Pioneer SX-3900

Pioneer SX-3900

 

This is the Pioneer SX-3900 which was Pioneer's top of the line Fluroscan receiver. It's the big brother to the SX-3800 and was introduced in 1980 at a retail price of about $800.00. It represents Pioneer's transition from analog receivers to the more contemporary digital receivers. In fact, the SX3900 basically has both analog and digital features. As you can see it has an old school analog tuning dial, the mechanism is mechanical, as well as a five digit digital tuning display. The displays use fluorescent bulbs hence the nick name fluroscan.

 

Pioneer SX-3900

 

The blue fluorescent display is beautiful and one of the more iconic displays in vintage audio. Still, the FM Quartz Locked SX-3900 was not all looks. It pumps out 120 watts per channel with less than 0.005% total harmonic distortion and is built with quality engineering.  It also incorporates a non-switching amplifier.

 

Pioneer SX-3900 Left

 

You can see from the pictures that the SX-3900 has illuminated push buttons for certain functions as well. Some other features are:

  • 2 high pass filters
  • Tone turn-over controls for bass and treble
  • Adapter loop switch
  • FM de-emphasis
  • Tape duplicate
  • 2 phono inputs

 

Pioneer SX-3900 Right

 

Measuring in at 20.7 x 6.9 x 17.8 inches the SX-3900 is pretty big and weighs roughly 46 pounds. It is similar inside to the Pioneer SX-D7000 which, oddly, was on the market at the same time. The SX-D7000 moved even more toward the digital side and had all push button and slider controls and no analog dial.

 

Pioneer SX-3900 Back

 

It's a little hard to see in the picture but the SX-3900 has a large toroidal transformer that is tucked in on the left side and sits sideways like a tire as opposed to flat like most transformers. I suppose they had to economize on space given the number of features the unit has. You can also see the large heat sink in the middle. These units generate a lot of heat so it's not a good idea to stack anything on top of them.

 

Pioneer SX-3900 Inside

 

The Pioneer SX-3900 represents the end of the analog era and the beginning of the digital era. And, being from one of the pre eminent audio companies of the time in Pioneer they are popular. However, I would say that, given the features, performance, and iconic nature of this receiver, they tend to be under valued. A good working unit will sell for $300.00 to $400.00 which is quite a bit under what other comparable receivers sell for. Of course, I did see one SX-3900 that was nearly mint and had been completely restored that sold for $1400.00. But, it had been fully recapped and had a LED lamp conversion as well. It was a VERY nice receiver.

SX 3000 SX 3400 SX 3800 SX 3900 SX D5000 SX 5580 SX 5590 Manual Part Schematics
SX 3000 SX 3400 SX 3800 SX 3900 SX D5000 SX 5580 SX 5590 Manual Part Schematics $44.00
Time Remaining: 10d 11h 21m
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PIONEER AAB 238 VOLUME KNOB SX 3900 RECEIVER ONLY USED ON SX 3900 RARE
PIONEER AAB 238 VOLUME KNOB SX 3900 RECEIVER ONLY USED ON SX 3900 RARE $37.95
Time Remaining: 16d 21h 35m
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PIONEER AAB 239 BASS TREBLE BALANCE TONE TURNOVER KNOB SX 3900 SX 3800 SX 3700
PIONEER AAB 239 BASS TREBLE BALANCE TONE TURNOVER KNOB SX 3900 SX 3800 SX 3700 $24.95
Time Remaining: 18d 18h 17m
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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 6:03 pm and is filed under Pioneer, SX-3900. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 comments

 No.1 

I saw that $1400 on ebay. I gave up bidding at $1200 myself. I ended up with another sx-3900 later from ebay, but what a mess it was. It’s going to be an expensive project to rebuild, but I’m hearing that it’s going to be the ‘bomb’ when it’s done. Hey, you only go around once, and these guys aren’t going down in value anytime soon.

February 27th, 2013 at 11:48 am
 No.2 
Pete:

I think these are some great looking/sounding receivers, I have a 3700 and waiting to get my hands on a 3900, who knows, I might as well get the 3800 too :)

April 7th, 2013 at 8:43 am
 No.3 
Debbie:

I have a Pioneer SX-3900. Would you be interested?

April 26th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I am interested in a 3900. Please contact me Debbie

February 7th, 2014 at 7:29 pm
 No.5 
Gavin:

I have the SX-3800 for sale if anyone is interested. Great condition as well. Thanks.

February 12th, 2014 at 3:21 pm
 No.6 
rob:

original owner of a 3900 here….in great condition & has been restored less than 10 yrs ago….think I can dig that receipt up if need be. Hard to part with it bein it was my 1st “big” purchase back in the day (prior to buying my 1st car) but I really need a new unit that I can run my big screen & speakers thru…on that note….willing to consider a trade if possible (Nor Cal/SF East Bay region). Any offers out there? Willing to let it go for $500 or staight trade + cash if need be…anyone interested?

February 17th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

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