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Pioneer SX-434

AM/FM Stereo Receiver (1974-76)

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Pioneer SX-434


The SX-434 is Pioneer's budget priced FM/MW stereo receiver.

It features a high performance FM front end with low noise FET and 3-gang frequency linear variable capacitor. Phase linear ceramic filters and an IC in the FM IF section provide high selectivity of 60dB.

Other features include click stop tone controls, 2 pairs of speaker terminals and a headphone socket.


Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 15 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 25kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.8%

Damping factor: 25

Input sensitivity: 10mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 65dB (mic), 70dB (MM), 90dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN)

Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω

Semiconductors: 1 x FET, 3 x IC, 27 x transistors, 13 x diodes

Dimensions: 430 x 140 x 347mm

Weight: 8.1kg

Accessories: FM T-type antenna

Year: 1974


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Reviewed Aug 22nd, 2018 by

This Pioneer SX-434 was my first receiver purchase in 1974 for $127. I traded up over the years but found an SX-434 being tossed out at work in 2010. My fixit guy restored it for $50. It now sits in my kitchen and powers a Nakamichi BX-1 cassette deck and Boston Acoustics A-40 speakers.
Great sound from such a small receiver (15wpc) and THD/IM ain't great at 0.8% but it sounds good. It weighs just under 20 pounds (that's more than some 500w surround units!). It has a good FM front end, tape monitor, aux input, mic input and that Pioneer Blue back lit face plate is soooo seductive and 1970's. Over forty years old and functions perfectly. That is quality control.

Reviewed Aug 19th, 2018 by

I picked up this little SX-434 for $10 and it's been a great and very surprising addition to my collection. I've owned the SX-636 and SX-838 models, as well as the SX-650, SX-750, SX-950 and SX-1050 models. The SX-434 certainly does not have the power of those models (at 15WPC, it's not supposed to), but I actually prefer the sound of the SX-434 over all those larger receivers. I no longer have any of those larger Pioneers. However, on sound quality alone, this one stays. I have owned a ton of vintage gear (probably over 100 amps and receivers) and out of all of them I would actually say this is one of the best sounding receivers I have ever had in my system. And that's saying something, considering I'm actually typically not a Pioneer kind of guy (despite how many I've owned). But this little thing just works in my system. For the $10 I paid for it I can't complain one bit. I bought it on a lark, but the sound quality made it a keeper. In fact, I have conversed with an owner of a completely restored/re-capped SX-1010 who says he doesn't think it sounds any better than the SX-434 that he has owned since new. This receiver is perfect example of big watts not necessarily equaling better sound quality. If you like the Pioneer sound, and as long as you don't need gobs of power, you'll enjoy this one.

Reviewed Jun 22nd, 2017 by

Nice receiver, reliable and beautiful with a very good warm sound.



Pugsley's picture

re: SX-434

Blessed be the soul of TibouTip, thank you very much for the owner's manual for this receiver. I bought mine dead, but I got it fixed and now it's all pretty and sweet and nice sounding and I love it very much and I use it every day. Thanks again.

mrtncrls's picture

re: SX-434

What was wrong with your receiver?

re: SX-434

Hi. I don't know exactly what was wrong with the receiver you were asking about from the other contributor, but I've had a couple of these units myself not working and can share the experience of repairing them. If the unit is totally dead (no lights, nothing) it's either been a power supply component (usually a failed capacitor or a blown resistor/diode) or once was actually poor contacts in the front panel switch. If the unit comes on and lights up but no sound on speakers left, right or both then it's often a power transistor. Other things, some of which would appear to be serious, are nothing more than contacts and switches needing some cleaning. I really love this little amp and it's very easy to work on. It costs pennies to repair most times but obviously some electronics skills are required. The schematic is crystal clear with many reference voltages to check and compare. All this may not be the reason for the question you asked but if it is I hope it helps. Best regards, Kevin.

re: SX-434

I would like to plug in headphones to my sx-434 but the plug size is much larger. Is there an adapter I could use to make a connection to the 3.5 mm plug?

Pugsley's picture

re: SX-434

You need a 3.5mm to 6.35mm jack adaptor, they have these everywhere. Find a local audio store or get one on the bay.

re: SX-434

Analog would be 1/8" to 1/4" stereo plug. Great little receiver for close up monitoring or headphones. Since I bought mine in 1975 I think it's had speakers on it for less than 2 years. I run KOSS PRO-4A headphones on it I bought in Jr. High in 1969. The headphones finally gave up the ghost (headband rotted out and the cord went tit's up) so I bought a new set of PRO-4AA's. It got recapped 5 years ago with all new uprated drivers and output transistors, plus getting rid of the 2sa725's made a marked improvement. My grand daughter uses it all the time when she visits (she's 6) and wants one or that one when she gets a little older to replace the KLH-20 she has.

So before she gets it, I'll go thru it again to make sure all the voltages are ok and clean everything behind the front panel.


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