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From Shop Goodwill. The auction ended tonight.
Maybe it is as a used car salesman told me - "It's worth what someone will pay."
Edits: 06/25/17Follow Ups:
At least to the high bidder it is and that is all that matters.
If you were a teenager dreaming of a top of the line receiver at the time this was one of the pieces you probably lusted after. Now that you have plenty of disposable income you can make the dream come true.
As with many things, the value is in the rarity and desirability. Not the functional quality, which I'm sure could easily be surpassed for the dollars spent.
I had an SX-1250 for a bit that I found at a salvation army store for 80 bucks. It sounded OK but was so big and heavy it wasn't practical for me. I sold it for $450.00 about 10 years ago and the person that bought it felt like he got a bargain.
I would not stop to pick up a free one if it chased me down the street.
Now hand me a Counterpoint 5000.. Yeah, I'll take it home and treat it right.
Or a Fisher 500C...Send them my way.
Or an Onkyo Grand Integra M-508..
Hell... for this or the Fisher, I would even drive to go pick them up.
I do not understand audio components as well as you guys, and please tell me why I am wrong...-this is my thinking. The pioneer SX 1980 was made in 1978 for $1,295 and puts out 270 watts x 2 (540 total). The B&K AVR 307 came out in 2001 at $3,500 and puts out 150 watts x 7 (1050 total). The Pioneer would run about $3,470 in 2001's money. I have a feeling that the B&K is going to sound better at 140 watts output than the Pioneer would at 260 watts output. And the B&K would be about $5,000 today. I am sure there are better amps out there, but not easily available (in every major city as B&K was). And I have not seen any of those for less than $5,000. Please be kind...-I want to learn...-teach me please
the SX-1980 truly is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
To some, not worth much, to others worth a lot.
If I had money to throw away, I'd get one, but only if I knew an audio repair/maintenance guru who could keep the unit up-and-running. Easier said than done.
My tech was very happy when I had one. It wasn't that I didn't have the money for the repair it was the headaches of lugging it back and fort to the repair shop and it weighs in at 78 Lbs.
If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
If I knew a tech, I would not have parted with my Symfonia Opus 10 amp..... My favorite solid-state piece of all time..........
The good part is I sold the piece to someone who does have a tech...... His tech reconditioned the unit (replaced a transistor that was on verge of failing), and the amp now uses a protection ciruit...... Still sounds fabulous.
Worked at a store that had a new SX1980 on display. After a short time it broke. The small profit mark up (remember truckload blow out sales days) was less than what it would cost to ship back for warranty repair. So the store manager let it sit for months and months so our store wouldn't have to take a loss.
It was finally gone one day. Think the Pioneer visited and was horrified at the situation. He took care of the shipping.
The real keeper was the Series 20 class A 30 watt per channel amp. Pioneer was afraid highend 30 watt amps wouldn't sell coming from a "horse power" company. So they started Series 20. Still a nice sounding amp. Great times.
Looks like this unit came out in 1978 - was that near the end of the "power wars" that the Japanese consumer audio companies were waging?
Not specifically about the SX-1980, but generally what I remember was tons of feedback, low, low THD, no spec for output into 4 ohms, and generally crappy sound.
Wikipedia entry cites Len Feldman test-bench report - claiming "most powerful receiver to date".
Soon after 1978, Harmon Kardon was putting out acceptable-sounding consumer gear, which seemed to have bass impact and dynamic-in-general that belied their power ratings. By then I was running Audionics and Hafler.
(In the summer of 1978 I'd picked up, cheap, a Yamaha behemoth of a receiver that sounded damned ugly after swapping out my Audionics CC2 - using the preamp in the Yamaha no less - that got sold along with some Infinity Qa loudspeakers)
I wouldn't pay that but there are a lot who would in a minute.
A very high quality piece. All the SX models were well made.
I was a service engineer. The concensus among my team was that the 1980 was the worse sounding model in its line. It got very harsh and strident at higher volumes and measured terribly on the bench. I think its physical size, output rating, and retro hipster appeal is was attracts people to it today. I find the high prices being paid today laughable and even worse given that I know what the landed cost was. I don't think any serious experienced audiophile would give one a second look, just as it was when the unit was new.
As a Pioneer owner during this time period, I could not agree more.
