
Arkangel
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

This receiver is truly vintage and the sound is as good as it was in the 1970s. It plays loud and clear with 80 wpc of pure delightful sound.

Weakness:

As with all vintage, it has to be delicately handled. The analog dial for radio has to be turned carefully or the string that handles the movement may break

On a day when I was casually looking through Yard Sale items, I chanced to see this unbelieveable bargain. A person was selling a Pioneer SX 980 (Vintage from the 1970s) for $25.00. The outer sections were almost MINT. I seized it, paid his asking price and took it home and paired it with my beloved vintage Pioneer HPM 100. The coupling was perfect and sound was electrifying. I cleaned the front and the back carefully and the receiver looked MINT.

Classical music and Jazz sounded simply perfect. Wide soundstage, detail and clarity. It looks like a million dollars.

Similar Products Used:

Sansui, B&W, Klipsch, Fisher, Dahlquist

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 14, 2007]
RocknRum
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Powerful and lots of tone functions. Good looks. Nice sound.

Weakness:

Sometimes goes into protection mode a little past half volumne. Not sure of the reason exactly. Weighs 41 lbs.

I bought this 9 months ago and it grows on me every day. It just is one fine looking receiver. Lots of power, especially if driving large efficient speakers. I opened the inside and the build quality was excellent. Looks as good inside as out. Puts out a clean bright sound. Had the power meters at 80 watts output at half volumne with one combo setup. Overall pleased with sound and very pleased with looks.

Similar Products Used:

Marantz 2250b and 2270. Yamaha RXV870.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 30  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com