What Is A Monster Receiver?

Jun 28th, 2013 Posted in Receivers | 1 Comment »

 

Pioneer SX-1980 Monster Receiver
 
I see forum threads all the time talking about this or that receiver being a "Monster Receiver". Many eBay sellers of vintage receivers tend to throw around the term "Monster" pretty easily as well. Just what does the Monster attribute refer to? Is it the size or weight of the receiver? Is it only top of the line receivers or those that exceed a certain power output? What makes a receiver a Monster?

Unfortunately there really is no standard definition of what a monster receiver is and probably never will be. Obviously something deemed a monster is usually very big such as a monster truck or monster wave. The same applies to receivers in that most of them that people would consider "monster" are large. Very large. I've seen some claim that any stereo weighing over 50 pounds should be considered a monster. But, there are a large number of receivers over that weight that wouldn't even be considered a quality piece of audio equipment.

 

Marantz 2385 Monster Receiver
 
Many times receivers are given the monster tag because of their power output. One of the more common themes is that any receiver that puts out 120 watts or more per channel should be considered a monster. That definition would make for a fairly large list though as quite a few receivers fit that criteria. One would think that a monster receiver would definitely be the top of the line (TOTL) for the particular manufacturer at the time of its production but there are many non TOTL receivers that put out 120+ watts per channel.

My definition of a monster receiver incorporates all of the above. The stereo should be big, heavy, TOTL, and have massive power output. It was more than likely produced during the receiver wars of the mid to late 70's and one look at it should cause you to say Wow! I wouldn't necessarily say that it has to be the best sounding stereo or have the least distortion.

 

Kenwood KR-9600 Monster Receiver
 
Some receivers are obvious monsters like the Pioneer SX-1980. It's huge, heavy and hase massive power output. Others in that category are the Sansui G33000, Marantz 2385, Yamaha CR-3020 and others. Other stereo's are more in the gray area such as the MCS 3275, Pioneer SX-1010, Yamaha CR-2020, Kenwood Model Eleven and others. 
Yamaha CR-2020 Monster Receiver
In the end there really is no formal definition of what a monster receiver is and it's really more in the eye of the beholder. I'm going to put together a list of my top ten monster receivers soon and I'll expect everyone to tear it apart. But, it's like sports conversations. No one is purely right or wrong. You just make the best case you can and leave it at that.

MONSTER TECHNICS SA 5760 RECEIVER 165 WATTS PER CHANNEL ONE OWNER GORGEOUS
MONSTER TECHNICS SA 5760 RECEIVER 165 WATTS PER CHANNEL ONE OWNER GORGEOUS $2,400.00
Time Remaining: 4d 10h 29m
Buy It Now for only: $2,400.00
VINTAGE MONSTER TECHNICS SA 800 RECEIVER 125 WPC GORGEOUS
VINTAGE MONSTER TECHNICS SA 800 RECEIVER 125 WPC GORGEOUS $1,100.00
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $1,100.00
Rare Vintage ONKYO TX 8500 Monster Receiver working but AS IS
Rare Vintage ONKYO TX 8500 Monster Receiver working but AS IS $750.00
Time Remaining: 5d 10h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $1,100.00

Pioneer SX-1980 Values For 2012

Aug 7th, 2012 Posted in Pioneer, SX-1980 | 9 Comments »

Well, we're half way through 2012 and I thought I'd review the sale prices for some of the high end vintage Pioneer receivers.  I would expect that the poor economy has affected values negatively or perhaps the fact that the world is ending in December of this year might put downward pressure on prices as well.  My guess is that the economy is having the larger affect to this point.

 

I'll start off with the what most people see as the ultimate vintage Pioneer receiver the SX-1980.  I know that it does have some engineering issues and that some feel that the SX-1250 is a better unit but the SX-1980 is still a "holy grail" monster receiver and should reflect the state of vintage receiver values fairly accurately. The first sale I saw was for a unit that was in full working condition and pretty good cosmetic condition.

 

Pioneer SX-1980 Sale

 

The wood case had a few scratches and blemishes and the top of the faceplate had a couple scratches as well. Probably a 7 out of 10 overall. That unit sold for $2000.00 in July of 2012.  I've seen these sell for upwards of $4000.00 in the past, in excellent condition of course, so $2000.00 might show some loss of value over the last few years.

 

Another SX-1980 was listed as a Buy it Now item for $3200.00 in July 0f 2012. The receiver was in perfect working order, being just recently serviced, and had only a few minor flaws cosmetically.  You could possibly rate this unit as a 9 out of 10.  It did not sell. It had offers but no sale.  So, obviously the $3000.00 range is a little high for these receivers in this market.

 

Pioneer SX-1980 Sale 2

 

Another insightful non-sale was another July auction for a unit with a faceplate in excellent condition, nothing missing, fully functional, with just some mild wood case wear. This unit was bid up to $1276.00 but did not sell. The unit had even been recently completely serviced by a Pioneer guru. Obviously there was not enough interest to bid the price up any further. The buy it now price for the auction was nearly $4000.00 which the final bid did not even come close to.

 

Pioneer SX-1980 Sale 3

 

Another auction is currently under way for a very nice SX-1980 and it is currently at $1125.00 with a few days left to go.  I'll update this post once it ends. It looks very nice so it should sell for a decent price.

 

Pioneer SX-1980 Sale 4

 

Update: Ok, so the Pioneer SX-1980 shown above sold for $2025.00 (8-11-2012).  It basically needed nothing and had been fully serviced. Cosmetically it is very nice.  Just over $2000.00 is pretty cheap relative to prices a few years ago. I guess the moral of the story is that if you want an SX-1980 now is the time to buy one.

Update 2 (Sept. 2012): A Mint condition SX-1980 just sold for $3838.00. Definitely one of the higher recent sale prices for this unit.

Pioneer SX 1980 Professionally serviced recapped upgraded LED EXCELLENT
Pioneer SX 1980 Professionally serviced recapped upgraded LED  EXCELLENT $4,799.00
Time Remaining: 5h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $4,799.00
Excellent Pioneer SX 1980 Receiver Professionally servicedall boards recapped
Excellent Pioneer SX 1980 Receiver Professionally servicedall boards recapped $4,699.00
Time Remaining: 11d 15h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $4,699.00
Rare Pioneer SX 1980 Vintage Stereo Receiver
Rare Pioneer SX 1980 Vintage Stereo Receiver $4,000.00
Time Remaining: 13d 14h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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