Stringent at higher level ... with 270 watts per channel into 8 ohms ... sure you weren't trying to weld with it? ;)
the *scroe* over at AK. :)
I can't compete with the dead (Buck W. 2010)
$45 gets them out the door tomorrow. $50 gets them out the door yesterday (Byrd 2016)
Cowards can't be heroes. (Byrd 2017)
When I was selling stereo in '77 - '80, the Pioneer SX receivers always sounded sort of "harsh". But, Pioneer had done their marketing/advertising for a long time, and people bought them in large numbers.
Personally, you couldn't GIVE me a Pioneer receiver. What would I do with it, other than sell it.
Surely, audiophiles are much smarter these daze and aren't susceptible to indoctrination by advertising like they used to. lol
My daughter and I stopped into a recently opened "vintage" shop near our home yesterday. They had a bunch of '70's stereo equipment along with albums, clothing (the usual stuff). To my modest surprise, there among the electronics sat a very clean example of my old Sansui 9090DB. Many fond memories of my old 9090 and my prized (at the time) L100's. To my true surprise, the price tag on the 9090 read $799. While I was standing there trying to reconcile how that could be, another customer came in and inquired as to whether they had any old console systems. At that point I knew I'd stepped through the door into the Twilight Zone.
For "restored" versions run ~$4K. I suppose this GW price depends on it you can do most of the restoration. Or can find a good tech to do them, for a good $$$.
Holy Crap! I remember when Goodwill had shelves full of stuff like that in their stores and it was more like $25.
I can't imagine spending that kind of money on a SS amp from the 70s. Even if it was fully recapped, reworked, and fully restored. Forget it.
That's a good Chinese tube amp and a lifetime worth of tubes.
This receiver was the flagship of mainstream audio at its pinnacle during the late 1970s. This was prior to the digital age, and it was common for students in high school and college to acquire great sounding audio systems. Using integrated receivers from Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui, Yamaha, Onkyo, Kenwood, Harman/Kardon etc.. (JBL and Infinity loudspeakers were big during that time too. As were rock stations like KMET and WMMS. Not to mention "Orchestra Wars" between the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic.) Mainstream music in those days had quality sound (Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Led Zeppelin), there wasn't a sizeable gap between mainstream and high-end audio.
I don't think there is a lot of high-end solid state marketed today that to me sounds significantly better. (Tubes are a different story.) If I were to construct another system (as if I don't have enough), it would have late 1970s vintage in mind.
Adjusted for inflation, the SX-1980, which was $1,250 new, would cost over $8,000 today. It was an expensive proposition when it came out, and it remains one now.
I have one and absolutely LOVE it. I bought a nice one about 5-6 years ago for $2,000, and had it completely recapped/restored for another $900. It sounds fantastic - definitely better than some similarly priced current "audiophile" gear I have heard. It's also for sure awesome to look at, and that adds to its allure, and also of course it's price.
The 1980 will likely always cost a lot. It always has. Only an individual can saw whether it's "worth" it. But mine will be with me until I'm dead and gone.
"Let there be songs, to fill the air"
Love how your vintage rig looks! Is that a Pioneer 5-way??
Your "over $8,000 today" statement got my attention, so I did some checking - ratio, 2017/1978, for CPI-U is about 3.8 - which inflates $1250 to $4750 - still not chump change and still much more than your cost.
Referring to my earlier, not complementary post on Pioneer and the "power wars" - it would be interesting to compare my mother's 65W Harmon Kardon receiver to comparable contemporary Pioneer goods. I think my brother has it and it still works - hmmmmmm.
I used to own one, which drove my then Infinity Qa speakers using the Dual 721 turntable and Pioneer CTF 1000 cassette deck as the source in the 70's. They sounded quite good, especially in the direct mode, but not as smooth and highly resolving to sound as the Sansui AU-9900 at half of its power output, which I also own. However, they are very heavy and impressive to look at with all the chrome plated control, but highly unreliable as they're always something wrong with it. Sometimes the tuner would quit working for no apparent reason other than no sound coming out from it whatsoever and or the phono stage would be too noisy. In some instances, there would be no output signal even though the output fuses tested good.
Are they worth what they're asking for it now? all I can say is no. If they're asking half of its current asking price perhaps, but you better be sure that you are electronically inclined because you're going to need all that expertise to keep it running. Also for that asking price, there are a lot of used equipment out there that is more reliable and better it sound wise.
If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
that's NOT a bad price (if the condition is there yada, yada).
My cousin had one when they first came out.
Too many damn buttons, but it LOOKED impressive as hell...
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
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