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.
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.
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.
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.
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.