Pioneer SX-1050

Pioneer SX-1050

Another of the silver faced Pioneer line the Pioneer SX-1050 was the little brother to the giant SX-1250 in 1976 and 1977. While it may not necessarily be considered a “Monster” receiver it is close. It weighs in at just over 50 pounds and has many of the features of the top of the line SX-1250.  It’s rated at 120 per channel into 8 ohms as compared to the SX-1250 which was rated at 165 watts per channel. There were some fairly significant differences between the lower end Sx-850, SX-950 and the SX-1050.  The SX-1050 incorporated a large toroidal transformer, a huge power supply with step-start circuit and two large capacitors, a step attenuator volume control, a shielded multi-gang tuning capacitor, and a well improved FM tuning section as well. So, the SX-1050 is really far more comparable to the SX-1250 then it is to the SX-850 and SX-950. It retailed at around $700.00.

Pioneer SX-1050

The Pioneer SX-1050 was eventually replaced by the SX-1080 in 1978.  The SX-1050 can be had for fairly reasonable prices. While the SX-1250 and SX-1980 are icons of the collecting world and therefore command sometimes ridiculously high prices, an average SX-1050 in good working condition can be had for $1000-$1800. A really nice one will bring over $2000. Not bad considering its build quality and performance.

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40 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-1050

  1. I still have my SX-1050 from 1976. I bought it at the military exchange in Mildenhall, England for $360.00 (No tax). It is still in use today.

    1. I did the same thing I too bought mine In milldenhall AFB aka moldy hole then I would head to norwich on weekends and bang those English girls harder than a loose screen door in a hurricane! Wonderful memories indeed!

  2. babyboomer. got my sx 1050 new in 1976.still blows up my 4 cerwin vega spks. kenwood equalizer 1978 tames them. great sound! gran kids ( teens) call it prehistoric but bring their cd”s over to jam !

    1. Now that is funny! ur teen-age grandchildren call it prehistoric, maybe they never saw such a great receiver in their life, Glad everyone is having a fine time with this beast, I really am. These silver-faced receivers have so much more character than some skinny black box from who knows where with a small window to view the frequency. Just going by the SX650 I have I am looking for an SX950 as I
      know there will be loads of quality electronics in it. Good luck and have a great time!

    2. The “Younger Generation” knows very little about anything that does not directly impact them. What they consider “prehistoric” is predicated on today’s “Ephemeral” mindset that nothing is worth owning that requires ownership, pride or panache. Everything today is either mortgaged, leased or rented as very little is actually owned. Anything older than the memory of having first had it is considered “Effete” and not to be tendered. We “Baby Boomers” took pride in ownership and cared for all that we got – regardless – of thing(s). Pioneer 1050 is worth owning, listening and looking at.

  3. I realize this was written in 2011, however, in 2018/19 you’d be hard pressed to get a 1050for under a grand. I have one pushing original series I Bose 901s from 1968 with a Pioneer 707 RTR and a Technics Sl-10 turntable with original cartridge tetipped last year by Soundsmith. Increible sound all around.

    1. I would agree to some extent. For a really nice, serviced SX-1050 they are definitely over $1000.00. In the last couple months there have been sales of $1395, $1350 and $1180. All for really nice units. But, most of the sales were in the $700-$900 range with about 8 sales in the last couple months. Less than that and you’re looking at models with issues of some sort. A parts model sold for $400. The SX-1050 is a great receiver. Sounds like a nice setup you have. I like the 707 reel to reel. Have one myself.

  4. I love my Pioneer SX-1050!! Really need to find parts for it. Its the best damn stereo I ever had!!! I wouldn’t want any other stereo!!!???

  5. I usually won’t settle for 2nd best but in the case of the pioneer SX-1050 vs SX-1250 which is streaming for $1200 to $2300 I found it easy enough to bow down to the 1050 and its 120 wpc and considering it has much of the same features as the 1250 I went all in and walked away with a SX1050 in excellent condition for a bid of $666. It’s in the year 2019 of November and I guess the SX-1250 will have to wait and see how captivating the 1050 becomes before we even start thinking about upgrading..

