This of course is one of the icons of vintage audio. The Pioneer SX-1980. This receiver is highly sought after today and prices can reach into the thousands for a well maintained unit. Some will argue that the SX-1280 is actually a better functioning receiver but the fact still remains that the monster SX-1980 was the king of the audio mountain in it’s day.
The Pioneer SX-1980 was introduced in 1978 and was the most powerful receiver made at the time with a hefty 270 watts per channel and that was a conservative rating!
It isn’t called a monster receiver for nothing as it weighs in at 78 pounds. It’s suggested retail price in 1978 was $1295.00 – a fairly large sum back in those days.
Total harmonic distortion is rated at 0.03% which is extremely low for a power output that high. It has a massive toroidal transformer that is flanked by huge capacitors. It also has large heatsinks to dissipate the heat generated by the unit.
If you find one of these at a good price – grab it. One in good condition with a few minor issues recently sold for $1599.00.
I’ve seen better condition ones sell for far more than that. Before the downturn in the economy I saw one sell for nearly $4000.00. But, it was in mint condition and functioned perfectly.
5-27-2011 – An SX-1980 sold for $3,250. It had just been serviced and worked perfectly. It was also in very good cosmetic condition and had the original box which always adds some value.
6-5-2011 – SX-1980 sold for $1,760. It was in pretty good cosmetic shape but did have a couple bulbs burned out. Still, a pretty good price for the buyer.
3-25-2017 – Fully restored SX-1980 sold for $5000.00 on March 25, 2017.
3-2017 – Four SX-1980 sales at the beginning of 2017 for $2900.00, $2977.00, $3150.00 and $3500.00.
1-3-2019 – One sold for $5098. Also sales of $3999, $4051, $4499 and $4700.