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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


Related Catalogues

Hi-Fi Stereo

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Reviewed Jun 07th, 2017 by RTM

There's not a lot more to be said about this iconic touchstone for Mass Market QUALITY audio. It dates from the second great Golden Age of Home High Fidelity. It is what it is, and there's not a lot to be said about it (in terms of negative appraisal) that will hold up to first person scrutiny. I own two, and I'll probably be interred with both, if there's room. Along with a good set of Headphones....lol. The early boom had the MC-240. We had this and while I think the 240 is neat, I wouldn't even momentarily consider trading even. Not for a minute. But we all get our own choices, which is a good thing.....

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 guest

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.

curioustech's picture

re: SX-1980

Loud is not about that particular unit. It is about fineness and capacity, endurance, durability and the ability to lock-out unwanted and serious distortion for the whole spectrum without compromising none. The volume of sound that is harmonious at any level and if one could withstand extra decibels without hurting the eardrums and enjoy such unadulterated pieces of "do re's and mi's however they are arranged to satiate any
ones fill, should and is most important as the "Holy Grail" of music listened to. It has the most unique and super advance in electronic circuitry. Just listen to the FM portion of this magnificent piece of overall caliber ingenuity, the frequency response at Aux or Tape mode at 5 to 80,000 Hz +0dB, - 1dB are just another that you can listen to the very lowest sound and the highest beyond the limits of normalcy. I can truly say, there are units with higher and more powerful output but none of these can match the circuitry of the SX1980.

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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