  6. Found a Pioneer sx-1050 in November 2019 at a local GW for $59. Nothing was wrong with it except low volume from one side of the unit and the lights were out. After a $250 service i was all in $309. i will never part with this unit it sounds amazing.

    1. I have a Sx 1050 I bought in 1979 it still works . I have had it serviced over the years but man I would have it no other way . Out of all the material things I have ever bought this is the best one . Enjoy your receiver man !!!!

  7. I had the 1050 through the 80`s. It was a monster, really large case. The receiver I guess needed some restoration since it always had at least some background noise.
    I don’t remember it feeling like 120 wpc. I just don’t remember really. I wish I remembered where I got it…and I don’t remember what I did with it, but I can say I discarded it because I didn’t feel it was that impressive and worth the sheer monstrosity of the thing. I won’t recommend it considering radio broadcast is not what it once was and the tuner was a big part of the unit’s value. If it hasn’t been refurbished and re-calibrated I would definately not recommend it.

  8. About six years ago, I found a mint SX-1050 at a garage sale in my neighborhood while I was out for a walk. The seller was asking $50, and must not have known what he had. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was buying at the time either. I offered $35, because that’s all I had on me. The seller obliged. I still regard this $35 receiver one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

    1. …wow

      $35.00, out-the-door !

      About 8 or so years ago, (2012), I purchased 3, mint/near-mint SX 1050’s @ $1000.00 each *add $100.00 shipping*


      In every way !

  9. I have wanted one for awhile . I just refoamed all 18 drivers on a set of 901 series 3 speakers, the Bose EQ is being upgraded but my 60wpc Onkyo isnt strong enough. I am now bidding on a SX 1050 on ebay. Hope I win.

  10. Hace unos meses compre un pioneer sx 1050, despues de haber probado varios equipos con preamplificador y amplificador de potencia separables, noté su buena calidad de sonido con frecuencias bajas contundentes y su buena recepcion de fm. Creo que voy a tenerlo por un largo tiempo a esta maravilla vintage.

  11. I bought my SX 1050 new back in 76/77 time frame. I have not used it for years but I am now in the process of setting it up again to be able to play vinyl records through it. I have a Hitachi Stereo Cassette Tape Deck, D-900 and a ADC Sound Sharper Stereo Frequency Equalizer connected to it along with the Dual turntable. The speaker system is Bose 901’s (recently rebuilt). My question – does anyone have any idea on the proper setup of the connections to each device – and the SX-1080?

  12. Bought a mint sx-1050 from a Technician in Canada fully restored with upgraded blue filter caps for $1,650. Not for resale but for myself. My opinion it’s more affordable buying restored than buying and shipping out for restoration .. The sx-1050 with my 901s sound strong and have great stereo separation..

  13. Ik ben liefhebber van vintage Pioneer receivers. Ik zoek nog een fraaie SX 1050 om in het museum te zetten. Hoeft niet noodzakelijker wijs gerestaureerd te zijn, de receiver zal slechts incidenteel een half uurtje spelen en met een variac telkens langzaam tot leven worden gewekt. De receiver moet er nog wel goed ongeschonden uitzien, alles moet werken en geschikt zijn voor 230 volt.

  14. I bought my SX-1050 in 1977 while stationed at Guantanamo Bay. I have paired this with a Pioneer Graphics Equalizer SG-9800 and a pair of Bowers & Wilkens speakers. Pioneer receiver still sounds great 44 years later. The only complaint I have now is that one channel cuts out periodically and you have to work the controls to get it to kick in. Does anyone know where I can get the SX-1050 serviced? I have never had it serviced nor had any maintenance done on it.

    1. Sounds like it might be dirty potentiometers. If the volume cuts out or is ‘scratchy’ when working the controls (especially volume) then, a lot of times, the pots are just dirty. On some receivers they are easy to clean yourself. Not sure about the SX-1050 though. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing how to do it. Usually you just have to remove the case to get to most of them. Cleaning all the pots and switches would probably help a lot.

