Pioneer SX-1280


The Pioneer SX-1280 is one of Pioneer’s classic receivers. It came out in 1978 and took over for the SX-1250. The design and styling are beautiful. It is rated at 185 watts per channel which is second only the the monster SX-1980’s power output. MSRP was around $900.00 which was a decent chunk of change in 1978 and rose to $950.00 in 1979 which was the last year of production for the 1200 series receivers. You’ll notice that the Pioneer SX-1280 has black vu meter faces with white lettering while the SX-1250 had white meter faces and black lettering. Just one of the subtle differences between the two receivers.


A few features:

  • Total harmonic distortion  .o1%
  • Weight: 63.25 pounds
  • Power output: 185 wpc in to 8 ohms

SX-1280’s are very collectible and prices reflect that fact. A parts or repair unit can run upwards of $1000.00. In good working condition they routinely sell for around $1500.00. In mint working condition I’ve seen them reach $3000.00. So, if you’re looking for one of these receivers be prepared to shell out some cash.

Available on Ebay

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13 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-1280

  1. eu gostaria de saber qual o valor desse aparelho. hoje no mercado nacional? alguém sabe me falar. aguardo resposta

  2. On September 2019 you can’t touch buying a Pioneer SX-1280 without at very least $2,000.00 to spend. You might find a beat up Pioneer SX-1280 for $2,000.00 and if you are VERY lucky a nice one AT $2K. Most basic vintage Pioneer SX-1280’s without upgrades and repairs sell for $2,100 to $2,400 today. If you want a repaired Pioneer SX-1280 pre prepared to spend $2,400.00 today. A full professionally recapped, upgraded Pioneer SX-1280’s with LED lights can cost close to $3,000. I was lucky I got a clean Pioneer SX-1280 today for just $1,800.00 on Ebay but such finds are rare in 2019.

  3. I purchased my Pioneer SX-1280 on E-Bay December 18 / 2019 for $1900.00 in excellent condition everything working looking like new. I will be taking in to my Technician for a full check up but as of this posting it has been flawless and is a nice addition to my Pioneer SX-1080. I will be adding Led lighting to the dial and indicator lights when I take it for its check up

  4. Hi,
    So what model is collectable and does not have the rear shelf like the SX.
    Also, a model that is easy to rebulb! Ha.

  5. I got my sx1280 for free from an old concrete buddy id help in the winter for some extra cash about 8 years ago we were all hanging out in the garage talking shop and the subject of music was brought up and I said “by the way do any of you guys know where I can buy a nice vintage receiver my dad gave me 4 jbl L100” my buddy said come down stairs and check this out he’s a collector of vintage receivers he had a sansui AU-20000 in its original box and Pioneer sx880, 1080, 1280, and 1980, all bran new looking all gone through from techs and not one hooked up to a speakers. anyways. I asked if he would sale one he said maybe sometime down the road I’ll let you know. 4 years later his business is about over from personal health and hard ships and all his friends/employees for the past 15 years have quit and started there own companies and stole his builders in the process since they were his lead guys made it easy. one did all his flat work, other did his foundations. Thats a pos move if you ask me. I was always there for the guy though any time he needed a slab done or foundation or anything really even helped him move when he lost his house and as we were loading up he said hey I got a present for you pick any receiver and it’s yours but not the sansui lol so I grabbed the sx-1280 sad thing is I used it for about 1 year in the man cave sounds so amazing btw but I just don’t use it anymore so I am going to sell it for a reasonable price since it was a gift to me

    1. Steve, I would be interested in purchasing your SX-1280. I have one already that I purchased brand new in 1979 while in Japan. I would like to have another so as to bridge the amps.

  6. I bought mine in 1978 while in high school and had kept it pristine. Got married and boxed it in original box with manuals and later a friend wanted to borrow it and 4 years ago his home caught fire and it was destroyed. Heartbreaking.

  7. I bought my SX-1280 in 2011 for 800 bucks on eBay. Had to replace a couple burnt out lights and get the front switches looked at. Dirty and that was in. Cosmetically it looked amazing and still does. I’ve used it since 2011 on a regular basis.

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