Pioneer SX-1080

Pioneer SX-1080


You'll recognize this receiver by its styling as a late 70's Pioneer. In fact, it's the Pioneer SX-1080, a direct descendant of the SX-1050.  The SX-1050 was produced in 1976-1977 while the SX-1080 showed up in 1978-79. Despite the fact that the SX-1080 is supposedly an improved version of the SX-1050 you'll find opinions on the matter split amongst collectors and audio enthusiasts. Some swear that the SX-1050 sounds better or is built better while others claim the opposite.


Pioneer SX-1080 Back


The SX-1080, like the 1050 puts out 120 watts into 8 ohms.  The 1080 also has two VU power meters, one for each channel, that the 1050 does not have. Interestingly, the 1050 has outputs for 3 pair of speakers while the later 1080 only has outputs for two pair. The 1080 also featured turnover tone controls and 6dB/octave high and low filters. Total harmonic distortion was reduced from 0.100 % in the SX-1050 to 0.05 % in the SX-1080.



Pioneer SX-1080 Left


The styling is classic Pioneer with the brushed aluminum faceplate and walnut cabinet.  The meters did have dark faces and white lettering though which is a little different then some other Pioneer receivers such as the SX-1050, that had white faces and dark lettering. Obviously the Pioneer engineers felt that the lighter lettering on a darker face was easier to see.


Pioneer SX-1080 Right


When the SX-1080 hit the market it was priced at around $700.00.  The price increased slightly to $750.00 a year later. Technically speaking the Sx-1080 is a well built receiver.  As you can see in the picture below it has a large toroidal transformer, huge heat sinks and very well organized circuit boards. One drawback of the Pioneer SX-1080 is that the output transistors are no longer available and are very difficult to find. Weighing in at about 48 pounds it was also one heavy receiver.


Pioneer SX-1080 Inside


Obviously Pioneer vintage receivers are very collectible and always in high demand. The SX-1080 is no exception. In really good cosmetic and working condition they will sell for over $500.00 fairly consistently. Lower grade units sell for about $300.00.

Pioneer SX 1080 receiver re capped excellent condition
Pioneer SX 1080 receiver re capped  excellent condition $1,500.00
Time Remaining: 28d 4h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $1,500.00
Time Remaining: 16d 21h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $1,050.00
Pioneer SX 1080 stereo receiver Close to mint 110 240V
Pioneer SX 1080 stereo receiver Close to mint 110 240V $999.99
Time Remaining: 24d 21h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $999.99

7 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-1080

  1. Funny but all sx-180’s on ebay & craigslist are going for $2500 to $3500
    and claim to have 270 watts per channel.
    Any explanation for that ? Im baffled.

  2. No need for bafflement, you’re referring to the SX-1980 while this post is on the SX-1080. The 1980 is 270 wpc and sells for $2000 to $4000 fairly consistently.

  3. I have ran out of room and decided to sell my Pioneer SX -1080 and a set of Pioneer HMP-100. This is a great Combination. Where can I post such a thing? Thanks

  4. Craigslist might be your best bet if you’re in a larger city. An SX-1080 and HPM-100 speakers would be very desirable.

  5. I have an sx980 with hpm 100 speakers. It has been in storage in my closet for almost 20 years. I put it together this weekend and fired it up. It worked like a charm. My question is: is there anything I need to worry about maintenance wise? I don’t want to damage it.

  6. The only thing I can think of is cleaning the potentiometers or “pots”. I’m surprised that after 20 years the volume pot isn’t scratchy sounding. But, if they aren’t dirty then it’s probably not worth hassling with them. I’ve got an SX-950 that I bought at a yard sale and had to spend an hour cleaning the pots and switches since they were so dirty. In fact, there was no sound at all until I cleaned the tape monitor switch. It all works like a charm now though. It’s amazing what a little De-Oxit will do.

  7. I’ve just acquired the Pioneer sx-1080, which sounds very good except that the 3 light bulb were out. I’ve replaced them, but when I turned on the receiver, still no lights. Any ideas?


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