  15. I own a minty SX 1050, I’ve had it for 30 years. I strongly believe that this is one of the best of all the vintage receivers. It has all the features of the 1250-80 and even the SX 1980. It drives my Lascalas and Cornwalls to ear bleed levels and the two phono preamps are almost second to none. It does all this effortlessly at “only” 50 lbs. and 2 inches shorter and 3 inches less deep than it’s big brothers. It’s real sweet spot is around 75-85db but will easily go over 95db and hold it there. It’s built in equalizer (bass, mid, and treble knobs) actually work in adjusting to different genres of music. The difference between it and the SX 850 (Which I also own) are night and day. The 1050 will reach down ! Unlike the 850 which will play loud but lacks the deep punch. Amazing piece of kit !

  16. I have to chime in on this topic because I own two SX-1050s and an SX-950. I bought the first one new in 1978 and paired it with my home made Bose 901s. I worked at HP at the time and one of the engineers took apart a 901 and made engineering drawings of the speakers and their equalizer, down to where to source the parts. Those drawings got passed around quite a bit and I heard about them just when I’d bought my 1050 and I was able to join in a work group of about six other fellow employees. We borrowed HPs fab shop for our “g-job” to cut those many stepped round holes for all the speakers and made a terrible mess with that particle board dust. BTW, we didn’t use particle board, but instead the ultra dense product whose name escapes me after so many years. I built two pairs of speakers and two equalizers. Those BOSE speakers served me for quite a few years until I bought my Quad ESL-63 electrostatic speakers. At that point the 1050 was replaced by Quad preamp and amp. The Pioneer wound up in its box in a spare closet for some years. It got put back into service years later when I bought a Sony Profeel monitor and Luxman tuner and wanted better than TV sound. Out came the Pioneer. It finally had some sort of failure and I let my MSEE engineer boyfriend fix it. BAD MISTAKE. Unbeknown to me he started messing with things inside he thought he could make better and when I got it back it sounded all wrong to me. I decided I had no choice but to buy another 1050! Then I made a sneaky substitute in order to salvage said boyfriend’s ego who remained none the wiser. I eventually had the second Pioneer refurbished and it is doing audio duties in my TV system. It provides the audio for my TV via a DISH Hopper DVR, an Oppo UDP-205, a Roku Ultra and a Pioneer Elite CLD-99 Laser Disc player and I think it sounds great. I need to sell my original Pioneer.

    The SX-950 was acquired two years ago because I thought my good 1050 had failed and my stereo repair guy talked me into buying a 950 because they are so much easier to work on than the 1050s. It turned out that nothing was wrong with my 1050 after all (!) so the 950 is kept around as a backup.

  17. I’ve been searching for a good well cared for Pioneer SX 1050 receiver, I’m interested in buying one in good condition if I can broker decent price. My first receiver was a pioneer SX 990 and was smooth as silk, that’s been 48 yrs ago haven’t played my vinyl for lack of a power source.

  18. 10/18/2022
    After selling an SX-980, the buyer came back for SX-1050 today. I still have 2 of the SX-1050 receiver. I would like to let many of us know that there at least 2 versions of the SX-1050 exist. Please compare the pictures.
    I can not upload the picture. The differences is that
    The one with serial number started with BX… has a “Voltage Selector”
    The otherone with a serial number started with VL.. does not have a “Voltage Selector”

  19. I have an SX-1050 in mint exterior condition that I bought at some guy’s electronic/audio shop in Ogden Utah for $25. The issue with it is one channel is out. I’ve had it repaired a while back but it still is having issues. I’d like to have it rebuilt by a professional. I’m moving to Phoenix this coming Feb, does anyone know of a reputable and knowledgeable repairman in the greater Phoenix area that can take on a project like this? I know it won’t be cheap.

  20. I have a Pioneer SX-1050 which needs to be serviced. Can you repairs them and if so, where are you located?


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