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Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

Hi, I'm thinking of buying a Pioneer sx 1980. The seller wants 3,000 for it. Is this amp really worth the extra cost in terms of performance and investment potential over a sx 1250 or sx1280 or equivilent amp from Sansui, Kenwood etc.?



Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

These high-powered receivers are fine if you live in a football stadium with a dozen huge speaker systems.
But in all honesty, who really requires that much wattage to enjoy stereo music with?

The average set of speakers playing room-filling music in a normal home use about 2 to 10 watts per speaker.

I prefer to keep my hearing as long as I can, and not go deaf prematurely. :)

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

Good point. My hearing is already damaged from other sources. Thanks

nabeelsayegh's picture

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

IMHO....if you can get this for $3K, it would not be a bad investment. I realize this is a lot of $$$, but this unit is one of the best vintage receivers you can get your hands on. With this said, I have seen these actually sell for $3-$4K (fully restored) with minimal physical dings/scratches/etc. I would make certain you get a clear understanding of what was done to it and if there is documentation on it. If it is all original, or pretty beat up, I would negotiate that price down. If it has been restored/checked out by a professional, then grab it!!!

To answer you question about is it worth the extra money compared to a 1250 yes, definitely. Compared to a 1280....well...that is a tough call. 1280's are not a heck of a lot cheaper than the 1980 you are looking at, but there will be cost savings. I guess it really depends on what you are looking for and your use case for it. If you are not keen on forking out $3k....then the 1280 would still be an excellent choice.

Best of luck in your decision.

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

nabeelsayegh, thank you so much for your help and input.that makes my decision much easier. I guess it is kind of like buying a supercar with 1,000 hp. May not need all that power but it is sure nice to know it is there and can handle any situation. lol Thanks again for your help

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

These are really great tuner/amps, but not without problems. These units run very warm, and as a result many electrolytic/tantalum capacitors fitted will be near or at their end of life by now. If the unit has been restored, the quality of the work is paramount for long term reliability.

Things to look out for are : Long switch on times before the speaker protection releases, this indicates DC offsets in the outputs, noisy switches that crackle. Also pay careful attention to the FM tuning lock. The circuit on this unit is quite unusual, when you touch the tuning control the 'lock' indicator should go out, and then tune as normal. When you the accurately tune to a new station the lock should come on again. If there's a problem the lock may be fussy about switching back on. This indicates a fault or a problem with the alignment of the unit.

These amps are now 40 odd years old, so they've got to be treated like a classic car. That is, properly looked after and serviced they will be great, but abused a nightmare!

Ask to look inside before purchasing, if the seller refuses to open up I'd walk away...

Best Regards.

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

Thanks so much for all the guidance and technical details. These replies are just the kind of help I was looking for. Now the really hard part; coming up with three grand if I do decide to get it. Thanks

nabeelsayegh's picture

Re: Pioneer sx 1980 Is it really worth the extra cost

Well said and agree 100%