AM/FM Stereo Receiver (1974-76)
The Pioneer SX-838 is a 5OW RMS stereo receiver featuring PLL FM MPX, precision equalizer, switched-turnover tone control and direct-coupled OCL power amp.
Depend on Pioneer to provide the latest electronic advances and the SX-838 stereo receiver is a perfect example.
Its FM tuner offers high sensitivity and excellent rejection characteristics thanks to its front end equipped with a frequency-linear 4-gang variable capacitor and two MOS FETs.
The FM IF section has a 6-stage limiter and phase-linear ceramic filters.
For the FM MPX demodulator, Pioneer uses a new PLL (Phase Lock Loop) circuit with an IC.
The results of these state-of-the-art touches are immediately apparent: FM sensitivity of 1.8uV, better than 80dB FM selectivity, capture ratio of 1.0dB (all IHF) and better than 30dB stereo separation (50 to 10,000Hz).
The Phono equalizer in the SX-838 provides accurate reproduction of all the sounds in any record groove by assuring no more than ± 0.3dB deviation from the RIAA curve.
In terms of power, the unit produces 50W + 50W of continuous RMS power (both channels driven at 8 ohms) with total harmonic distortion of less than 0.3% - remember that this figure is measured and guaranteed over the entire spectrum from 20 to 20,000Hz.
The SX-838 is distinguished from all other receivers in its price range by offering switched-turnover flexibility in its tone control operation, permitting the creation of a variety of tonal characteristics to match your room's acoustics or your mood.
And when it comes to versatility, it reproduces no less than six program sources (AM, FM, Phono 1, Phono 2, Mic and Aux).
It also has two stereo sets of tape deck connections with monitor switching (and deck-to-deck duplication).
If you wish, use the noise-reduction adaptor terminals to connect a third tape deck.
This unit is provided with a special Recording Selector, enabling you to record FM broadcasts while listening to the disc reproduction and vice versa - a unique time-saving device for your listening pleasure.
A total of three pairs of stereo speaker systems can be connected to the SX-838 (with a front-panel switch to use any one or any two of them at once).
Speaker selection and source indicators are provided on the attractive dial panel.
It's a Pioneer value from top to bottom, and your best buy for stereo receiver economy.
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 50 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 10Hz to 70kHz
Damping factor: 45
Input sensitivity: 2mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 65dB (mic), 70dB (MM), 95dB (line)
Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 1V (Pre out)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Semiconductors: 4 x FET, 4 x IC, 43 x transistors, 24 x diodes
Dimensions: 520 x 175 x 420mm
Accessories: FM T-type antenna
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Reviewed Dec 11th, 2012 by Stevie's HiFi
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.