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post #1 of 5 Old 01-17-2015, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Old Pioneer SX Receivers

So, I've been missing my old pioneer SX receiver that I owned for 20 years because some damned movers stole it and have been looking around for a replacement. I just had an old lower end SX-424, but I loved that damned thing and my vinyl sounded better through that unit than almost any receiver I've owned over the last 30 years.....anyway, I have a lead on an old black faced SX-770...it's in immaculate condition and I can get it for $125.00. DOes that sound fair ?

Also, in case I pass on this one; in general which Pioneer SX receivers do you guys prefer or think sound the best, or perhaps I sound say have better overall soundstage for listening to vinyl records and the radio. I'm going to get one very soon, maybe that 770 tomorrow, So I figured I'd ask you guys for some input. I really love these old receivers and give so much better bang for your buck than buying some new phono preamp to go along with my Sony STR 1050.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-19-2015, 06:33 PM
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I will chime in because I have a SX-201 I bought around 1990. Probably the bottom of the catalog for Pioneer at the time. I am more of a sucker for late 70s to early 80s receivers. YUM! I had a Sansui I can still kick myself for giving away!

Sounds good!

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-19-2015, 07:57 PM
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Looks around for a Marantz 2230 or 2270...
These had great amplifiers and phono circuits..

Just my $0.02...
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-20-2015, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks, yeah I almost got my hands on a 2230, but it was literally sold about 5 minutes before I showed up at a shop that repairs them. right now there is a sx-636 that I might pick up in the next week.....I was wondering if the x2x series were better soudning than the x3x series though. If anyone has any experience, please feel free to chime in.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-20-2015, 03:21 PM
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It is very hard nowadays to get a bargain deal on any of the good vintage receivers. The incredibly strong resurgence of vinyl (propelled in large part by "trendies" who simply think the gear is "cool, retro and fun to fool with") is driving prices up / availability down compared to even a few years ago. This wouldn't be as big of a problem if old age wasn't hitting these receivers like a tornado: many of the more affordable ones need repairs, yet good luck finding a local repair shop that knows how to fix them. Some parts, esp Pioneer amp bits, are in very short supply. Shop carefully.

IMO that Pioneer SX-770 is a bit too old to risk $125: most Japanese gear made before 1972 is best left to the collectors (unless you're the original owner). I owned a Pioneer SX-626 for a few years: really nice receiver with rich sound, a bit "darker" sounding than most receivers of the period. A good match for speakers with weak-ish bass response. The 626 is one of handful of "cult" blue-dial Pioneer models some people go out of their way to track down: I can't remember why now (something about the amp/preamp design).

Everyone should own a Marantz at least once, but their iconic appearance is highly sought after, making them hard to find at realistic prices. I owned a beautifully restored 2270 for three years, but sold it when I got a ridiculously high offer. I still kinda regret letting it go, but I never cared for the sound quality- way too dark (darker than my Pioneer SX-626).

I've had Sansui integrated amp/tuner combos, but not any of their receivers. The separates were quite nice, esp the AU-517 amp.

Strangely, the best-sounding receiver I've ever owned was also the cheapest: Harman Kardon HK-330c. Something about its amp/preamp creates magic with pretty much any type of speakers or input sources. I think it sounds even better than the highly-touted "twin power" models that were above it in the HK lineup. The 330c is fairly easy to find at reasonable cost, as it was popular in its day and many still survive. Unfortunately, all HK gear made before 1980 suffers from atrociously poor pushbutton switches that corrode over the years, becoming noisy then totally dysfunctional. No amount of deoxit can fix them once they deteriorate, and no modern replacements seem to be available.

If you see a nice HK, be sure to fully check the Tape Monitor, Mono, Contour, and Speaker 1-2 buttons- loud noises or a dropped channel are bad signs. Also watch out for loose connections / weak solder in the Phono inputs. Worth the hassle for the sound quality, tho: my unrestored ca1975 HK-330c bought off eBay for $49 beats my $900 Creek integrated amp.

Last edited by CitiBear; 01-20-2015 at 03:25 PM.
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