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Pioneer SX-980

AM/FM Stereo Receiver (1978-80)

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Pioneer SX-980


The Pioneer SX-980 is an AM/FM stereo receiver with constant current loaded 2-stage differential amplifier, and direct coupled 2-stage Darlington single push-pull DC configuration power amplifier.

Features include Pioneer turnover tone controls, 6dB-octave high and low filters and outputs for 2 pairs of speakers.


Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 80 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 5Hz to 100kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.05%

Damping factor: 30

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

Signal to noise ratio: 76dB (MM), 90dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 1V (Pre out)

Speaker load impedance: 4Ω (minimum)

Semiconductors: 3 x FET, 8 x IC, 35 x transistors, 45 x diodes

Dimensions: 526 x 176 x 440mm

Weight: 18.8kg

Accessories: FM T-type antenna

Year: 1978


instruction/owners manual   English -

service manual   English -

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Reviewed Dec 16th, 2015 by suitekids

I picked one up a few weeks ago, unaltered and in as new condition, not a scratch or ding in the wood. Tuner section is awesome, and everything works perfectly.. They really don't make electronics like these anymore, the last of an era for that warm sound unless you have lots of money. These have big transformers and main caps, and are definitely worth the money they are fetching now if you find a nice one that isn't all butchered up. 80 wpc with a good set of speakers, can rock the house with loads of real headroom. The silver era will be missed

Reviewed Apr 04th, 2013 by oldestpunkinargentina

The 90s were dawning and I decided it was time to move one from low-power amps to something with a healthy dosage of watts. New stuff ? Budget receivers had hideous sound featuring cheap ICs on their power stages and good quality was as affordable as a trip to the moon. I decided to go vintage for the sake of my economy but got hooked on it for life.

U$ 250 dollars lighter and a couple of incipient hernias from moving around the 19 kgs this beast weighs I was blasting the sweetest sound I had ever heard. Elna capacitors, Nec transistors, state-of-the-art circuit boards, it had it all.

Granted, it did broke down on me a couple of times, but nothing that couldn't be repaired with original components within my budget. I never needed to recap it because it was not necessary and I don't believe in altering the original sound.

I really expect to enjoy this unit for another 20 years because if I have to buy a current receiver this good-sounding(been tempted by the Denon DRA-397), it will not only set me back a couple of grand but I know the POS will die on me within 5 years like everything engineered with planned obsolescence these days.

Only drawback I can point out is this is not a high-current amp. The damping factor is as skimp as 30 and it only pumps 15 watts more in 4 ohms than it does in 8. But paired to my Klipsch F2s and JBL 12 SUB you can rarely realize this fact.

If you ever come across a mint unit, buy it without hesitation, it's totally worth you while 8a lifetime in my case, I hope).



re: SX-980

It is not a sin to recap vintage electronics. I am on this page for the very reason that my customer wants his SX-980 recapped. Capacitor technology has come a long way in 40 years. And without question, capacitors age with time. For this era electronics I use Nichicon Super-Through capacitors for the power supply, Elna Selmic II (RFS) silk-fiber capacitors for the bypass caps. The sound does nothing but improve. That said, choosing the wrong capacitor can make your prized amplifier sound harsh, thin, weak or muffled. You have to know what your customer wants the end result to sound like and how to get there, this not a task for the inexperienced.

Selby's picture

re: SX-980

I have a sx 980 which plays very good. Unsure how much better it could or would sound with a recap. When do u know it's time to recap and is recap the only key items to change out.

re: SX-980

Capacitors age slowly. Think if it like automobile shock absorbers, which is the what capacitors are, electrical shock absorbers. Given enough time, they will degrade, but so slowly, you never notice. When you have the time and the money, find a trust-worthy and fair-minded technician to go through it for you. Expect a bill in the neighborhood of around $250-$300. If you like the sound of it now, you will be thrilled to hear the improvement.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Pioneer. To purchase SX-980 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.