Pioneer SX-880

The Pioneer SX-xx80 series came after the SX-xx50. This Pioneer SX-880 is a classic example of that generation of Pioneer receivers and was the last of the 800 series. It premiered around 1978 and retailed for about $425 at the time.

The main aesthetic difference between the two series are the dark faced meters with white lettering. This change was made to improve visibility. The SX-880 produces 60 watts per channel with total harmonic distortion at 0.05%. It can handle a speaker impedance of 4 Ohms.

The tuning section utilizes a 3 gang variable capacitor tuner. Other features include:

  • Bass and Treble tone controls with tone defeat.
  • Low cut filter which cuts out ultra low frequency noise below 15Hz (like low pitch rumble from a turntable)
  • Independent left and right power meters
  • FM Muting
  • Stereo and Mono modes
  • Two tape in/outputs
  • One phono input
  • One Aux input
  • Duplicate switch
  • Loudness switch

The general consensus is that the xx80 series does not have quite the same quality build as the xx50 series did. As an example the Pioneer SX-850, which the SX-880 replaced, weighed 42 pounds (19.1 Kg) while the SX-880 weighs in at just 27 pounds (12.2 Kg). The SX-880’s dimensions are 19″ x 12.75″ x 5.5″.

Another issue with the SX-880 is that Pioneer used a number of IC’s in the design. Many of these IC’s are not easily found today so when one goes bad it can be difficult to replace.

While the Pioneer SX-880 has a few weaknesses it is still a very nice receiver with classic vintage styling and plenty of features. The 60 WPC is enough to fill most any room with sound. The SX-880 is also cheaper to buy than the SX-850. The SX-850 sells for around $500-$1000 while the SX-880 comes in at around $300-$600.

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Marantz 2215

This little Marantz 2215 receiver was an entry level model from Marantz in the early 1970’s. It was produced from 1971 up to 1973 at their California facility. It retailed for about $250.00 at the time. The 2215 has the classic Marantz look with a brushed metal face plate, blue dial light, gyro touch tuner and symmetrical control layout.

WC-22

The Marantz 2215 is rated at a very modest 15 watts per channel and came standard with a metal case covered with a simulated wood grain vinyl. The WC-22 wood case was also an option.

The front panel controls include bass and treble level controls, balance and volume controls, function selection (AM, FM, phono and aux) and button switches for FM muting, loudness, tape monitor, high and low filters, stereo/mono, and speaker selection (main and remote). There is also a lighted meter for AM and FM tuning and a red indicator light for stereo. On the left of the front panel is a headphone jack.

The 2215 measures 17-21/64 x 5-25/64 x 14 inches and weighs just under 25 pounds. Keep in mind that the 2215 is not the same as the 2215B. They are essentially completely different receivers other than their similar 15 watt per channel output. The 2215 was the earlier model and some believe its build quality was superior to that of the 2215B.

The back panel has inputs for phono, aux, and 1 tape (both play and record) as well as 2 AC outlets. There are outputs for two sets of speakers.

The Marantz 2215 is a nice, simple receiver that would fit perfectly in a small room, garage or den. They sell for about $200 to $400 depending upon condition which makes them a great value for someone looking for good basic performance from a vintage receiver.

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