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Pioneer SX-1980

AM/FM Stereo Receiver (1978-80)

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Pioneer SX-1980


The Pioneer SX-1980 is an AM/FM stereo receiver with a unique quartz-lock on station frequency which is immune to time and temperature drift, even better then AFC.

It features outputs for 3 sets of loudspeakers, 3 cartridge impedance and capacitance settings for the phono input, 2 tape inputs/outputs for tape duplication, exclusive Pioneer twin tone controls with tone defeat switch and many more outstanding features.


Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 270 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 5Hz to 80kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%

Damping factor: 40

Input sensitivity: 7.5mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 87dB (MM), 100dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line), 2V (Pre out)

Semiconductors: 12 x FET, 11 x IC, 130 x transistors, 84 x diodes

Dimensions: 560 x 211 x 497mm

Weight: 35.4kg

Accessories: FM T-type antenna

Year: 1978


instruction/owners manual   English - Jeepo65

brochure   English - Jeepo65

service manual   English - Digger747

schematic   English - mernok57

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Reviewed Jul 21st, 2015 by rtksjones

I was asked by a friend to repair his sx1980. After repairing the power supply and output protection circuit, I fired this monster up. Holy cow! What a beast. This is the holy grail of stereo receivers. The amazing tight and crisp lows and the bright and sparkling highs absolutely blew me away. I played this receiver through my Event EV20/20 monitors. This receiver changed my life. I remember lusting after these silver face beauties when I was at Georgia Tech back in the day. Of course I couldn't afford one back then. I've bought two Pioneers (sx850 and sx780) since working on this beauty and am once again in love with them. If you want the holy grail of stereos, then save your bucks and find one of these monsters.

Reviewed Nov 21st, 2013 by ezzobg

truly beast

Reviewed Oct 21st, 2013 by samtechnik


Reviewed Dec 11th, 2012 by louis8926




MooseChubs's picture

re: SX-1980

I Just received a sx-1980, hooked up 2 small speakers and have no receive, on a b or c and the headphone jack, are there inline fuses? All else seems to be working within the unit,,,

re: SX-1980

I bought one of these in 1980 - it was being phased out and I got a good deal - like $700(about 4k in today $$) - yr before they were $1100 or so. I replaced another sx...model pioneer - I think 60w per channel on norman lab model tens - . What surprised me was the sx1980 was not a whole lot louder than my 60w/c unit...but I did not understand the 2xpower for 3db rule...so my 60w unit say was 100db, 103db took 120w, 106db to 240w...thats it for the 1980. What I found out was 100w/c is just about as loud to your ear as 250w/c. So 4 speakers @ 100w each make alot more sound than 2 of the same speakers @ 200w each. What the 1980 was great at was powering any large multispeaker speakers(eg 3 10in Wofer, 4 mids..etc in each speaker), not beacause it went much louder than 100w, but it had the deep reserve power to drive multiple large speakers.....my norman labs(2x 10Wofer 2x 1in dome tweeter tower). I got rid of the 1980 - I think around 1990 - just to big. What I did not get rid of was my Norman Lab Model Tens - blew me away when I first heard them in 1978, bought a carver 772, and the model 10s still blow me away - I bought a used pair in 2014 for $105, now I have 4 model tens running on my carver...I could blow the lid off a 2000sqft dance club with this setup, sounds like a 10k-15k setup........if you ever see a Norman Lab vintage speaker for sale, model 10s(they made higher end models but the 10s are what sold the most-$500/pr/1978, they sounded as good as the competion $1000/pr eg A.R. at the time speakers), super tight hard bass, go listen to them - will blow you away for the money. Easy to service speaker, built like a vault.

Jim Libert's picture

re: SX-1980

Was this review for the SX-1980 or Norman Lab Speakers??

re: SX-1980

Lol, I felt the same way.

re: SX-1980

Classic Monster

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