Pioneer SX-D7000

In 1980 Pioneer introduced the Pioneer SX-D7000 and made a statement that it was heading into the digital future. It's similar in many ways to the SX-3900 except that Pioneer did away with nearly all of the knobs - replacing them with push buttons. There are no analog meter or dials either as Pioneer utilized their Fluroscan technology for the power meter and digital tuning display. The SX-D7000 retailed for about $800.

 

Aesthetically it's a beautiful receiver. It has a modern, clean look to it and the symmetrical layout of the controls give it balance to the eye. It's rated at 120 watts per channel and 0.005% total harmonic distortion.

 

 

The power output and tuning meters are Fluroscan and the Treble and Bass controls are adjusted via sliders with 11 click stops. The Adaptor switch allows the user to patch in a signal processor such as a graphic equalizer or reverb unit.

 

 

The SX-D7000 was the bigger brother to the Pioneer SX-D5000 and was slightly bigger and a little heavier. Pioneer also added  a C speaker switch, Tone on/off control, a display dimmer and a second phono input. The SX-D7000 was one of the first receivers to incorporate a preamp section that could handle both a moving magnet and a moving coil cartridge. The user could switch between cartridges with the push of a button just to the right of the volume knob. Switching to the MC position boosts the phono gain by 20dB and reduces the impedance to 100 ohms.

 

 

The SX-D7000 also features:

  • Non-switching DC power amp design
  • Quartz PLL Synthesizer Tuner
  • 6 FM and 6 AM station memory for easy tuning
  • High Gain FET phono equalizer
  • Attenuator type master volume control

To set the memory for a station you tune to the station using either the autoscan or manual scan and then push the memory along with one of the station call buttons.

 

Pioneer SX-D7000 Ad

 

The power amp is a Direct Current configuration. Coupling capacitors are used at the input of the amp to safeguard the circuits and speaker systems. Ultra-low-frequency signals which might be picked up from a warped record can cause annoying Doppler distortion in drivers, adversely modulating the audible frequencies. Pioneer's DC configuration removes signal-delaying capacitors from the negative feedback loops to reduce phase distortion. This contributes to a "sharp and densely-textured sonic imagery in the final reproduction".

 

 

Pioneer avoided the problems associated with Class A or Class B amps by designing a special circuit they called Vari-Bias. According to them it is:

"An inspired breakthrough that led to the Pioneer Vari-Bias circuit, which constantly monitors the amplitude of incoming signal, then automatically controls the amount of bias fed to the power transistors. While they 'rest' during no-signal periods they get only a trickle - just enough to keep them from switching off. Actually, this circuit is so simple it does not limit the transient response of the transistors in any way."

The Pioneer SX-D7000 has three power transformers. One is toroidal, for the non-switching power amp, and the other two are of conventional design.

It has three speaker outputs as well as two Phono inputs and one Aux input. It even has an AM Stereo out.

 

 

The SX-D7000 is the beginning of the end for silver faced receivers. It wasn't long after its introduction that audio manufacturers, including Pioneer, moved toward cheaper black plastic components. The receiver has a distinct look to it that some like and some don't. It's still very popular for its performance level can usually be bought for a reasonable price. In good serviced condition they will sell for $500 to $600.

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Kenwood KR-6030

Kenwood KR-6030 Front

 

This is a nice Kenwood offering from circa 1978 until about late 1979. It's the Kenwood KR-6030. It has the classic look of 1970's Kenwood's with the exception of the large push buttons that the earlier models used. Instead Kenwood went to toggle switches. The KR-6030 generates plenty of power at 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms and total harmonic distortion of 0.1%. Like a lot of the other Kenwood models it has a great FM tuner section as well. Not bad for a retail price of $525.00.

 

 

Kenwood KR-6030 Knobs

 

The KR-6030 also has a loudness switch, tone defeat switch and a subsonic filter switch. The analog meters are for tuning and signal strength. Options for the KR-6030 include the CB-12K walnut veneer cabinet, the B-12 simulated walnut veneer side panels and the D-7 rack mount handles.

 

Kenwood KR-6030 Switch

 

The dark dial face and amber white lights make for a nice looking display in a dark room though the KR-6030 is not usually mentioned as having a great look aesthetically.  Without the wood cabinet or side panels there is nothing to mute the overall metallic look of it. The orange stereo and phono lights don't help much either.

 

Kenwood KR-6030 Inside

 

As with any vintage receiver the Kenwood KR-6030 is not without its problems. The most common is probably with the power switch. The switch is under engineered and tends to arc internally causing a build up of carbon which can lead to the switch failing. When this happens either the switch will not work at all or you will see the stereo's lights flicker and perhaps hear a buzz when turning the unit on. There is a fix but it's not for the layman. You can find more information HERE.

 

Kenwood KR-6030 Inputs

 

At roughly 19 x 6 x 16 inches it's a decent sized receiver and it weighs in at a shade over 34 pounds (15.5 kg).

 

Kenwood KR-6030 Ad

 

The Kenwood KR-6030 is a good stereo. Plenty of power and enough features for the average user. It doesn't have the reputation of equivalent Marantz or Pioneer units which makes it a little bit of a sleeper.  The power switch issues is a problem but can be fixed by a good technician.  A really nice KR-6030 will sell for $200 to $250. An average unit for around $100 to $150. That's not a bad price for a receiver with its power and performance.

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